Did you know that as your ovaries start their journey towards menopause, your adrenal glands take over some of their roles?
The adrenal glands are endocrine organs that sit on top of our kidneys and produce a variety of hormones that have a strong influence on many aspects of our health and wellbeing.
As we know, perimenopause is the phase in our life leading to menopause. It can start as early as in our 30s and can last up to 10 – 15 years! In this period, changes in our ovarian function can lead to significant hormonal fluctuation, not just intracycle but also in between cycles.
Despite regular periods, there can be months where ovulation does not occur, exacerbating an oestrogen dominant picture, where high oestrogen level is unopposed by progesterone. Or there can be months where oestrogen level is low, especially as we move closer to menopause.
What have our adrenal glands got to do with this?
They can partially compensate for changes in our ovarian function by making precursor hormones for the secondary production of oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone.
But there is a catch!
Have you ever heard of the fight or flight response? Yes, the primary role of our adrenal glands is to help us deal with stress through the production of adrenaline, noradrenalin and cortisol, so too much stress will inhibit their ability to support our ovaries. It therefore goes without saying that supporting our adrenals is paramount – and in this period of our life, even more so!
How can we love and cherish our adrenal glands?
Here are few tips:
A holistic approach is essential when seeking health and wellbeing. The best outcome can only come from a combination of nutrition and lifestyle changes and as you can see, balance in all aspects is key.