Pregnenolone Steal: Are YOU A Victim Of This Crime Against Hormones?

Pregnenolone Steal: Are YOU A Victim Of This Crime Against Hormones?

 

YOU may be a crime victim and not even know. Shock, horror.  Your hormones could be stolen by stress, right under your nose.  Well, not literally under your nose but you catch my drift.

It’s called the “pregnenolone steal” to give it’s Sunday name.

Are you a victim of pregnenolone steal? If you suffer hormone havoc or fatigue you just could be a victim?

Read on lovelies …

 

What The Heck Is Pregnenolone?

Don’t confuse pregnenolone with progesterone. It’s NOT the same as progesterone.

Pregnenolone is a hormone needed to make other hormones in your body.  It’s a “building block” hormone and it’s used to make…

 

  • Oestrogen
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone
  • Thyroid Hormone
  • Cortisol

How is Pregnenolone Stolen and Why?

So pregnenolone is a building block.

Our adrenals produce more cortisol a.k.a The Stress Hormone when we’re stressed,

Our bodies use pregnenolone to make and pump out cortisol.  We use up pregnenelone to make cortisol diverting it from making the other hormones. It’s called pregnenlone steal.

And if we’re in a constant state of stress, we can be consistently in a state of pregnenolone steal.

And let’s not forget stress can be psychological (mental and emotional) and/or physiological (physical) – think poor digestion, lack of sleep, inflammation in the body and more.

Pregnenolone steal risks lower sex hormones – oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone – and thyroid hormone which can lead to signs of tiredness, low sex drive, hormone imbalance, fertility issues and more.  You may notice symptoms of low thyroid function and tired adrenals … and even be given a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue or Fibromyalgia in time.

 

 

Are You a Victim of Pregnenolone Steal?

Maybe. If you’re tired, lacking energy, have low sex drive and generally feel pants. And that’s just the symptoms you notice.  What about what might be going on inside? Low sex hormones, even infertility?

If you visit a conventional doctor with those signs they may run tests for thyroid function (here in the UK it’s not usual to run a full set of tests including T3 hormone), iron levels and other things.  They probably won’t run a whole set of hormone tests straight off.

You may even find your tests come back “normal” and still be feeling rubbish.  That happened to me. Natural practitioners treated me for tired adrenals instead and I started to feel much better pretty quickly. That’s just my story.

It’s possible to arrange private hormone tests taking saliva samples at home over a month.  That shows the pattern of your hormones over time and can show if you’re likely to have adrenal tiredness and be at risk of the steal. Give me a shout if you want to know more.

 

What Can You Do If You Suspect Pregnenlone Steal and Adrenal Fatigue?

Aside from arranging tests for yourself, super self-care is a good start.

 

#1 Food and nutrition

Eat for nutrition.  That means mostly whole, natural foods like fruits, vegetables, quality and lean proteins, nuts, seeds, and healthy omega-3 fats from oily fish and extra virgin olive oil.

Food is medicine as well as fuel.  Food can help heal our bodies at cell level. And cells are the body’s building blocks. We need good food to repair and renew.

 

#2 Rest and Sleep

Cortisol goes up when we’re sleep deprived.  Yikes.  And high cortisol can lead to the steal.

Maybe not a big deal if it happens occasionally but if it’s persistent, it can result in nasty health issues like adrenal fatigue, weight gain, hormone imbalances, infertility …

Get 7-8 hours quality sleep a night and make sure you have time for rest and relaxation in your life. Sleep and relaxation are two very different things.  We need both.

 

#3 Exercise

If you’re at a really low place, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind.

And indeed, over exercisers are putting themselves at risk of tired adrenals if they push themselves too hard without proper self-care in other areas of their lives.

If you feel able, take regular gentle exercise and mix it up a little. Choose a range of activities that include  aerobic exercise, strengthen flexibility work and resistance or muscle building training.

Build up over time.

 

#4 Reduce Stress

Stress – either big trauma or low level stress over time – can contribute to adrenal tiredness and hormone issues.

Ideally, we’d remove the sources of stress, but if it’s your job, you can’t always go and tell your boss to stick it tomorrow.

In that case, we’re in the space of finding coping strategies – meditation, yoga or tai chi, massage, being outdoors, exercise …whatever works for you.

 

 

Phew, that’s a quick look at a very complex subject.  I really made it as simple as I can. Avoiding the busy, diagrams of hormone paths that fry your brain.

The key message for my tribe is stress messes up sex hormones and that can lead to symptoms of imbalance and fertility issues.

 

The Love Hormone OXYTOCIN and How To Boost Yours

THE LOVE HORMONE OXYTOCIN AND HOW TO BOOST YOURS.

Ooh it’s nearly Valentines Day as I type and my thoughts have turned to lurrrrve!

