Hormone-Induced Depression - Finding Balance
When we were younger we had lots of energy, and most days we were happy and motivated to face each day. We looked forward to our future. As we age, we take on more responsibilities because we’re superwomen, right? We take care of everyone else and can fall into the rut of not making time for ourselves. We seem to never have enough time for healthy meals and enough sleep. Our bodies do the best they can to keep us healthy, but over time the lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and stress can take their toll. Maybe we start with just one deficit, but then one thing leads to another and our hormones become out of balance, and we feel like we are in a hole we can’t get out of. This can lead to hormone-induced depression.
WHAT IS HORMONE-INDUCED DEPRESSION?
There are many causes of depression. The type of depression that can occur during peri-menopause and menopause is due to the reduction in Estrogen. Some symptoms may include feelings of being overwhelmed, confusion, a sense of loneliness, and lack of support. Women need estrogen to increase serotonin and the number of serotonin receptors in the brain. Low estrogen levels can also affect critical thinking and short-term memory. Serotonin is a hormone that supports our sense of wellbeing and positive mood. There are many simple actions we can take to help our body increase our estrogen naturally.
If your depression is persistent and affects your ability to take care of your daily needs such as work, eating, and being social, please see your healthcare professional. You do not need to suffer!
THREE DIFFERENT FORMS OF ESTROGEN
Estrogen is produced in the ovaries until menopause. After menstruation stops our liver and adrenals take over the production of estrogen. The liver and gastrointestinal tract break down and metabolize three forms of estrogen. Estrogen breaks down into one good form, 2-hydroxyestrone, which protects against cancer. The other two forms 4-Hydroxyestrone, and 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone promote cancer. One of the simplest things you can do is eat a diet high in insoluble fiber such as green beans, peas, carrots, and seeds. The unhealthy estrogen forms will attach to the fiber and be eliminated with your feces and not reabsorbed. A healthy gut biome will also help break down the unhealthy forms of estrogen. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and yogurt are sources of good gut bacteria.
SELF-CARE – NATURAL REMEDIES
Depression is not a sign of weakness – it means you have been strong for far too long. Put yourself first! Let others assist and support you.
Avoid refined sugars
Eliminate all artificial sweeteners
Eat lignin-rich fibers (flaxseed for example)If you eat meat, make sure it is hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and organic
Consider including black cohosh, B-complex, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, fish oil, evening primrose, and flaxseed oil in your daily supplements
Avoid foods that stress your adrenal glands (the glands that help you respond to stress), such as alcohol and caffeine.
Meditate (A great app is Meditate Me) This can be as simple as quieting your mind for 5-10 minutes, say hello, and release any thoughts that come up. If there is to much chatter in your mind, pick a mantra. It could be as simple as “I love myself” or say this affirmation from Louise Hay: “I choose to fill my life with joy.”Make sure your sleep is restful. Take a media break. No electronics, TV, or phone two hours before bed.
Learn Tai Chi. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner accompanied by deep breathing. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion. This motion helps move your energy and stimulate all the organs that create your hormones.Make your own blend of supporting essentials oils. Roll on and rub into the acupressure points around and below your knees. Another good acupressure point is along the radial artery, below your wrist where you would take your pulse. These points strengthen and uplift your Qi, or life force.
“Some days, 24 hours is too much to stay put in, so I take the day hour by hour, moment by moment. I break the task, the challenge, the fear into small, bite-size pieces. I can handle a piece of fear, depression, anger, pain, sadness, loneliness, illness. I actually put my hands up to my face, one next to each eye, like blinders on a horse.” From Regina Brett.
"Remember, it is time to take care of yourself. Let’s become the Menopause Goddesses that we were meant to be!" From Christiane Northrup, MD
"Today is going to be a really, really good day!" From Louise Hay
A good reference is Unleash the Power of the Female Brain by Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
Always buy the best quality essential oils. There are many sources now. Not all are pure, not all are handled with love. Do not use oils if the company will not provide Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry(GC/MS) reports showing they were tested for chemical content and purity.
NEVER take essential oils internally. Essential oils can cause ulceration of your internal tissues. Always dilute your essential oils with a carrier oil for external use. The essential oils are “carried” by the fat molecules in the carrier oil into your cells to absorb the essential oil safely. Carrier oils can include jojoba, olive, almond oils, aloe vera gel or juice, or natural lotion. Please use organic carrier oils whenever possible. Read the ingredient labels; know what you are putting on your skin. Everything you put on your skin is absorbed into your body. Remember essential oils are highly concentrated one drop of peppermint is equivalent to 25 cups of peppermint tea. It takes 30 pounds of lavender flowers to make 300 drops of lavender essential oil.