Estrogen can enhance our brain activities by making more connections among the neurons, while progesterone makes us calm and happy. Every month women’s estrogen level could fluctuate from 10 to 100. Our brains have different receptors to estrogen and progesterone. The hormones changes will influence our emotion in amygdala area, memory and learning in hippocampus area and sexual activity in hypothalamus area. Each woman has a different set of estrogen and progesterone receptor in different brain areas due to her genetic makeup. Furthermore, the gene expression can be modified by our lifestyle, diet, and medications we are taking. During the middle of the menstrual cycle, estrogen goes to the highest level, the brain area which is sensitive to estrogen changes, can be very active. Especially for women during menopause or perimenopause time, the relaxing part of the hormones, progesterone declines much more than estrogen, the imbalanced estrogen can make women very anxious and depressed. The estrogen dominance condition can lead to the breast tissue and uterus to grow abnormally. Thus women during menopause have more chances to develop uterus, breast and ovarian cancer.
Too much estrogen makes us worry about everything. Low estrogen can lead to confusion, slow responses, poor memory, and depression. During menopause, the estrogen dominance condition can change our sleep cycle. The estrogen dominance will change the sensitivity of the neurons in the sleep center, our sleep is less deep and we tend to wake up earlier. If you do not do sufficient exercise, your stress hormone will be higher, then you cannot fall back to sleep. Chronic stress and lack of sleep can further weaken our immune function; we tend to develop different kinds of cancers and autoimmune disease.
Women may need to use acupuncture, meditation and Qi Gong to balance their nervous systems and hormones. If the nervous system is out of balance, women can develop AF and premature ventricular contraction. Because the nervous system tends to be out of balance during menopause, women should avoid too much coffee and other stimulants. Progesterone shares the same precursor with estrogen. Women also need to avoid too much stress, so their progesterone level will not drop too low.
Acupuncture can improve the functions of ovaries and adrenal glands by bringing more energy to ovaries and adrenal glands. Electrical acupuncture can increase circulating estrogen concentration and can be used to treat menopausal syndrome and improve memory. During menopause, if women can have acupuncture once a week or every other week, the ovarian function will not decline too fast, their body can have time to balance the hormones slowly. At the same time, women can use Chinese herbs to serve as phytoestrogen and phytol progesterone. After menopause, the adrenal gland can still produce a small amount of estrogen and progesterone. When we use acupuncture to reduce the stress, the adrenal gland can produce more estrogen and progesterone. Women will have less hot flushes, anxiety, depression and insomnia during the chemotherapy if they use acupuncture to balance their hormones.