At Valentines, many people feel relaxed, positive, open and connected to their honey and it’s not just the flowers, chocolates and champagne!  Honestly.

Of course, when we’re in a happy couple, that’s how we feel that about each other. In lurrvvvve.

Which made me think about how many people spend a lot of life feeling stressed, afraid and angry. When we could feel calm and peaceful. Loved and loving.

And it’s ALL related to hormones, don’t you know?

 

The Stress Hormone (Kinda Opposite to The Love Hormone)

When we’re stressed, we respond – mostly – by striking out or running away. Fight or flight.

We get scared or irritable or both. Our blood pressure rockets. Digestion slows down. Reactions sharpen. We become less sensitive to pain. Our body defends us against the “threat”.

In fact, under threat we can have superhero powers.  Recall those news stories of people moving really heavy objects to get to loved ones trapped underneath and that sort of thing?

At times of stress we release The Stress Homone,  Cortisol. High cortisol leads to all kinds of health issues – mental and physical – including haywire hormones that can affect female sex hormones and fertility. Bummer.

It made me wonder… is the opposite of stress and fight or flight, actually LOVE?

When we feel connected and calm, we are more friendly and trusting.

Our hearts and circulation slow down. Digestion fires up. Our defences go down and are more open and sensitive to other people.

We grow. We heal. And we love.

 

The Love Hormone

The key hormone here is Oxytocin. The Love Hormone. Or the Cuddle Hormone.

You may have heard of it? It’s the hormone that speeds up the birth process and is linked to breastfeeding. It’s the hormone of loving touch and close relationships.

Oxytocin also stimulates Dopamine (The Job Well Done Hormone) and Serotonin (The Happy Hormone). AND reduces anxiety. It sets a chain reaction of warm, fuzzy loveliness.   Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

The modern world is stressful and broken. Sorry, if that sounds a bit bleak.

Some traditional cultures still promote peace and calm and practice “arts” that are peaceful and calming – meditation, yoga, t’ai chi, massage …

Often, we find other ways to “self-soothe”.

 

  • Junk food.
  • Binge eating.
  • Booze.
  • Recreational drugs (Ecstasy and other party drugs release oxytocin!).
  • Prescribed meds… and more.

 

So is the cliched pursuit of happiness easier than we think? Our brains and bodies are complex systems of amazing processes. We can influence the processes by our daily actions. I say, let’s start triggering more harmony where we can.

To get your hit of oxytocin without popping party pills…

 

  • Give someone you love a cuddle.
  • Hold hands.
  • Kiss.
  • Have sex.
  • Dance.
  • Even stroking a pet releases oxytocin.
  • Start practising those “arts” and therapies that give a sense of peace and calm like meditation, massage, yoga and t’ai chi.

 

Let’s spread the love bug in February and every day, week, month,  year.  Be a lover not a “fighter or flighter”.

 

Love, Kathy x

6 Myths About The Pill Busted

6 Myths About The Pill Busted.

I was on The Pill. A long time ago. I wish I had known then what I know now.  I’d never have taken it.  But it was my choice.  Made rashly, I now realise.

We all have choice.  These days, I like to make informed choices: choices based on info from a range of different sources. And I encourage people to do the same. I do respect the choices others make.

Here, I’m just busting a few myths. To help women decide if The Pill is a sensible choice for them or not. It doesn’t go into the risks and side effects.  That’s one for another day and a whole other blog or three.  For the benefits, please visit any conventional medical website.

Let’s look at some common myths…

 

#1 The Pill Is Made From Hormones

Nope.

The Pill contains drugs that are similar to hormones, but they are not identical to natural hormones produced in our bodies.

They have similar chemical structures. They are pseudo-hormones if you like.

I always think of our whole hormone system as like an orchestra – all perfectly-tuned, different instruments played expertly in harmony to create a beautiful sound. Remember, ALL our hormones are interlinked; not just our sex hormones.

To me, The Pill is like a out-of-tune, out-of-time, loud horn. Yes, it’s still playing in the band and in the performance, but it’s just not right.  It’s not the right fit. It’s not harmonious. And it’s getting a response from the audience, but maybe not the one the conductor wanted.

The Pill’s synthetic hormones kinda “fit” into our natural hormone receptors, but they aren’t a perfect match. They don’t function in the way natural hormones do. Which means our bodies don’t function in the way nature intended.

Synthetic hormones have side-effects, switch off  our own hormones and suppress ovulation.

And ovulation is a normal body process which produces sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone…which have many functions in women’s bodies, not just menstrual cycles, fertility, pregnancy and so on.

 

#2 You Still Get A Period On The Pill

The bleeds women get when taking The Pill are “withdrawal” bleeds caused by a break in the synthetic hormones. That’s not the same as a period. You’re not having a menstrual cycle or periods if you’re taking hormonal contraception.

