The Hormone Orchestra

10 January 2017 by Terri Cheyne

The Hormone Orchestra

There's quite alot to blood sugar regulation. It's a very complex and delicate system, involving the pancreas, liver, adrenal glands, and of course, the brain.

Most of us these days have some level of blood sugar dysregulation going on. Unbeknown to us.......


It's changing all the time, constantly adapting to our internal and external environment, trying to stay within range, and enable us to function.

So why is it so important to our hormones?

Here's a scenario to put it into perspective....

We live predominantly in 'fight and flight' lifestyles these days, a term that's becoming more and more familiar.

We often eat on the run (even in the car!) and tend to pick sub-optimal options, ie. toast/cereal and coffee for brekky.

Or we skip our brekky altogether.......... because who's got time for dat?

So maybe you go without and just have a coffee??

Then perhaps you find you can't get a break at work till 2pm? So you grab a muffin and another coffee/tea to keep you ticking along till dinner time?

By then, take away for dinner is all you can probably handle, because organizing a decent dinner just seems to damn hard!!

Tired and wired an' all grumpy and stuff - sound familiar??

Our autonomic nervous system takes all these erratic blood sugar patterns initiated by fasting, unsubstantial meals, and caffeine hits, as though... "yo man, why you play'n me like that??? I'M STRESSED OUT HERE!"

When it's stressed, it calls in the body's emergency squad - cortisol and adrenaline (stress hormones) to the rescue! These hormones are released from the adrenal glands for a quick energy surge, which increases blood glucose levels.

Not long after ortisol or adrenaline has been released, blood sugar plummets back down to dangerously low levels again. The pancreas tries to bring blood glucose back into normal range, however this is usually not enough. The body then considers this as another emergency.

If this is not rectified with good sustenance, ie. a nutritious sustaining food source, yet again the adrenal glands kick back in to try and achieve homeostasis. Peaks and troughs, yo-yos, ups and downs etc. Are you picking up what I'm putting down? It's a vicious cycle, and quite frankly exhausting! The adrenals are these little guys that are only walnut sized, with a lot of responsibility. So not a massive resource to be pulling on continually.

Environmental - (horrible boss, radiation, allergies), internal - (food sensitivity's, digestive dysfunction), physical - (injury, infection), mental and emotional (Donald Trump winning the election!)

In this case, we are talking about dietary blood sugar dysregulation as a source of stress.

Slowly but surely, these stressful events wear these 3 organs —the pancreas, liver, adrenal glands —down, as well as the flow on effect to other body systems. Thyroid, digestion etc. - 'everything is connected'.

However, lets stay on track for the purpose of this article.



Not only the blood sugar component of that particular organ weakens, but the other important functions of that organ become weakened.

For example: the liver, which has over 500 functions, one of which is the conjugation and metabolism of sex hormones. Blood sugar regulation will take priority over most of these other functions, because the body is in survival mode. The last thing the body wants to do is conceive, have regular menstrual cycles or be in the mood for sexy time! The body is far too busy prioritising survival when it is constantly in and out of fight and flight mode. This leaves the liver really p$#t off, over-burdened, and backed up with jobs it has to do, like YESTERDAY!

IT and YOU become TOXIC.

The body recycles these (now toxic) hormones back into the circulation instead of excreting them, which can then create issues associated with estrogen dominance. Breast tenderness, water retention, low libido, PCOS, PMS, infertility etc.

And that's only an example. Remember all the other 500 jobs it has to do!


During the transition into menopause, the adrenal glands take over the main production of sex hormones from the ovaries. Like taking the baton at a relay. Adrenal function MUST be supported at this time. 'Or what!... you might say?'.....Well if the adrenal glands are pooped from working overtime, sorting out this damn blood sugar dysregulation, or any other stressful issue, they won't be pumping out any of those body beautiful sex hormones, will they!? Hot flushes, night sweats and irritability anybody? These are signs of dysfunction and not a normal part of menopause.

So, beginning with balancing your blood sugar handling is vital. In doing so, this will also take the stress off these organs, so they can carry out their other functions optimally. Detoxification is great, and can I hear libido anyone?? Yes, that's right people!  You pass that hoop, and you are back on track to getting those things, and many more kicking back into gear!

Always keep in mind that any attempt to normalise hormonal imbalances is pointless until blood sugar issues are addressed. Something to ponder before you jump on the HRT or the pill bandwagon... That is, I guess, unless you've been left with no other option.

The coordinated movement, synthesis, and dispersal of hormones is like an orchestra...all the instruments need to play together to achieve harmony.


"We look at the world through the glasses of our hormones."

- If you have too little serotonin, the world looks depressing.
- If you have too much testosterone, the world looks aggressive...
- Too little and the world looks meek.
- Too much cortisol makes the world look stressful.

The list goes on...

The balance of these precious chemicals in our bodies can be the difference between a happy content outlook on life, or a pretty bleak, apathetic, worrisome or maybe even depressive state. I'll take the former thanks!!

Just by making small changes can lead to miraculous things taking place.

Our bodies are far more intelligent than we give them credit for. If we treat ourselves with the respect we deserve, our body will serve us well.

Always, always, always seek for the root cause. Symptoms are just a warning sign of underlying dysfunction.

Love and light x

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Terri Cheyne

Terri is an FNTP, Registered Nurse and Reiki practitioner. She takes a multi-dimensional approach to working with clients and can be found at