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HHC July18_The Most Common Conditions Associated with Hormone Imbalance - Part 3_Final

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>> Hello. Welcome back for the third and final part of our discussion of the most common conditions associated with hormonal imbalance. In this segment, we're going to focus on symptoms and conditions that can arise as the results of both normal fluctuations and abnormalities in a woman's reproductive system. Let's get started. The first is amenorrhea, which is a term that describes the absence of a woman's period altogether. This has two different classifications. Primary amenorrhea, which is when menstruation hasn't yet started by the age of 16, and secondary amenorrhea, which is when a woman who previously had normal periods hasn't menstruated for more than three to six months, and more than nine months for women with oligomenorrhea or irregular periods. For a woman of reproductive age, amenorrhea isn't normal unless she's pregnant or breastfeeding. More often than not, the total absence of a period in a cycling woman is the signal of a much more serious condition. The most common causes of primary amenorrhea are a chromosomal or genetic abnormality that can cause the ovaries to stop functioning, problems with the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland which can cause reproductive problems and prevent periods from starting, and lifestyle factors such as excessive exercise, eating disorders, extreme stress, or a combination of these. Secondary amenorrhea can result from natural causes like pregnancy, breastfeeding, or menopause, medications including certain antidepressants and blood pressure medications, hormonal contraceptives like the birth control pill, injectable contraceptives, and intrauterine devices, medical therapies like chemotherapy and radiation, scar tissue buildup from medical procedures on the uterine lining, like the removal of uterine fibroids or scar tissue that builds up after C-section, problems with the hypothalamus, referred to as hypothalamic amenorrhea. This occurs when the hypothalamus stops producing gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which is responsible for starting the menstrual cycle every month, low body weight, low body fat, eating disorders, emotional stress, excess exercise or other physical stressors, and other conditions such as PCOS, thyroid disease, or pituitary tumors can also result in secondary amenorrhea. Women who don't get their periods aren't experiencing ovulation either, which brings us to the next condition associated with hormonal imbalance, infertility. One of the biggest hallmarks of a healthy, fertile woman is that she ovulates. When a woman can't ovulate, she can't get pregnant, resulting in the diagnosis of infertility. The inability to conceive naturally at a reproductive age means that the woman's body is trying to tell her that something is wrong on a deeper level. Much like PMS or other menstrual irregularities like amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea, infertility is the body talking to us. These signs should not be covered up with medications or ignored as normal. When these issues are ignored or medicated without looking deeper at the root cause, it's akin to turning off the fire alarm while the fire rages on. Let's look at just a few of the many possible causes for infertility, structural damage or abnormalities to other female reproductive organs like the cervix, uterus, or the fallopian tubes can result in infertility, issues with ovulation, these are often caused by hormone imbalance caused by a number of conditions such as low body weight or body fat, often due to disordered eating, extreme calorie restriction, or excess exercise, thyroid disease or dysfunction, obesity, stress, infection, and diseases of the female reproductive system like pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids or polyps. Next we have perimenopause and menopause, which are grouped together because they're part of the same hormonal shift that a woman experiences as her body shifts toward the end of its reproductive cycle. As the female body approaches middle-age, hormones like estrogen and progesterone begin to decrease in production. These hormones aren't just for baby-making, they also play a huge role in the body's regulatory functions. This is why when hormone production begins to wind down, women start to feel some pretty intense symptoms. You've likely heard of the huge hormonal shift of menopause, but perimenopause is a little different. This is what happens well before the official onset of menopause, sometimes as early as 10 to 20 years before. It's similar, but there are some differences in symptoms. During a woman's late 30s to early 40s on average, the ovaries begin to eliminate ovarian follicles as a type of quality control mechanism. Remember that every egg a woman will ever have was made while she was still in the womb. So these eggs are as old as she is. The ovaries don't want to waste the time to develop eggs that are unlikely to produce a viable baby. So they start cutting back. As a result, fewer ovarian follicles are available to make estrogen during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle and therefore less progesterone is made during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. However, these changes are different from woman to woman and they may also vary from cycle to cycle for an individual, leading to sporadic increases and declines of these essential female hormones during this time. This can cause irregular periods, mood disorders, and other symptoms associated with light or sporadic periods. Perimenopause can last for as little as a few months and as long as several years. The end of perimenopause is marked by the onset of menopause, which officially marks the end of female reproduction. At the onset