Did you know that The Pill’s 28 day pattern is just chosen to represent an average cycle? To reassure us that it’s in tune with our natural cycles and rhythms.  When it’s not.

Drug companies could choose any pattern.  Indeed, there are some pill programmes dosed to bleed less than once a month.

 

#3 The Pill Controls Periods and Regulates Hormones

The Pill was developed as a means of birth control.  At a time when contraception was illegal.

So, it was promoted as a miracle cure to treat female issues and to control or normalise periods.  Where normalising periods really meant preventing pregnancy.

And nothing’s changed. Doctors still prescribe it to normalise periods and regulate hormones. When really, it suppresses cycles; the period is actually a withdrawal bleed; The Pill’s synthetic hormones are not balancing our natural hormones.

FYI I am all for women’s sexual freedom and preventing unwanted pregnancies. I just know that there are lots of options for contraception; synthetic hormones are one choice available.

 

#4 The Pills “Mimics” Pregnancy

I have heard people promote The Pill by saying it’s like the pregnant or breastfeeding states of our distant grandmothers.  Women did have fewer ovulations and periods in the past, because they had more pregnancies and breastfed their children.

We maybe have over ten times as many periods as our great-grandmothers, I read somewhere. Our health, hormones and fertility are very different from those days.

Taking The Pill is not the same as having multiple pregnancies and breastfeeding for a long time.  Pregnancy hormones help protect us from certain cancers and heart disease. Synthetic hormones do not prevent cancer – indeed they increase slightly the risk of breast and liver cancer and increase risk of blood clots.  It’s not the same at all.

#5 New Pills Are Much Safer

All drugs come with risks and side effects. Newer hormonal contraceptives carry with them risks and side effects too.

Learn these before you make a final decision on taking any medication or choosing a treatment. Conventional or complementary.

Ask a Doctor or Pharmacist. Read the packet inserts.  Do your research.  And then decide.

 

#6 The Pill Cures Some Reproductive Health Issues

Not true either.

Some women are prescribed The Pill after a diagnosis of a condition like PCOS or amenorrhea (no periods).  Or due to unwanted symptoms, like heavy periods and flooding.

If we had heavy bleeding before, we’re only masking the cause when we choose The Pill. We’re not fixing the real issue.   It’s not a cure. And it’s the same with any diagnosis or label we’ve been given.

It just might come back when we stop taking The Pill.

When we stop hormonal contraception because we want to try for a baby, we may have been living with a suppressed condition for years.  And that condition might be one that makes natural conception trickier. It still needs to be addressed. Either by restoring health and hormone balance naturally (that’s what I teach and support women and couples to do) or through fertility treatments …which can mean even more artificial hormones overriding normal, natural body processes.

 

I end where I started. On the subject of choice.  Our body, our choice. And amen to that.  Please make your own decision on full information, gathered from a range of reliable sources.

I hope this is one source.

If you’re considering stopping The Pill, I have loads of great hints and tips on restoring balance, naturally. Get in touch.

Love, Kathy x 💕

 

 

 

How To Look After Your Ovaries – Ovary Health

 how-to-look-after-your-ovaries

How To Look After Your Ovaries.

Yes, hot on the heels of How To Look After Your Vajajay, we have How To Look After Your Ovaries. Ovary health, that is.

 

What Do Ovaries Do?

Ovaries may be small, but they are super-important organs.

They produce hormones – oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. And they regulate our fertility.  But they aren’t just important for menstrual cycles, ovulation and having babies. Oh no.

Because ovaries produce oestrogen, they have a massive impact on our general health… bone health, skin health, heart health, breast health…  Who knew?

But let’s go back to ovulation. Too important to gloss right over, huh?

Ovaries release mature eggs; eggs that can go on and become embryos then babies if they are fertilised by healthy sperm.  It’s the stuff of miracles.

So I make a plea for us to take care of ovary health, best we can. To protect and boost our general health and fertility.

 

How To Look After Your Ovaries – Ovary Health

Basically, adopting a hormone friendly lifestyle will help protect your ovaries and ovary health. As well as general health.

Here are the key ways to take care of ovary health.

#1 Eat a hormone-helping diet. A varied diet, rich in nutritious foods. Avoid processed foods, additives, GMO.  Choose organic and unsprayed where possible. Avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol too for ovary health.

 

#2 Watch your weight.  That’s because fat stores produce oestrogen, as well as our ovaries. Avoid excess oestrogen and the health issues that excess oestrogen can cause like endometriosis, infertility, fibroids, PMS and more … by watching your weight.

Being underweight isn’t great either. It carries a risk that your body shuts down ovulation because it “thinks” it’s a time of threat or famine.

 

#3 Quit smoking. Smoking can deplete oestrogen levels which can affect fertility. Smoking also means eggs are prone to abnormalities and rates of miscarriage are higher in smokers.  Women who smoke are at risk of earlier menopause and osteoporosis.  Smoking really harms ovary health.

