Fertility Hormones and Adrenal Fatigue

It has been well documented that there is a necessity in maintaining sufficient hormonal balances to be both healthy and fertile. When certain hormone levels are not correct, it affects fertility because different hormones interact together during separate phases of the reproductive cycle to ensure that conception can take place. Now, because there are so many things that affect the output of fertility hormones, it is often difficult to pinpoint the cause of an imbalance. These imbalances can originate from simple things like poor diet, stress, vitamin deficiencies, and even body fat content. The first and most basic step to understanding how all of these aspects correlate is to look more closely at which main hormones are involved in fertility and how they are most commonly affected.

Fertility Hormones: A Focus on Estrogen

Though nearly every hormone in the body has an effect on fertility because the body operates in such an interconnected way, there are main fertility hormones that stand out. The first of these is estrogen, which is commonly known as being predominant in females.

Estrogen has a big job to do because it helps to regulate not only a woman’s monthly cycle, but also contributes to bone health and even aids in keeping cholesterol under control. Estrogen is also found in men. High levels in men can cause adverse effects such as enlarged breasts and even infertility.

When there are incorrect levels of estrogen in a woman’s body, there is a multitude of issues that come forward. There can be situations where women with extremely low estrogen levels experience similar side effects to those who are going through menopause. Hot flashes, insomnia, and low libido are a few of those that stand out. By contrast, high estrogen levels can bring with them other unfavorable circumstances such as more severe PMS, menstrual changes, and weight gain.

The levels of estrogen in your body are affected by a variety of different stimuli. Poor diet can be a large contributor to low estrogen. This occurs because if you don’t consume the proper vitamin and mineral requirements, your body will be unable to produce adequate estrogen. Stress is also a large culprit when it comes to fertility hormones.

The hypothalamic-pituitary gonadotropic (HPG) axis is the main driver that dictates fertility hormones released in the body. When the body is under stress, the adrenal glands release the hormone cortisol which is known to compromise the HPG axis.

Stress in relation to the HPG axis is not limited to women by any means as it affects men as well. Dysregulation of the HPG axis can cause men to have lower sperm counts along with decreased libido. This is an issue that affects both sexes.

Progesterone Linked To Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue (AF) takes place when your body is not sufficiently coping with the stress of daily life. The adrenal glands are located above the kidneys and have a large effect on everything from how well your body detoxifies to your blood sugar levels. Not only does AF affect those areas but it can also contribute to lethargy and anxiety because the ongoing demand placed on the adrenal glands can cause them to slow their production of cortisol and become exhausted.

During AF there is often an imbalance in the aspect ratio between progesterone, a powerful sex hormone and steroid, and estrogen. It is common for individuals suffering from AF to have too little progesterone when compared to estrogen or even too little of both. It needs to be noted, however, that this is not always the case. Although common, there is a wide range of results that are found in those suffering from AF and every situation needs to be evaluated with its own medical history.

The medical world and fertility Hormones

There is also speculation in the medical community that hormonal imbalances might be linked to genetic predispositions. Because of this, it can be difficult to define exactly what is causing an imbalance of fertility hormones in any particular case. If you are having a difficult time ascertaining what the problems are that you are facing with your hormone balances, consult a professional who can perform testing for further information.

In most cases, when someone is experiencing AF, their bodies will not be focused on reproduction but rather on survival. High levels of stress do not condone themselves to fertility being a top priority. It’s encouraged that you first look at AF recovery before worrying about your fertility. This is especially true if you have experienced multiple miscarriages during the first trimester.

Body Fat and Fertility Hormones

Progesterone is one of the primary precursors of cortisol, the main stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands. When the body is under stress and in a stage of AF, some progesterone is moved from its role in ovulation and the menstrual cycle and diverted to produce cortisol. This reduced progesterone level can cause estrogen dominance, where there is a relatively high estrogen level compared to progesterone. This imbalance has a counterproductive effect on fertility.

Fertility Hormones and body fat

Reduced progesterone is not the only way that individuals are susceptible to exposing to high levels of estrogen, obesity is often another culprit. Estrogen is also produced in adipose tissue. The heavier you are, the more estrogen is made. This goes both ways for men and women alike. Because body fat cells produce and store estrogen, excess weight is directly linked to estrogen dominance. A reaction to this can result in abnormal mood swings and unpredictable cycles, which can both affect fertility.

Sometimes weight is easier to control than other times. During AF, it can be the case that the thyroid gland is affected and doesn’t properly produce enough thyroid hormone. This can cause weight gain to be difficult to control. Although AF can lead to symptoms of low thyroid, these symptoms can also arise from genetic predisposition or other factors. If you think you have a problem with your thyroid that is not linked to AF, contact your doctor so that you can find out exactly what is going on and find a solution.

