Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired?
I commonly have women (and men) in my office because they just don’t feel like themselves anymore. When someone tells me that they just don’t feel like they used to, instead they feel like a tired version of themselves, I start to question the balance of hormones in their body.
Hormones, those special chemical messengers in your body, are created by the endocrine glands, which control most bodily functions that range from basic things like hunger and metabolism, to more complex processes, like reproduction, emotions and mood.
There are many types of hormones in the body. Some play key roles in the everyday health and well-being, including estrogen, testosterone and progesterone that come from the ovaries. Other hormones include thyroid hormone from the thyroid gland, cortisol from the adrenal gland and prolactin from the pituitary gland. When they’re in balance, our bodies run smoothly.
Women often start to notice hormonal shifts about the age of 30 (although in some women it can be younger) and/or after giving birth to children. Other women have long-standing hormonal imbalances due to PCOS, infertility, or due to menopause. Younger women that are just starting to get their menses may also experience imbalances due to the surge of new hormones in the body. Whatever the cause of the hormonal imbalance, there are ways to help using natural and integrative methods.
Common symptoms of hormone imbalances are:
- heavy periods
- irregular cycles
- mood swings
- weight gain
- hot flashes
- poor memory
- brain fog
- facial hair
- sugar cravings
- fibrocystic breasts
- muscle and joint pain
- loss of libido
So if you have symptoms of a hormonal imbalance what do you do? Ideally we test your hormones to determine where the imbalance is so we may efficiently correct it. I commonly use blood tests to measure hormone levels and function in the body, but my favorite method of testing hormones is the DUTCH test. The DUTCH test uses urine samples to look at metabolites of each of your sex hormones, your stress hormones and neurotransmitters and provides a picture of the flow and interconnections of your hormones to address the imbalances. However, tests should be used only if the results are going to change a treatment protocol. If your symptoms are clearly fitting into a hormonal imbalance pathway we start treatment right away. My goal is to always provide options of natural, conventional and integrative treatments, as well as first and foremost lifestyle modifications, and then discuss what fits best for you.
Treatments to correct hormonal imbalances can include any of the following in combination, or on their own, depending on your needs and preference: lifestyle modification, stress reduction, exercise, detoxification, botanical medicine, vitamin supplementation, and bio-identical hormone replacement.
If you think you may have a hormone imbalance, please contact me for more information 778-478-0048