The Female Curse
Sometimes an entire subject can seem inspiring or terrifying, depending on how you view it. A child who is afraid of dogs might overcome that fear, get a dog as a pet, and discover love, loyalty, and responsibility. Similarly, my patients often are angry and fearful of their bodies, and then realize that they were misinformed, experience their body healing, and become a happy partner with it.
I’ve talked to countless women who view the fact of being a woman as an unfortunate disadvantage. Menstruation is the “curse,” and common female health problems are just more proof of the disadvantages of being born a woman.
There is another way to view being a woman and having a cycle, a joyous, optimistic, and creative viewpoint.
So, without further ado, I’d like you to meet your hormones!
Your hormones are amazing substances. Working at a molecular level, they are your body’s messengers and influence and control all your organs. When they are at their best, these hormones somehow coordinate and work together to create a symphony of magic in your body.
My favorite class in university was endocrinology or the study of hormones. It was a miracle and a wonder to me as I studied this system that such important effects came from such tiny messengers and that somehow the cascades of hormones streaming through the body had meaning. They all seemed to follow the same symphony conductor to produce their music. Of course, when those hormones become unbalanced, the symphony will be very much out of tune. In my opinion, the beauty and complexity of our hormone system are unmatched.
Have you ever wondered what a hormone is made from? Cholesterol! Crazy, right? Who would have thought that?
Do you know what makes your hormonal orchestra play beautifully all the time? Nutrients and lots of them.
Nutritional imbalances and deficiencies severely impact the hormone system. Making and replacing our hormones requires many different nutrients, and many of us are not getting these nutrients from our diets. You truly are what you eat. All your physical functions require nutrients, and your female hormones need many of these.
The Beautiful Symphony that is the Female Cycle
Your female cycle is magic. It’s what creates new life on earth. We women hold the seed of creation inside our bodies! What an honor to have in your physical self the future generations of the world. Helping young girls understand this honor should be a priority as we nurture strong and independent women.
Understanding this perspective can give girls, and young women respect for their bodies, and ultimately themselves. Viewing our female bodies in a derogatory and demeaning manner is a dishonor and a disgrace to all sexes. Sex and the reproduction of the body are beautiful things. This beauty has been stolen by the coarse and misinformed and subverted to a dark, dirty and evil subject.
Sex and reproduction have been subjected to many thousands of years of social and religious taboos. It has been and will continue to be a difficult subject for the societies of earth. Suffice it to say that the purpose of sex includes both reproduction and the resulting pleasure for those involved. The female menstruation cycle, and the gestation cycle that results in a new human being, are nothing short of a miracle—a beautiful symphony of hormones in harmony and balance.
The Phases of the Cycle
The Follicular Phase is the first part of your cycle and is run mainly by the hormone estrogen. The first part of the cycle is about building up the uterine lining for a possible pregnancy. This is when ovulation occurs at about day 14. Many amazing things happen during this time to prepare the body for pregnancy.
The hormones LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) are important in ovulation. LH and FSH work in concert with estrogen and progesterone and come from the brain, not the female organs. These hormones working together in perfection to create the few days out of the month that the body can reproduce.
The second phase of the menstrual cycle is called the Luteal Phase and is run by the hormone progesterone. During this part of the cycle, your hormones will cause ripening of the uterine lining in preparation for possible pregnancy. They will help the body keep the embryo safe if implantation occurs. This phase, when working correctly, helps prevent spontaneous abortions and ensures smooth menstruation.
If no pregnancy occurs, both estrogen and progesterone fall, signaling another cycle’s start, and bleeding begins again. If pregnancy does occur, the embryo produces small amounts of hormones that communicate the need for more progesterone.
The Out of Tune Orchestra
Your female hormone system organs secrete certain hormones that communicate in various ways with other parts of the body. These organs then secrete their hormones in response, and—wonder of all wonders—if these hormones and organs properly harmonize with each other, a human being can be conceived and then born!
But what happens if they don’t? Just what happens with any orchestra:
You can only imagine what would happen if the flutes did not chime in on time or the violins were squeaky, or the conductor didn’t time his gestures to the music, and whole instrument sections played off-key. You would be holding your ears and begging for it to stop! This is what happens when even one or two of these hormones or organs do not work correctly.
A disruption in even one area can lead to many different symptoms of imbalance and suffering for women.
Many symptoms can result: PMS, heavy cycles, irregular cycles, weight gain, hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings, depression, mental fog, headaches, fatigue, dysfunction of the thyroid, adrenals and gallbladder, facial hair, cold hands and feet, and infertility.
You may see yourself and some of your health struggles in these symptoms. As you start to understand your body more, you can see how and where things can get off track and what to do to help your body heal.
I love the hormone system. I can feel its ebb and flow in my own body. It is a beautiful rhythm and a wonderful song when all is well. The dissonance we feel in our bodies and the resulting illnesses are often a result of many things going wrong in a distressed body all at once.
Stress can begin at a very early age. Lack of sleep, long nights, chemical solutions, poor diet, and seemingly unrelenting life stresses can start the slow, or in some cases, quick, deterioration of the beautiful symphony of our hormones.
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