Stress Management for Hormone Balance

Stress Management for Hormone Balance

January 13, 2020 0 By Jose Scott


A question I often ask my clients is
what do you do for stress management and the typical response is not much. A
fast-paced stressful life is what most of us have come to accept as daily life.
During the child-rearing years women are juggling kids, a household and often even a
job. They put others before themselves and seldom take the time for self-care.
By the time women are in perimenopause and menopause this fast-paced life as
well as life stresses have taken their toll. But few have taken the steps to
incorporate stress management into their lives and most don’t even realize that
it’s important. In this video we’re going to talk about why stress management is
such an integral component for supporting healthy hormone balance
especially for women in the perimenopause menopause and
postmenopausal stages of life. As we mentioned in the first video of this
series when women are in perimenopause and menopause the ovaries produce less
and less estrogen. Interestingly when this happens the adrenal glands become
the predominant source of estrogen and progesterone production. The adrenal
glands are small glands that sit on top of the kidneys and are responsible for
producing many hormones. As I just mentioned they produce estrogen and
progesterone and become the main producers of these hormones after
menopause. They also produce a hormone called cortisol which is often referred
to as our stress hormone. When the body experiences stress, the nervous system
sends a signal to the adrenal glands to release cortisol and when the stress is
over cortisol release is lowered. This process is extremely helpful for
survival in acute stresses. Tor example when a human is confronted by a lion or
other predator the adrenal glands release cortisol which prepares the body
for a fight-or-flight response. In a fight-or-flight response your body
signals you either need to run from or fight whatever the threat is in order to
survive. When the lion is no longer a threat the body reduces cortisol release
and hormones come back in balance. In the short-term acute
situation this cortisol release is helpful and necessary for survival. It
becomes a problem however when we are chronically stressed. Chronic stress
results in releasing excessive amounts of cortisol. This becomes a problem in
relation to menopause and hormone chaos because increases in cortisol can cause
increases in insulin. We’ve talked extensively about the consequences of
too much insulin which leads to insulin resistance an increase in inflammation
weight gain around the midsection metabolic syndrome high blood sugar high
blood pressure and high cholesterol. We’ve also talked about the fact that a
ketogenic paleo style of eating can improve insulin sensitivity and insulin
resistance. So a ketogenic Paleo style of eating remains a very solid therapeutic
approach to managing the insulin dysfunction that can result from too
much stress. But it’s also extremely important to manage this chronic stress
that results in chronically elevated cortisol because it can be much more
difficult to regain hormone balance when the adrenal glands are continually being
asked to pump out more hormone. Chronic stress eventually results in the
inability of the adrenal glands to keep up with the demands of this continual
cortisol production in addition to the estrogen and progesterone that they’re
now almost solely responsible for in menopause and thereafter. To improve this
situation it’s imperative to incorporate stress management techniques to allow
for balance in the nervous system which controls cortisol release from the
adrenal glands this will take stress off the adrenal
glands so they can focus on healing and producing necessary hormones like
estrogen and progesterone which will make hormone balance more achievable. In
the Reset and Revitalize program I have a whole section devoted to stress
management in which I cover helpful techniques to accomplish this. One
technique I’m a huge proponent of is meditation.
Meditation is such an amazing way to support hormone balance by managing the
stress response and has so many amazing benefits for the brain as well. So it’s
definitely a technique to consider for stress management to really support you
in achieving hormone balance. But meditation isn’t the only stress
management tool. There are so many ways to bring the nervous system back into
balance. Just a few additional examples include deep breathing techniques and
getting out in nature. To summarize what we covered in this video: during and
after menopause the adrenal glands become the main producers of estrogen
and progesterone. The adrenal glands also produce the stress hormone cortisol.
Excess cortisol results in more insulin release. Insulin resistance is
responsible for an increase in inflammation, weight gain around the
midsection,metabolic syndrome, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high
cholesterol. Over the years, high demands on the
adrenal glands to continually produce cortisol results in an inability to meet
their other demands, like producing progesterone and estrogen. For women in
and past menopause, stress management techniques become essential in managing
this stress response to reduce the demands on the adrenal glands so they’re
able to keep up with hormone production resulting in an improved ability to
maintain hormone balance. In the next video I’m going to discuss additional
therapies that can be helpful in supporting hormone balance. If you
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living a healthy lifestyle