Hormone Imbalances

You’re NOT Losing Your Mind… You ARE Losing Your Hormones!

By Marie Pace, DNM

80+ WARNING Signs Your Hormones are out of Balance

Hormones are vital to your life… They help determine how you feel, think, digest foods, poop, smell, taste, sleep and much, much more…

They are like little tiny messengers or administrative assistants that run up and down your body telling each organ or system what to do. Without these “messengers” you’d be dead. Sometimes clients come to my office and tell me that they “feel dead” or like they’re “dying”… When that occurs I know instantly we are dealing with someone whose hormones are imbalanced!

HOW ARE HORMONES PRODUCED?

Hormones are produced by the body`s major endocrine glands, such as the brain, thyroid, pancreas, reproductive glands, adrenals, and more.

To operate effectively, hormone levels must be at the right level, not too high or too low. In other words, hormonal imbalance affects the overall body and can lead to various health issues.

MAJOR ENDOCRINE GLANDS

  • Hypothalamus: The main gland acted on by the hormone is Anterior pituitary. The hypothalamus is responsible for body temperature, hunger, moods and the release of hormones from other glands. It also controls thirst, sleep and sex drive.
  • Parathyroid: Controls the amount of calcium in the body. It is mostly linked to the kidney and bone cells.
  • Thymus: This gland plays a role in the function of the adaptive immune system and the maturity of the thymus, and produces T-cells.
  • Pancreas: This gland produces the insulin that helps control blood sugar levels.
  • Thyroid: This produces hormones associated with calorie burning and heart rate.
  • Adrenal: These glands produce the hormones that control sex drive and cortisol, the stress hormone.
  • Pituitary: Considered the “master control gland,” the pituitary gland controls other glands and makes the hormones that trigger growth.
  • Pineal: This gland produces serotonin derivatives of melatonin, which affects sleep. These are also called the thalamus.
  • Ovaries: Only in women, the ovaries secrete estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, the female sex hormones.
  • Testes: Only in men, the testes produce the male sex hormone, testosterone, and produce sperm.

Conventional medicine usually runs basic serum blood labs for hormone health. If those tests don’t come back normal, the patient is given synthetic hormone medications.  On the other hand, if the tests come back normal but the symptoms don’t go away, you may be told that you are overweight, getting old, or that you’re depressed. That is why working with a functionally trained Holistic doctor is your better choice… and that is where we come in…

Let’s take a look at the most common hormone symptoms that we deal with …

COMMON HORMONE PROBLEMS

Below, there are some of the most prevalent hormone issues.

1.      Insulin

Insulin resistance is a hormonal resistance pattern. Even though most people know it when it comes to type 2 diabetes, it is seen in people who are not in the full-blown disease yet.

The pre-diabetic metabolic syndrome is marked by insulin resistance. This means that the body IS producing insulin but your cells have become RESISTANT to the insulin which causes sugar (glucose) to store in the blood stream instead of entering into the cells where it belongs.

What You Might Experience:

Cravings for sweets

Irritableness if meals are missed

Dependence on coffee

Become lightheaded if meals are missed

Feel shaky, jittery, or having tremors

Agitated, easily upset, or nervous

Poor memory

Blurred vision

Fatigue after meals

Eating sweets doesn’t relieve sugar cravings

Waist girth is equal or larger than hip girth

Frequent urination

Skin Issues

Nerve damage (neuropathy)

Imbalanced Estrogen/Progesterone/DHEA/Testosterone

Increased thirst and appetite

Difficulty losing weight

 

2.      Cortisol

Cortisol is the body`s major stress hormone and an imbalance in cortisol rhythm typically causes adrenal fatigue.

What You Might Experience with LOW LEVELS of Cortisol:

Dizziness when standing up quickly

Afternoon headaches

Blood sugar issues (low blood sugar, POTS syndrome, etc.)

Chronic inflammation

Nails are weak

Often moody

Brain fog

Difficulty losing weight

You’re slow to start in the morning

Cravings for salty or sugary foods

Low sex drive

You’re fatigued in the afternoon but get a “second wind” in the evening

Can’t stay asleep

Muscle aches and pains; cramps in legs

Anxiety

Feeling stressed

Body temp fluctuates

Negative thoughts late at night

What You Might Experience with HIGH LEVELS of Cortisol:

Impaired cognitive performance

Suppressed thyroid function

High blood sugar

Belly Fat / weight gain

Higher blood pressure

Decrease in muscle size

Decreased bone density

Lowered immunity

Brain less sensitive to estrogens / hot flashes

Interrupted estrogen and progesterone

Insulin resistance

Anxiety

Digestive problems

Heart disease

Impaired memory

Slow wound healing

 

 

3.      Thyroid

Thyroid hormones are important for each cell of the body. There are various underlying thyroid issues that fail to show on standard labs. For instance, thyroid conversion issues, thyroid resistance or autoimmune attacks against the thyroid (Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease).

