Hot flashes, cramps, and low libido... oh my!
These can all be signs of hormone imbalance, no matter your age. In a perfectly healthy body, the norm for young women is for mentstrual flow to come and go every month with zero symptoms. But as young girls, we’re taught that periods usually come with cramps and irritability, and sometimes tender breasts, low energy, headaches, or blood clots. That’s because the majority of us develop hormone imbalance at some point in our lives. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Did you know that it’s also possible to transition into menopause and completely avoid hot flashes or vaginal dryness – there’s no reason you have to stand in front of an open fridge door to get through a hot flash.
Hormone imbalance can happen for a handful of reasons. Our reproductive hormones – estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and others – are all part of a delicate symphony of signals between one another, and between the brain and reproductive organs. When even one hormone is unbalanced, it can wreck the whole performance.
Take estrogen for example, when it’s too low, we often see hot flashes and the start of weaker bones. When it’s too high, we often see weight challenges, heavy flow, irregular cycles, PCOS, fibroids, or endometriosis. To avoid symptoms, estrogen needs to be in a specific range, and so do our other hormones. If your estrogen level is great, but progesterone is too low? You’ll get symptoms. If both estrogen and progesterone levels are great, but the way your body clears out hormones is faulty – well, you’ll get symptoms from that too.
There are numerous types of hormone imbalance, all a little different, and all with various & different causes.
In some cases, hormone imbalance can be due to our food choices. Our body uses some of the nutrients from the foods we eat to make certain hormones. If we don’t consume enough of the right nutrients, then our body simply can’t produce enough hormones. So eating the right foods for the right nutrients can be key to avoiding low hormone levels.
Another reason that hormones become imbalanced is that our body is choosing to put its energy elsewhere. Our body perceives stress as a danger to us and it chooses to dedicate the most resources to the organs that are critical… our heart, our lungs, our ability to walk and talk. That’s because we’re unlikely to survive without those critical systems. As a consequence, however, other organs and systems that are not critical to our survival in that moment take a back seat on the body’s priority list – including our reproductive system, as well as our digestive and immune systems. Our body does this by limiting blood flow to those areas, so that fewer nutrients are delivered to those systems, reserving them for the critical systems.
A third reason that hormone imbalance can occur is exposure to external hormones in our food & environment. The body’s ability to produce hormones could be just fine, but external hormones can interfere with our natural balance, triggering a disruption to the system or to the body’s ability to detoxify the excess hormone.
In most cases, hormone imbalance is really a symptom of another issue that is stressing our system, rather than a hormone production problem. This is why we dig deeper… it’s important to find out what is stressing the body and attend to the root cause. Comprehensive testing with the right practitioner is the tool that allows you to really dig deep to find out your exact triggers and what to do about it.
The right balance of hormones is important to long-term emotional, mental, and body health.
Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, and cortisol are five very powerful hormones that have a wide ranging effect on reproduction, menopause, blood pressure, weight loss, healthy sexual function, bone loss, and many other essential functions of life.
How we feel and the quality of life we lead are very dependent upon the delicate balance of three essential parts of our bodies: reproductive hormones, the adrenals glands, and the thyroid gland.
Each of these hormones are intertwined, and dependent on the others. When one is out of balance, it has a direct and tangible effect on the others. The net result is that your sense of well-being is diminished and your quality of life negatively affected.
Do I need Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?
The answer to this question is as unique as you are.
Supporting low hormones with hormone therapy is an effective approach for some. We often support this approach because it has potential to bring serious relief to numerous symptoms.
Hormones that can be replaced with HRT:
It’s also important to question why and how hormones got off track to begin with. Sometimes the solution is to nourish your hormone-producing organs directly, sometimes it’s a matter of ‘priming the pump’ with supplemental hormones, and sometimes it’s just a matter of boosting basic vitamins & minerals used in hormone production. Your solution to hormone imbalance depends on your unique situation, and the key to your success is discovering your root causes.
Tune your hormone symphony back into harmony again.
Our goal is to help you first assess your own specific situation to obtain a complete and comprehensive picture of your overall state of health. Based on our findings, we will work with you to develop a holistic strategy specific to your needs.
Please call (734) 222-8210 at any time. We can set up a free Consultation & Evaluation when you’re ready.
The team at Ann Arbor Holistic Health
is here to help you.
Hormone levels affect how our body reacts to stress and how it regulates many body processes, including digestion, the immune system, mood and emotions, sexuality, and energy storage and expenditure.
An overabundance of estrogen can create problems in men and women. Diindolylmethane (DIM), found cruciferous vegetables (think broccoli, etc.), has been shown to improve estrogen metabolism imbalances.
Exposure to petroleum-based synthetic estrogens is rampant in industrialized countries. Supplementation with natural progesterone can balance excessive estrogen in the body.
Clinically substantiated uses of DHEA show beneficial effects in people suffering from chronic disease, adrenal exhaustion, lupus, and depression. It has also been found to improve bone density in postmenopausal women and may enhance immune response in elderly people.
In both men and women, levels of free-circulating testosterone begin to diminishing with age, often resulting in loss of energy, motivation, muscle, libido, and a significant increase in body fat.
That’s actually a good thing. The beneficial effects of supplementing with pregnenolone will parallel those of progesterone and DHEA depending on the issue and the need.