YOU may be a crime victim and not even know. Shock, horror. Your hormones could be stolen by stress, right under your nose. Well, not literally under your nose but you catch my drift.
It’s called the “pregnenolone steal” to give it’s Sunday name.
Are you a victim of pregnenolone steal? If you suffer hormone havoc or fatigue you just could be a victim?
Read on lovelies …
What The Heck Is Pregnenolone?
Don’t confuse pregnenolone with progesterone. It’s NOT the same as progesterone.
Pregnenolone is a hormone needed to make other hormones in your body. It’s a “building block” hormone and it’s used to make…
- Thyroid Hormone
How is Pregnenolone Stolen and Why?
So pregnenolone is a building block.
Our adrenals produce more cortisol a.k.a The Stress Hormone when we’re stressed,
Our bodies use pregnenolone to make and pump out cortisol. We use up pregnenelone to make cortisol diverting it from making the other hormones. It’s called pregnenlone steal.
And if we’re in a constant state of stress, we can be consistently in a state of pregnenolone steal.
And let’s not forget stress can be psychological (mental and emotional) and/or physiological (physical) – think poor digestion, lack of sleep, inflammation in the body and more.
Pregnenolone steal risks lower sex hormones – oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone – and thyroid hormone which can lead to signs of tiredness, low sex drive, hormone imbalance, fertility issues and more. You may notice symptoms of low thyroid function and tired adrenals … and even be given a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue or Fibromyalgia in time.
Are You a Victim of Pregnenolone Steal?
Maybe. If you’re tired, lacking energy, have low sex drive and generally feel pants. And that’s just the symptoms you notice. What about what might be going on inside? Low sex hormones, even infertility?
If you visit a conventional doctor with those signs they may run tests for thyroid function (here in the UK it’s not usual to run a full set of tests including T3 hormone), iron levels and other things. They probably won’t run a whole set of hormone tests straight off.
You may even find your tests come back “normal” and still be feeling rubbish. That happened to me. Natural practitioners treated me for tired adrenals instead and I started to feel much better pretty quickly. That’s just my story.
It’s possible to arrange private hormone tests taking saliva samples at home. That shows the pattern of your hormones over time and can show if you’re likely to have adrenal tiredness and be at risk of the steal. Give me a shout if you want to know more.
What Can You Do If You Suspect Pregnenlone Steal and Adrenal Fatigue?
Aside from arranging tests for yourself, super self-care is a good start.
#1 Food and nutrition
Eat for nutrition. That means mostly whole, natural foods like fruits, vegetables, quality and lean proteins, nuts, seeds, and healthy omega-3 fats from oily fish and extra virgin olive oil.
Food is medicine as well as fuel. Food can help heal our bodies at cell level. And cells are the body’s building blocks. We need good food to repair and renew.
#2 Rest and Sleep
Cortisol goes up when we’re sleep deprived. Yikes. And high cortisol can lead to the steal.
Maybe not a big deal if it happens occasionally but if it’s persistent, it can result in nasty health issues like adrenal fatigue, weight gain, hormone imbalances, infertility …
Get 7-8 hours quality sleep a night and make sure you have time for rest and relaxation in your life. Sleep and relaxation are two very different things. We need both.
If you’re at a really low place, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind.
And indeed, over exercisers are putting themselves at risk of tired adrenals if they push themselves too hard without proper self-care in other areas of their lives.
If you feel able, take regular gentle exercise and mix it up a little. Choose a range of activities that include aerobic exercise, strengthen flexibility work and resistance or muscle building training.
Build up gradually over time.
#4 Reduce Stress
Stress – either big trauma or low level stress over time – can contribute to adrenal tiredness and hormone issues.
Ideally, we’d remove the sources of stress, but if it’s your job, you can’t always go and tell your boss to stick it tomorrow.
In that case, we’re in the space of finding coping strategies – meditation, yoga or tai chi, massage, being outdoors, exercise …whatever works for you.
Phew, that’s a quick look at a very complex subject. I really made it as simple as I can. Avoiding the busy, diagrams of hormone paths that fry your brain.
The key message for my tribe is stress messes up sex hormones and that can lead to symptoms of imbalance and fertility issues.