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What are Hormones?
Hormones are powerful chemical messengers that travel in our bloodstream to tissues and organs. They coordinate our growth, metabolism, fertility, and can alter behavior. For instance testosterone and estrogen, two common hormones, produce muscle mass, facial hair, and help orchestrate sperm production, menstruation, and pregnancy.
By the time a baby is near the third trimester, it’s already producing hormones that help develop the brain and reproductive system.
Endocrine Glands Produce Hormones
Our bodies have specific glands that produce and store hormones. These glands (e.g. pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, adrenal, pancreas, testes, and ovaries) make up the endocrine system. When the brain sends a signal to the endocrine glands, they secrete hormones into the blood.
The hormones then travel through the body to do their assigned jobs. It only takes a tiny amount of hormones to cause big changes. Too much or too little can easily rock the boat we call health and result in hormonal imbalance.
“Peruvian maca root regulates the organs of internal secretion, such as the pituitary, the adrenal glands, and the pancreas. I have had perhaps 200 female patients whose menopause symptoms are alleviated by taking maca.” – Dr. Hugo Malaspina, M.D., Lima, Peru.
The Endocrine System and Hormonal Imbalance
As a whole, the glands in the endocrine system regulate the body, but each gland also controls specific functions. Chemicals that interfere with these functions are called endocrine disruptors. Because the glands are all ‘connected’, what disrupts one gland disrupts another, causing a domino effect.
As each gland breaks down and hormone secretion is interrupted, subtle symptoms appear. The adrenals are usually the first to breakdown which is why adrenal fatigue (commonly related to stress) is so often an issue. As time goes by, and as the body goes further into hormone deficit, the symptoms increase and worsen.
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance?
When most of us think of someone with a hormonal imbalance we picture a woman during ‘that time of month’ who cries over spilt milk, becomes angry at nobody-knows-what, and generally becomes a raving lunatic whose body’s been invaded by aliens. But the truth is, both men and women can have hormonal imbalance for a variety of reasons.
While age and stress can be a factor, other common factors include:
- medication such as birth control pills that can throw off your body’s chemistry
- pregnancy which can cause a shift in hormones
- inconsistent sleep patterns
- lack of exercise
- poor diet
- eating trans fats instead of saturated fats
- high insulin levels
- environmental chemicals (pesticides and hormones) in our food, water, and air
- plastics and other harmful substances found in common household items (These mimic estrogen upon entering the body.)
- HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)
- candida – the waste products produce false estrogen. This tricks the body into reducing its own production of estrogen. The same can happen to the thyroid, creating or worsening a hypothyroid problem.
“What I see in Peruvian maca root is a means of normalizing our steroid hormones like testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen. Therefore it has facility to forestall the hormonal changes of aging.” – Dr. Garry F, Gordon, M.D., Chicago, Illinois.
Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
Common symptoms of hormone imbalance are:
- poor memory, foggy thinking, lack of concentration
- anxiety, irritability, and depression
- fatigue, insomnia, and poor sleep patterns
- heart palpitations
- cold extremities
- loss of appetite
- persistent weight gain
- belly fat and loss of muscle mass
- digestion problems
- glucose intolerance
- low libido
- sweating (night sweats and hot flashes)
- irregular or heavy bleeding in women
- recurrent infections
Sadly, women are led to believe that it’s normal to experience PMS, menopause symptoms, depression, decreased libido, fibrocystic breasts, food and sugar cravings, uterine fibroids, irregular or excessive uterine bleeding and endometriosis. And unbelievably, if their symptoms persist, they’re often prescribed hormonal replacement therapy with synthetic hormones or given a hysterectomy – which now out-numbers almost all types of surgery performed in the U.S.
“I give my patients a choice; either natural hormones which are made to be biodentical to human estrogen and progesterone or Peruvian maca root. The ones who have chosen to go with Peruvian maca root are doing phenomenally well.” – Dr. Cynthia Watson, M.D., Santa Monica, California.
Treating Hormonal Imbalance with Maca
Travis and I have found that red maca is a simple and effective way to regulate our hormones. Maca doesn’t provide more hormones to your body – instead it regulates hormone production. Whether you’re producing too much or too little, maca is there to make sure the delicate balance is right on target.
Maca stimulates and nourishes the the two ‘master’ endocrine glands, i.e. hypothalamus and pituitary, which regulate the other glands.It is beneficial for PMS, menopause, and hot flashes. It’s also a fertility enhancer and is well known for improving libido as well as:
- muscle building
- healthy teeth and bones
- hair growth
- immune system functions
- psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression and reducing stress
- chronic fatigue
“I am writing to tell you what a difference Maca has made in my life! I am 52 and in menopause. I began having interrupted sleep every night, every time I would roll over, with hot sweats. I was tired all the time! Within a couple weeks of taking your product, I began noticing relief. I am now sleeping peacefully every night without any night sweats.” ~ Gwendolyn P. (read more testimonials)
If you suspect hormonal imbalance is an issue for you, consider the benefits of slowing life down, improving your eating habits, incorporating exercise into your week, and balancing your body with red maca root.