What are Hormones?
Your hormones control a number of factors, including your mood, weight, libido, immunity and more. Hormones are chemical messengers in the body that travel through your blood to organs and tissues delivering important chemical messages. Once the hormone attaches to its specific receptor site on a cell it sends a signal for a biochemical message to occur. For example-
- Estrogen increases serotonin receptors in the brain helping with a healthy mood.
- Progesterone prepares our uterine lining to prepare for a possible pregnancy.
- Testosterone helps with muscle growth and strength.
These and many more chemical reactions occur to keep our body healthy and feeling good. Balanced hormones are our “feel good factor”. These hormones are produced by the pituitary, thymus, adrenal glands, pancreas, pineal, ovaries and testicles. As we age, our hormones decline. However, one could also say that as our hormones decline, we age.
The endocrine system and the reproductive system are complex, but there are some simple methods you can employ to enhance your body’s ability to produce and balance hormones.
Importance of Balanced Hormones
If you are feeling fatigued, suffering from skin issues, weight issues even though you are eating healthy food, you probably have a hormone imbalance. Hormone balancing is critical since hormones affect numerous processes throughout the body, including-
- Sexual function
- Growth and development
- Rejuvenate, Regenerate and Restore our bodies
- Result in good energy levels, balanced mood, radiant skin, strong bones, a healthy cardiovascular system and mental clarity
Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
Below are some of the common symptoms of hormone imbalances-
- It is often the underlying cause or contributor of many chronic illnesses including chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia, Heart Disease, Autoimmune Disorders, Cancer, Osteoporosis, Hypothyroidism
- It negatively affects the systems of the body including reproductive, cardiovascular, nervous, immune, musculoskeletal, and circulatory systems
- “Don’t Feel Good”
Role of Female Hormones During Menstruating Life
Female hormones play a major role in the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, fertility, bone and cardiovascular health. Imbalances can result in –
- Menstrual disorders such as PMS, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, and endometriosis
- Imbalances can also lead to problems such as breast cysts, migraines, fatigue, digestive problems, mood disorders and certain cancers
What is “Estrogen Dominance”
Estrogen dominance occurs when the normal ratio or balance of estrogen to progesterone is changed by either excess estrogen or inadequate progesterone. Estrogen can be a potent and potentially dangerous hormone when not balanced by adequate progesterone levels. Symptoms of estrogen dominance include-
- Weight gain
- Mood swings and irritability
- Tender breasts,
- Uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and fibrocystic breasts
Treatment includes testing the hormone levels and either decreasing estrogen levels if too high or increasing progesterone levels if too low. This can be done through-
- Diet and lifestyle changes
- Improving body detox mechanisms
- Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
5 Minute Hormone Quiz
Here are a few hormone self-assessment questionnaires. There is no substitute for consulting with your healthcare practitioner.
- Dealing with hot flashes, PMS, low libido, mood swings, headaches, anxiety, or unexplained weight gain? Try our Female Hormone Quiz.
- Dealing with mood swings, low libido, fatigue, weight gain, or Insomnia? Try our Female Estrogen Dominance Quiz and learn more.
- Dealing with fatigue, low sex drive, mood swings, or unexplained weight gain? Try our Male Hormone Quiz.
Balancing Your Hormones
Our hormone doctors look for and correct the underlying causes of hormone imbalance. There are multiple things you could do to balance your hormones and rejuvenate your life.
Things to Avoid
- Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats oxidize in the body and cause inflammation to occur. Additionally, polyunsaturated fats can cause a mutation of the cells. If these fats mutate cells within the reproductive tissue, it can cause hormone disruption and PCOS.
- Toxins are found all around our world, including household cleaning products, environmental pollution and herbicides and pesticides in our food. These chemicals, also known as hormone disrupters, can mimic your hormones and prevent the body from producing real hormones leading to hormonal imbalance.
- Go to bed at the same time each night to help your body develop its own sleep rhythm. Additionally, get up at the same time each day to ensure your sleep rhythms do not get out of whack.
- Establish bedtime routines. These routines help signal to your body that it is time to go to bed. Turn off all electronics about an hour before it is time to go to bed. Dim the lights in your home and enjoy a hot cup of herbal tea to help you relax and get ready for bed.
Stress is not only bad for you emotionally; it can wreak havoc on you physically. Chronic stress can cause inflammation, illness and hormone imbalances. Learning how to reduce stress can help you balance your hormones.
- Meditation is an ancient art of introspection. This practice helps to focus the body and mind to bring a sense of peace and tranquility to you. Stress can hinder the body’s ability to produce hormones; therefore, you should employ techniques to help rid the body and mind of stress.
- Yoga is a gentle exercise that works all parts of the body to help improve flexibility, respiration, energy and muscle strength. Yoga combines stretching or strengthening poses with meditation and deep breathing, making it the perfect choice for those suffering from stress.
- In addition, targeted exercise can boost estrogen and testosterone Relaxation Therapy and stress management can help to better control our stress hormone, cortisol, and help regulate our male and female hormones.
Your body needs a variety of vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants to function properly. It is always best to get your nutrients from food; however, you may need to complement your diet with a vitamin and mineral supplement.
- Iodine is one of the necessary components needed for the production of hormones. Iodine deficiency can prevent the thyroid from functioning properly. Additionally, research has shown that women suffering with PCOS may benefit from iodine therapy.
- Selenium is another mineral that is used by the thyroid gland. Selenium helps rid the body of free radicals, one of the leading causes of inflammation and hormone disruption.
- Zinc is needed for hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body. Several studies have shown that zinc can help balance the hormone levels in women and ease the symptoms associated with hormone imbalances, including depression, anxiety and mood swings.
We work together to identify a personalized food and diet plan – for example certain foods can either raise or reduce estrogen levels.
Herbs That Can Help
Herbs offer many health benefits, including balancing the hormones, reducing stress, improving memory and reducing fatigue. There are numerous herbs that can help improve hormone production by supporting the adrenal system and the endocrine system. It is recommended to consult your hormone specialist before starting any herbs or supplements.
- Eleuthero, also known as Siberian ginseng, is an adaptogenic herb. Adaptogenic herbs help increase the body’s ability to handle stress. Eleuthero helps to reduce fatigue, balance blood sugar levels and improve memory.
- Licorice root helps support the adrenal glands. This herb helps increase energy levels and improve the mood.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone balancing helps to improve your overall health and well-being. You may need to start with some lifestyle modifications. Get plenty of rest, eat a healthy diet, reduce your stress and use herbs to help balance your adrenal, thyroid and sex hormones. If you continue to suffer from mood disorders, weight issues, low libido or immunity, it may be time to check your hormones. Our hormone doctors specialize in personalized Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) tailored to your individual needs. Hormone therapy is useful for women as well as men.