Listen to Your Hormones Now: Dr. Paul Stallone describes the importance of hormones on our healthOct 01, 2014 07:59PM ● By By Dr. Paul Stallone
Hormones are essential for almost every single function in our body, from metabolism to mood. We use hormones to communicate between organs and other bodily tissue and regulate physiological and behavior activities. Hormones intertwine with each other, creating a delicate balance that must be maintained. One unbalanced hormone will eventually cause others to follow suit. Hormone deficiencies disrupt homeostasis, or balance, which produces symptoms like weight gain, hot flashes, depression/anxiety, joint pain, low libido, fatigue and skin problems. These symptoms are a physical indicator that our body isn’t functioning properly, signaling the need to seek treatment.
Early-stage hormonal imbalances can be treated simply with a few lifestyle changes. Eating whole organic, non-GMO foods is a great way to give the body the nutrients it needs to heal itself. Healthy forms of saturated fats like coconut oil and avocado provide healthy cholesterol, a precursor to all steroid hormones, needed for the formation of cell membranes.
Beyond the point of doing it ourselves, synthetic hormones are a one-size-fits-all approach with possible dangerous side effects that have many patients nervous about treatment. Using alternative medicine has proven most effective because many options are exceedingly safe. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (bHRT) is a great treatment option for those needing to supplement their hormones.
bHRT is biologically and structurally the same as the hormones produced in the body and are individually compounded and easily recognized. Before beginning treatment, it is crucial to have these levels evaluated. Testing should fall into one of these categories:
Adrenal insufficiency: A treatable condition in which the adrenal glands do not produce sufficient amounts of steroid hormones. Malfunctioning adrenals will not produce cortisol, another important hormone. Common symptoms include constant fatigue, muscle weakness, weight loss, depression, dizziness, low blood pressure and muscle aches. Patients suffering from low adrenals often have chronic stress that has overtaxed the adrenal glands. Stress management and inexpensive supplements will usually reverse this condition.
Cortisol deficient: This deficiency is generally caused from persistent stress and overworked adrenal glands. Cortisol is produced during specific times throughout the day, peaking in the morning upon waking. This hormone cycle can actually reverse, producing the highest levels at night, thus preventing sleep. Common symptoms include low blood pressure, thin/dry skin, brown spots on the face, extreme fatigue, unstable blood sugar, foggy thinking and an inability to exercise. Like the adrenals, cortisol is easy to correct with nutrition and de-stressing techniques.
Estrogen dominant: Accumulating too much estrogen is generally pretty easy because estrogen-like compounds can be found in many foods and cosmetics. Premenopausal women with too much estrogen will tend to have a pear-shaped body and menopausal women will likely be apple-shaped. Common symptoms include rapid weight gain, mood swings, ovarian cysts, memory loss, insomnia, fatigue, anemia, weepiness, lowered libido, depression/anxiety, breast tenderness and red flush on face.
Estrogen deficient: Too little estrogen is often present in menopausal women, especially if they are slim or petite. Low estrogen in some women can trigger early onset of menopause. Common symptoms include hot flashes, memory problems, night sweats, insomnia, bladder infections, depression, anxiety, vaginal dryness and rapid heartbeat.
Progesterone deficient: This is the most common type of hormonal deficiency and the most pivotal. Progesterone is the building block for the production of other hormones, so without the proper amount of progesterone, estrogen becomes harmful and uncontrolled. Common symptoms include bleeding between periods or long cycles, insomnia, anxiety, infertility, headaches, painful/lumpy breasts, weight gain and early miscarriage.
Regulating hormones can be accomplished easily and inexpensively with the appropriately trained physician.
Paul Stallone, NMD, founded the Arizona Integrative Medical Center, located at 8144 E. Cactus Rd., Ste. 820, in Scottsdale. He combines natural/alternative/conventional treatments to best fit and benefit each individual patient’s needs. For more information, call 480-214-3922 or visit DrStallone.com.