Creating Positive Effects on Fertility Hormones

There is a bit of a silver lining to all of these stark warnings – the fact that a lot of these variables are able to be influenced. The first thing you can do is take steps to lower your stress levels. Stress also increases estrogen in your body. The system through which our bodies process stress is known as the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response. The NEM stress response is comprised of a very extensive network that involves neurological responses that eventually convert into hormonal and physical activity in the body.

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The Ketogenic Diet and AFS

When reading different viewpoints on a high-fat (ketogenic diet) versus a low-fat diet, it would seem the medical community is in disarray. One group advocates for a high-fat diet, while another for a low-fat diet. If you read what each group has to say, each may make sense. Each is also correct, but only to a certain extent. We are going to investigate in more detail and determine whether it may strike the right balance for everyone.

Fat – the Good and the Not so Good

Certain research shows an indication that a high-fat diet may have a negative impact on your brain, especially with regards to cognition and neurodegeneration. Their findings go on to mention that a high-fat diet affects the hippocampus in the brain (which is essential for learning and memory). In other words, according to the study, it causes damage to your brain.

On the other hand, they found that once taken off a high-fat diet, brain activity returned to normal after approximately two months. So the effects are not lasting if proper dietary measures are introduced.

What they found from this study was that a high-fat diet may trigger inflammation which, in turn, may trigger an autoimmune response in the central nervous system. Where this usually serves to protect the brain from a possible threat, a high-fat diet tended to block the process.

Similarly, another study looking at the effect of a high-fat diet on the brain noticed that it actually reduces the amount of glucose utilized by the brain. This situation has a negative effect on the hypothalamus, which controls your metabolism, as well as the cerebral cortex, influencing learning and memory.

Because the brain is not getting the glucose it needs, it actually stimulates cravings for sugary foods in an effort to meet its requirements. This has far-reaching consequences, e.g. you may end up becoming insulin resistant or put on weight.

Conversely, there is research that says that fat is good for you. That, in fact, it is essential for your continued health. This is also true. Fats play an essential role in the body, and too little fat may result in equally disturbing health conditions.

Research shows that fat in the diet is essential for the development of ‘good’ cholesterol, and that fat may have been given a bad rap over the years, being cited as one of the main reasons for heart disease and modern lifestyle health issues. Not all fat is bad for you. In fact, it may actually be good for you.

In the United States, more people are obese than ever before. The reason for this is simple. Diet has changed. People are eating a high carbohydrate, low-fat diet and picking up weight. The reason for so many health issues lies in the fact that carbohydrates are easily turned into glucose. Glucose that cannot be used by the body is stored as fat.

Also, the type of fat consumed is the issue, not fat in general.
There are different types of fat, some are good, while others are not so good.

Different Fats Have Different Effects on Health

There are, essentially, three types of fats. Each has its own function. Not all are deemed ‘good fats’. So how do you know the difference and what do you do about them?

Naturally occurring fats tend to be your best bet. In other words, those fats that have not been altered due to certain processes.

Saturated Fats

Ketogenic diet and saturated fatsMost food, even healthy food, (e.g. chicken or nuts) has a certain percentage of saturated fats. Common sources of saturated fats are mostly from animal protein and products, e.g. beef, cream, or cheese. Some plants, however, also have a high saturated fat content, including coconut oil and palm oil.

Although saturated fats increase your cholesterol levels, too little-saturated fat lowers your levels of ‘good’ (HDL) cholesterol. This is bad for the heart. Cholesterol is also the building block of the precursor hormone pregnenolone from which other steroid hormones are manufactured, primarily in the adrenal fatigue.

Saturated fats provide us with a number of health benefits, among these are:

  • Ensuring cardiovascular health by reducing the amount of lipoprotein in the blood. High lipoprotein levels correspond with a higher risk of heart disease.
  • Myristic and lauric acids found in coconut oil and butter play a role in immunity. When not enough saturated fatty acids are present in white blood cells, the immune system becomes compromised due to being unable to recognize foreign pathogens.
  • Saturated fats play an important role in metabolism. For example, with the correct release of insulin.
  • Saturated fat protects the liver from the effects of certain medications as well as alcohol.
  • Saturated fat is essential for calcium incorporation into bones. Lack of saturated fats compromises the process and may lead to deficiencies in this regard, resulting in health issues such as osteoporosis.
  • Saturated fats coat the lungs in a thin layer. When other types of fats replace fatty acids in this task, proper lung function is compromised and may lead to difficulty breathing.
  • The two main components that make up the brain are saturated fatty acids and cholesterol. Too little fatty acid in the diet thus compromises brain function.

