Sometimes, when we endeavor to understand and describe complicated medical topics, there is a temptation to find a simple explanation to cut through the complexity. These explanations can help bridge the knowledge gap for a while, but as our knowledge grows, they lose some of their original usefulness (e.g., the notion of “good” and “bad” cholesterol).
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The nervous system and its communication with peripheral organs is under the continuous dynamic influence of hormones, neuroactive steroids, and neurotransmitters. This is why the underlying pathology of mood disorders can often be varied and complex.
The hormonal piece is critical to our understanding of the imbalances when it comes to the complete neurotransmitter assessment. Hormones regulate key processes pertaining to neurotransmitter biosynthesis, signaling, and degradation. It is important to recognize that disturbances in the relationships between hormones and neurotransmitters can shape normal physiology toward a maladaptive state leading to suboptimal psychological wellbeing.
Stress has become a synonymous, integral even, accompaniment of life in our fast-paced world. Generally regarded as "distress," our bodies struggle to re-establish physiological integrity at certain times, such as after working long hours, or when we have insufficient exercise, sleep and nutrition. Driven by persistent exposure to stressors, the body begins to lose its dynamic resilience and fails to return the system to a normal baseline healthy state. Derailed and overwhelmed, our susceptibility to stress-related diseases is greatly increased .
Historically a taboo subject, menstruation has long been stigmatized as unclean and negative; provoking multiple complex cultural values.
Since starting to talk publically about periods, we know so much more about the biochemical basics and physical aspects of menstruation. We are now also beginning to better understand the underlying interplay of sex-hormones with neurotransmitters that create the harmony of a normal menstrual cycle, or the symptom havoc seen with PMS, or its more severe form PMDD.