Hormone Imbalance- The Silent Epidemic

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by Leslie Carol Botha

Our bodies operate by means of an exquisite network of communication, and when functioning properly, they provide us with a sense of peace and well-being. The communication network is a transfer /relay of signals from the brain through the nervous system to every cell in the body. Not only is our body communicating internally with every cell within, it is also receiving signals from external stimuli that are interpreted and forwarded through the nervous system where they are received by every cell in every muscle and organ in the body.

This communication network is known as the neuro-endocrine-immune system or the NEI Super System. Both internal and external signals are relayed by chemical messengers, seeking cell receptors to relay their message.

When the signals go awry, are misinterpreted or the messages not received, the cells are left in a state of confusion. It is the same as picking up the phone to make a call — if no one is there to answer, your message does not get relayed. The intended recipient may not get the vital information you were attempting to share.

Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers. They communicate with every system in the body and they instigate and regulate all body functions. When hormone imbalance occurs, every system in the body is affected. The root cause of any disease is hormone imbalance.

The endocrine system is one of the body’s primary structures for communicating, controlling and coordinating body functioning. This vital system works in alignment with the nervous system, immune system, reproductive system and the kidneys, gut, liver, pancreas and fatty tissues to help maintain and control the following:

• Energy levels

• Reproduction

• Growth and development

• Internal balance of body systems, called homeostasis

• Responses to surroundings, stress and injury (known as the fight/flight response)

Hormone stimulation is initiated in the brain. In fact, the word “hormone” means to excite or spur on. Hormones are controlled by the endocrine system — a delicate rhythmic system whose foundation is circadian rhythms – biological clocks that influence physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle. Most women do not realize that the endocrine system is the primary source of the body’s biological clock. External circadian rhythm impulses enter the body through the pineal gland and travel via hormone messengers to every other organ in the endocrine system. Scientists now know that hormone imbalance or disturbance of the circadian rhythm can lead to infertility.

How Did Women Become So Hormonally Imbalanced?

Perhaps it is because we do not remember a time when our menstrual cycle was considered to be sacred and empowering.

Rosalind Miles, author of The Women’s History of the World eloquently states:

“For woman, with her inexplicable moon rhythms and power, creating new life was the sacred mystery of the tribe. So miraculous, so powerful, she had to be more than man — more than human. As primitive man began to think symbolically, there was only one explanation. Woman was the primary symbol, the greatest entity of all — a goddess, no less.”

In this day and age and for many hundreds of years women have been told to deny and ignore their menstrual cycle. Periods were messy, inconvenient and really not necessary to our daily lives. The media and pharmaceutical companies picked up on this message and delivered every single feminine hygiene product, pill, injection, implant or IUD they could dream up that would alter and diminish our hormone cycle so that we could live a pain and period-free life.

Just as our environment is suffering from the use of synthetic estrogen mimickers/chemicals that have polluted our water, air and food sources, the synthetic estrogen mimickers/chemicals that our mothers and grandmothers have been exposed to — including the synthetic hormones we have ingested — have created a severe hormone imbalance in our bodies.

Micronutrition is the New Medicine

Hormone balance can be restored with broad spectrum micronutrients targeted to the brain: bioavailable vitamins, minerals (in synergistic ratio to stimulate electrical magnetic frequencies), amino acids and enzymes that are essential for optimum brain functioning in order that the neurotransmitters (once known as neuro-hormones) in the frontal lobe start communicating normally. The healthy messages are transmitted to the hormones, which communicate with the endocrine, immune and all other systems in the body. And voila — hormone harmony and optimal brain function is achieved naturally, and without drugs that mask the symptoms.

Nutrition should be the Primary Treatment, Medication the Supplement

Hormone production begins in the brain. In fact, the brain is the largest endocrine gland in the body. Broad spectrum micronutrients assist with hormone communication by sending chemical messages via neuro-hormones through the central nervous system. This is a complex metabolic pathway that requires a symphony of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids for optimum levels of well-being.

Many women take vitamins at minimum “recommended daily levels.” However, if there are pre-existing mental/emotional or physical conditions, increased levels of micronutrients are needed and dosages will vary. Because the soils and ultimately our food sources have been depleted of vital minerals and other nutrients and the health conditions of our bodies vary, some may require a larger dose of micronutrients to bolster their depleted nutritional reserves. This is especially apparent in women who suffer from PMS, PMDD or PPD (now labeled as postpartum psychosis) where the newborn has totally exhausted the mother’s nutritional reserve. In fact, many mood disorders are related to nutrient deficiencies or the body’s inability to extract vital nutrients from food. The synergistic ratio of micronutrients assist the body to establish the right levels of vitamins and minerals required for proper brain function.

Women who are experiencing pre-menopausal/menopausal symptoms are especially at risk. By the time they reach their 40s and 50s, their nutritional reserves have been so depleted their endocrine glands are no longer working in synchrony, affecting all other systems in the body.

If you are experiencing depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, chronic fatigue or other hormone-related issues, you need to replenish your nutritional reserve now. The symptoms of an under-nourished neuro-endocrine-immune system do not go away — they worsen with age. Psychotropic medications or anti-depressants have been shown to interfere with neural pathways and deplete even more essential nutrients. We are entering a new age of medicine — bioavailable micronutrient supplementation. This is the same wisdom our matriarchal ancestors knew when they were known as “healers.” Herbs and roots steeped with bioavailable essential vitamins and minerals filled their medicinal bags. We have come full circle. Science and ancient women’s wisdom have now become entwined.

Leslie Carol Botha, Women’s Health Educator, is internationally recognized as an expert on hormones and behaviors and has been named one of the most prominent natural cycle researchers of the 21st century. Botha is the co-author of Understanding Your Mind, Mood and Hormone Cycle. For more information on micronutrient supplements visit Leslie’s blog at holyhormones.com