The hormonal dance is a dance I’ve known personally for 11 years but most recently about 2 years now – or should I say, have been more consciously aware of anyway.
Looking back of the last 11 years I see snippets of hormonal imbalances but I never did think too much of it. It was only when my periods became extremely heavy and I started to have a pain around my bladder that I really took notice.
At the time of going back to school in 2015 I was “coping” quite well, or so I thought. My sleep was ok in that I was tired when I went to bed and didn’t wake up too much during the night and woke up feeling kind of refreshed, for me that was a win at the time.
But when I look at how stressed I was and I had no coping mechanisms at all, I see the start of the large mountain I was climbing, and at some point there would have to be a peak, and then the coming down.
I didn’t know what adrenals were, never mind what cortisol was, but I could feel its effects non the less. With 2 small children at home, running my own business and taking care of a household it was taking its toll. I had no off switch, I was constantly on guard, checking my email for orders, picking up my phone any time my Etsy app went off, you know the drill.
Here’s what happened to me.
I was so stressed out all the time, I was in constant fight or flight mode, my sympathetic nervous system was on full alert all the time, with no off switch. My adrenaline was triggered every time I heard a bang, or my husband would make too much noise putting away the dishes or my children dropped a toy. It was starting to affect my digestion!
When your in this flight or flight mode your body isn’t interested in digesting food, it shuts it down to focus on other tasks, like running away from the thing that is scaring you, and it can take hours or days for your body to recover from this effect.
Pair that with the cortisol that was being released due to my stressful life style and you can see how hormonal imbalances occur, its a complicated process – “First, the part of the brain called the amygdala has to recognize a threat. It then sends a message to the part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which releases corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). CRH then tells the pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which tells the adrenal glands to produce cortisol”.
If this effect is sustains and powerful enough it will end up taking over your sex hormones – estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and lead to hormonal imbalances.
So, it is vitally important to have good stress coping mechanisms that not only help you in a moment of stress but also help you long term in order to keep that delicate balance between our sex hormones and our stress hormones.
Do you have effective stress management techniques? Leave me a comment down below, I’d love to know