May 7


Ever wondered if your hormones are out of balance?

In my clinic, I see women on a daily basis who are dealing with different types of Hormone imbalance. Here are some of the most common symptoms that my clients are experiencing when they come to see me:-

  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Premenstrual symptoms (mood swings, skin breakouts, rosacea, headaches, pain)
  • Hot flushes
  • Tiredness, chronic fatigue
  • Sleep problems
  • Heavy and/or painful periods
  • Digestive issues
  • Hair loss
  • Bloating/fluid retention

Let’s look at some of the most common types of Hormone Imbalance. There’ll be some overlaps here, and you may recognise that you have symptoms in more than one category, which is very common…

Oestrogen Dominance:

Many women (and some men) have “Oestrogen Dominance” or “Unopposed Oestrogen”where one or more types of Oestrogen in the body (there are 3 types) are higher than they should be. When can this happen? Any time in our lives.

I see Oestrogen dominance in teenagers, women in their 20’s and 30’s, women in their 40’s, and in Menopausal and Postmenopausal women too. It’s a very common issue in our current society. Think symptoms like:

  • Bloating, fluid retention
  • Weight gain, sore breasts
  • PMS, mood swings
  • Acne or rosacea
  • Heavy or painful periods or short cycles
  • Larger breasts, bottom or thighs (can be out of proportion to the rest of you)

It’s also important to remember that out bodies produce 3 different kinds of oestrogen….Estradiol, Estrone and Estriol. They all need to be in balance for us to have healthy levels of oestrogen and to feel good. Even in Menopause or Post-Menopause, when Estradiol levels can be low, Estrone levels can still be too high, causing many of the symptoms mentioned above. So, the upshot is that it still needs to be balanced.

Progesterone deficiency:

Low Progesterone levels are becoming increasingly common. Again, I see this in women of all ages. There are several parts to this issue.

Part 1 – Stress….general and ongoing stress causes our Cortisol (stress hormone) to be higher than it should be. When Cortisol is consistently high, which I see in many of my clients once we test their levels, then it actually “steals” and reduces your Progesterone.

Part 2 – High Oestrogen and high Testosterone (especially in young women with PCOS or polycystic ovaries), will cause the ovaries to “misfire” and often fail to ovulate effectively each month. This, in turn, will lower Progesterone levels and cause a “relative Oestrogen dominance”. In Progesterone deficiency, think symptoms like:-

  • PMS, swollen or painful breasts
  • Irregular periods, heavy periods or cycles getting shorter
  • Really light (almost nothing) periods
  • Poor sleep
  • Itchy or restless legs
  • Infertility or history of miscarriage
  • Cysts – breasts and or ovaries
  • Clumsiness and Depression

High Testosterone:

Testosterone is from the Androgen family and, as we know, the dominant hormone in males. Women do have Testosterone, and many of us have too much of it. We need a certain amount of Testosterone for our emotional wellbeing, assertiveness and libido, and so that we can build and maintain muscle tone. Testosterone is made (in women) in the ovaries and adrenals and is also converted from 2 other hormones (DHEA and Androstenedione) in the skin and fat tissues.  High Testosterone levels among fertile women is very common. And the jury is still only “half way back” on the reasons for this. At this stage, the main causes of High Testosterone in women are genetics, chronic stress and excess body fat. When there is high Testosterone, think symptoms like:-

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Excess hair on face, chest or arms
  • Acne
  • Thinning hair
  • Irritability/ aggression
  • Ovarian cysts/midcycle pain

High Cortisol:

Cortisol is different to the above “sex hormones” as it is produced only in the Adrenal Glands, but it’s a big part of the picture when it comes to hormone imbalance. Chronic stress over time will cause the Adrenal glands to be constantly pumping out Cortisol in order to help us deal with this stress. So our bodies become flooded with it on a very regular basis. The problem with Cortisol is that it’s an “alpha” hormone, so it becomes a dominant hormone and can dampen down or override other hormones in our body.  When treating hormone imbalance we cannot leave Cortisol out of the picture. If we don’t regulate Cortisol levels, we will remain stuck on the “Hormone merry-go-round”.  Symptoms of high Cortisol:-

  • Feeling “wired but tired”
  • Interrupted sleep
  • Feeling rushed, frustrated and overwhelmed
  • Constant worry/nervousness
  • Quick to anger/rage
  • Weight gain – especially around the middle
  • Craving something sweet after meals
  • Afternoon energy crash

We have by no means covered ALL hormone imbalance here, but we’ve covered some of the most common.

What next if you think you have a hormone imbalance?

A baseline Salivary Hormone test is THE most accurate way of determining your actual hormones levels. The cost of this test is approximately $140 (this will vary depending on which lab you go through). I give my clients a request form, they get a kit from the lab, do the test and about 7 days later we have the results. Easy!

I also use Kinesiology (muscle testing) and a detailed questionnaire, which gives us a really good indication of what’s happening in your body.

How do we fix a Hormone Imbalance?

The simple answer is that it depends on each person, the severity of their symptoms, the levels of their hormones, as well as which hormones are “out of whack”.

In my clinic, we use a holistic approach:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Nutritional and Herbal support
  • Emotional clearing
  • Coaching
  • Referral to a GP who prescribes Bio-Identical hormones (if necessary)

For more info click HERE

OR, you can email me on leanne@abetteryounaturally.com.au with your best contact number if you would like to have a 15-minute (no strings attached) phone chat with me so that we can establish what’s happening for you and what the best way forward would be.

Leanne xx

Leanne Stockwell

About the author

Leanne Stockwell is a Naturopath and a Life Coach and has been in practice since 1999. She has a passion for helping her clients heal themselves physically and mentally. She is a speaker and runs women's wellness workshops in Brisbane and online.

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