oestrogen dominance
The well-known and controversial steroid hormone is not just produced by females, but males as well. The aromatase enzyme produces oestradiol from testosterone (predominantly in the ovaries, however in men a large source comes from the brain!). It is responsible for breast tissue changes during adolescence and pregnancy, regulating menstruation, regulating body weight (assisting in metabolism), preventing bone loss and promoting healthy cardiovascular function. There are four types of oestrogen: Oestrone (E1, made after menopause), Ostradiol (E2), Oestriol (E3, mainly during pregnancy) and Oestetrol (E4). Some forms of oestrogen are pro-carcinogenic, or encourages the growth of certain cancers. This type...
sex hormone binding globulin
A protein made by your liver, the full hormone is called Sex Hormone Binding Globulin. It binds to oestrogen, testosterone and DHT (dihydrotestosterone) removing them from direct circulation, modulating the bioactivity of sex steroids by limiting their diffusion into target tissues throughout your body, found in both men and women. This role mainly controls the amount of testosterone your tissue can use and keeping your sex-hormone processed in check. Kind of like a train, dropping hormones off at specific tissue sites and into cells directly. Do oral contraceptives (OCP) affect SHBG? Yes indeed. Any OCP’s that contain oestrogen increases SHBG....
The mother hormone of all hormones. Officially called Dehydroepiandrosterone, it’s another steroid hormone and the majority is produced in our adrenal glands (and a little in the ovaries) and derived from cholesterol. To summarise its vital role, it assists with the conversion of testosterone to oestrogens and declines as we age into menopause. A bit more detail about this important hormone: It’s an antioxidant, preventing lipid-containing plaque from accumulating, making it cardioprotective.The most abundant hormone in the bodyLevels will drop in half between 20-40 years old, decreasing more rapidly after the age of 30Can increase wellbeing, mood and anxiety levels,...
reproductive hormones prolactin
The pituitary gland in your brain secretes this hormone in response to eating, mating and ovulation, with its main function being its role in lactation, helping the breasts grow and produce milk for after a baby is born (“Lact” is Latin for milk). FACTS: Both women AND MEN have small amounts of prolactin in their blood. Has over 300 functions within the body including reproductive metabolism, immune system and fluid regulation and some behavioural functions.Also produced in the uterus, immune cells, brain, breasts, prostate gland and fat cells.Dopamine and oestrogen regulate prolactin (so stress can play a role!)Too little prolactin is...
progesterone
The “mother of life’ steroid hormone from the progestogen group, secreted during the second half of a woman’s menstrual cycle and is important in the early stages of pregnancy by enriching the endometrial lining of the uterus. It’s the big female sex hormone along with oestrogen. FACTS: The happiness hormone! Most associated with positive effects on mood, however changes can regulate your appetite and sleep cycle by influencing serotonin levels. Low levels can lead to irritability, insomnia, low libido, breast tenderness, headaches, weight gain and food cravings - yes often those symptoms of PMS.Stimulates the growth of blood vessels that...