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...
Derived from cholesterol, it is produced in the testes and ovaries, as well as in the adrenal glands, playing a big role in producing LH and FSH hormones (which we’ll get to later). In females, testosterone plays a role in fertility, libido, menstruation and bone mass, including the stimulation of new red blood cells, hence why it’s often associated with our sex drive (and aggressive behaviour). We often see that long-term use of Oral Contractive Pills (OCPs) can attribute to low testosterone levels. When we think of testosterone we think of the more masculine attributes, i.e. body hair, deep voice,...
thyroid health and dysfunction women
Without a doubt one of the most common health conditions we see affecting women coming into the clinic are those relating to thyroid function – hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), autoimmune thyroid disease (such as Hashimoto’s or Graves disease) and thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland). These conditions are becoming increasingly common and simply medicating with thyroid replacement hormone (which is a common pharmaceutical treatment in some conditions) is not enough – what can you do to support and heal your thyroid itself? To celebrate Women’s Health Week Naturopath Claire Luckman offers some simple therapeutic suggestions so you can...
Womens Health Week
I love how Women’s Health Week corresponds with the first week of Spring and brings this powerful possibility for change. The change of season allows us to deliberately leave behind thoughts and habits that no longer serve us. The arrival of Spring also brings more colourful fruit and veggies and an opportunity to enliven up our diet. Maybe use this time to spring clean your cupboards and have a ceremonious binning of packet foods or anything that contains vegetable oils, refined flours, artificial sweeteners or numbers. Every cell in our body is created from what you put in your mouth. Real...