 

#4 Be Wary of Hormonal Contraceptives

Hormonal contraceptives over-ride our natural hormone balance and ovary function. It can take some time for things to settle once you stop hormonal contraception. I suggest couples take at least 3-4 months to prepare before they even start trying to get pregnant.  It’s preconception care or getting baby-ready. And that includes stopping The Pill, implant etc.

 

#5 Reduce Stress

I’m including stress here because stress can stop ovulation and send your cycle haywire. We could all do with removing or reducing stress in our lives.  It’s also good for ovary health and cycle health.

 

Ovary Problems

Of course, ovaries can have issues. Things like ovarian cysts. Not ovulating a.k.a anovulation. Inflammation called oophoritis. And, of course, PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.   Huge, huge topics on their own.

Looking after your general and hormone health won’t necessarily prevent or cure these on their own, but it can all really help. More than that, it will mean better general health.

If you suspect issues with your ovaries and cycle, always speak with a doctor for tests and to discuss treatment options. You can always integrate super self-care and complementary therapies you choose with conventional treatments.

Go on, look after your ovaries, girls.

Love, Kathy x

 

What Are Fibroids and How Do I Know If I Have Them?

What Are Fibroids?

What Are Fibroids And How Do I Know If I Have Them?

Fibroids – The Signs.

Fibroids.

You might have them and not even know.  Sneaky devils. Often they’re symptomless. And are only found in gynae tests.

Or you might discover them when the symptoms get sooooo bad, you see a doctor for …

  • really heavy, horrible periods with flooding…
  • oh and pain… tummy pain and painful periods…
  • and pain in the lower back…
  • not to mention the need to pee OFTEN…
  • and constipation…
  • or the pain during sex…

If you suffer these signs, go and see a doctor. It may be fibroids.  I had them. Pesky little blighters.

They can be diagnosed by ultrasound scan.

But what are they?

 

What Are Fibroids?

Fibroids are growths in or around the womb.  They are not cancer.

They’re made up of muscle and fibrous tissue. They can vary in size.  They can get pretty big.

There are different kinds – depending on where they are :-

  • intramural fibroids – the most common type. They develop in the wall of the womb.
  • subserosal fibroids – these fibroids that develop outside the wall of the womb and can become really big.
  • submucosal fibroids – these develop in the muscle layer beneath the womb’s inner lining and grow into the womb cavit.y

In some cases, fibroids are attached to the womb with a kind of “stalk” . These are known as “pedunculated” fibroids.

 

Who Gets Fibroids?

Fibroids are EXTREMELY common.  It’s said that about 1 in 3 women will have them at some point.  Deep joy, eh? They form in our reproductive years say 16-50 and are most common in our 30s and 40s.

Women who have had children are at lower risk, than women who have not.

African Caribbean women are more at risk.

It’s thought that overweight women are more at risk too and that’s because of the hormone oestrogen.

Aha oestrogen!

Doctors say the exact cause of fibroids is unknown, but we do know it’s related to oestrogen.  High oestrogen.

So I’d like to add to that list of “at risk” women – women who are exposed to lots of artificial oestrogen from plastics, bug and weed killers, non organic meat and dairy and artificial hormones like The Pill.

And women whose livers are not removing excess oestrogen properly.

 

Conventional Treatment.

Many women are offered meds or devices to stop the heavy bleeding, which is a symptom.  Everything from Tranexamic Acid to reduce bleeding, through progesterone in the womb/orally/ via injections to balance out oestrogen to The Pill or anti-inflamatories.

As with all treatments, weigh up the pros, cons, risks, side-effects, nutritional impact, how long you’ll need them and all the alternatives before deciding for yourself.  Get info from a range of sources.

The most commonly offered conventional treatments for the actual fibroids are:-

  • do nothing. Over time, fibroids will often shrink and disappear without treatment, particularly after the menopause.  I chose this option myself. Coupled with self-care.
  • hormone injections to shrink the fibroids. They suppress hormone function. They work on the pituitary gland in the brain to stop the ovaries producing oestrogen. This stops your periods but is NOT a form of contraception. Side effects are similar to menopause symptoms.
  • Ulipristal acetate meds to stop bleeding and shrink fibroids. You need to use barrier contraception if choosing these meds.
  • Surgery to remove the fibroids or whole womb. There are different procedures available. All surgery carries risks so please do your homework before you decide.

Fibroids can make natural conception more tricky and lead to issues in pregnancy. I’ve known cases of fertility issues where tests showed fibroids that were symptomless or very low/moderate symptoms.

 

Self-Help For Fibroids.

If you’re at risk or have them already and would rather not choose drugs or procedures just yet, there are some steps you can take to prevent and reduce them naturally.

