Hormones are such a tricky thing. Many factors lead to fluctuations and variability that can leave us feeling, well, less than ideal. The truth is, it is so complicated that many doctors don’t fully understand how to manage hormones effectively. I certainly didn’t for many years.
Let’s break it down and look at the key players and I’ll share my approach to balancing them.
FYI–My style is taking complex topics and breaking them down into terms we can all understand. My explanations are never the most technical and sophisticated, but I believe in empowering patients with knowledge so they can take action and create results! Communicating with doctor-speak can, more often than not, add to the confusion. With that disclaimer, here we go:
When this is low–think hot flashes, night sweats, and irritability. UGH. Estrogen starts to decline in a woman in her mid 30’s, reaching consistently low levels by her mid 50’s. It is often the CHANGE in the level, a.k.a the fluctuation, that leads to symptoms. Most women can tolerate low estrogen if it is consistently low. On the other hand, the fluctuations from the mid-’30s to the mid-’50s can sometimes make people feel like they are losing their minds.
The main role of progesterone is to support pregnancy. Get it pro-gesterone. Like pro-gestation. (Gestatation=pregnancy). Progesterone is also a calming, mood, sleep, libido, and bone enhancing hormone. Here’s the other thing. It is important to have BALANCE between estrogen and progesterone too.
Testosterone is actually the most abundant hormone in men AND women, but men have 10x more than women do. Low testosterone is one of the first signs of aging. We actually lose our hormones in a sequential fashion–testosterone, then progesterone, then estrogen. Testosterone is key for maintaining muscle mass and bone strength, preserving memory, mood regulation, and yes, sex drive.
Those are the main SEX hormones but when I think about hormones, I also include insulin and other hunger-related hormones (like leptin and ghrelin), cortisol, epinephrine, thyroid, melatonin, and vitamin D. Stay tuned for more information about these hormones in future blog posts.
Finding A Balance
So, the bottom line is there are many hormones and getting them in perfect balance is complex. No wonder many of us are confused and not sure where to start!
While I test and correct these in my private patients, the real key is getting to the root cause and fixing the underlying imbalances. This approach allows our highly complex and sophisticated bodies to balance our hormones naturally. Although we can’t stop the aging process we can certainly do a lot to feel better and uplevel our health along the way.
Personally, I have replaced my hormones, identified and fixed the key imbalances that were leading to hormonal fluctuations, and learned to de-stress and manage my life and mind better to KEEP them in balance. It isn’t quick or easy, but it feels amazing and in my opinion, is oh so worth it.
I’m here to help, when and if you are ready. But there is much you can do on your own too.
- Step 1–Stay informed! Congrats, you are doing just that by reading to the end of this post.
- Step 2–Take a few deep breaths. Let your body know it is all ok, you aren’t in danger!
- Step 3–Do something just for you today. Take a walk, meditate, write in a journal, or just take a moment to reflect on something you love about yourself.
The little things matter and add up. They really do.
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Whether the condition relates to stress, hormonal imbalances, sleep deprivation, inflammation, blood sugar stabilization, or the thyroid, the first step is looking at and resetting the adrenal glands. I also discuss 5 modifiable lifestyle factors in detail and share step-by-step instructions on how to get all 5 back on track.
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