The Four Most Common Hormone Disorders in Women
Hormones play a major role in how well your body functions
and how you feel from day to day. If your hormones are in
balance, you likely sleep well and have lots of energy, a
strong sex drive, and well-functioning immune and digestive
"The healthy body is equipped to produce all the hormones
a woman needs throughout her life," said Dr. Christiane
Northrup, author of The
Wisdom of Menopause. But those hormones can easily become
pushed off kilter -- even with too much stress or an unhealthy
diet -- leaving room for a wide array of hormonal disorders
As many as one in 10 women may suffer from the most
common hormonal disorder among women, PCOS.
Hormones are proteins or steroids that are secreted directly
into your bloodstream. They are responsible for the body's
metabolism of minerals, regulation of fluids, reproduction,
sexual function, and responses to stress.
The endocrine system, which includes glands such as the pituitary,
hypothalamus, thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, adrenal cortex
and medulla, and ovaries, produce hormones in women.
Common Hormone Disorders: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
The most common hormonal disorder among women is polycystic
ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which affects an estimated 7 percent
of women. However, many cases may go undiagnosed, so as many
as one in 10 women may be affected.
"This is a syndrome, which means it is a collection
of features," said Dr. Ricardo Azziz, chair of Cedars-Sinai
Medical Center's department of obstetrics and gynecology.
Two-thirds of women with PCOS are overweight and most are
insulin resistant. Symptoms include:
Although the cause of PCOS remains unknown, researchers are
looking into its connection to obesity, genetics and insulin
Lifestyle changes, including eating a healthy diet and exercising,
are often "prescribed" for patients with PCOS. This
is because weight loss has been found to cause an improvement,
or even a remission, of symptoms. Sometimes medications, including
birth control pills and fertility drugs, are prescribed to
help with symptoms.
Get Safe Relief From Hormonal Imbalance
With Natural Progesterone
Progesterone is one of the oldest hormones known to
nature, and serves a wide range of functions at all
ages. When women hit menopause, progesterone levels
can drop severely--for some women levels can fall to
Producing the proper levels of progesterone in your
body is key to keeping you hormonally balanced.
Women taking Renaissance Natural Progesterone cream
- Less female discomfort
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- Emotional balance
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- Improved sexual libido
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more about why Renaissance Natural Progesterone is one
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Over 20 percent of menopausal women in the United States
are diagnosed with thyroid dysfunction, according to Marcy
Holmes, NP, Certified Menopause Clinician, and Marcelle Pick,
OB/GYN N.P. However, studies suggest that millions more may
be suffering from subclinical problems, but remain undiagnosed.
Most women are affected by hypothyroidism, a sluggish or
"underactive" thyroid. Symptoms of hypothyroidism
Other women may be affected by the opposite, hyperthyroidism,
which is an overactive thyroid. A person with hyperthyroidism
Hormonal imbalances, which could be caused by stress and
nutritional deficiencies, trigger thyroid disease. Hypothydroidism
may also occur at other times your body may be more prone
to hormonal imbalance, such as during perimenopause, menopause
Your adrenal glands (located on top of each kidney) act as
control centers for many hormones. One of their most important
tasks is to get your body ready for the "fight or flight"
stress response, which means increasing adrenaline and other
This response increases your heart rate and blood pressure,
slows your digestion and basically gets your body ready to
face a potential threat or challenge.
While this response is good when it's needed, many of us
are constantly faced with stressors (work, environmental toxins,
not enough sleep, worry, etc.) and are in this "fight
or flight" mode for far too long -- much longer than
was ever intended from an evolutionary standpoint.
The result? The adrenals become overworked and fatigued.
Symptoms of adrenal dysfunction are varied, but include:
Fatigue is a common symptom of a hormonal imbalance.
You can support healthy adrenal function by:
There are many other hormonal disorders among women as well,
including menstrual and fertility problems. A lot is still
being discovered, such as why some women appear to be more
vulnerable to hormone problems than others. If you suspect
you may have a hormone disorder, you should seek help from
a health care practitioner. Holistic practitioners, in particular,
may be able to help you get relief from your symptoms using
herbal supplements and lifestyle modifications, rather than
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is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
to Women: Hypothyroidism and Hormonal Imbalance