The 5 Glands that Affect Women the Most

What the heck is a gland?

This is a question I hear often from my patients. Glands aren’t something that typically come up in the “normal” doctor’s appointment, or yearly physical—but trust me, they should.

Glands are organs in your body that do everything from regulating and secreting saliva, tears, and breast milk) to creating and releasing hormones and/or antibodies that can fight illness, lower stress, increase weight loss success, help you get a good night’s sleep, and more.

If these glands are out of balance they can over or under produce chemicals that can change weight, overeating, chronic stress, insomnia, infertility, digestive issues, and more.

Here are the 5 key glands that affect a woman’s health the most:

1. Adrenal glands: Your adrenals are glands that balance stress, fatigue, anxiety, fertility, and weight. You have two adrenal glands, one on top of each kidney. The hormones produced by your adrenals are your stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline. We want your adrenals humming along, producing the ideal amounts of these hormones. Unfortunately, the adrenals are the glands I often see out of balance among many of my women patients, but most often in two “types” of women I see—I like to call them Gypsy Girls and Nightingales based on my book the Super Woman RX {Find Your Power Type here}.

In the right amounts, cortisol and adrenaline, are good for you, but too much or too little of these hormones can cause a host of medical problems including anxiety, weight issues, infertility, and even poor focus and concentration. Too much cortisol has also been linked to abdominal gain.

2. Pineal gland: This gland responds to light and is involved with helping you sleep soundly. Your pineal gland produces and secretes melatonin (the hormone that makes you sleepy) when the sun goes down, but to do this effectively you have to have the right sort of environment. Even a small flicker of light—from your computer, tablet, or smartphone—can disrupt melatonin. For example, when it comes to Power Typing—Gypsy Girls, and Boss Ladies tend to have a lot of trouble sleeping. Gypsy Girls tend to stay up too late because they love the night for doing creative work. Boss Ladies just don’t sleep! They really don’t. This is a commanding type of woman, who tends to oversee a lot at work and at home and has trouble shutting off. When I hear this story, I know that there’s a good chance that I will find a melatonin-disrupted issue.

In Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, this gland is thought to be connected to the “third eye,” or the center of intuition and wisdom. If you are having trouble sleeping or trouble with feeling overly sleepy all day, there’s a good change that your pineal gland is out of balance. To get your sleep back in balance, consider committing to a consistent bed-, and wake-time.

3. Thyroid Found at the base of your neck, this butterfly shaped gland is critical for women because it produces hormones that regulate how your body burns calories, overall weight, energy, hair, mood, and more. It’s estimated that around 20 million Americans have some form of a thyroid disease, with up to 60 percent of those unaware that they even have the condition in the first place. And of that 60 percent, around two-thirds suffer from hypothyroidism specifically, or an underactive thyroid. Unfortunately, we women are five to eight times more likely than our male counterparts to develop this kind of condition, along with the elderly, likely because these we are more susceptible to autoimmune diseases and inflammation, the root of many thyroid conditions. This should alarm all of us!

I see a lot of women who have issues with over or under active thyroids, but most often in Boss Ladies and Savvy Chicks (yep, another “type” that is a blend of Gypsy Girl and Boss Lady). Both of these “types” typically experience a lot of stress, and this chronic strain can trigger inflammation in the gut, which disrupts many hormones, but the thyroid most of all.

Out of balance, your thyroid can cause you to become sluggish and our metabolism takes a nose-dive. Other symptoms of an off kilter thyroid include hair loss, heart arrhythmias, and trouble going to the bathroom. Fortunately, there are many natural dietary, supplemental, and lifestyle strategies you can use to get your thyroid working properly including avoiding processed foods, increasing B vitamins, and taking a good probiotic.

4. Ovaries These glands help produce and regulate estrogen and progesterone. These are the essential female hormones that regulate and maintain healthy fertility (when in balance). If out of balance, your ovaries can be the culprit behind infertility, issues with weight, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), cystic acne, and hair loss.

I see these imbalances often, and most often in my Gypsy Girl patients, but the 3-week plan in my latest book offers real hope and makes significant changes to bring your body, and your ovaries, back into balance. There are many dietary strategies that can help you get your ovaries, and you back into balance.

5. Pancreas Your pancreas is nestled between your stomach and spine, and partially behind your stomach. It’s about six inches long and shaped like a tadpole. In conventional medicine, the pancreas is often overlooked as a digestive organ, but in other healing traditions it is an essential digestive-system player.

The pancreas produces insulin and the digestive enzymes that break down food, especially lipase, which keeps fat balanced in our bodies. The enzymes the pancreas help to metabolize food and maintain a finely tuned gut. If the pancreas takes a hit, your blood sugar levels with be out of balance and can cause you not to digest or absorb your food properly. Chronic problems with insulin such as excess weight, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor diet can exhaust the pancreas and lead to insulin resistance, which can lead to pre-diabetes, or type 2 diabetes. My loving, nurturing patients who make up yet another “type,” the Earth Mamas, along with the Nightingales I mentioned above, are especially susceptible to having a pancreas that is overworked, and insulin that is out of balance.

Luckily, I understand an Earth Mama’s and a Nightingale’s personality, body type, dietary needs, and exercise habits—and have designed an individual 3-week plan for each, as I have for all the “types” I’ve mentioned! You’ll find the complete plan in my newest book Super Woman Rx, which is available wherever books are sold.

Don’t Know Your Power Type?
Take the Power Type Quiz HERE!

By | 2017-09-19T20:52:25+00:00 September 19th, 2017|Prevention|