What You Might Experience with LOW Thyroid function:

Depression or lack of motivation

Morning headaches that wear off as the day progresses

Outer third of eyebrow is thin

Thinning of hair on scalp

Excessive hair falling out

Dry skin

Anxiety

Irritability

Mental sluggishness

Feeling tired

Aches and pains in hands, joints, feet, etc.

Feeling cold in your hands, feet, or all over

Requiring excessive amounts of sleep to function properly

Weight gain, even with a low-calorie diet

Difficult, infrequent bowel movements

High Cholesterol

 

 

4.      Estrogens

The ratio of the three forms of estrogen [estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), estriol (E3)] is critical for both genders. According to a research, estrogen imbalance is linked to mortality rates in those with heart disease as well as a progression of some types of cancer.

What You Might Experience With LOW ESTROGENS:

Feeling puffy and bloated

Rapid weight gain

Breast tenderness

Mood swings

Increased stress levels

Painful intercourse

Dry eyes, dry skin

Heavy menstrual bleeding

Period disappears or is late

Feeling anxious and/or depressed

Migraine headaches

Have had cervical dysplasia (abnormal pap smear)

Insomnia, trouble with sleep

Weepy and emotional

Vulvovaginal atrophy (painful sex, etc.)

Brain fog

Osteoporosis

Joint pains (knees, shoulders, neck, elbows, hands, feet, etc.)

UTI’s due to thinning tissues

Common Myth: A woman no longer produces any estrogen or progesterone during menopause because she is no longer releasing any eggs:  But the truth is that women do not ever stop making sex hormones but levels drop during menopause naturally.

Common myth: Estrogen causes breast cancer! Estrogen DOES NOT create breast cancer or any other cancer and its supplementation after menopause might actually have a protective effect. It is known that estrogens can FUEL but NOT CAUSE cancer… that means it can fuel and feed cancer that is already present in the body.

WHAT Men or Women Might Experience with HIGH ESTROGENS:

Bloating

Swelling and tenderness of breasts

Decreased Sex drive

Prostate enlargement

Headaches

Mood Swings (irritability and depression)

Weight gain

Hair Loss

Poor Memory

Exhaustion

Erectile dysfunction

Fibrocystic breasts

Sleep issues

Cold hands and feet

 

 

5.      Progesterone

Again, both genders need healthy progesterone balance. This hormone helps to neutralize the effects of excess estrogen, which becomes harmful and out of control without optimal progesterone.

What You Might Experience with LOW progesterone compared to higher estrogens:

PMS

Insomnia

Unhealthy looking skin

Painful breasts

Stubborn weight gain

Cyclical headaches

Anxiety

Infertility

Weight gain

Fibrocystic breasts, ovaries, etc.

Polycystic ovaries

Gallbladder problems

Short menstrual cycles (2 periods in 1 month)

What you might experience with HIGH progesterone levels:

Breast tenderness

Feeling bloated

Excessive sleepiness

Headaches

Dizziness

More yeast infections

Waking up groggy feeling

Spinning sensation

Anxiety and/or Depression

Weight gain

Discomfort or pain in the legs

Physical instability

Hot flashes

Increased appetite

 

 

6.      Testosterone or DHEA

Low testosterone is very common in both men and women. Low testosterone in women is associated with low sex drive, breast cancer, and heart disease while men with low testosterone have a higher death rate.

What Men/Women Might Experience With HIGH Testosterone / DHEA:

Acne

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Excessive hair on the face and arms

Hypoglycemia and/or unstable blood sugar

Thinning hair

Infertility

Ovarian cysts

Mid-cycle pain/cramping

Irritability

Trouble sleeping

**NOTE: High DHEA with Lower Testosterone is indicative of INSULIN RESISTANCE / Metabolic Syndrome caused by high fat – high protein diet.

