I’ve been a hormonal mess since I was 21 years old and never realized that hormones were causing so many unwanted symptoms in my body until I was diagnosed by a functional medicine doctor with PCOS. I had started gaining weight, while eating the healthy foods I had always eaten. I was having insomnia and headaches and irregular periods. Getting diagnosed with PCOS has made me realize how important it is to support your hormones every day because they drive so many of your body’s daily abilities that we often don’t realize until we start to feel awful side effects. I honestly thought PMS was the only side effect from imbalanced hormones, but once I started to heal my headaches and insomnia and exhaustion, I realized that hormones were contributing and causing many of these symptoms I was experiencing every day.
Estrogen is a type of hormone that promotes female development and characteristics in the body. It is produced mostly in the ovaries as well as in fat cells, and helps regulate the menstrual cycle and reproductive system. It also helps promote healthy bones and is involved in blood clotting to help prevent excessive bleeding.
After my recent post on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), I felt it was important to spotlight Fibromyalgia (FM), a debilitating symptom of CFS and a free-standing diagnosis all its own. For many people, FM and CFS are the same illness. For others, FM exists without all of the other symptoms of CFS.
“I’ll have the egg white omelet, please.”
Since the 1950’s, we’ve been told that eating fat makes you fat and that avoiding traditional fats (i.e. butter, animal meats, lard, eggs) in lieu of industrialized, man-made fat substitutes is highly recommended. Why did we agree to disavow several millennia of instinctive eating in favor of a high carb and sugar diet, deficient in this staple? It started with a misinterpretation of a manipulated study.
Filmmaker Penelope Jagessar Chaffer was curious about the chemicals she was exposed to while pregnant: Could they affect her unborn child? So she asked scientist Tyrone Hayes to brief her on one he studied closely: atrazine, a herbicide used on corn. (Hayes, an expert on amphibians, is a critic of atrazine, which displays a disturbing effect on frog development.) Onstage together at TEDWomen, Hayes and Chaffer tell their story.