Today lets look at the 5 ESSENTIAL factors every hormone balancing plan should include, plus symptoms to check your health status.
Hormone imbalances can be really confusing to figure out, because hormones affect each other – they don’t ‘play up’ all by themselves. Discovering which systems are under functioning, and which ones are just reacting takes clever detective work. We hear of lots of people who have tried other treatments and not got good results – and that is always because the true cause was not found.
The following symptoms can be due to thyroid, adrenal, blood sugar OR sex hormones;
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Waking through the night and having trouble falling back to sleep
- Sweating under the arms, back of neck or palms
- Wired and tired
- Sleep issues – insomnia
- Excessive night time urination
- Irritability, low mood, anxiety, zero motivation
- Loss of libido
- Food cravings: carbs, sugar, caffeine or alcohol
- Weight gain
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Cold intolerance
Figuring out what is causing what requires more sensitive testing than Medicare uses, this is called functional pathology. Functional pathology aims to investigate the status of these functional, biochemical, nutritional, metabolic and hormonal processes through the use of evidence-base testing.
>> Sub-optimal thyroid is medically unrecognised
The thyroid hormones are responsible for every cell in our body to function, so it only takes relatively minor shifts in the levels to start to see symptoms.
Our amazing medical system is designed to pick up on ‘disease’ states or treat trauma and emergencies.
For example, there can be nodules, inflammation, and even sensitivity in the thyroid gland, and todays standard pathology testing can come back as normal.
Let’s look at the 5 essential factors to balancing your hormones.
1. Thyroid – all 3 steps
The thyroid controls the speed of everything in the body, and it has a complex life journey before it enters your body and stimulates ATP – energy. If you have thyroid symptoms, we want to check all stages of this journey to discover where things are not working so well. Basically, Step 1 is thyroid hormone production in the thyroid gland. Step 2 is conversion of T4 to T3, and Step 3 is the ability of the thyroid hormone to enter the tissues and activate function. We run thorough pathology to assess all steps.
2. Blood sugar regulation
Elevated insulin up-regulates an enzyme called 17,20-lyase, and this increases the production of testosterone and leads to PCOS, which can cause infertility, thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp, facial hair growth, weight gain, and depression.
3. Adrenal Hormones
The adrenal system connects to the brain, the nervous system, the gut, the thyroid, the pancreas. So it goes without saying this is really important to factor in! The very first ingredient to make an adrenal hormone is cholesterol. An enzyme then converts cholesterol to pregnenolone the first true adrenal hormone. This conversion requires a lot of ATP. So if you thyroid is low, your ATP will also be low. In this case you might find low cortisol, but high cholesterol on a test result because the body doesn’t have enough energy to convert the cholesterol. Stress management, correct diet, correct exercise and adrenal fortifying herbs and nutrients are required to get balance back.
4. GUT and Digestion
Impaired gut function can affect hormones in several ways. Parasites, fungal overgrowth, dysbiosis or leaky gut all cause massive inflammation. Inflammation suppresses the function of the hypothalamus and the pituitary in the brain, which produce the stimulating hormones, and then it also suppresses the function of the adrenals and the ovaries and the gonads in men that produce the actual hormones.
Inflammatory cytokines can also cause hormone resistance, which will present as satisfactory levels hormones in a blood test, but the receptors on the cells aren’t sensitive to those hormones, so you get the symptoms due to the hormones not actually getting into your cells.
5. Poor detoxification
Defects in hormone detox can cause hormones to be only partially metabolised by the liver, causing recirculation of estrogens back into the blood and how that can cause estrogen dominance. These compete for placement on the receptor sites with active hormones, but when they bind to the receptors, they don’t have the same effect, so they actually block the receptors from the active hormones. This affects the feedback system of the body. This might present as super sensitivity to drugs or supplements, and is a sign that a specialised detox is needed.
As you can see, there is a lot more that needs to be assessed in order to truly understand the driving factors behind hormone imbalances.
Our specialty is treating these concerns with functional medicine. Using safe, effective and clinically validated natural therapies, we help your body heal, reset, and reclaim amazing health!