Unsaturated fats

There are two types of unsaturated fats – polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats.

Polyunsaturated fats are usually in the form of vegetable oil. Certain health conditions (e.g. heart disease) are linked to polyunsaturated fats to a large extent. Some polyunsaturated fats occur naturally, while others are processed. It is the processed form of polyunsaturated fats that are detrimental to your health as they worsen your ‘bad’ cholesterol levels.

Examples of processed polyunsaturated fats include processed cooking oils, e.g. sunflower oil, canola oil, soybean oil, and walnut oil, to name but a few more information.
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Unprocessed polyunsaturated fats, on the other hand, improve your cholesterol levels and include oily fish (salmon, herring, tuna), walnuts, and sunflower seeds.

Trans fats

Trans fats are usually only present in processed fatty foods. These may be natural fats that have been manipulated to allow for a longer shelf life. The processes these fats are subjected to change their chemical composition and can be linked to heart disease and high ‘bad’ cholesterol levels.

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The Undeniable Link Between Your Body Mass Index and Life Expectancy

New research in weight and fitness has suggested that your body mass index and life expectancy are interlinked more than you imagined. This means the more underweight or obese you are, the less chance you have of living a long and healthy life. However, being overweight or obese is more difficult for some people to manage than others. One such case is when you are dealing with excess weight and adrenal fatigue great site
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What is Body Mass Index?

To determine whether a patient is of healthy weight, physicians and other healthcare specialists refer to their body mass index (BMI). This index is simply a measure of your body fat based on your current weight in relation to your current height.

A BMI ranging between 18.5 and 24.9 is said to be healthy. Meanwhile, a BMI that is less than 18.5 is classified as under a healthy weight. On the other hand, having a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is classified as overweight. Finally, a BMI of 30 and above, is classified as obese.

Keeping your weight within the healthy BMI range comes with several benefits. These include increased energy and ability to participate in more activities. You also experience less muscle and joint pain. Most importantly, you have significantly less risk for the disease. These include type two diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, heart disease, and even certain cancers. This is precisely why a healthy BMI can readily increase your life expectancy.

Body Mass Index and Life Expectancy

Rising BMI levels are a major cause for concern in the U.S. and have been linked to higher death rates. According to a recent study by the University of Pennsylvania and the Boston University School of Public Health, the increase in body mass index had significantly reduced the annual rate of improvement when it comes to U.S. death rates from 1988 to 2011. It is estimated that the reduction in the rate of mortality decline is as high as 23 percent.

In addition, rising BMI levels have also led to a reduction in life expectancy at age 40 by up to 0.9 years in 2011. It is also said to account for as many as 186,000 excess deaths per year.

These research findings clearly exhibit the undeniable link between one’s body mass index and life expectancy. Hence, no matter how many technological improvements are made to make life easier, they won’t help you live longer with a BMI out of the healthy range.

Sadly, it is not just a sedentary lifestyle that leads to unhealthy BMI levels. Daily stress is also a contributing factor. In fact, stress can cause your body to become overweight or obese while also taking a toll on your body’s adrenal glands and its related functions.

How Stress Adds to Your Waistline

When your body gets stressed out, certain reactions take place inside your body. Most of the critical activities can primarily be found within your hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis.

The HPA axis consists of various interactions and relationships between the body’s hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenals. As part of your body’s NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response, they all work together to help you cope with any stressful situation you may encounter.

When you encounter stress, your hypothalamus secretes a certain corticotropin-releasing hormone. This is responsible for sending a message to pituitary so that it can trigger the production of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). This, in turn, sends a message to the body’s adrenal glands to produce cortisol.

During times of stress, cortisol prepares your body for fight or flight. One of the ways that it does this is by raising the sugar in your bloodstream to give you enough energy to deal with the situation. At the same time, your adrenals release adrenaline, a hormone that raises your heart rate and increases your blood pressure.

All these interactions continue until your body reaches the correct hormonal levels to deal with stress. These days, however, people are often subjected to constant sources of stress. Because of this, the body ends up signaling for more and more cortisol until it reaches its maximum production level. And at some point, the body becomes unable to produce the cortisol your body needs to respond to stress.

Body mass index and life expectancy can affect symptoms of AFS

These prolonged stress episodes also cause the body to experience significant hormonal imbalance. In the early stages, you may only experience fatigue. When you do nothing to remedy your situation, however, your condition can eventually evolve to the more serious Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS).

When suffering from AFS, your HPA axis becomes dysregulated. This state of hormonal imbalance has been associated with obesity. One study conducted by the University College London found that participants with high BMI levels and the highest cortisol levels were also the most likely to be unable to lose weight. Based on this, it is clear that stress can impact a person’s body mass index and life expectancy quite directly.