Here are my top tips:-

 

#1 Start by loving your liver. This will make sure you’re processing and removing old oestrogen as well as you can. Read more on liver love right here.

 

#2 Detox your life of hormone disrupters called xenoestrogens.  These are artificial oestrogens found in a huge list of things including …

  • BPA found in plastic bottles, cartons, can linings, storage containers and more
  • Food preservatives especially BHA
  • Food dyes including artificial red dyes
  • Artificial estradiol, common in oral contraceptive pills
  • Weed killers
  • Bug killers
  • Sunscreen with 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor known as 4-MBC and other cosmetics and toiletries

This is NOT a full list. SADLY.

 

#3 Eat to beat fibroids.  Choose a hormone friendly diet. Get the skinny right here.  Basically eat clean and avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol and trans fats. And make sure you have tip top digestion through eating plenty of fibre and fuelling those good bacteria with the right foods – kefir (a type of thin yoghurt), sauerkraut, kimchi (Korean kraut), kombucha (a fermented tea drink), organic bio yoghurt.  Eat phytoestrogens to regulate oestrogen.

 

#4 Get a bespoke supplement programme. For 1-1 clients, I arrange hair tests for mineral status and toxic metals and then develop supplement programmes tailored to them.

 

#5 Exercise. Yes, really. It boosts circulation in your pelvis and can help prevent or shrink fibroids.  Exercise helps weight management too.

 

#6 Lose excess weight. Because we produce oestrogen from fat cells as well as our ovaries.

 

#7 Choose hormone balancing herbs.  If you want to choose medicinal herbs see a qualified Medical Herbalist. For 1-1 clients I use a combination of herbs as a tincture, aimed at balancing hormones.  It contains Black Cohosh, Blue Cohosh, Chaste Tree, Cramp Bark, Licorice, Motherwort, Pasque Flower, Shepherds Purse, Squaw Vine,  Wild Yam. And it’s prepared homeopathically so it gentle and safe.

 

#8 Choose complementary therapies. I practice homeopathy to support women with hormone imbalances.   I also favour acupuncture for a whole range of women’s health issues.

 

So that’s it. A quick tour around the wacky world of fibroids and how to help yourself to prevent them or deal with them, naturally.

Love, Kathy x

How To Look After Your Vajayjay

Blog How To Look After Your Vajayjay

 

 

Yes, you read that right!

How To Look After Your Vajayjay

This blog is inspired by someone who recently told me she’s bought a nice smelling wash for “downstairs”.  At first, I thought she meant the kitchen floor, but NO. She mean to wash her “downstairs”! Her vajayjay.

As you can probably tell, I’m not a huge fan of buying washes to wash your vajayjay. Not only can the ingredients like soap and fragrances irritate your lady parts BUT it’s possible the washes and deodorants contain health and hormone-harming chemicals.  And hormone harming nasties can affect fertility.

AND does anyone really, want to slather their vagina (see, I can use the right word really) in those? Well, do they?

So I’m bashing at my keyboard to bring to you my 6 top tips for looking after your vajayjay. How to keep her clean and healthy, I mean. For any hair removal and vajazzling, you need to go elsewhere.  Soz.

Lets’s start with…

 

Washing Your Vajayjay

Use clean water to wash your vagina.

Soaps, shower gels, washes can contain chemicals which irritate or are health and hormone harmers.  If you use a shower gel or soap in the shower/bath, use a totally natural one (my addiction to Neals Yard Geranium and Orange is now legendary) in case it gets into you cracks and crevices.

If you want to check out your personal care products to see how natural and safe they really are, go to Environmental Working Group Skin Deep website.

 

Be Savvy With Sanitary Protection

Use organic cotton sanitary protection. It doesn’t contain nasty chemicals either, which could leach out.  Bleurgh.   Especially important if you’re a tampon user. Best avoid chemicals inserted right up there, in my view.

Personally, I see a lot of benefit in using towels. Because I think Mother Nature intended the flow to come right out, not be kept in. And tampon use risks Toxic Shock Syndrome, unless you change regularly.

Some of my clients use re-usable protection like Moon Cups.  Here is one link that explains them – you can buy them in lots of other places too.

All protection should be changed regularly for good hygiene.

 

Use Condoms

If you have multiple sexual partners, using condoms for sex is your best way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases. Some sexually transmitted diseases have no symptoms and you may not know you have it. Some STDs can harm fertility and babies born.  ‘Nuff said.

 

Dress For Vajayjay Health

Your vajayjay wants to be kept as cool as possible to avoid overgrowth of bacteria.

Treat yours to nice cotton undies. And avoid wearing tights, exercise gear like leggings or skinny jeans for long periods. As if anyone needs an excuse to take off tights as soon as you get home!

Don’t wear undies at night (unless you have your period, of course).

