Leslie Carol Botha: I agree with what Dr. Ochoa-Maya states that hormones are like an intricate symphony and when one hormone is offbeat that entire melody is ruined. This is so crucial. The original symphony comes from the pineal gland in the brain – and is transmitted via hormones ( the communicators) through the entire body. This is the essence of health – the missing link. Imbalance is imbalance and the longer it goes on – the more dire the consequences.
Another Face of Hormonal Imbalance: Estrogen Disruption and Dominance
Freedom to Heal
Margarita Ochoa-Maya, MD
August 22, 2012
The complex circuits of hormones in the human body are extremely important to the overall functioning of the individual systems, total health and well being. As you well know, hormones are chemical substances that serve as communicators between cells and organs, and serve to help these interact in a healthy way. Usually, hormones have specific landing sites where they are to cause an effect. These landing sites are called receptors. The endocrine system studies hormones and as such it is the study of how the body is communicating within itself.
When thinking in an integrative way, you can consider the inner language you have with yourself, and how you treat yourself. You can also consider how you react to your environment, circumstances and other people including those that are closest to you such as your parents, siblings, and loved ones. It has been well described in the medical literature how hormones can affect your mood, and I know it is no surprise to think about pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) as a clear example of how hormones in women affect their mood. Yet, you can also think the other way around, how mood could ultimately have an effect on the person’s health. So you can consider hormones like an intricate symphony, where each instrument needs to have a key role in the overall collection of sounds that as a group if working in synchrony can be quite beautiful, and on the contrary, when one is off beat, the whole melody is ruined.
In this new series of blogs, I wish to discuss the importance of each hormone Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone individually and what happens when there are imbalances of such. So far I have discussed the excess of androgens, but more recently attention has been also driven to try to understand when a woman has excess estrogen, or not enough of progesterone.
ESTROGENS IN THE FEMALE BODY
Estrogen is produced in the ovaries, and to a much lesser extent in the adrenals. Estrogen receptors are everywhere. Estrogens regulate the menstrual cycle, promote cell division and are largely responsible for the development of secondary female characteristics during puberty, including the growth and development of the breast and pubic hair. Estrogen therefore affects all female sexual organs, including the ovaries, cervix, fallopian tubes, vagina, and breast, but it also has effects on other organs in the body. As a general rule, estrogens promote cell growth. They cause the growth of tissue in the lining of the uterus during the first part of the menstrual cycle and stimulate the maturation of the egg-containing follicle in the ovary. They soften the cervix and produce the right quality of vaginal secretions to lubricate during intercourse and allow the sperm to swim towards the egg.