Hormone Health

Hormones are special chemicals that travel through the bloodstream. They carry messages from the glands where they are produced to cells in different parts of the body. These chemical messages “turn on” or “turn off” cellular processes that control appetite, stress, blood sugar, sleep cycles, sex drive, and sexual function, to name a few. Hormone health is something not many doctors talk about.

As we age our bodies undergo numerous changes. These changes are often unpredictable and unwanted. This is especially true for women whose hormone levels drop during menopause. These types of hormonal changes negatively impact our quality of life.  Understanding how hormones affect our health is the beginning of the journey towards better health.

Key Hormones and What They Do


Estrogen is one of the key female sex hormones, but men have estrogen too. In women, estrogen is produced in the ovaries and is responsible for functions like ovulation, menstruation, breast development, and increasing bone and cartilage density.

Having too much estrogen, or Estrogen Dominance, increases the risk of certain cancers and is linked to symptoms like depression, weight gain, difficulty sleeping, headaches, low sex drive, anxiety, and menstrual problems.

Likewise, having too little estrogen causes weakened bones (osteoporosis), menstrual problems, fertility issues, and mood disorders. While estrogen levels naturally decrease with age until menopause, some conditions may cause low estrogen in women who are not yet perimenopausal.


Another type of hormone associated with the female reproductive system is progesterone. Like estrogen, progesterone plays a key part in the menstrual cycle. It prepares the uterus for pregnancy and is an important factor in the early stages of pregnancy.

Low progesterone levels causes heavy and irregular menstrual periods and fertility problems. If progesterone levels drop during pregnancy, it can cause premature labor or miscarriage. Similarly, having too much progesterone is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.


Another key player in hormone health is testosterone, which is one of the principal androgens present in the body. Androgens are types of hormones associated with male reproduction. However, women produce testosterone and other androgens in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and fat cells. This hormone contributes to sex drive, fat distribution, muscle strength, bone mass, and red blood cell production in both men and women.

Women who have too much testosterone see thinning hair on their heads, excess body hair, facial hair, acne, more body fat, low libido, and smaller breasts. Having high testosterone causes irregular periods and can contribute to fertility problems.  Alternately, low testosterone causes mood swings, irritability, depression, hot flashes and erectile dysfunction.

Insulin Insulin

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. It has many functions, but its main responsibility is converting glucose (sugar) in the things we eat into a form the body can use for energy. Insulin helps regulate blood sugar.

Consequently, when the body cannot produce or process insulin correctly, it results in insulin resistance, prediabetes, or diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 30 million people in the US have diabetes.

Growth Hormone

Human growth hormone is often referred to by the initials HGH and is often simply called “growth hormone.”  It’s a type of hormone produced by the pituitary gland. As the name implies, HGH is mostly associated with growth and development. It stimulates cell growth, cell regeneration, and cell reproduction in children. Moreover, it playes a key role in boosting metabolism.


Cortisol is a type of hormone known as a steroid hormone and is produced by the adrenal glands. It has many responsibilities to keep you healthy and energetic. Cortisol is responsible for regulating metabolism, blood pressure, acting as an anti-inflammatory, and even forming memories.

Adrenaline rush Cortisol is sometimes called a stress hormone because the body secretes higher levels of cortisol as a reaction to stress. Having too much cortisol for extended periods results in hypertension, anxiety, sleep loss, and autoimmune problems. Similarly, too little cortisol results in low blood pressure, weakness, and fatigue.


Like cortisol, adrenaline is known as a stress hormone. It’s produced in the adrenal glands and within some cells of the central nervous system. Adrenaline’s major function is to prepare the body for its “fight or flight” response.  It allows us to make quick decisions in dangerous or stressful situations, but too much adrenaline for extended periods is detrimental.  Indeed, it often leads to high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, heart palpitations, irritability, and dizziness.

Thyroid Hormones

Thyroid hormones are produced in the thyroid gland and are crucial for hormone health. They perform a variety of crucial tasks in the body. One of the thyroid hormone’s biggest responsibilities is regulating metabolism. An imbalance of thyroid hormones has been linked to conditions like adrenal fatigue and Hashimoto’s disease.  Both of these cause problems with weight management and energy levels.

How Do I Know If I Need Hormone Replacement?

The best time to begin natural hormone replacement therapy is when you start noticing symptoms of a hormonal imbalance. For most women, this occurs when they suffer symptoms of menopause that alter their quality of life. Often, menopausal symptoms will go unnoticed for a time, however, when your symptoms become unbearable for normal everyday life, that’s when you should consider natural hormone replacement.

Treating hormone imbalances holistically involves many factors. Once you understand the root cause of your hormone imbalance you can address it with a natural hormone replacement strategy.

Connect with us to learn more about hormone health and how we can help.