Be careful what you wash your smalls in – once again, chemicals in washing products can irritate you and could be health and hormone harming. Did you know that those lovely smelling fabric conditioners can be some of the most toxic products?

 

Eat To Beat Any Issues

Nasty bacteria and yeasts thrive on sugar.  If you’re a sugar scoffer you’re more at risk of thrush. And let’s face it, there is sugar everywhere –  cakes, biscuits, candies, chocolate, packet foods, diet foods, processed foods, sauces … an endless list.

Alcohol aso encourages yeast growth in the vagina, raising the risk of thrush.

Mucus forming foods like red meat, refined carbs and most dairy (organic live yoghurt is an exception) affect the vagina too. Altering it’s acid/alkaline balance.

Organic live plain yoghurt has good bacteria. As does sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), kimchi (spicy kraut), kefir (a probiotic milk drink ), kombucha (a fermented drink). Including these in your life can make sure your body has plenty of good bacteria. Don’t get those supermarket probiotic drinks – full of sugar!

Choose a hormone friendly diet.

 

Good Toilet Habits

*ahem* wipe front to back.  You get what I’m saying?

That’s the best way of avoiding bum germs (we all have them!) getting into your vagina.

 

So that’s it.  6 ways to keep your vajayjay happy and healthy.  AND therefore to help protect your delicate hormones and fertility.

You know it makes sense.

Love, Kathy x

P.S.Neals Yard is an ambassador link.

Move Your Butt For Body and Mind

 

Move Your Butt for Body and Mind

 

 

 

Move Your Butt For Body and Mind.

Regular readers will know I hate exercise (find out more in the blog link).  It sounds so dull.  I prefer “activity”.

And I DO move my butt for the benefit of health – physical health and mental and emotional health.

I believe that you need to move your butt for overall health and happiness.  And exercising or activity, help hormone balance. Great for us girls.

So what ARE the actual benefits of activity or exercise?

 

Move Your Butt For Weight Management

Activity raises your metabolism. Aerobic activity like walking , jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing help us lose weight.  Especially interval training.

Weight training to build up or maintain muscle is also important.  Muscle is leaner than fat, so we look better.  Muscle also burns more energy that fat.

But you don’t have to become a body-building, Gym Bunny. There are lots of way to build activity into your daily life and some fun ways to start doing more.

Walking (hey what about Pokemon Go and Geocaching?). Gardening. Vigorous house work. Dancing.

You could even use free hand weights doing “step ups” on an exercise step watching your fave soap.

Or join the kids on the trampoline in the garden.

 

Move Your Butt To Spice Up Your (Sex) Life

Did you know that exercise or activity can boost your sex life? Heck, yeah.

Exercise keeps you healthy and gives you more energy.  Healthy and more energetic people tend to have more sexual energy.   Women who stay active, have an active sex life for longer.

Who knew?

Of course, exercise  supports better body confidence. In turn, that could boost your interest in sexy time.

 

Move Your Butt For A Better Brain

You’re reading and wondering how can exercise improve my brain, Kathy? Have you gone bonkers?

No. Physical activity can help your brain.   If you are active,your brain function is less likely to decline as you get older.   Studies have shown it’s the more active you are, not how hard you exercise.

So little and often.

And it can reduce our risk of dementia in our senior years.

 

Move Your Butt for Better Bones

Any impact exercise is good news for bones.  It builds up bone density.

Think aerobic exercises again like walking, dancing or jogging.

Building muscle also helps, so do some weight training.  It builds muscle and bones.

Core strength and flexibility exercises like yoga or tai chi support better bone health, because they too build muscles. They can also help improve balance and coordination.  Maybe that reduces the risk of falls and accidents?

 

Move Your Butt For A Healthy Heart

Get the old ticker pumping with aerobic exercises can lower bad cholesterol and raise the good cholesterol.

Active people are less likely to have high blood pressure, generally and better circulation.   Moving your butt help blood flow and help more toxins out.  Through sweating and the lymph system.

 

Move Your Butt To Beat Menopause Symptoms

Studies show that exercise helps reduce menopausal symptoms as we get to our late 40s and 50s. It helps with hot flushes and the nasty night sweats.

It also help with better body image.  It helps brain function so you might reduce or avoid any brain fog and memory issues.

 

Move Your Butt To Prevent and Alleviate Depression

Activity raises the feel-good chemicals in our brain called endorphins.

These boost our sense of wellbeing and help relieve pain. Yes, really. This can help lift mood and also help keep depression at bay.

 

Move Your Butt To Balance Hormones

Exercise helps balance hormones. FACT.

Do it for this reason, if no other.

It helps regulate your hormones in so many ways – stress hormones, metabolic hormones and more.

 

Move Your Butt To Boost Immunity

Here’s another great reason to build more activity into your days. Regular, moderate exercise raises white blood cells, which help insight infections.

