Hormonal Health for Women
All the hormones in your body are secreted by the glands of your endocrine system. Two of the most significant endocrine glands are the thyroid and the adrenals.
As we’ve already seen, many women’s health concerns find their roots in hormonal imbalance. Problems such as osteoporosis, menstrual issues, PMS, menopausal symptoms, weight gain, blood-sugar imbalances, mood swings, and breast discomfort can all stem from some kind of dysfunction in your hormone system. Often, this dysfunction begins in your thyroid and adrenal glands, which produce and regulate your hormones. One positive thing you can do to optimize the health of these glands is to follow a hormone-balancing diet. It’s the fundamental key to success in your quest to find hormonal balance in your body, and as a result to overcoming man of the “women’s” problems you might face.
Where are your thyroid and adrenal glands?
Your thyroid gland lies at the front of your neck. It’s a large butterfly-shaped gland that secretes thyroxine. This hormone has a powerful influence on nearly every tissue in your body because it regulates your metabolism (the speed at which you burn food to make energy). The thyroid gland itself is controlled and regulated by your hypothalamus and your pituitary gland, both located in your brain.
You have two adrenal glands, one lying at the top of each kidney. Each adrenal gland consists of a medulla (the center of the gland) surrounded by a cortex. In all, the cortex makes up about 80 percent of the gland. Your adrenals make adrenaline (the so-called “stress hormone”) and noradrenaline, as well as steroid hormones that influence the effectiveness of your immune system.
Women should get information on how to overcome an over- or underactive thyroid and how to treat adrenal problems. Although these conditions can affect men, too, they tend to be more common in women. Statistics vary, but generally women are thought to be between five and eight times more likely to suffer from a thyroid problem than men. A woman’s risk of developing thyroid problems increases with age and family history. Views differ as to why adrenal problems tend to be more common in women. Some experts put this down simply to the fact that more women are likely to come forward with adrenal fatigue, while others believe it’s to do with women’s susceptibility to imbalances in estrogen.