A guide to better understanding your hormones (and controlling them)

Kinderling News & Features

Some days it seems like I can’t watch the news, scroll through Facebook or listen to the radio without tears streaming down my cheeks and generally being a bit of an emotional basket case. I’m also sure my partner has a few quiet thoughts on the random rushes of fury he receives from me at times. Thankfully, I can blame my hormones, or at least partly. 

This episode of Bodyshock is all about hormones and the tremendous amount of responsibility they have in the body during pregnancy and the first year after having a little one. Not to forget their ongoing contribution to the way we feel and how we behave. Endocrinologist Dr Chelsea McMahon takes us on a biology lesson of sorts, clarifying exactly which hormones are responsible for what, and how this can affect us.

Listen to Bodyshock:

“If they’re not functioning properly then they can cause a lot of trouble,” explains Dr McMahon. "There are so many of them as well and the way they interact is complex.”  

While these invisible little fairies in the body (yes, that’s the non-medical term Alice and I came up with) often feel like they’re the boss of you, there are ways to mitigate how much they affect your mood. 

When you’re in a state that is sensitive to hormonal changes, Dr McMahon recommends: “Not pushing yourself too far or taking on too much. Eat well. Making sure you get enough sleep is very important as well. Doing some type of physical activity can help with the energy levels.”  

Dr McMahon also stresses that while it’s a time of huge hormonal changes and no one really escapes that, if you have an irregular menstrual cycle or if the way you’re responding to things doesn’t seem normal, don’t be afraid of seeing a specialist to check for a pathological hormone imbalance.  

This episode also covers: 

  • An explanation of the multiple hormones including BHCG, Estrogen, Progesterone and Prolactin
  • Breastfeeding hormones and what happens when you wean
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Hashimoto’s disease