I know you may have heard this before, but it is so crucial to your success that it bears repeating: When the body is too often in a stress response, or “fight or flight,” your entire physiology shifts, like the sides of an imbalanced seesaw.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
So what is going on here? For those of you interested in the physiological detail about what, exactly, is happening in your body, read on!
When the body is too often in a stress response, or “fight or flight,” your entire physiology shifts, like the sides of an imbalanced seesaw. This shift aggressively activates the fight or flight organs (heart, lungs, metabolism), and simultaneously and aggressively shuts down the rest and digest organs (immune, digestion, reproductive, thyroid, etc.). This shift, used acutely, is not a problem, and it returns to balance once the stress is removed. Chronically over-activated because of perpetual “all-cause” stress (physical, mental, emotional, toxic, etc.), and we begin to suffer symptoms of the suppression of those particular organ systems.
The shutdown of the reproductive system is as aggressive as it is thorough. Similar to the adrenals and to the thyroid, the ovaries and testes are controlled by the hypothalamus and pituitary glands in the brain. Stress will suppress production and utilization of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone at every level possible (including the brain, the gland, and even at cellular level). The most common resulting imbalance is lower progesterone and testosterone, which happens to be important for both men and women, no matter the age. Estrogen is suppressed, as well, but typically remains higher in relation to progesterone, leading to symptoms of “estrogen dominance,” commonly seen in my patients.
The result of this suppression leads to symptoms in both men and women, no matter their age. In men, I see low libido, erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, infertility, osteoporosis, and even anxiety. A woman’s hormone system is a bit more complicated, and hence the symptoms we see are more diverse and complex; these symptoms include PMS, heavy and/or “crampy” periods—or maybe skipped periods— fibroids, mid-cycle pain, ovarian cysts, low libido, anxiety, insomnia, chronic vaginitis, chronic yeast infections, menopausal symptoms (such as hot flashes), osteoporosis and vaginal dryness, interstitial cystitis, painful intercourse, and infertility.
If you are dealing with two or more of these symptoms or conditions, I strongly recommend that you have Adrenal Dysfunction ruled out as an underlying cause, or at least as the major contributing factor to your condition.
By managing and healing the Adrenal Dysfunction, any other treatment that you may be utilizing for your condition will have a stronger effect and be much more beneficial. Remember, though the reproductive system is compromised, the main underlying cause of this dysfunction is the Adrenal Dysfunction. Treat it, and you’ll be far more successful in balancing the ovarian and testicular hormones, as well as healing those glands.