Your Hormones - Who Knew?
Fairlady|May 2018

A user’s guide to the Big Five, and a 5-point action plan.

Suzy Brokensha

The Hormonal Big Five as far as women are concerned are oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone, thyroid hormones and cortisol. But it isn’t just about sex and moods: we have close to 100 hormones that control everything we do, from how well our brains work to our weight, metabolism, sleep and energy levels. Bottom line? They’re the boss of us. Respect them.

Peak Week, most women would agree, is the second week of your cycle and it lasts between five to seven days (100% Peak You is usually around Day 10). You’re just styling in that week: your primary sex hormones (oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone) are as balanced as they ever will be, and all seems right with the world. This is probably a good time to make all the important decisions, like whether to have that third child, blow your bonus on Bitcoin or give up pizza forever, but it’s also definitely the best time to get your hormone levels measured. And this you must do – preferably before you turn 35. Why? So that your future hormone levels can be measured against that base line and adjusted accordingly, when the time comes for you… Peak Week forever? Sign us up.

The thing about Peak Week is that it lasts… a week. And then it’s all downhill from there: hormone levels are generally low in the first week of your menstrual cycle and high in the last two.

In Week Three, you feel just a tad less balanced and sharp in all respects – other than your tongue, perhaps: oestrogen is high, and if your progesterone is not high enough, you may find yourself feeling a bit on edge.

In Week Four (the week before your period), you just feel heavy – of mood, body and spirit. If you’re lucky, and your high progesterone lasts, you may not really suffer from PMS, but as you get older, you may. That’s when you need to remember that it wasn’t always like this – and doesn’t need to be now.

In Week One, your period arrives, your body starts shedding and almost instantly you feel a sense of lightness and relief, which just gets better and better as your body starts gearing up for Peak Week again.

And so it continues…

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