Remember those dreadful days of adolescence? All the scrawny bodies gradually filled out, faces became littered with pimples and voices cracked painfully during Math class. Somehow we lived through it.
As we approach retirement age, another round of hormonal chaos begins. Why is everything is changing? We have experienced these symptoms before, but they have never been so intense.
The difficulty comes in narrowing down a diagnosis; symptoms that accompany hormone imbalance are common among many other root causes. From a purely conventional perspective, hormone levels are not usually included in the first round of investigative lab work; not even the second or third rounds. In-fact, unless the patient is a woman in her 50’s who is complaining of night sweats and hot flashes, hormonal imbalance may not be considered at all.
At Southwest Integrative Medicine, we do things a little bit differently. Our primary objective is to help you achieve optimum wellness. As part of that goal, we look closely at root causes of major and minor illnesses right from the start. Your symptoms lead us to investigate specific areas of treatment which may include hormone balancing. Although hormonal imbalance can be extremely disruptive to our physical and mental well-being, the customized naturopathic treatments that we offer will effectively restore hormonal balance, greatly diminishing or removing frustrating symptoms.
Which hormones are the most common culprits?
- Excessive cortisol can lead to anxiety, insomnia and fatigue. Prolonged fatigue increases the incidence of common viral and other infections.
- Together insulin and cortisol regulate blood sugar levels and excess cortisol disrupts blood sugar levels.
- Weight loss may seem impossible if the body’s cortisol levels are fluctuating with reduced levels of estradiol in the aftermath of menopause.
- DHEA is important to sexual function and vitality in men and women.
- With age DHEA levels are often lower and these lower levels correlate with many disease processes.
- Low thyroid levels leave your body unable to burn energy at an optimal rate making weight loss nearly impossible.
- Low thyroid hormones have been linked to dementia, fatigue, weight gain, poor cognition, irregular heart beat, and more.
- High thyroid levels can be detrimental to bone and heart health.
- Adequate estradiol levels have been shown to prevent Alzheimer's. Because of the normal interplay of estradiol and cortisol, the lack of estradiol after menopause may cause the body to hold on to fat making weight loss nearly impossible.
- Excess estrogen can cause progesterone to be deficient, resulting in anxiety and irritability.
- Estrogen deficiency is usually accompanied by depression and irritability.
- Progesterone aids the functionality of thyroid hormones.
- Excessive and deficient progesterone can cause water retention while normal levels provide diuretic qualities, promoting weight loss.
- Deficient progesterone can cause anxiety, insomnia, confusion, irritability, jitteriness, and depression.
- Testosterone is important for sexual function in men and women.
- Low testosterone leads to higher rates of age related muscle loss called sarcopenia.
- With age, testosterone, DHEA, and estradiol levels decline in women. This decline accounts for a large amount of the decreased libido, sexual dysfunction, physical discomfort, depressed mood, and lack of motivation seen in older adults.