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The Five Most Common Female Hormone Imbalances_Final

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>> Hey, welcome back. In this lecture, we're gonna talk about the five and most common hormone imbalances experienced by women. Now you may be wondering, what about the guys? We're gonna hold off on this conversation for now because we've got an entire module coming up later about hormone imbalances and conditions specific to men. So for right now, ladies first. Remember, it's not your role as a Health Coach to diagnose. We're teaching you the signs and symptoms so that you can learn how to spot these issues in your clients and refer them for testing to either receive or rule out a diagnosis. All right, with that said, are you ready? The first of the five most common hormone imbalances in women is low progesterone. Low progesterone can mean a couple of things. First, it can mean that a client has overall low production of this hormone, but a person's progesterone levels can be normal and still be considered low relative to estrogen, if their estrogen levels are through the roof. So progesterone is considered normal or low in comparison to how much estrogen a person has. Makes sense? All you need to remember is that it's the ratio of progesterone to estrogen the matters. When this ratio is off, it's often lower progesterone resulting in estrogen dominance. So the question remains, what causes low progesterone? This hormonal imbalance is most commonly due to stress or high cortisol. When the body produces a lot of cortisol, this can result in the mechanism known as Pregnenolone Steal. What happens here is that cortisol steals the show at the expense of progesterone production. Remember, how we said that the master hormone, pregnenolone gets converted into important sex hormones, like progesterone. Well, instead of doing that, it gets used to make even more cortisol in response to chronic stress. To make matters worse, cortisol can actually block progesterone receptors in the body making these receptors less responsive to progesterone. Remember the lock and key mechanism we discussed before? Basically, the lock gets jammed by cortisol, so that progesterone can't get in and open the lock. Way to be selfish, cortisol. Another cause of low progesterone is synthetic estrogens or xenoestrogens. These are manmade chemicals commonly found in cleaning supplies and body care products like soaps and lotions, and even makeup. These chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body causing estrogen dominance and lower the normal levels of progesterone. Plastics, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides can also contain these creepy chemicals. Here's another big culprit, hormonal birth control. Most notably, the birth control pill or lack of consistent monthly ovulation can contribute to lower progesterone. Hormonal birth control prevents ovulation from occurring each month, lowering progesterone levels. Symptoms of low progesterone include, difficulty getting or staying pregnant. Breakthrough bleeding through the second half of the menstrual cycle. PMS or PMDD. Menstrual migraines. Having menstrual flow. Irregular or more frequent menstrual cycles. Bloating in the abdomen. And swollen and/or painful breasts. This brings us to the flip side of low progesterone which is excess estrogen or estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is caused by a number of factors. As I mentioned before, high cortisol lowers progesterone output and blocks progesterone receptors. When progesterone is low, estrogen dominates. Xenoestrogens like, BPA and phthalates mimic estrogen in the body, tricking the body into estrogen dominance. Excess body fat can also contribute to circulating levels of estrogen in the body, making obesity a cause for estrogen dominance as well. Also, excessive consumption of alcohol is associated with excess estrogen. This can result in irregular periods, dysfunction in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, and early menopause. Heavy alcohol consumption also has been linked to spontaneous abortions and higher incidences of breast cancer, which leads researchers to believe that alcohol may mediate changes in estrogen levels. Also, alcohol impairs liver function and it's, you know, liver that's responsible for processing and excreting any extra estrogen from the body. This is one reason why it's so important to fully inquire about your clients' alcohol consumption. It can be a touchy subject for some people, especially for heavy drinkers who feel a stigma of shame or judgment around their drinking habits. You know, how a lot of people downplay or lie about their drinking or smoking, or drug habits when they visit their physician. They might feel inclined to do this with you too since you are a Health Professional. This is why it's important that you take the time to build a report and explain to your clients, why they should be totally forthcoming about their drinking. It could be an important clue about what might be going on with their health or hormones. If a client seems to be hesitant to speak about the drinking habits, remind them that you're asking about this information to help them, and you won't judge or lecture them, no matter what they confide in you. Continuing on, symptoms of high estrogen include heavy bleeding, breast tenderness or cysts, PMS, fibroids, endometriosis, menstrual migraines, moodiness, frequent meltdowns, depression or weepiness, mid-cycle or ovulatory pain and brain fog. Next, we have low estrogen. This can have detrimental effects on women's health as well. Low estrogen can be caused by high stress, resulting in high cortisol levels, disordered eating, which puts physiological as well as mental and emotional stress on the body, nutrient deficiencies, due to poor dietary practices or poor absorption, over-exercising, especially in conjunction with calorie restriction, and hormonal birth control, most notably the birth control pill which not only lowers progesterone, but estrogen, too. The low dose hormonal contraceptives are especially to blame because they leave many women in a state of estrogen deficiency. The symptoms of low estrogen include oligomenorrhea. This is a fancy word for sporadic periods. Amenorrhea, which is defined as the absence of menstruation for three or more months, low sex drive, vaginal dryness, painful sex, hot flashes or night sweats, joint pain, dry skin and eyes, depression, melasma, which is a sun damage that presents as brown or gray brown patches on the face, forearms, or neck, and poor cognitive function, most