If you've ever wondered just what happy hormones are and if they actually exist then read on. Any woman can experience the odd irregular cycle that’s a bit more ‘crampy’ than a normal period, or a minor mood fluctuation in the latter couple of weeks of her cycle – however, regularly experiencing pain or discomfort though common is most definitely not normal and therefore should be assessed by a health professional so it can be resolved.
Optimal female hormone health, and conditions such as PMS, PCOS or Endometriosis are not merely the result of hormonal levels. Instead, it is dysfunction across the nervous, digestive, immune, and entire hormonal system.
The way to successfully treat these conditions and keep your hormones happy is to identify the upstream triggers in order to resolve the downstream hormonal symptom manifestations.
What are happy hormones?
Happy hormones, also known as neurotransmitters, are chemical messengers in our body that play a crucial role in our overall well-being and mood regulation.
They include serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins. These little powerhouses are responsible for boosting our mood, reducing stress, and promoting feelings of happiness and contentment. However, various factors such as stress, lifestyle choices, and hormonal imbalances can disrupt their delicate equilibrium.
The good news is by understanding and addressing these factors, we can keep our happy hormones in harmony and enhance our overall happiness.
Factors that can impact your normally happy hormones
When the body is under stress, it ramps up the production of the stress hormone Cortisol.
Cortisol helps the body respond to stress by increasing blood sugar levels and suppressing non-essential functions such as digestion and reproduction.
However, prolonged or chronic stress can disrupt the delicate balance of hormones in the body, including reproductive hormones like progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.
Elevated cortisol levels can interfere with these reproductive hormones' normal production and regulation.
Over time, this can lead to an imbalance in hormone levels, causing irregular menstrual cycles, decreased libido, mood swings, and other hormonal conditions.
In women, imbalances in estrogen and progesterone can contribute to conditions such as PMS, PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), and fertility issues.
Did you know the body needs to excrete the hormone Oestrogen to maintain a healthy hormone balance?
The hormonal process mainly takes place in the gut and liver. But, if your gut is not functioning correctly due to intolerances and poor digestion, or your liver is affected by medication, alcohol, or fatty liver disease, the hormones may not be effectively eliminated.
They may actually be reabsorbed into circulation, leading to hormonal imbalances like heavy periods, fibroids and endometriosis.
Supporting the body's natural hormone detoxification processes can promote hormonal balance and reduce the risk of hormonal imbalances and related conditions like heavy periods, fibroids, or endometriosis.
If you have a metabolic syndrome, diabetes, or carry excess weight, you likely have increased blood glucose levels. This increase can cause inflammation, excess testosterone production in PCOS and blood glucose imbalances.
Maintaining stable blood glucose levels is crucial for hormone balance.
Strategies to support healthy blood glucose levels include adopting a balanced diet rich in whole foods and emphasizing complex carbohydrates, fibre, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Regular exercise, weight management, and stress reduction techniques can also contribute to stable blood glucose levels and overall hormone health.
If you take a synthetic hormone medication like the birth control pill, you are effectively switching off your body's natural processes. When you decide to stop, you may experience absent periods or irregular cycles or even heavier bleeds and pain.
Birth control alters the delicate balance of reproductive hormones, potentially leading to imbalances and mood changes.
It's crucial to be aware of these effects and consult a healthcare professional if you have concerns about how the birth control pill may be affecting your overall hormone health and happiness.
When you have poor thyroid function, your happy hormones turn unhappy...as will you! PMS levels will usually be higher; on the flip side, low thyroid function can impact how your liver detoxes.
This can lead to a cascade of hormonal imbalances, leaving you feeling far from happy. If you suspect hypothyroidism, it's essential to get a proper diagnosis and seek appropriate treatment.
Restoring thyroid function can help restore harmony in your hormones and reclaim your happiness.
Endocrine disruptor chemicals can be found in fragrances, plastics, personal care products, paints, upholstery, food, cleaning products and skin care. These pesky disruptors have been linked with hormonal disruption and disease in women.
By reducing your contact with endocrine disruptors, you can protect your happy hormones and pave the way for a healthier hormonal balance and a happier you.
How can you test happy hormones?
The DUTCH Test, a comprehensive hormone testing method, can provide valuable insights into your happy hormones and overall hormonal balance.
This test, utilising dried urine and saliva samples collected throughout the day, offers a comprehensive analysis of various hormone levels, including cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and their metabolites.
By measuring these hormone levels, the DUTCH Test can assess how your body metabolises and processes hormones, allowing for a deeper understanding of any imbalances or dysfunctions. With this information, we can develop personalised treatment plans to optimise your happy hormones and address any underlying issues contributing to hormonal disruptions.
Thankfully we have many ways to test your hormones to give us a clear picture of how yours are behaving. Then we can get down to the nitty gritty and make your hormones happy once again. If you would like to learn more about your happy hormones, you can book a time with one of our Naturopaths here.