The changing of the seasons inevitably bring about changes to our chemistry. The most powerful of these chemical changes is that of the hormones. The change from winter to spring can be one of the most volatile for hormonal fluctuations and the corresponding emotional changes. More complaints regarding allergies, congestion, skin outbreaks and headaches are registered during spring than any other time of year.
How hormones work (abbreviated)
The word hormone comes from Greek and means to stir up. Hormones stir up activity.
This activity is carried out by body chemistry.
Each hormone is produced by a gland specializing in that particular chemical.
Whether it is a fight or flight mechanism, delivering a child, or blunt trauma, it is hormones that are refereeing our physiologic responses. In the instance of fight or flight, adrenal hormones cause our bronchials to dilate increasing our air supply.
Blood vessels to muscles dilate to ramp up our energy level. Then our nervous system gets stimulated by this burst of energy to modulate pain or give us more physical power.
Hormonal balance out of wack
Other examples of hormones in action are evident in the onset of puberty, libido, hair distribution patterns, sex - whether we are male, female or in-between, and orderly digestion.
Our very perception of our physical world is facilitated by hormones, especially those produced by the anterior pituitary gland. When we feel out of sorts or not quite up to speed or experience mind fog, many of these can be directly attributed to hormonal change including no or diminished hormones production.
Hormones modulate our immune response, our mucous membrane viscosity, our energy levels, and our emotional and psychological outlook.
Hormones are also used as different types of therapy - to keep us younger and juicier.
But there is no better regulator of hormone production than our own, on-board equipment, designed to meet and greet the challenges of life with chemical and, secondarily, behavioral responses.
When we live in climates that go through seasonal changes, these changes affect our physical bodies. Whether it’s getting colder or warmer, wetter or drier, sunnier or less sunny, whether our diet is fresh produce or preserved foods - all play a crucial role in our bodies’ needs to adapt.
One of the major hormones responsible for this adaptation is called thyroxine, which is produced by the thyroid. This hormone is always essential to proper adaptation to changes, whether one is traveling, aging, or experiencing climate changes.
The adrenal glands are another important organ and source of hormone production that support life changes. They produce estradiols and androgens - female and male hormones (as well as liver, breast and other tissues).
The adrenal glands are notorious actors during “the change” in menopausal women. They come to the aid of the ovaries to help ease the transition of menopause when estrogen production diminishes. There is a natural adjustment of estradiols and androgens during menopause that balances out the emotional rollercoaster. In other words, the glands increase or decrease hormonal production allowing the body to adapt to this hormonal change smoothly.
A natural approach to hormonal balance
From a natural perspective, herbs and certain foods can be very effective and normalizing to the system.
Certain foods, which are known to contain can also be eaten when one is deficient in certain nutrients.
Jerusalem Artichoke and Sunchokes contain phytohormones, that have long been used as a natural food for hormonal support. Jerusalem Artichokes contain a compound called jerasol, which the body can easily convert into hormones for its own use. There are also foods containing hormone mimickers that the body can efficiently turn into its own hormonal agents.
With this approach, one can normalize hot sweats, dry skin, low energy and emotional calm - and not have to repeatedly treat the associated symptoms.