What Men/Women Might Experience With LOW Testosterone / DHEA:

Weight gain

Fatigue

Muscle loss

Low sex drive

Immune system not working correctly (autoimmune diseases)

Hot flashes

Demotivation and depression

Faster aging

Inflammation

Hair loss

Infertility

Extreme aches and pains in muscles and joints

 

What Men Might Experience:

Men don’t produce estrogen like women but convert it through a process called aromatization. Excess activity of the enzyme aromatase can cause low testosterone and high estrogen in men, which in turn results in the following:

Erectile dysfunction

Low sex drive

Weight gain

Irritability

Breast enlargement

Muscle loss

Inflammation

Hair loss

Extreme aches and pains in muscles and joints

 

 

7.      Leptin

Fat cells play a very important part of the hormonal system by producing leptin. This hormone controls how the body stores its fat for energy use. If not recognized by the body, it creates leptin resistance and causes the body to store more fat.

What You Might Experience with HIGH leptin:

Being overweight

Difficulty losing weight easily

Constant food cravings

Stressed

 

 

8. Pregnenolone

Produced in both male and female bodies and often described as the mother OR master of all hormones, naturally occurring pregnenolone acts to improve memory and combat depression – and has powerful anti-inflammatory arthritis pain relieving properties. Your body cannot make progesterone, dhea, testosterone, cortisol, estrogens, etc. without proper amounts of pregnenolone as the precursor! A person might have any of the following:

Low body temp

Unexplained hair loss

Difficulty building muscle

Mental depression

Moments of confusion and poor memory

Hypoglycemia

Osteoporosis

Cyclical headaches

Weakness

Irritability

Poor resistance to infections

Insomnia

Rheumatic conditions

Loss of joy

 

 

9. Vitamin D3 (range is 32-100 and the ideal is 50-100 and if dealing with major illness 80-100):

(Vitamin D really isn’t a vitamin at all but a potent neuro-regulatory steroidal hormone.)

Symptoms of low D3 are:

Autoimmune disease is developed in the body (MS, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, etc.)

Aches and pains in the shins of your legs

Generalized bone pain and/or stress fractures

Chronic pain

Upper respiratory issues

Tender sternum (chest bone)

Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Low B12 or low iron

Cardiovascular disease

Lowered immune function

Osteoporosis

Hair Loss (alopecia, etc.)

Kidney disease

Aberrations of estrogen metabolism = infertility, pms, rocky menopause

Lowered progesterone hormone

Muscle weakness

Psoriasis, dermatitis

Sadness and/or depression

Greater pain sensitivity

Fatigue and/or sleep issues

Extreme crankiness / grouchiness

Decreased endurance

Sweating (even on top of head)

Vitamin D is necessary for building and maintaining healthy bones. That’s because calcium, the primary component of bone, can only be absorbed by your body when vitamin D is present. Your body makes vitamin D when direct sunlight converts a chemical in your skin into an active form of the vitamin (calciferol)

The amount of vitamin D your skin makes depends on many factors, including the time of day, season, latitude and your skin pigmentation. Depending on where you live and your lifestyle, vitamin D production might decrease or be completely absent during the winter months. Sunscreen, while important, also can decrease vitamin D production.

Many older adults don’t get regular exposure to sunlight and have trouble absorbing vitamin D, so taking a multivitamin with vitamin D will likely help improve bone health.

Evidence

Research on vitamin D use for specific conditions shows:

  • Research suggests that vitamin D, especially when taken with calcium, might help prevent certain cancers.
  • Cognitive health.Early research suggests that vitamin D might play a role in cognitive health. In one small study of adults age 60 years and older being treated for dementia, researchers found that taking a vitamin D supplement helped improve cognitive function.
  • Inherited disorders.Vitamin D supplements can be used to help treat inherited disorders resulting from an inability to absorb or process vitamin D, such as familial hypophosphatemia.
  • Multiple sclerosis.Research suggests that long-term vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of multiple sclerosis.
  • Vitamin D supplements are used to treat adults with severe vitamin D deficiency, resulting in loss of bone mineral content, bone pain, muscle weakness and soft bones (osteomalacia).
  • Studies suggest that people who get enough vitamin D and calcium in their diets can slow bone mineral loss, help prevent osteoporosis and reduce bone fractures.
  • Applying vitamin D or a topical preparation that contains a vitamin D compound called calcipotriene to the skin can treat plaque-type psoriasis in some people.
  • This rare condition develops in children with vitamin D deficiency. Supplementing with vitamin D can prevent and treat the problem.

Ok… now you realize that you really AREN’T LOSING YOUR MIND… that you just are imbalanced… so let’s get you tested properly for each hormone and gland and put together the right program that is unique for you! Call our office for a consult. We’re here to help you.

 

 

 

 

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