Perk up your ears and imagine sitting next to me as the curtain is about to rise on the opening night of a concert. The orchestra consists of strings, wind, and percussion sections, each tuning up with dissonant sounds. Initially, there is a kind of chaos as orchestra members practice and refine the parts they play in the performance that’s about to begin. Yet slowly the instruments begin to work together in harmony. They become a cohesive unit as the curtain goes up, and the performance transports you. In many ways, your hormones, which control the functions of organs and tissues in your body, are similar to a philharmonic. Hormones must balance and work in concert with one another to create optimal health. In perimenopause or menopause, too little or too much of one hormone causes an imbalance in others and can set off a chain reaction of dysfunction. This imbalance is common, because our hormones rarely decline at exactly the same rate and pace.
androgen Dihydrotestosterone DHT multiple AR 5-DHT or DHT is a male reproductive hormone that targets the prostate gland, bulbourethral gland, seminal vesicles, penis and scrotum and promotes growth/mitosis/cell maturation and differentiation. Testosterone is converted to 5-DHT by 5alpha-reductase, usually with in the target tissues of 5-DHT because of the need for high concentrations of 5-dht to produce the physiological effects.
Progesterone also affects menstruation, balances the effects of estrogen, is a natural diuretic, and helps normalize blood-sugar levels. It stimulates cells called osteoblasts, which make new bone. In our younger years, progesterone is the hormone of pregnancy. The same progesterone is focused on its function during pregnancy—“pro” meaning in favor of “gest,” as in gestation (pregnancy). Progesterone is produced by the ovaries, by the placenta during pregnancy, and by the adrenal glands. After the childbearing years, it is metabolized through the liver and must be produced solely by our poor, overworked adrenal glands (along with testosterone and certain other hormones).
Randi Epstein has written a fun, fast-paced medical detective story about the discovery of hormones and what they do in the body. We learn how these chemical signals regulate growth, weight, gender and sexuality, even the bonding of mother and infant. We learn what happens when there is too much of them – think of the fat lady and giant that were once paraded around at the Circus – or too little – the salt craving and exhaustion of Addison’s Disease that afflicted John F Kennedy.
It’s common for so many of us to start eating less when we recognize our weight is failing to come off. For me personally, I know this all too well. I gained more than 25 pounds even though I was exercising an hour a day and counting every calorie. The more I strived, the harder I failed. And here's why: When we cut calories so drastically, we cause a significant amount of stress on our bodies. This increases our stress hormone cortisol, which only sabotages our effort as it causes our appetite for comfort foods to surge and is also associated with increased belly fat, even for people who are otherwise thin.  When one focuses on losing weight this way, it only inhibits our thyroid hormone’s ability to function properly, slowing down our metabolism.
No matter how an imbalance manifests on the outside, the internal reality remains the same: Any and all hormonal imbalances lead to difficulty losing weight and increased risk of obesity. To determine if your hormones are balanced, try asking yourself a few questions: Do you have trouble dragging yourself out of bed in the morning? Do you experience uncontrollable sugar cravings at 3 p.m.? Nagging PMS every month? Interrupted sleep patterns? Do you get stressed out just sitting in your office? Do you have difficulty coping with every task? Bloating after meals? Skin that has lost its luster or tone? Belly fat that just won’t go away? The list can go on and on, and I am willing to bet that many of you experience some of these frustrations every day. Believe it or not, these factors aren’t just making you feel bad, they may be impacting your ability to lose weight because they are all sure signs your hormones are out of whack! 
Great info, so needed! Enjoyed Gottfried's writing style, fun and easy to understand. I like her approach with fixing the cause (usually stress related), looking to herbals and nutrients first and then, if and when needed, bio-identical hormones. Good layout so you can bop around to what you need or get more and read the deeper details. On target with hormone health and a great reference for all women!
Unfortunately, many of us are too embarrassed or too used to the symptoms to even think about discussing or addressing them. Both women and men have spent too long believing that their hormonal symptoms are a liability or are psychosomatic to simply be ignored. Yet hormones are powerful chemical messengers in our body--they control everything from our reproductive functions to our mood, sleep, appearance and almost every other aspect of daily life. The very same hormones that are behind a whole host of health concerns (such as the ones listed above) are also influencing your ability to control your appetite, shed body fat and gain lean muscle. They dictate how successful we will be with a given weight-loss program; whether we will be able to drop unwanted £ds or continue on the diet merry-go-round to no avail. So many of us believe we can get healthy by losing weight. But it was my goal to teach you in The Hormone Diet that we must be healthy in order to lose weight.
This part of the diet involves a two-week “detoxification” process. You avoid eating gluten-containing grains, dairy products made from cow’s milk, many oils, alcohol, caffeine, peanuts, sugar, artificial sweeteners, red meat, and citrus fruits. Acceptable foods during this phase include naturally gluten-free grains and starches, most vegetables, most fruits, beans, nuts and seeds, poultry, fish, soy, eggs, plant milks, dairy from sheep or goat, and certain oils. This phase also involves taking nutritional supplements. These include probiotics and anti-inflammatory products like turmeric and fish oil.
I read the paperback edition of the original publishing year of 2005. It is written by a British science commentator/editor for various newspapers/magazines and a presenter of a BBC science program. For one thing, this means that this book is written in British English, which is fine, unless when it comes to measurements. I simply had no idea what it meant, when she wrote about a 10-year-old girl weighing 13.5 stones and a 2-year-old boy weighing 5 stones. Until I transcalculated that into 189 lbs (85.7 kg) and 70 lbs (31.8 kg) respectively. All due to the power of hormones (in these specific cases). The other issue I initially had was that I had my doubts about the non-professional writing about such a specific topic. But I do not regret having read the book. It has been criticized of not really explaining how the hormones make us tick the way we do (as in biochemistry), describing the resulting effects only. So you should know that beforehand. Of course, this meant also that the book is written in a highly entertaining fashion. Which I appreciated very much, as I like to laugh once in a while during my textbook prone reading habits.

On the other hand, too much estrogen can be a major problem as well. Studies have shown that there is a link between excess estrogen and cancer. We also know that it is not just excess estrogen but an imbalanced excess estrogen that seems to be the cause. Which age group has the highest levels of estrogen? Teenagers. Yet breast cancer is virtually unheard of until later in life, because teenage girls have all their hormones in balance, including estrogen.
On top of all the testosterone advantages I’ve already mentioned, study after study shows that testosterone is literally a lifeline for women who undergo hysterectomy. One particular research article published in 2000, in the Journal of Women’s Health & Gender-Based Medicine, sums up the ordeal patients face. The author states that estrogen is not enough after hysterectomy, because many women also suffer undiagnosed testosterone deficiency. Symptoms of that deficiency, such as loss of libido, sexual pleasure, and a sense of well-being, go untreated. Adding testosterone to estrogen supplementation also helps prevent osteoporosis and may protect the heart.
It is little-known that hormones play a crucial ongoing role in our most vital bodily functions. I see countless patients whose busy lives leave them feeling depleted, burnt out and looking for answers. They do not want an extreme approach – nor do they need one. They usually need a reset and to balance their hormones. This 4-week plan outlines nutritional and lifestyle changes to help get your life and your hormones back on track.
I see comments saying don’t buy the kindle version. It didn’t bother me at all. I loved having a digital version that I could search through. The audio companion seemed to be for a different version though because the spoken word didn’t always match the written word. Most of the time, it didn’t matter. I only noticed a few time were it might be problematic.