Hormone Imbalances

Symptomatic Menopause

  • · Menopause is the cessation of the ovaries actively producing the hormones, progesterone, estrogen and testosterone which interact to coordinate a woman’s menstrual cycle. The average age of menopause is 51, but can occur at any age in women who have had their ovaries removed. Perimenopause is the decline in the production of these hormones which typically occurs between the ages of 45-55. 
  • · When there is an imbalance in these hormones whether it is the signal from the brain or the ovaries, symptoms can occur at any age most commonly experienced during puberty, postpartum, and menopause. 
  • · There are several conditions that are associated with the hormonal imbalance of progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, breast disease and menstrual irregularities. 
  • · Women can experience a variety and intensity of symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, trouble concentrating, low libido and vaginal dryness. 

Adrenal Fatigue

  • · Wellness and health depend upon support of the adrenal gland. The adrenal gland makes cortisol which is responsible for helping the body cope with stressors. Stress is anything that impacts the body chemical, emotional, physical or environmental. 
  • · When cortisol levels are less than optimal, conditions related to increased inflammation and altered metabolism may occur, such as acute illnesses, surgeries, hormone imbalances, thyroid problems, fibromyalgia, allergies, even coronary artery disease. Altered cortisol levels affect the immune system, making people more susceptible to infections, fatigue, and chronic pain. Low cortisol levels can affect our metabolism and sugar balance, which then influences our appetite, weight control, and energy level. 
  • · Supporting one’s adrenal gland is a long-term commitment to lifestyle changes by reducing stress, living an active lifestyle, making healthy dietary choices. Some women also require adrenal support creams, which are not supposed to be long-term but us to support the body to give the energy needed to make the changes needed for life.

  

Thyroid Dysfunction

  • · The thyroid helps to maintain the body’s metabolic rate and keeps the body warm. Every cell in the body depends on adequate thyroid hormones to function. 
  • · The brain produces thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which triggers the thyroid gland to produce T4 and some T3. The T4 is converted into T3 in your tissues, which is the “spark plugs” to making energy in our cells. This rate of turnover is your metabolism and heat produced in your body.
  • ·  Any stress whether chemical, emotional, physical or environmental can affect the thyroid’s function and inhibit the body’s ability to convert T4 to T3 effectively in the tissues. Things that can affect this process are vitamin and mineral deficiencies, medications, inflammation, diet, and estrogen/progesterone imbalance. 
  • · Hypothyroidism is the underproduction of the thyroid hormones, T4 and T3, which often leads to other hormone imbalances. Some signs of hypothyroidism are fatigue, weight gain, thinning hair, brittle breaking nails, feeling cold, and constipation. Hyperthyroidism is less common and is the overproduction of these thyroid hormones some signs are racing heart, palpitations, weight loss, fatigue, and feeling hot all the time. 

  

PMS/PMDD

  • Premenstrual syndrome is a group of symptoms that women may experience 1-2 weeks prior to getting their menses and can continue for 3-4 days into their periods. 
  • Symptoms can be both emotional and physical like mood swings, bloating, sleep disturbances, trouble concentrating, emotional, depression, breast tenderness, food cravings, acne, puffiness in hands and feet, headaches, feeling achy, and abdominal pains. 
  • PMS can affect other conditions like anxiety, depression, and irritable bowel syndrome, and these symptoms can affect a person’s daily activities like work and personal relationships. 
  •  Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of PMS that  affects a small amount of women with PMS and may benefit from treatment with a selective serotonin uptake inhibitor (SSRI) which are also used to treat depression.
  • Treatment options -start with a good diet, vitamins, supplements, and for some hormone therapy.

   

Andropause

  • Andropause is a condition that is associated with the decrease in the male production of the hormone testosterone.  It is unlike menopause in that the decrease in testosterone and the development of symptoms is more gradual than what occurs in women. Approximately 30% of men in their 50s will experience symptoms of andropause caused by low testosterone levels. Even younger man can experience low testosterone levels from external stressors that impact their hormone balances which can lead to depression, weight gain, loss of muscle mass, chronic diseases, and most common low libido and sexual function. Risk factors for low testosterone levels obesity, diabetes, smoking, and inflammation.


  • Signs and Symptoms of Testosterone Deficiency

  

· Low libido

· Reduced night time and morning erections

· Delayed ejaculation and low semen volume

· Sadness or low mental energy

· Anxiety/irritability

· Sleep disturbance

· Short term memory

· Brain fog or trouble concentrating

· Feeling hot and sweaty

· Decrease in body hair

· Frequent joint and muscle pains

· Decrease in physical activity

· Decrease in muscle mass and strength

· Decrease in bone density

· Weight gain

  

PCOS/Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Insulin Resistance


 Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a set of symptoms due to elevated androgens (male hormones) in females. Signs and symptoms of PCOS include irregular or no menstrual periods, heavy periods, excess body and facial hair, acne, pelvic pain, difficulty getting pregnant, and patches of thick, darker, velvety skin.  Also, women with PCOS can develop insulin resistance, weight gain, and anxiety/depression.


Pre-diabetes, Syndrome X, and Metabolic syndrome

  • When the body produces insulin but does not respond to it. 
  • This is occurs when a person takes in carbohydrates, which are the source of sugars for which the body makes energy from, the pancreas then needs to produce enough insulin to help these sugars get into our cells. 
  • But when a person eats too many white carbohydrates and refined sugars it enters the blood stream quickly which then also causes a high volume of insulin to be produced. 
  • When a person’s diet consists regularly of carbohydrates or sugar, the body needs to make more and more insulin to keep up. Just like a drug addiction, the more sugar circulating the more insulin is needed. This builds up resistance because our body’s tissues no longer respond normally and triggers the pancreas to make even more insulin. 
  • This cycle leads to increase hunger and weight gain, slows the metabolism, increases heart disease, dementia, and cancer. 


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