Women go through a lot because of their hormones and by a lot, we mean a lot. It affects us when we are younger and it certainly carries on as we get older. Therefore, it’s vital that we understand how it affects us through the ages.
What are hormones?
First things first, what are hormones? Hormones are the chemical messenger of the body. You see, if our brain can receive and send signals via electrical nerve impulses, we can also do so through these chemicals. Each of these hormones corresponds to a specific response in our body. However, for this article, we are going to focus on the ones that have the most impact on our lives such as progesterone produced in the ovaries.
How do hormones affect us?
Hormones can affect us on a daily basis. Ranging from things like our reproductive health, bone health, hair growth, and even our heart health and body weight.
Daily fluctuations in our hormone levels affect us every day. For example, a sudden increase in progesterone can cause a disturbance in our sleep quality. This is why it is essential that we know and understand more about the way our hormones can affect us. We must be able to free ourselves from all these troubles using the right knowledge and ideas.
Hormones when we reach puberty
The time when people reach puberty varies a lot depending on so many factors. These factors can include, diet, environment, stress, and even genetics. Some people start puberty earlier than others, while some start out quite late.
Puberty as we know it essentially begins at the hypothalamus and with the hormone gonadotropin which increases the sex hormone oestrogen as well. As its name implies, it stimulates the gonads, ovaries, and testes of males.
One of the first signs of puberty for women is the start of menstruation. This is the beginning of a lifelong cycle that lasts until we reach menopause when we get older.
Hormones and the menstrual cycle
As mentioned above, menstruation is a cycle and in this cycle, a lot of hormones are at play as such, we must know if we have a normal cycle or not.
What is normal? A normal menstrual cycle can last up to 28 days and has two halves – the follicular phase and the luteal phase. The first phase mainly involves oestrogen and the second one involves progesterone.
However, did you know that only about 13% of women have a “normal” cycle? Even so, there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with their bodies although it might be causing them alarm.
How do we handle menstruation?
This is a helpful general guide on what we should do per week to handle our menstruation:
Week 1 – Have plenty of iron-rich food such as dried fruits, legumes, and meats. This is because at this stage you will continually lose the iron that you have in your body.
Week 2 – Eat a lot of fiber not only for your digestive health but also for your hormonal health.
Week 3 – Enjoy yourself and free yourself from worries and stress which might also affect your hormone levels.
Week 4 – In this week, you might start to feel the effect of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) which might include irritability and mood swings.
Which are the key hormones when it comes to menstruation?
There are several key hormones we have to know about if we want to understand the way menstruation works in our body. Now, this might get a bit scientific, but bear with us as this can be helpful in knowing the exact way our bodies work.
Remember that a “Normal cycle” can differ from woman to woman. It may be as short as 21 days, or it may even last up to 35 days. So don’t worry if you don’t fit in the mold. You should know what is normal for you and if your cycle suddenly diverges from it, then you need to be aware in case you might have an irregular cycle.
In terms of fluctuations in our hormones and fertility, this is the end of the road for many of us. For some, it is a relief, and for others, they may be despairing and worried. So we must be aware that the average age to start menopause can vary widely. Some start in their mid-late 30’s and others don’t start until their late 60’s. It will depend on a host of factors such as genetics, diet, and lifestyle.
It’s also important to note that menopause doesn’t just happen in one go. In fact, it occurs in three stages which are, perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. Each of these has its own impact on our lives and our hormone levels. Perimenopause is usually what people generally describe as “Going through menopause” and it might include symptoms such as loss of libido, weight gain, and night sweats.
When perimenopause starts we don’t get monthly estrogen fluctuations anymore as we did since puberty. Instead, it continues to decline as we age along with the other hormones such as progesterone, LH, and FSH.
Now that we know how our hormones affect us through the years, we can now be more certain about how we can take care of ourselves and how we can manage our hormone levels as we age through the years. We hope that this information can be useful to you no matter what age you are right now.
Wow! That was a lot of information, and I hope you found it useful. I hope this article has given you a better understanding of your hormones and how they’re affected at different life stages. Don’t underestimate the role of diet, mindset, and lifestyle to influence your symptoms at each stage of life.
If you’re sick and tired of struggling with your health and well-being and you want a serious solution that works, and you’re prepared to work hard on yourself and make this your priority, then I can help you.
I look forward to speaking to you!
Love Louise xx