Stress and Hormonal Imbalances - 01 Jun 2020
We’re all exposed to stress on a daily basis. In fact, we can learn to adapt and manage different levels of stress over a lifetime and it can become our normal. How does this change our hormone balance? How does the affect our developing baby inside our womb or in our household? These are big questions that should be addressed in order to lead a happy and healthy lifestyle.
All women respond to stress differently, usually changes are noted around your menstrual cycle or when they are pregnant with mood swings. Our body is meant to produce a hormone called cortisol to help manage our stress levels. When we have stress for long periods of time, your body uses up the available cortisol and begins to steal it away from the sex hormones.
Women use several ways to reduce stress when levels seem high. Some try reducing toxins, increase the intake of fruits and vegetables, some exercise, some drink alcohol, some meditate, some support with supplements. These are all great ideas, but when you are out of balance, you really need to figure out WHY you are out of balance in order to really correct the problem.
Dealing with Stress while Pregnant or Postpartum is Non-Negotiable
It is really important to figure out the source of the stress even before you are pregnant or before you try to conceive another child because the according to (Psychoneuroendocrinology (2015) 53, 233—245). Stress from the mother can be transferred to the fetus.
“Infants of mothers with high cumulative stress (i.e., high reported stress and high cortisol concentrations) during pregnancy had significantly higher relative abundances of Proteobacterial groups known to contain pathogens (related to Escherichia, Serratia, and Enterobacter), and lower relative abundances of lactic acid bacteria (i.e., Lactobacillus, Lac- toccus, Aerococcus) and Bifidobacteria, altogether characteristics of a potentially increased level of inflammation.”
The body is an amazing thing, it can transform, withstand stress both physical and emotional and seem to still function. But for how long? At some point there is some break down or compensation that begins to happen.
What Does Stress do to our Bodies?
- Slows your Parasympathetic Nervous System and makes it hard for you to “rest and digest”
- It turns your fight mode into overdrive – eventually resulting in adrenal fatigue
- This causes difficulty in the bedroom and the bathroom
- Causes imbalances in your hormones to allow you to store more cortisol
- This causes your waistline to climb and makes it hard to return to a desirable rate
- It changes your fetus’ microbiome READ THIS ARTICLE (only the first 2pages)
What’s my Next Step?
A true treatment plan will look at your lifestyle and cumulative stress over a lifetime, as our management skills begin when we are children. The word “stress” also needs be defined. Stress could be introduction of sugar early in age, an unhealed injury, family death, divorce, any kind of overwhelming situation may have resulted in stress. Any of these, make it difficult for a child or adult to manage stress and release it from their body.
Some things I recommend.
- Can you be still? Can you dim the lights and have 20 minutes of quite time alone? This is a challenge for most, but the mind and body crave both daily in order to find a resting reset position and allow your nervous system to find the calm.
- Just breathe. Did you know you can reduce stress by learning how to exhale? Identify the type of breather you are; belly breather or chest breather or shallow breather
- How is your posture? Your body can be in a holding pattern that registers in the brain as “fight mode.” There are posture experts who can help you find a reset for your balance.
- Testing your Hormones. Especially after having a child, or if you are attempting to get pregnant. Becoming a happy host for your fetus will allow all systems within your body to shift into working optimally.
The good news is you don’t have to do this all on your own. You can work with someone who can develop an individualized plan just for you.