You are not losing your mind

but you are losing your hormones…

Most of us, men and women, have little to no clue what our hormones actually do to us, and how much we are impacted by them. Having a basic understanding of what your hormones does, and how it impacts you can make all the difference. Especially when we talk about our stress hormones versus our sex hormones. 

I think it’s important to understand that menopause IS NOT a switch that is turned on one day when you reach a certain age! It is not like you one day have your period, and the next you don’t. 

For many women menopause can be a 10-15 year journey starting in our early 40s (!) in which the ovaries shut down and other organs pick up the ‘hormonal slack’. This would be all nice and well if it weren’t for the fact, that these other organs may already be overworked and not up for the job…

The female body design is geared for growing and birthing a baby. From puberty, your body and mind have been under the neurochemical influence of hormones that have a powerful effect on how you feel. 

Chances are you would be shocked at how many neurochemicals work together each month to make you feel joy, help you sleep, calm you, beautify you, keep your hair full and your skin wrinkle free, lubricate your mucous membranes, ramp up your sex drive, allow you to multitask, motivate you to work out and more. 

For us women from our early 40s our sex hormones are beginning to decline, however, they do not decline in a slow, consistent way. Some days they are higher than normal, while other days they are nonexistent. This is why it’s often referred to as a hormonal roller coaster, and equally fitting, an emotional roller coaster. 

It is this up and down that can make us feel like we are losing our minds, and going crazy, and why our family, friends and colleagues might not really recognize us, heck we might not even fully recognize ourselves. 

Menopause could quite possibly be the wildest hormonal time of your life. 


Your hormones are not controlled by just one organ, it is actually a team of organs. 

One such team, named the HPA axis team, consists of your hypothalamus, pituitary gland and your adrenal glands. This is your adrenal team, your stress-hormone team. It produces cortisol (our stress hormone #1) which gives you energy and mental clarity during times of stress. 

Another important team, which is about to resign (if you like me, are a woman in your 40s) is the HPO axis team, consisting of your hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and your ovaries. It’s the team responsible for the female sex hormones, producing estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. 

This team has done it’s job for thirty-some years, and is simply not interested in working anymore. However, your body still needs some sex hormones, so the HPO axis team hands over its duty to, drumroll please, indeed, the HPA axis team. And it is in this handoff that the madness of the roller coaster begins


For many of us, our HPA axis team, our stress-team, has already been working overtime, for years, due to all the physical, emotional, and chemical stress we’ve been under. 

This decline in our sex hormones might very well leave us feeling anxious, depressed, unable to sleep, lacking sex drive, losing muscle, gaining weight and feeling like we’re going crazy. 

Why oh why am I telling you all this you might wonder?! 

From all that I am reading and learning about this transition two things are perfectly clear. 

Number one, handle your stress! Learn to switch your ‘stress-response’ off regularly. If your stress-team literally is busy ALL THE TIME producing stress hormones because you continue to push and press your body & mind doing all the things you are doing, all the time, this team will HAVE NO TIME (or capacity left) to produce your much needed sex hormones. 

Second point, besides working on ways to manage your stress response and learn to switch of and pause, there ARE SO MANY things you can do to feel better during this hormonal roller coaster which is bound to last for years. 

I want to encourage you to see the years leading up to your menopause, starting in your early 40s, to be an opportunity to care for yourself. It is an incredible time to reset your health. We should all want to take insane care of our health to be our best in our later years. 


Fixing your hormones during these years can feel like a daunting task. Taking a pill to resolve your problems can appear attractive (and might be want some of us will need, at least for a while to literally stay sane and still functioning). However, the earlier you begin to tweak certain parts of your lifestyle and begin to listen to your body, you will not only help your symptoms today, but your tomorrow self will thank you as well.