notably poor memory. Next, we'll talk about excess androgens in women. These are the male hormones that women produce that include testosterone and DHEA. These should never be ignored because even the hormones that are mostly associated with men's health can have profound effects on how women feel and how well their bodies perform. Excess androgens in women are commonly caused by high insulin levels, which can cause the ovaries to produce more testosterone, hormonal birth control containing synthetic progestin. These can produce androgen like effects that promotes symptoms like hair loss in women. High cortisol from our old friend stress. Your adrenal glands make about 50% of your total androgens, so when one adrenal hormone is off, the others are affected as well. This creates a domino effect. Excess body fat, which as we discussed before, can cause excess estrogen. This can affect the production and use of androgens in women. Polycystic ovarian syndrome. Androgen Access is a key characteristic in 20% of women suffering from PCOS, and a condition called Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. This is a surprisingly common genetic condition that can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. Androgen excess can cause unstable blood sugar, also known as hypo or hyperglycemia. Infrequent ovulation, menstrual cycles that are longer than 35 days. Ovarian cysts, mid-cycle pain, acne or oily skin, hair growth on the face, hair loss on the head, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. On to the final hormone imbalance. Low Androgens. In the ever-important balance of the endocrine system, it's also necessary to ensure that androgens aren't too low even for women. You can think of androgens as the hormones that give us spice and edge. They are associated with many facets of youth, including a higher sex drive, shiny hair, supple skin, and even the way we present ourselves to the world. Women with lower androgen levels often exhibit decreased confidence and decline in the propensity to take risks in their lives, whether it'd be in a workplace, relationships or other eyes. There are so many reasons why our clients come to us with issues around confidence and risk taking, but this one is so frequently overlooked. I mean, have you ever thought to consider your clients testosterone or DHEA levels when they struggle with confidence and nothing they do seems to help? This is one reason why it's essential to make sure that these hormone levels are optimal. Low androgens can be caused by the birth control pill or other types of hormonal birth control. This is one of the reasons why it's super important to inquire not just, if your clients use birth control, but what kind and how long they've been on it for. Dysfunction in the adrenal glands or the ovaries can also result in low androgen output. Removal of the ovaries, low ovarian function, or ovarian failure all play a role in low androgens. Nearly all of women's androgenic hormones are produced in the adrenals and the ovaries. So it's critical to keep these glands healthy and working optimally. Symptoms of low androgen levels in women include low sex drive, painful sex, less powerful orgasm, low self-confidence, vaginal dryness, decreased muscle mass, and lack of motivation. Okay, now let's bring it all home. As you can see, hormones and hormone imbalances don't exist in a vacuum, with such a complex and delicate system of hormones and glands working together. When one hormone is off, it's pretty likely that there is at least one other hormone imbalance present as well. Think of it as a domino effect. The most common combinations of hormone imbalances in women are high estrogen and low progesterone, high cortisol and low progesterone or low sex hormones in general, and low estrogen and low testosterone. But remember, everyone is different. All of your clients are unique and will come to you with their own unique situations. You'll want to avoid trying to pigeonhole them into a certain condition or rushing towards solutions. An important thing to remember is that if you encounter one of these imbalances when working with a client, other imbalances may exist alongside it. So a recommendation that you might be inclined to make to help one imbalance may not work with the other. Good coaching here doesn't mean memorizing and knowing every little detail about every hormone in the body. It involves being a good listener, a curious learner, and a creative problem-solver. Just take the time to really explore all possible scenarios to ensure that you capture everything that might be going on. And don't be afraid to tell client that you don't know the answer to something or that. You need to look something up. It's better to be honest than to jump to conclusions or provide misinformation. Just let them know that you look into it and get back to them before the next session. I've enjoyed talking with you today about these common hormonal imbalances and how they affect women's bodies. To recap the five most common female hormone imbalances are high estrogen, low estrogen, low progesterone, excess androgens, and low androgens. Often, when one hormone gets out of balance, it effects at least one other, since they're all so intricately tied together in the body. To get to the root of your client's concerns, take time to listen fully and explore all avenues. To help this information sink in, be sure to check out the handout in your learning center called Signs and Symptoms of Common Hormone Imbalances. Using what you've learned, we encourage you to take some time with your clients this week or even with yourself, or a loved one to start to notice signs and symptoms. Don't diagnose, keep these observations to yourself, just inquire gently about what they're experiencing and begin to correlate these symptoms with possible hormone imbalances. Then, be sure to head on over to the Facebook group to share your findings. Later on in this course, we'll be diving even deeper into the inner workings of the endocrine system and how you can help your clients to balance their hormones with diet and lifestyle. So remember, if you don't feel like you understand all of these concepts, don't worry, because there's more to come. Thanks for watching and I'll see you soon.

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Duration: 15 minutes and 1 second
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Language: English
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Posted by: ninaz on Mar 23, 2018

The Five Most Common Female Hormone Imbalances_Final

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