Fibromyalgia and fatigue Treatment

Thousands of Americans suffer from Fibromyalgia, a painful and chronic condition. They may spend hours researching ways to alleviate their daily pain and seek medical advice from a variety of sources. However, most of these individuals are not aware of the connection between Fibromyalgia and guaifenesin treatment. This treatment can alleviate and often reverse the effects of Fibromyalgia.

The adrenal fatigue treatment was developed by Dr.Lam Loma Linda, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at California. Fibromyalgia and guaifenesin treatment can be a long process but may be well worth the effort. The treatment starts with mapping. During the mapping process, areas of your body affected by Fibromyalgia, especially muscles and joints, are located and recorded. These tender points can be throughout the entire body. Therefore, this mapping process is essential to the process because this is a tool that will be used throughout the guaifenesin protocol.

The patient is then given a prescribed amount of guaifenesin, a safe drug commonly found in cough medicines because it liquefies mucus. Guaifenesin is a prostatic drug that is often used to treat gout. The patient is carefully monitored, and the amount of guaifenesin is gradually increased over time. Once the reversal signs of Fibromyalgia and guaifenesin treatment are evident, the patient will be gradually weaned from the guaifenesin treatment.

Adrenal Fatigue Treatment
Adrenal Fatigue Treatment

This Fibromyalgia and guaifenesin treatment can be a long and difficult process. While on the guaifenesin treatment, patients must avoid products containing salicylates. This can often be difficult because salicylates can be found in most personal care products, including shampoos, lotions, mouthwash, sunscreen, and acne medication. Throat lozenges with menthol also contain salicylates. They can also be found in food products, especially those that are mint flavored.

According to experts, Fibromyalgia and the guaifenesin treatment should take two months for every year that the patient has suffered from Fibromyalgia. In other words, if a patient has had Fibromyalgia for ten years, it will take nearly two years before they reap the benefits of the treatment. Also, sometimes the pain will seem to be getting worse on certain days before a change is noticed. This can cause many people to give up early in the process before they gain the benefits of the guaifenesin treatment.

Fibromyalgia and guaifenesin treatment can be an overwhelming process at first, but with some research and time, has proven to be well-worth the extra effort. In months, the effects of Fibromyalgia can be reversed, allowing the individual to lead a more productive and pain-free life.

 

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The Adrenal Fatigue Diet Revisited

We regularly receive emails from readers inquiring about the latest in dietary considerations for those recovering from adrenal fatigue syndrome. Whenever I get those requests, I smile because I know that the people sending me the emails “get it.” You see, many people continue to operate under two false assumptions. One, that adrenal fatigue doesn’t exist. This is the prevailing belief in mainstream Western medicine. The second assumption is that diet doesn’t matter. This is a theory promoted by many of the “pill pushers” in the market. Take this pill or that pill and you’ll feel better. Long-term readers of this site know that we reject both of the aforementioned theories. So, for our long-term readers and those new to the site, I’d like to briefly revisit the key elements of the adrenal fatigue recovery diet.

Step one – eat consistently throughout the day. One of my favorite natural practitioners stated the following, “Eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and dinner like a Pauper.” The quick conversion of food to energy is a common pattern in those suffering and recovering from adrenal fatigue. Therefore, it is critical that a well-balanced breakfast is consumed, followed by a reasonable lunch and portion controlled dinner. What to include? Read on in step two.

Step two – vegetables, fruit, and protein. One of the common misconceptions is that those recovering from adrenal fatigue should avoid all fruit sources due to high levels of sugar. The research that I’ve studied shows that while avoiding fruit juice is a good strategy, moderate quantities of fruits like cherries, kiwi, apples, and oranges go a long way to supporting the recovery process. Further, think vegetables whenever possible. Particularly, broccoli, carrots, spinach, sprouts, and cabbage are important dietary additions in the adrenal fatigue recovery process.

Step three – protein. My personal favorites are low fat, high protein options like chicken breast or whey protein (in powder form without any additives). Avoid high-fat protein traditionally found in sources like red meat. Protein consumed every two hours will yield energy and help the adrenal fatigue recovery process by curbing the potential craving for sugar and sweets.

Final step – manage your liquid intake. Adequate water consumption, approximately half of your body weight in ounces per day is paramount. Likewise, refraining from caffeine is important. Most of the studies show that individuals used to consuming large amounts of caffeine via coffee find a better natural alternative to green tea.

I hope you enjoyed our adrenal fatigue diet refresher. Keep the questions coming.

To your continued good health.