Stress is one of the most significant contributing factors towards all health disease and especially developing hormonal imbalance. The entire endocrine system is interconnected, so when one gland is over stimulated, such as the adrenals in stress, then there are consequences in other endocrine output.
Elevated cortisol levels produced in the adrenals during times of stress have far reaching consequences. For hormonal balance this means reducing sex hormone production. This is a natural survival response. In hard times the body inhibits sex hormones to reduce the fertility rates and then in good times hormones balance and fertility levels increase. If you ever wondered why infertility rates are so high, this is one of the main reasons.
What is cortisol? In it’s normal function, cortisol helps us meet life’s challenges by converting proteins into energy, releasing glycogen and counteracting inflammation. For a short time, that’s okay. But at sustained high levels, cortisol gradually tears your body down. Cortisol is one essential we can’t live without. But too much of a good thing is not healthy.
Apart from causing hormonal imbalance, sustained high cortisol levels destroy healthy muscle and bone, slow down healing and normal cell regeneration, co-opt biochemicals needed to make other vital hormones, impair digestion, metabolism and mental function, interfere with healthy endocrine function; and weaken your immune system.
After a period of time the adrenals eventually become fatigued which may be a factor in many related conditions, including fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, premature menopause and others. It may also produce a host of other unpleasant symptoms, from acne to hair loss.
For menopausal women this is a particular problem because during and after menopause the adrenals need to produce small amounts of oestrogen so when they are depleted it leads to more extreme menopausal symptoms.
Women today are doing too much. Women’s bodies were not designed for long term stress levels and the result is imbalanced hormones. Unfortunately we often cannot change our life circumstances however there is one thing that you can do. MEDITATE. Research has shown conclusively that meditation helps to reduce stress hormones and increases a beneficial hormone called DHEA which is the building block for hormone production and a natural antiaging hormone.
So what is the best type of meditation? Well it all depends on the individual but form of meditation that stills the mind, stills the body and leaves you with a sense of balance and calm. Yoga and meditation together is particularly beneficial.
We have created this simple guided meditation to help you start the process. Guided meditation or relaxation is perfect for beginners and keeps your mind focused. Find a quite place and put on some headphones and see how you feel after the relaxation.
So no excuses, just make the time otherwise hormonal imbalance will always be an issue. If you find it difficult to meditate it is a sign that you need it even more so don’t give up. It takes time to train the mind but in weeks you will find peace in the simple practice of meditation and your hormones will thank you.
For coping purpose there are several natural medicines that can assist, namely magnesium, b vitamins and herbal medicines such as passionflower which is a herbal medicine in Happy Hormones.
Glaser JL, Brind JL, Vogelman JH, Eisner MJ, Dillbeck MC, Wallace RK, Orenteich N. Elevated serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels in practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) and TM-Sidhi programs. Journal of Behavioral Medicine 1992 15(4):327-341.
Compared to controls, middle aged and older individuals practicing the TM technique have been found to maintain higher levels of DHEA-s a hormone that declines steadily throughout adult life. Low levels of DHEA-s have been linked to a variety of diseases and with increased mortality. On average levels of DHEA-s in people practicing the TM technique were comparable to levels of non-meditators who were 5 to 10 years younger – a difference that could not be explained by variations in diet, weight, or exercise habits. Indications of Younger Biological Age: Increased DHEA-S Levels in Female and Older Male Practitioners of the TM and TM-Sidhi Program. Studies show DHEA-S acts as a mood elevator (anti-depressive).