Do you dread your monthly cycle because you get whalloped with gut-wrenching cramps?
Perhaps you also experience mood swings and bloating that slows you down at the office and makes you just want to crawl into bed?
Maybe you are even steadily loosing your hair and don’t know why?
Or men, have you noticed a distinct dip in your sex drive that makes you feel like you’re “off your game”?
Have you also noticed that you’ve gained a lot of weight around the mid section and even calorie restrictions and extra exercise doesn’t budge that dial on the scale?
Chances are, you could be struggling with hormone imbalance and don’t even know it!
Hormonal imbalances are very common but sadly many conventional practitioners aren’t trained to help with the delicate process of hormonal balance or to connect the symptoms associated with these imbalances.
The Conventional Approach: Hormonal Imbalance Medicine
When clients present with hormonal imbalances, most traditionally-trained clinicians focus on a diagnosis along with a synthetic drug protocol to treat the symptoms – for example synthetic hormone replacement therapies such as thyroid medications. Unfortunately this can bring on more unwanted side effects and not give you the proper balance you need. While thyroid medication, or other hormone replacement methods, may be necessary, it has to be approached the correct way.
Many times people receive other prescriptions when dealing with hormonal imbalance, such as medications for anxiety or depression. This does nothing to balance hormone levels or remedy the underlying root cause creating the hormone imbalance in the first place — which can be poor diet, nutritional deficiencies, gut issues, or stealth infections.
Many medications, including hormone replacement done incorrectly, can have serious side effects — such as stroke, osteoporosis, anxiety, reproductive problems, and more.
The Functional Medicine Approach: Natural Remedies For Hormonal Imbalance
When clients present with hormone imbalances or symptoms, it’s so important to discover why the imbalances are occurring.
The Functional Medicine approach is to not only understand the root cause of any imbalance but also how other systems in your body may be impacted or connected to the imbalance.
Instead of prescribing random treatments or prescriptions to only address the symptoms, we start with a thorough intake and a discussion of your past health history to explore where things may be out of balance. Gut health is one area that can greatly impact your hormone balance as they are intricately linked. We also take a look at all the hormones beyond estrogen and testosterone. Testing all hormones including your stress hormones like cortisol that could be creating issues as well doing more complete thyroid panels to get a clearer picture of what might be causing symptoms.
We address the body as a whole, so we first see if the imbalance can be adjusted through natural means, so other systems won’t be offset or to re-establish function so your hormonal health can rebalance naturally. Only after will explore if hormone replacement is necessary, along with any lifestyle changes needed to bolster hormone balance.
That’s why at Dr. Angela focuses on identifying the root cause of your hormonal imbalances so she can craft a personalized plan that addresses your hormone issues.
Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms
Symptoms of hormone imbalances can manifest in many ways, including:
- Painful or irregular periods or PMS
- Unexplained weight gain or weight loss and change in appetite
- Depression, anxiety or brain fog
- Fatigue or low energy
- Insomnia or lack of deep sleep
- Low libido
- Digestive issues, skin issues, or vision issues
- Hair loss and thinning hair
Symptoms of hormonal imbalances can range quite a bit depending on what role that specific hormone plays in balancing your body.
For example, high estrogen levels or storing too much estrogen in the body can contribute to longterm health issues including blood sugar imbalances that may lead to diabetes, unexplained weight gain, changes in appetite, and problems with eyesight.
Hormonal Disorders In Women
Some issues associated with hormonal imbalances in women may include:
- Estrogen Dominance: disrupted sleep patterns, weight and appetite fluctuations, increased stress and anxiety, and slowed metabolism
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): infertility, weight gain, acne, abnormal hair growth
- Low Estrogen: decreased libido, reproductive issues, loss of menstrual regularity, mood changes
- Hypothyroidism: slowed metabolism and fatigue, weight gain, anxiety, irritability, digestive problems, irregular menstrual cycles
- Low Testosterone: erectile dysfunction, loss of muscle mass, weight gain, fatigue and mood issues
- Grave’s Disease: anxiety, hair loss, weight loss, IBS or digestive issues, irregular sleep and heartbeats
- Diabetes: weight gain, neuropathy, vision loss, fatigue, trouble breathing, dry mouth, skin issues
- Overworked Adrenals: muscle aches, fatigue, anxiety and depression, trouble sleeping, brain fog, reproductive challenges
Potential Causes of Hormonal Imbalances
Hormonal imbalances are created by a combination of lifestyle factors — such as diet, exercise, environment, genetics, stress, and exposure to xenotoxins from plastics, makeup, cleaning supplies and even residual pesticides in food. Some of the major causes of hormonal imbalances include:
- Food allergies & gut flora imbalances: New scientific research shows that the flora in your gut (microbiome) plays a crucial role in hormone regulation and regulating inflammation that is at the root of so many chronic illnesses. If you have IBS, SIBO, leaky gut syndrome or a lack of good gut bacteria residing in your intestines, you’re more susceptible to hormonal imbalances.
- Weight gain or obesity
- High levels of inflammation caused by a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle along with chronic stress
- Genetic predisposition
- High levels of toxin exposure including exposure to pesticides, harmful bacteria, parasites, viruses, cigarette smoke (even second-hand), excessive alcohol and other harmful chemicals or compounds like lead and formaldehyde
- High amounts of stress and regular release of stress hormones like cortisol, paired with a lack of rest and deep sleep
The earlier hormonal imbalances are diagnosed, the sooner you can start addressing them naturally – feel free to schedule a complimentary phone consultation to see what the best next steps are for you.