So activity helps boost your immune system.

Begone you coughs and colds!

 

And my final words are these…

Reduce risk of major illness by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.  Move.  Your. Butt.

 

Love, Kathy x

What IS a healthy period?

What IS a healthy period?

What IS a healthy period?

What IS a healthy period?

If you believe all you see on TV, it’s rolling skating down a promenade on a sunny day wearing a big grin and the market’s best selling tampon.

The perfect period. If only, eh?

Well, I’m not sure there is such a thing as a perfect period.

You may be jealous of the gal who says  “my monthly is really light, quick, pain free and no hassle” but maybe not if she’s not building up a healthy womb lining for pregnancy.

So there may not be period perfection, but there are some signs of a healthy period and cycle.  A kind of  range of “normal”.

What is that, then? And what to do if you’re concerned.

 

Cycle Length

Your cycle should be between 25-35 days long.

Shorter cycles can suggest haywire hormones – usually too much oestrogen in relation to progesterone.  I can also mean it’s tougher falling pregnant because the second part of the cycle (after ovulation) is too short. Many experts say the second part of the cycle should be at least 12 days, but 10 or less is considered short.

If your cycles are long, again you may have hormone imbalance or a condition that is messing with ovulation like PCOS.

Your cycle the same or very similar every month. So if it’s 25 days one month, 35 the next and then 27, I’d say that’s irregular.

One off  “irregular” periods can usually be explained by stress, being poorly or getting out of your usual routine, like a holiday.

 

The Flow

Ooh lovely subject, but the flow should be bright red blood.

If it’s dark or brown, it can be a sign that blood isn’t flowing well.  Dark blood and clots can also be a sign that you have too much oestrogen in relation to progesterone.

It really shouldn’t be very clotty. A few very small clots on the first day is thought normal.

It should be a good flow, so you notice…but not so heavy, you daren’t laugh for fear of flooding your own pants. AND have to hug the toilet for days…instead of roller skating in the tampon ad.

It’s not really healthy to have to get up at night to change your tampon or towel because the flow is so heavy.

3-5 days of bleeding is average.  But 2-7 is considered normal.

 

PMS is NOT To Be Expected

PMS isn’t part of a healthy period.  It’s usually a sign that there is an imbalance somewhere.

Sure, many of your girl friends will tell you about the hideous cramps, Bitch-Troll-From-Hell moods and binge eating chocolate, but it really isn’t “normal”.

Maybe it’s you who breaks out in terrible teenage type acne and whose breasts swell like zeppelins?

My best tip for PMS is eat a blood sugar balancing diet i.e. eat good quality protein with every meal and snack, eat good fats and avoid sugar and “white”  refined carbs like the plague.

I’d say don’t be too concerned if you experience mild symptoms, like slight cramping, feeling sensitive and a skin breakout. Severe symptoms should be checked out.

 

Changes To Mucus

It’s totally normal to notice the discharge in your smalls.

And it’s totally healthy to see it change over your cycle.

Mother Nature intends it to change over your cycle so around ovulation you get a stretchy “egg whitey” mucus that helps sperm swim up it.

Not a lot of people know that!

Before and after ovulation, it tends to be thicker, drier and less clear.

 

Should I Smell Down There?

The short answer is yes and no.

Yes, you should notice a faint musky smell when you’re not on your period. A faint blood smell when you’re bleeding is okay.

No, you shouldn’t reek. Or smell strongly fishy.  That can be a sign of some sort of infection. Especially if you also notice itching, burning, pain, feeling hot or really tired.

Don’t cover up your natural smell with fragrances – they can be full of toxic and nasty chemicals which harm health, your mucus and fertility.  Wash with clean water.

 

Spotting

Some women see “spotting” at ovulation and that’s okay. It lasts 1-2 days and is light.

Some women also get spotting roughly a week after ovulation which is called “implantation spotting”.  It’s the time when any embryo would settle into the womb lining.

If you’re bleeding at other times, it’s not really a healthy period or cycle.

Bleeding in the second part of your cycle (after ovulation) might mean you have low progesterone. This is the hormone that holds your womb lining in place for implantation or to be shed if there is no pregnancy.

 

What Does Your Cycle Say About YOU?

Your cycle holds great clues to your fertility, hormone health and general health.

That’s why I ask women to chart their cycles, especially if they want to get pregnant or they have some unwanted symptoms. Their charts, other info and any test results can help me work out what changes they should make for healthy periods.

What is yours telling YOU? And what if you’re worried there may be something out of whack?

 

What Should I Do, If I’m Worried?

If you’re worried, see a Doctor.  They can arrange any tests to help work out what’s going on for you and discuss your treatment options.

A word of caution.

I have women come to see me who have been told they are “normal” but they don’t think they have a healthy period or cycle.

