Moody teenagers and their wild emotions, adult women crying at the drop of a hat and a full-blown mental breakdown PMS fuelled explosion from a woman all have one thing in common – Hormones and these hormones are usually imbalanced.

The way we women end up feeling “a little hormonal” each month is nothing new to us. We know that our bodies are working and doing the weird things they do, shifting and growing and adapting.

But how on earth is it that hormones, the internal regulators that can’t be seen or touched have such a profound effect on how we get through the day without consuming our body weight in ice cream and plowing through a bar of chocolate?

Well, hormones are biochemicals – created naturally in our bodies or synthetically by science.  Hormones have the power to make our lives either a living hell or a perfect paradise.

Welcome to Hormones and what you need to know to get back on track.

What are hormones and what do they do?

When we think of hormones we think of periods and acne and reproduction, but that’s not all hormones do for us. They help our bodies decide what to do and what to create and how to function. Hormones are literally the body’s courier system, delivering messages and parcels to different parts of the body.

Hormones are created in the endocrine system which is a collection of glands found in multiple places in your body.

Hormones help your body with regulating its normal everyday functions like hunger, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, energy levels, your metabolism, your health of your joints and bones, your body composition and libido.

What happens with hormones during your cycle?

When we’re expecting old Aunt Flo to show up for a visit, we usually notice different things about our bodies – breast tenderness, headaches, weird cramps that hurt your back, these are all by products of our hormones dictating how we feel for about a week or two in the lead up to Aunt Flo’s visit.

Understanding how you feel at different times of the month will indicate what your hormones are doing.

There are 4 different phases to the menstrual cycle – Period and start of Follicular phase, Follicular phase, Ovulation and Luteal phase.

It’s natural to feel a little rough during your period. When you move into the Follicular phase, this is when you usually feel pretty good and upbeat and happy.

Moving into Ovulation is when you feel your inner “Beyonce” come out and you are also at your most fertile so if makin’ babies is on your to do list then get busy.

Then we move into the Luteal phase which is when you want to copy Simone Anderson and blitz your house and organize your drawers and generally tidy up physically and mentally take stock.

It’s totally OK to feel differently at different points as we all have external issues such as stress, kids, work etc to make us change up how we react and therefore how our hormones react.

Which hormones do what for me?

Ok so there are many hormones in the body, each has a different purpose but here is a run down on the specifics of each hormone:

Sex Hormones:

Sex hormones play a massive role in reproduction. Both in getting ready for reproduction, actual reproduction and post procreation. Sex hormones also have an effect on your mental health, energy levels and even how healthy your bones are.

Oestrogen – usually associated with women but did you know that men also produce Oestrogen? Oestrogen is the main female sex hormone which is in charge of multiple functions such as your libido, your sleep, the health of your skin and bones, even your body shape.

Progesterone – the balancer. Progesterone is a sex hormone that promotes a calm feeling and balances out Oestrogen when Oestrogen gets a bit too big for her britches (This is called an imbalance).Progesterone is created by ovulation so when we don’t ovulate (like when on the pill) your body stops creating progesterone, so you effectively lose your natural feel good hormone. It’s also affected by high levels of stress which is why you don’t feel so good when you’re stressed.

Testosterone – the main male sex hormone. Don’t be frightened, women also produce testosterone but generally in smaller amounts. It’s important that we create this hormone to help with muscle growth and supporting a healthy libido and it’s great for getting us motivated and feeling energetic.

And the final hormone is DHEA – without DHEA, we wouldn’t have the other hormones. It can be referred to as the “grandmother” hormone but most of us know nothing about it.

Stress Hormones:

The stress hormones Cortisol and Adrenaline, play a massive role in every day life by allowing us to handle stress – physically, mentally, emotionally and that fun one; at work stress.

Cortisol is a survival hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Funnily enough it is our daytime hormone as it helps to keep us awake and alert. It also helps to regulate several different bodily functions such as blood pressure, blood sugar levels, our nervous system, the inflammation levels in our bodies and how much energy we have.

Adrenaline is probably the more well known hormone, similar to cortisol in its production, Adrenaline creates the fight or flight response that we all recognize. Adrenaline is also the stress hormone that you can feel after a sudden burst of panic (Your phone is not in your pocket oh dear God where is my phone? We all know this feeling.)

Interesting fact: Insulin can be affected by both stress and sex hormones. This can disrupt the body’s response to glucose and how your body regulates your blood sugar levels. Melatonin or the sleepy time hormone can also be affected by stress and sex hormones. Melatonin and Cortisol and literally like night and day and when one is off balance, the other will be too.

When our hormones, any of them, is out of balance it can cause a raft of issues for our bodies. If you would like to know more about what a hormonal imbalance is, click here:

Just because feeling a little off balance is common, it doesn’t mean you have to put on your big girl panties and put up with it. An imbalance is not necessarily normal, nor is it part of being a woman. An imbalance can also be viewed as the body’s courier system is a little overloaded with parcels, all incorrectly addressed.

Working to balance out and re-address the messages is where NuWoman comes in. We know that inner workings of our body’s can sometimes be a little taboo, but this is where NuWoman is designed to get to work. If you’re feeling a little bit off balance and not quite yourself then it could be time to check out what NuWoman could do for you.