Hormonal imbalances can cause of a host of serious health problems, including inflammation, metabolic syndrome, adrenal fatigue, sexual dysfunction, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, hypertension, dementia and more. While many things can cause an imbalance in our hormones, the good news is we can often fix these imbalances without medications. It is not a result of bad luck; it’s due to bad habits that many of us fall in to as we rush through our busy days. We know the schedules we keep don’t allow for much time to take care of ourselves. But, without a conscious decision to make some changes to what we eat and drink, how much movement and activity we get daily, and to ensure we have adequate time to rest and sleep, we will continue to be frustrated by our lack of energy and increasing struggle to keep up with the pace of our lives, while staying positive and productive.
The path to real healing starts when you decide you need to know “Why?” Why do you feel lousy or out of balance? What is causing the symptoms?
When you figure out what creates the imbalances – and treat the underlying problem – you find a true solution.
Most of us are living life completely out of balance. Unfortunately, after a time, we come to accept the symptoms of imbalance as “normal”.
Because various hormones allow communication from one organ or region of the body to another, they enable appropriate response to stress and keep the body in a homeostatic balance. For instance, a hormone in the brain (ACTH) triggers cortisol production in the adrenal gland in response to stress. The cortisol then feeds back to the brain to slow down the production when there is enough or the stress has subsided. It sounds simple when we focus on one hormone, however our bodies produce many hormones and each hormone interacts with the others, creating shifts that can be challenging to balance.
When talking about hormones, think of a symphony with many players, all working together to create a cohesive sound. When things are in tune, the result is beautiful harmony. But, if any one part is out of synch, the result is disjointed and the result sounds chaotic. Hormones work in a similar fashion, and can be influenced by physiological stress, disrupting the entire network.
Hormones may be categorized into three groups for better understanding.
- Adrenal Hormones: Provide a critical foundation for developing and maintaining overall health and well-being. Sustained elevations of cortisol from chronic stress may lead to hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, central obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, memory impairment, altered thyroid function and alterations in sex hormones. Proper functioning of the adrenals is also foundational for normal thyroid and sex hormone production.
- Thyroid Hormones: TSH which is produced in the hypothalamus stimulates the production of T4 which then needs to convert to T3, the active thyroid hormone. This conversion is dependent upon key nutrients, when deficient lead to low thyroid symptoms. The immune system can interfere with normal thyroid function by producing autoantibodies producing the most common form of hypothyroidism “Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis”. Thyroid dysfunction may occur due to stress and inhibition of TSH from cortisol (adrenal influence).
- Sex Hormones: Imbalances in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are common around menopause, “perimenopause” and andropause, and can cause a host of symptoms. This imbalance also causes increased risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, dyslipidemia, immune dysfunction and hormone dependent cancers. Evaluation of the hormones provides insight into the production and elimination of sex hormones, providing an opportunity to support the biologic process and reduce risks.
By testing properly, we identify the root causes and restore function to the whole system with improved overall outcomes and safety. Our approach detects upstream issues and applies dietary modifications, nutritional supplements, and other lifestyle changes before considering HRT, and the need for HRT can often be minimized or avoided.