As women, we are all ‘hormonal’: It’s time to reclaim the narrative

Every woman knows the dismissive label all too well: “hormonal.” But what if I told you that being “hormonal” isn’t a weakness—but a superpower? As the founder and CEO of Eli Health, I’m on a mission to improve lifelong health through daily hormone data. From bone density to mood regulation, our hormones orchestrate every aspect of our health. And yes, contrary to popular belief, hormones impact men just as much. It’s time to reclaim the narrative.

Hormones: the body’s operating system

Hormones are part of the operating system that drives our body, and each hormone crucially contributes to our well-being. Yet the mainstream conversation often overlooks their influence beyond reproduction. At Eli Health, we’re shifting that focus. Through real-time saliva analysis at home, we’re decoding the messages that  hormones send continuously , offering unprecedented insights into your health.

Our hormones influence you all day, every day, although we may feel it more intensely at certain times of life, like during the luteal phase (the second part of your menstrual cycle), postpartum, or during perimenopause. Progesterone, for example, isn’t just for pregnancy; it’s a key player in mood regulation. From sleep to cardiovascular health, our hormones are the conductors of our body’s orchestra, guiding everything from our energy levels to our emotional well-being.

The exciting part? We hold the power to influence them right back through our daily lifestyle choices. Whether it’s managing stress levels, nourishing our bodies with nutrient-dense foods, or staying active, each decision we make can tip the scales in favor of hormonal regulation. The evidence is compelling—stress can spike cortisol levels and impact fertility, while diet choices can impact reproductive, thyroid and metabolic hormones. By measuring the impact of our decisions with data, we can make informed choices andpave the way for optimal health and well-being.

Men have hormonal cycles too

Men have hormonal cycles, too, daily and across their lifespan—in fact, their testosterone goes down about 1% every year after the age of 30! The slow decline of testosterone—sometimes called “andropause”—is analogous to menopause.

The sad reality is that for men, the impact of hormones is so rarely talked about, and this tilt to the conversation is almost considered taboo. 

In understanding that hormones impact us all, we would also allow a new discourse to replace the harmful stereotypes that disempower both men and women. 

Menopause: Elevating the conversation 

Recent strides have empowered women to openly discuss their menopausal experiences and access necessary care more readily. While this progress is commendable, there remains a dearth of understanding regarding the nuanced facets of menopause. One pivotal aspect often overlooked is the transition phase, perimenopause, which is frequently misunderstood even within the medical community. Contrary to popular belief, menopause isn’t reserved for our 50s—the transition can begin as early as our 30s. Many women grapple silently with symptoms like unexplained weight gain and vaginal dryness, oblivious to the fact that they’re traversing perimenopause.

By comprehending the hormonal shifts occurring within our bodies, we can navigate this phase with greater resilience and more solutions. As we reassess outdated notions about aging, and with advancements in science extending our lifespan, we lay the groundwork for a future where perimenopause and menopause are not just normalized but deeply understood as integral chapters in our lives.

Closing the hormone data gap

There also remains a significant void in our understanding of women’s health and hormonal health for everyone. Relying solely on single data points and infrequent testing perpetuates unmet needs by providing an incomplete snapshot of our health. Our hormones fluctuate constantly but the current testing methods do not match this frequency. We used to measure our heart rate at the doctor’s office and now we have it on our wrist at all times. It’s time for a similar shift for hormone data: Continuous monitoring and analysis are essential to fully grasp the complexities of our bodies. From understanding your symptoms to getting to a correct diagnosis to better management of your hormones through lifestyle changes, daily saliva samples are one tool that is poised to provide better insights much earlier than current alternatives. 

Empowering choices for health

We are all “hormonal”. Regardless of age and gender, once we understand what this fundamentally means and even get the possibility to quantify it, we turn this outdated label into a powerful way to unlock a future of proactive healthcare fueled by personalized data. By leveraging the wealth of information our bodies provide, we empower ourselves to make informed decisions about our health. What we eat, how we move, when we sleep, and our stress levels—these and multiple other factors influence our hormonal health, offering pathways to optimize our daily well-being.

It is in learning those minute patterns and understanding the levers that directly impact them that we have a real opportunity to redirect the path of our lifelong health.

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