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!


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.


  • 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 and how to correctly test them…


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

BEST METHOD OF TESTING: fasting serum blood test


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


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


Digestive problems

Heart disease

Impaired memory

Slow wound healing

BEST METHOD OF TESTING: Saliva Hormone testing_____


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



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

BEST METHOD OF TESTING: serum blood testing  or blood spot testing as a fasting test (do NOT swallow thyroid hormone pills the morning of the blood draw until after the blood draw) 


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. Depleted estrogen levels have a complex effect on the central nervous system.

What You Might Experience With LOW ESTROGENS:

Feeling puffy and bloated

Paresthesia (tingling-numbness-pins & needles feeling or buzzing feelings) in hands, arms, feet, legs, face

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, itching, dryness, etc.)

Lichen Sclerosis

Brain fog


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. Estrogen not only successfully controls menopausal symptoms in most women but also significantly reduces the risks of heart disease, hip fractures, colon cancer, and Alzheimer’s and in most cases is medically ok for those with breast cancer. Ref: Tavris, Carol; Bluming, Avrum. Estrogen Matters (p. 6). Little, Brown and Company.

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 may FUEL but NOT CAUSE cancer… that means it may fuel and feed cancer that is already present in the body.

WHAT Men or Women Might Experience with HIGH ESTROGENS:


Swelling and tenderness of breasts

Decreased Sex drive

Prostate enlargement


Mood Swings (irritability and depression)

Weight gain

Hair Loss

Poor Memory


Erectile dysfunction

Fibrocystic breasts

Sleep issues

Cold hands and feet

BEST METHOD OF TESTING: Saliva Hormone Testing


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:



Unhealthy looking skin

Painful breasts

Stubborn weight gain

Cyclical headaches



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



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

BEST METHOD OF TESTING: Saliva hormone testing


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:


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Excessive hair on the face and arms

Hypoglycemia and/or unstable blood sugar

Thinning hair


Ovarian cysts

Mid-cycle pain/cramping


Trouble sleeping

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

  • Hot flashes, sweating
  • Heart discomfort, racing
  •  Insomnia, sleep problems
  • Depressive mood, mood swings
  •  Irritability, nervous
  •  Anxiety
  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Lack of motivation
  • Weight gain
  • Low libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Infertility
  • Autoimmune issues
  • Hair loss
  • Headaches
  • Lichen sclerosis
  • Faster aging
  •  Physical and mental exhaustion
  • Impaired memory, decreased concentration, forgetfulness
  • Sexual problems, decreased libido and satisfaction
  • Bladder incontinence, dysuria, frequency, urgency
  • Vaginal dryness, burning
  • Joint and muscular pain
  •  Bone loss, muscle loss, increased fatty tissue

Under-treatment of clients can result in the progression of adverse serious health problems due to testosterone deficiency (depression, bone loss, muscle weakness, fatigue, pain, memory loss, incontinence etc.).

Creams, pellets, and injections are your options for supplementation methods.

BEST METHOD OF TESTING: Saliva Hormone Testing


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


BEST METHOD OF TESTING: serum blood test


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



Cyclical headaches



Poor resistance to infections


Rheumatic conditions

Loss of joy

BEST METHOD OF TESTING: Serum blood test


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


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.


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.

BEST METHOD OF TESTING: serum or blood spot testing


10. SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin) – SHBG is a protein made by your liver and binds specifically to your estradiol, testosterone and DHT (dihydrotestosterone). Its job is to carry these hormones throughout your bloodstream. While it’s doing this and the hormones are “bound” they are NOT available to your cells for use. It’s your body’s way of regulating hormone levels. If your SHBG levels are low, your body has more unbound sex hormones available for use. When the levels are high your body has FEWER free sex hormones at its disposal.

What you might experience if your SHBG is LOW: with lower SHBG your hormones might be high in the body! This can lead to…

Fluid retention, Acne, Increased appetite and weight gain, mood swings, larger breast tissue, ED in men, excessive facial and body hair, menstrual irregularity, bloating, breast tenderness, PCOS, Insulin resistance, diabetes

What you might experience if your SHBG is HIGH:

Less available testosterone in the body, decreased sex drive, impotence, decreased body hair, infertility, hot flashes, reduced bone and muscle mass, decreased energy and motivation, vaginal dryness, memory loss, tiredness, irregular or absent periods, excessive thyroid hormone production, liver stress!


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.

Legal: The information provided is not intended as a means of diagnosis or treating illness or as a replacement for any medicine or advice from a competent physician. Individuals having serious health problems should consult a competent licensed physician specializing in their condition. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. We assume no responsibility for anyone choosing to self-administer any suggestions in this publication; they do so on their own determinism. The information in this publication is for educational purposes only.

Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved. Optimum Solutions LLC dba THAT’S HEALTH 

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