OR doctors suggest hormonal contraceptives to “suppress” their symptoms and cycle.  It’s up to you, of course, but that could be burying a problem not tackling the cause.

 

There is so much you can do with food choices, lifestyle habits, supplements and natural therapies to sort out your own haywire cycles. If you want to find out how I can help you with that, drop me a line.

Enjoy your roller skating *winks*

Love, Kathy x

 

 

 

HORMONES – A Poem

Hormones a poem

HORMONES.

Hormones or “Upright Breasts Are Dropping and These Flushes Aren’t For Stopping.”

NO, I haven’t dusted off my Literature degree to start writing  poetry.  This verse is by poet Hazel Connelly. My poetry was never that good.

It’s from Hazel’s 2012 poem” Hormones”.  And it makes me laugh AND it makes me think.  I love it.

Here it is in all it’s fabulousness….

 

Hormones

My jeans zip is popping
My body’s gone crazy
Everyone is noticing
My memory’s a bit hazy.

The once upright breasts are dropping
and these flushes aren’t for stopping.

It’s the hormones
That’s what it’s about
All around my middle
I’m getting more stout.

There’s nowhere to hide
There’s nowhere to run
My newly aquired moustache
And chin hairs are fit to stun.

I joined a club that weekly meet,
They tell me all the can’t haves,
I just go home and eat.
Don’t have this, don’t have that,
I paid all that money just for a chat.

My feet are still the same size shoe
I could always buy them something new.

Time passes quickly, teenage years gone,
There’s no more excuses to rely on.
The one about puppy fat ran out long ago,
So now it’s time for a revamp
From head to toe…

© Hazel Connelly

 

Come on all you PREmenopausal Princesses and Menopause Mavens, who can relate?

The menopause muffin top?

The memory lapses?

Droopy boobs?

Hot flushes and nasty night sweats?

A few more hairs on your chinny chin chin?

Fighting the battle of the bulge?  And feeling like you’re never winning this war?

BUT or should I say “AND”?

 

AND, it doesn’t have to be that way.

We can either make the excuses like the “puppy fat”ones we made when we were young OR we can do something.

 

We can take control.

We’re not victims.

Sure we can’t stop the march of time… we can’t stop the inevitable drop in oestrogen hormones.

 

We CAN improve our health, hormone balance, wellbeing and happiness.

And that’s not just my Rose Tinted Bespectacled self talking.

I have had hot flushes, I have been known to try to cram the boiled kettle into the fridge, my once buxom pear shape has become a little bit more Coxs Orange Pippin. I curse when even WITH the magnifying mirror I struggle to see the stray hairs of my – sometimes –  bushy eye brows!

I’m just on it like a car bonnet. Living well at least 80% of the time.  Adopting a hormone friendly lifestyle at least 80% of the time.

And it works for me. And it can for YOU too. It doesn’t stop the march of time, but it helps keep me looking and feeling younger, healthier and happier for longer.  And much more balanced.

 

Amen to that. AND to the fact that my boobs aren’t droopy yet. *winks*

 

Love, Kathy x

Maca – Hormone Balancing Superfood For Women?

 

MACA blog

 

 

Maca – Hormone Balancing Superfood For Women?

 

Want happier hormones? To boost natural fertility. Or maybe the strength of an Inca warrior? Who doesn’t want the strength of an Inca Warrior, eh?

Shall I tell you how?

So, say hello to MACA powder .

 

What Is Maca?

Maca is a root. And it’s an adaptogenic “herb”.  That just means it’s balances.

It’s believed to work on hormone balance by influencing the hypothalamus and the rest of the hormone system.  It’s believed to provide “building blocks” that help glands produce more and better quality hormones.

Maca is thought to increase sperm count and increase female fertility.  So it’s great if you’re planning a baby.

It improves body heat and oxygen uptake.

The powder has been used in Peru for hormone balance, stamina, energy and livening up the libido for over 2000 years. It’s so nutrient-dense, it’s known as Peruvian Ginseng with calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, silica and zinc to help get you buzzing.

It’s not a complete protein, but has lots of amino acids and is about 10% protein by weight.

 

How Can I Take Maca?

I prefer to buy mine as a powder.  Some women take it in capsule form.

I love the powder. It smells deliciously like butterscotch and tastes similar to a malted milk drink to me.

Delish. Ooh I’ve gone all “Nigella”.

I mainly add mine to smoothies and juices, yoghurt, porridge or desserts and use about a rounded/heaped teaspoon per day of an organic brand. It’s been so widely used in Peru, it’s believed very safe to take in moderation.

You may choose to be cautious if pregnant, breast-feeding or suffering a serious condition: always ask your doc if unsure.

Are you a Maca-lovin’ Mama with recipes to share? I’d  love to see them.  Get in touch if you’d like to share them.

 

Love, Kathy x