Are your Hormones the Cause of your Health Issues?
Have you been experiencing nagging symptoms, affecting your daily life that you just can’t shake? It may be that the balance (or imbalance) of your hormones is the culprit.
Often we think of hormones as only being related to sexual function, but the truth is that a variety of hormones govern all of our body’s functions in some way or another because of the interplay of messages they relay to the body through the glands that produce them.
If you thought that the only hormones we have are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, well, you’d be in a majority. In actuality, a number of other chemicals that we talk about all the time at Forces of Nature are also hormones and have a lot to say in helping our bodies to experience optimal health.
There are several hormones that, depending on their current balance, most readily affect your overall health.
Some common symptoms and their hormones:
Our hormones are like an orchestra. They play together to synchronize and harmonize our beings to create optimal health patterns throughout the day and night. Their job is to keep us healthy and balanced, physically and emotionally. Sometimes, our modern lifestyle creates habits and workloads that can disrupt our body’s natural ability to control and balance our hormones.
So, when we start to exhibit symptoms that just won’t go away, such as long-term anxiety or stress, brain fog, sleep or weight management issues, mood swings, and long-term shifts in libido, investigating and caring for the glands that produce our hormones could address and solve the root of the problem.
|Adult Acne/Cystic Acne||Ovaries
|Estrogen and Androgens (Testosterone, DHT, DHEAs, Androstenedione)|
|Anxiety/Stress||Adrenals||Epinephrine/Adrenaline, Norepinephrine, Glucocorticoids, Mineralocorticoids, Cortisol, Cortisone|
|Concentration Issues/Brain Fog||Pineal, Enterochromaffin Cells in the Gastrointestinal Tract, Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Thyroid, Ovaries, Testes||Melatonin, Serotonin, Dopamine, Epinephrine, Norepinephrine, Estrogen, Testosterone, T4/T3|
|Digestive Issues||Thyroid, Pancreas||
Thyroxine (T4), T3, Insulin
|Libido||Adrenals, Testes, Ovaries||Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, DHEAs, DHT|
|Mood Swings||Pituitary, Enterochromaffin Cells in Gastrointestinal Tract, Ovaries, Testes||Endorphins, Serotonin, Dopamine, Estrogen, Testosterone, DHEAs, DHT|
|Sleep Issues/Insomnia||Pineal, Adrenals||Melatonin, Epinephrine, Norepinephrine, Aldosterone, Cortisol, Cortisone|
Adrenals, Adipose tissue, Pancreas
|Cortisol, DHEA/DHEAs (as a precursor to Estrogen and Testosterone), Leptin, Insulin|
How you can help your hormones
Your General Practitioner will have many suggestions to help treat the symptoms you’re experiencing. But working with your whole health team including our integrative medicine practitioners (naturopathic doctors, chiropractor, acupuncturist, massage therapists & psychotherapist) will yield the greatest benefits because the therapies can complement each other.
For example, your GP might prescribe antidepressants or sleep aids to help manage your symptoms and ‘get you over the hump’ and on your way to recovery. Our Naturopathic and Integrative Health Practitioners will work on utilizing nutrition, supplements, stress reduction, exercise, lifestyle changes, acupuncture, massage and herbs to get at the root cause of the problems you’re experiencing and get your hormones back into balance.
Naturopathic medicine looks extensively at the whole body to determine what is causing your problem. We often uncover a myriad of issues that all work together to create the person’s current health condition. Hormones often play a role but we also must uncover why they are imbalanced.
What Causes Hormones to Become Imbalanced?
There are a number of factors that may cause or contribute to hormone imbalance:
- Chronic stress
- Nutrient deficiencies – particularly vitamins B5 & B6, magnesium, zinc, L-5MHF (active folic acid) and vitamin B12
- Poor diet – diets high in carbs and sugar provoke the need for plenty of insulin that then creates hormone imbalance
- Lifestyle – lack of exercise, lack of sleep, working long hours, lack of exposure to sunlight, exposure to artificial light in the evening
- Environmental pollutants – BPA from plastic, dioxin, PCB’s etc are all endocrine disruptors
How can we help your hormonal imbalance?
Once you’ve had a chance to share with your naturopathic doctor or integrative health practitioner the series of symptoms, situations, and concerns you’ve been experiencing, we can then start putting the pieces together to outline the best options for treatment just for you.
The first set of treatment and care options that your healthcare team will look at are nutrient deficiencies and habit patterns. It’s amazing how many maladies can be remedied when we have greater focus and dedication to providing our bodies with the right nutrition, nutrients, hydration, stress management, exercise, and adequate sleep.
The next set of options could be supplements and herbs. When you’ve begun to line up a more healthy routine of nutrition, exercise, and sleep, supplementation of key nutrients, minerals and herbs could yield even greater results. We have many tools in our toolbox to help get you on the right path to a balanced system, which in turn means a balanced life!
We’re here to help you. If you’re experiencing symptoms that you just can’t beat, it’s a good time to call us to investigate your hormones and provide you with a pathway to health. Our door is always open and your road to optimal health is just a phone call (416-481-0222) or email away.
Schwartz DH, Romans SE, Meiyappan S, De Souza MJ, Einstein G. The role of ovarian steroid hormones in mood. Horm Behav. 2012 Sep;62(4):448-54. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2012.08.001. Epub 2012 Aug 8.