Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s becoming a mum, or maybe it’s just that I now mostly talk to other mums… Whichever one, it has got me thinking a lot about hormones recently and how much they can control/take over/be the bane (delete as appropriate) of women’s lives. I know hormones can also do miraculous things, but are there any women out there who love their hormones? I would love to hear.
There are key stages in a woman’s life when hormones can really affect and even debilitate them: puberty, trying to get pregnant, pregnancy and post-pregnancy, peri-menopause and menopause. When you put it that way, you can see just how much of your life could be taken over by these pesky chemicals.
Puberty arrives with a maelstrom of emotions, mood swings, growing pains, and often acne-prone skin as well as irregular or painful periods. For many, periods remain difficult throughout their lives, but serious pain and irregularity should not be the norm, and if you consult a homeopath they would seek to address this. Teenagers and young women are frequently given the pill to help with these issues, but this can lead to side effects and store up problems for later. Puberty reminds us that men are also affected by hormones and can lead to difficulties for them too.
This is true also of the years when couples are trying to get pregnant, and problems with fertility have risen at least since the 60s for both men and women. It is often at this time that people take their first proper look at what is going on with their hormones and cycles, and realise that not everything is as it should be. It is also a time when women come off the pill and discover that their body does not just click back into a regular cycle.
Hormones, of course, play a massive part in pregnancy and can cause issues such as morning sickness, and loosened joints which may lead to pain or discomfort. For many, getting back to ‘normal’ after pregnancy never quite seems to happen, with lots of issues around periods, PMS and mood swings. This can go on to create difficulties with second or third conceptions and pregnancies.
Thankfully, menopause and more recently perimenopause (the few years before menopause), are much more openly talked about than they once were. This time of hormonal transition can cause years of discomfort, with symptoms such as mood swings, problems sleeping, fatigue, weight gain, hot flushes, irregular or heavy periods, and decreased libido. Menopause can be thought of as a time when women come into their wisdom, but is often a stage that brings up a variety of strong emotions too.
It is possible that these hormonal issues have become more serious with the advent of synthetic hormones. Hormones are now in our food chain, in the environment, in pesticides, and hormone disruptors are even in our face and body creams and cosmetics (check out my Neal’s Yard shop for organic products free from such nasties). Although the introduction of the pill was an important moment in the journey of women’s freedom, it (as well as the coil) has left many suffering serious hormonal side effects. Conventional medicine is still quite a blunt tool when dealing with hormones and, while HRT has helped many, it comes with suspect, not to say dangerous, side effects.
Homeopathy, on the other hand, is very gentle in its action. It works with the body to naturally bring it back into balance and help regulate the hormonal cycles. It won’t stop you going through changes, but it can make those changes easier to cope with. It may also help alleviate the burdensome symptoms of cramps, mood swings, acne, hot flushes and many more.
There are many homeopathic remedies that can be useful where hormones are an issue. I thought I would just give three examples of remedies that could help at different stages:
Pulsatilla: may be used during puberty for acne, period cramps, changeable moods, and tearfulness while wanting company and comfort.
Sepia: very useful in menopause or perimenopause for feeling overburdened, weary, wanting to be alone, hot flushes, prolapse, hair falling out, never well since the pill or childbirth, and feeling much better from exercise.
Lachesis: can help with symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes, headaches, disappearance of periods or heavy periods, high blood pressure, feeling worse from sleep, talkative, and experiencing jealousy or suspicion.
It seems that this is a much bigger topic than even I realised! I was going to also talk about things that you can do to improve your own hormonal health (diet, reduction of antibiotic use, lowering stress, and organ support) but I think I have gone on long enough. Suffice it to say, that if hormonal issues are impacting your life, it is not something you should put up with, and there is gentle, natural help available.
Hormonal health is an area in which I particularly enjoy helping. Perhaps it is because I can relate, having struggled with all of the hormonal stages in my life so far. Or perhaps it is because treating people for these issues can create such a huge improvement in the quality of their lives. I offer a free 30 minute discovery call for you to talk to me and find out if homeopathy can help you. Do get in touch.
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Wishing you all safe and well, Alice