of menopause, the ovaries produce so little estrogen that eggs are no longer released. This will also stop a woman's period. Many of the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause are the same but some are quite different. Symptoms of perimenopause include irregular periods, periods that are lighter or heavier than normal, PMS, breast tenderness, changes in hair growth, unexplained hair loss, unwanted weight gain, headaches, low libido, brain fog, muscle aches, frequent infections, and infertility. On the other hand, symptoms of menopause can include hot flashes, night sweats, depression, anxiety or irritability, mood swings, insomnia, fatigue, dry skin, vaginal dryness, and frequent urination. High cholesterol and risk of heart disease have also been associated with perimenopause and menopause. This could be due to the decrease in estrogen levels but more research needs to be done. Last but certainly not least, we'll go over some of the hormone fluctuations and imbalances that can rise from pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. It probably comes as no surprise that pregnancy, childbirth, and the months that follow have a significant impact on a woman's hormones. But what exactly is going on and how do these huge shifts in hormones affect a woman's health and mood? We'll talk about pregnancy in much more detail later on in this course. But for now, all you need to know is that there are six main hormones that play critical roles in creating and maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Human chorionic gonadotropin or HCG, progesterone, estrogen, oxytocin, prolactin, and relaxin. Many of these same hormones play a huge role in a woman's body after the birth of her child too but with much different functions. A woman will produce more estrogen during one pregnancy than throughout her entire life when not pregnant. Since most of the progesterone during pregnancy is created by the placenta, progesterone drops back down to pre-pregnancy levels almost immediately after childbirth. Estrogen also begins to take a nosedive as well. But this is a slightly slower process because excess estrogen production is a much more complicated situation. Internal hormonal signaling loops must be recalibrated before estrogen is fully returned to pre-pregnancy levels. But despite all this, the change is usually completed within a few weeks. Together, this hormonal shift is huge for the mother. Even the smallest changes in hormone levels can affect a person's mood and physical well-being. So imagine what a giant shift like this might feel like. Let's give these ladies a round of applause. Much of the hormonal imbalance that develops postpartum is due to this massive drop in progesterone after the birth of the progesterone producing placenta. Progesterone is known for its calming, mood-elevating effects. So such an immediate and dramatic drop in this hormone can cause mood shifts that range from the baby blues to full-on postpartum depression. It hasn't been until recently that this condition has been viewed as a serious and legitimate experience for new mothers. While progesterone is in the tank, estrogen levels stay relatively high, causing symptoms of estrogen dominance like breast tenderness, thyroid dysfunction, lower libido, depression, anxiety, unwanted weight gain, fatigue, brain fog, headaches, irritability, insomnia, mood swings, PMS symptoms, water retention, bloating, and more. Thyroid disorders are also quite common after birth. Estrogen dominance can cause the liver to produce excess thyroid-binding globulin which binds thyroid hormone so it can't be used properly in the body. This can result in low thyroid function after birth. Estrogen dominance can also contribute to postpartum adrenal fatigue. High estrogen and low progesterone interfere with the production and use of cortisol. This decreased production of cortisol can only contribute to one thing, worn-out adrenals. I'd like to point out that not every woman has the same experience after giving birth. These are a general list of hormones to keep in mind and symptoms to watch out for. And that wraps up our three-part series on the most common conditions associated with hormone imbalance. In this lecture, we went over amenorrhea, infertility, perimenopause and menopause, along with the conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. Each of the conditions we went over in this module involve a very complex balance of hormones, a balance that's affected by physical, emotional, and mental stressors, disease states, medications, and so much more. Hopefully, this three-part series has given you a deeper understanding of how hormones can often be the root cause of a number of conditions that affect a growing number of women every year and an understanding that as we work to balance hormones, we also work toward improving overall health and well-being. Now that you have all of this great information, it's time to rehearse it and test your knowledge. While this is all fresh in your head, open up and complete the Hormone Imbalance Fill-in-the-Blanks worksheet. We've also provided you with a worksheet called Exploring Symptoms to apply this information to a realistic coaching scenario. Remember, continued application of this information will help it sink in. Eventually, it will all become second nature to you. When you're all done, head on over to the Facebook group and join the conversation. What stood out to you? What questions do you have? We'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Thanks so much for watching, and I'll see you soon.

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Duration: 13 minutes and 8 seconds
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Posted by: integrativenutrition on Aug 13, 2018

The Most Common Conditions Associated with Hormone Imbalance - Part 3_Final

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