Hormone Imbalance Fast Facts
There are many different types of hormones in our bodies like estrogen, progesterone, adrenaline, testosterone, cortisol and insulin. Hormones, also known as chemical messengers, control many processes in the body like reproduction, growth, metabolism, responding to stress and more. Glands like the adrenals, thyroid and pituitary secrete these hormones and any imbalance can cause major health problems.
- -Weight gain, especially belly fat and loss of muscle mass
- -Trouble sleeping
- -Anxiety and/or depression
- -Low sex drive
- -Insomnia or un-refreshing sleep
Some physicians choose to use the replacement model when helping patients who are struggling with hormone imbalance. The replacement model is giving the patient a synthetic or non-synthetic (think progesterone cream) form of whatever hormone they are low in. The problem with this is that it is not really fixing the problem, and can often have dangerous side effects. In the functional medicine model we are looking at the underlying causes of hormone imbalance rather than a replacement model. If you can find what is driving the body not to function properly, your body will do what it is supposed to do on it’s own once the underlying cause has been treated. Some functional medicine practitioners will use a combination of the two approaches if absolutely necessary.
–Gut issues like bacterial overgrowth can actually cause you to have excess estrogen or estrogen deficiency
–HPA axis dysfunction, which is the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, regulates your adrenal, thyroid and sex hormones. If you are under stress, your cortisol can be elevated and this can lead to hormone resistance
–Insulin surges, which come from improper blood sugar control, can increase testosterone, which can lead to PCOS and infertility.
–Foods that we eat play a big role in hormone imbalance as well. Growth hormones are given to cattle to make them gain weight faster and produce more milk. This is one of the reasons you see girls going through puberty at a very early age these days.
How to Balance Your Hormones
-Make sure you are eating a diet low in inflammatory foods like:
- Industrial seed oils
-Make sure you are eating anti-inflammatory foods like:
- Leafy greens
- Wild caught salmon
- Coconut oil
-Get your adrenal, thyroid and sex hormones tested properly. There are specific tests that can give you very accurate and detailed values of these hormones. Make sure you receive the proper treatment from your individual results, not everyone needs the same treatment.
-Have thorough testing done to check for gut infections including SIBO and infections like bacterial overgrowth, fungal overgrowth and parasites in the colon.
-Make sure you are getting 7-8 or more hours of sleep per night
Once you can find the underlying cause of hormone imbalance the body will usually rid itself of these symptoms. There may be specific cases where the patient has to use a replacement method along with some of the treatment options listed above. Most of the time I find that patients can have a full recovery using the more natural methods.
If you are suffering from any health related issues, I am currently accepting new patients. To start the testing process and discover what is driving your health issues and to get on the road to recovery call our office at +1 (866) 498-1958 to schedule your initial consultation. If it is after our normal hours of operation you can click here to leave us a message. Please only leave a message if you would like a call back to schedule a consultation.
Abbott, J (2015, September). Chemical Messengers: How Hormones Help Us Sleep.
Axe, J (2015) Ten Ways to Balance Hormones Naturally.
Kresser, C (2015, July) What Causes Hormone Imbalance.