Hormones that are out of whack can create a myriad of problems.
If you are suffering from any of the following symptoms, you may have a hormone imbalance.
• Belly fat & loss of muscle mass
• Resistant weight loss
• Low libido
• Anxiety, depression, jitteriness, irritability, feelings of doom or PMS
• Night sweats/hot flashes
• Digestion problems (gas, bloating, constipation).
• Cravings for sweet or salty foods & or hypoglycemia.
• Heavy, very light or periods that come too soon (shorter than 24 days) or longer than 32 days.
• Sensitive to cold
• Poor memory, brain fog
• Heart palpitations
• Hair loss or brittle hair &/or dry skin
• Recurrent miscarriage
How do hormone imbalances occur?
1 Excess estrogen can occur because the liver may be overloaded & the bacteria in the stomach may be altered from antibiotics, medications, processed foods or too much refined sugar, so estrogen doesn’t get cleared from the body & keeps recirculating. Excess estrogen suppresses the thyroid which can cause hypothyroidism which in turn can cause digestion to slow down & the bowel to be sluggish, which exacerbates the problem even further! Excess estrogen keeps progesterone low which can cause miscarriage, mood disorders, low libido, headaches or irregular menstrual bleeding.
2 A cortisol dysregulation from continued stress can cause inflammation which affects the thyroid, can cause fatigue & can cause the body to not make enough estrogen &/or progesterone, which can result in the following problems – miscarriage, menstrual disorders, low libido, hot flashes. Cortisol that has been consistently too high has been linked to high insulin & high leptin which make it difficult to loose weight. If you’ve recently had your fasting insulin levels checked, ask your Doctor for a copy of the result. A healthy fasting insulin reading is 5 & under. Laboratory reference ranges are increasing every year because they are based on an average population result not a ‘healthy’ population. Some labs consider anything under 22 as acceptable, which is far from it!Fatigue.
3 Faulty MTHFR enzyme. You can have this gene defect & not suffer from any symptoms but your diet & lifestyle (stress, smoking, alcohol, drugs, vitamin & mineral deficiencies, exposure to toxins) can ‘switch’ on the gene defect which can affect the thyroid, slow down detox and affect the bowel, increase inflammation & oxidation, affect the immune system, slow down cellular repair & cellular replication & neurotransmitter production thus causing depression and mood disorders, infertility & miscarriage, children born with genetic defects, constipation, skin conditions like Vitiligo, resistant weight gain, plaque in arteries, IBS & auto-immunity to name just some issues.
4 Low hormones – Estrogen, progesterone & or testosterone. In women, these hormones are produced in the ovaries & adrenal glands & need adequate body fat and cholesterol to be produced. More and more women in their 20s & 30s are suffering from hot flashes, very light or missed periods, short cycles (less than 24 days) & extreme mood changes, depression, anxiety, irritability or feelings of suicide the 10 days before a period, which, are all symptoms of low estrogen. This can happen when a women is dieting (low fat diet), is stressed & not eating enough, has a history of Anorexia Nervosa or has dramatically lost a lot of body fat.
Can men be affected by a hormone imbalance?
Yes! Thyroid problems, high/low testosterone, resistant weight, fatigue, mood disorders, toxicity, hair loss & digestive disorders aren’t exclusive to women.
How do we diagnose hormone imbalances?
We take a thorough case history and then will refer you for blood &/or saliva testing to get an accurate diagnosis.
What are bio-identical hormones and are they the answer?
Bio-identical hormones are prescribed hormones that are identical in chemical structure to what your body makes. Bio-identical hormones are prescribed for people not making or low in estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA & thyroid hormone T3. Bio-identical hormones are fabulous, as long as you’re on the right doses.
If you’re on bio-identical hormones your doctor needs to check your ‘salivary’ hormone levels at least once a year to adjust your dose as needed.
I see many patients that initially feel great on bio-identical hormones, have not had levels tested after years of supplementing, & then start feeling terrible with symptoms like weight gain, insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, acne & hair loss because their doses have not been adjusted according to what their body needs at the present time.
Treating the real cause of a hormone imbalance
If you’re low in hormones the cause needs to be addressed & in 80% of people it’s stress. If a person is low in DHEA & high/low in cortisol a change in lifestyle, nervous system & adrenal herbs are necessary to nourish & rejuvenate the adrenal glands so that the body can manufacture hormones at a normal level.
Whether you’re on bio identical hormones or not, if you’re not feeling yourself, if you’re low in energy, gaining unexplained weight, suddenly feeling depressed or anxious, experiencing acne, hair loss, insomnia, menstrual disturbances, infertility or menopausal symptoms book in to see Biljana for a salivary hormone test to check your levels of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA-S & cortisol & a referral for blood tests with a GP.
With diet & lifestyle changes, herbs, vitamin & mineral supplements & in some cases low dose bio-identical hormones, imbalances can be addressed quickly, making you feel good again!
Biljana Ivanisevic BHSc. Naturopathy