Balancing Hormones is an important topic to all of us, it’s a vast topic and will be the focus for the next few weeks. I am especially interested in the field of women’s health, and hormones is a big component in this area. The female body is amazing, not only do we sustain life, we create new life.
Hormones have an enormous influence on us, from birth, puberty, pregnancy and the menopause. Sometimes these hormones can become off balanced and result in symptoms such as;
- Irregular cycle
- Polycystic ovarys
- Lack of periods
- Adrenal problems
- Thyroid issues (under or over active thyroid)
- Menopause issues such as hot flushes, mood swings, hair loss, and so on.
They are a few steps that we can take in our day to day life to help our bodies re-balance. In the coming weeks I will write about the main hormonal issues we face, diet and exercise, and how complementary health therapies can play an important role.
For now, it is important to understand the Endocrine system and that it is all interconnected, an imbalance in one area will have an effect in another area, that is why it is important to locate the source of the problem and not just mask the symptoms, for example a 20 year old with irregular cycles may go on the pill to help regulate her cycle, but when she decides to come off it the problem could still be there leaving her back at square 1.
Understanding the different glands in the Endocrine system and the hormones they produce:
Pituitary Gland: Also known as the master gland as it controls alot of the other glands including the thyroid and adrenals, the ovaries and testicles. It is located in the brain and is controlled by the Hypothalamus sending messages to the Pituitary gland.
The hormones secreted are; human growth hormone, adrenocorticotropin, thyroid stimulating hormone, gonadotropic hormone, luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, prolactin, Oxytocin and Antidiuretic Hormone.
Pineal Gland: located in the centre of the brain and produces melatonin which is responsible for our bodys response to sunlight e.g. sleeping patterns
Thyroid Gland: Is a butterfly shaped gland at the front of the neck, it secrets thyroxin, triiodothyronine and calcitonin. Issues affecting the thyroid gland is under or over active thyroid, hashimotos, graves disease. The thyroid plays a major function in the metabolic rate in all cells.
Parathyroid gland: Located behind the thyroid gland. secrets parathormone which is involved in activating Vitamin D, stimulates calcium reabsorption in the kidneys.
Thymus: Is found in the throat or thorax. It is part of the immune system and helps to produce T Lymphocytes in the Thymus gland.
Pancreas: This is found behind and slightly below the stomach. It’s involved in the production of insulin and glucagon which help to regulate blood sugar levels .
Adrenal Glands: They sit ontop of each of the kidneys, The adrenals are involved in the fight or flight response system built into our bodies. the hormones associated with the adrenals are; adrenaline and noradrenaline, Mineralocorticoids – aldosterone, Glucocorticoids – Cortisol and cortisone, Adrenal androgens or sex hormones.
Ovaries: Found on both sides of the uterus and produce the hormones Oestrogen and Progestrone. The equivalent in males is the testes and they produce testosterone.
Reflexology is a great treatment to use in helping to balance the body’s endocrine system, all of my Reflexology treatments finish with an Endocrine system balance touch as it helps reset the body’s hormones, bringing us to a state of balance or homeostasis.