Hello! Just thought I’d see what you think about my situation. 3 years ago when I turned 45, I started having menopause symptoms. Found out I had hypothyroid and all my hormones but estrogen were low. I started taking thyroid meds and prometrium 100mg (natural progesterone). I gained 6 pounds the first two weeks! I have been the same weight my whole life before this (115lbs). Since then, I have gained another 15 pounds! No change in diet. I just got my hormones tested last month and now ALL my hormones are at the bottom. I quit taking my progesterone a month and a half ago to see if the weight would start to go away. So far nothing. Two weeks ago, I started taking a new thyroid med, estridiol gel and cut way back on my progesterone to 20-30mg a day. I stopped gaining weight, but how am I going to lose this extra 20 pounds?? I thought progesterone was supposed to help you lose weight? I am super depressed about it. Even if I eat 1000 calories a day and exercise, I can’t lose a pound. It’s going on 3 years of trying to lose this!
Though it used to be in vogue to prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat this fundamental imbalance, persistent links to breast and ovarian cancer, heart disease, and blood clots have caused most healthcare professionals to rethink this drastic option. Many agree that the most effective approach is to combine a few changes in lifestyle with alternative treatment options.
Cells lining the gastrointestinal tract have receptors for both estrogen and progesterone. Levels of these hormones change throughout the course of a woman's monthly menstrual cycle. When they do, they impact the function of the gastrointestinal system. Women often experience abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, and nausea before or during their periods. These symptoms can also occur with many other conditions. If a woman experiences them along with mood changes and fatigue before or during her period, it may be more likely that the GI disturbances are occurring due to monthly hormonal fluctuations.
Gelatin or Collagen- a great source of minerals and necessary amino acids. Gelatin and collagen powders support hormone production and digestive health in various ways. Gelatin powder can actually “gel” and is useful in recipes like homemade jello and probiotic marshmallows, while collagen protein does not gel but is easily added to soups, smoothies, coffee, tea or any other food. (I get both gelatin powder and collagen peptides from here)
There are many hormones that can affect a person with a uterus’s reproductive function throughout their lifetime — the two primary ones being estrogen and progesterone. The relationships between these hormones are complex, and they naturally fluctuate at different times of our lives, Lo explains, noting that overproduction or underproduction of these hormones can result in hormonal imbalances.
Hormone imbalance is becoming increasingly common in modern Americans, but what many who have these disorders don’t realize is the fact that hormone imbalance is not “normal.” In a healthy, functioning person, hormones should be in balance to support the functions of the body. When hormones are out of balance, it’s because something in the body is also not functioning properly.
Because all the systems in the body are interconnected, if you have one hormone problem, you might have other ones as well. In other words, to say you have only one of these seven issues might be oversimplification – it could be all of these issues or a combination of some of these. It’s important to work with your health care provider to find out what hormone issues might actually be at play.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding estrogen replacement, and unfortunately many doctors are still as confused as their patients on this subject. You need to see a doctor that really understands healthy aging for women and has kept up with all the latest advancements in the science of safe and effective female hormone imbalance treatment in Springville UT. This is what we offer at Renew Youth. Here’s what sets our treatment apart from the crowd:
First off, thanks for this article. That part at the end made me tear up, I’m sort of having a bad moment. I ran across this because I searched google “if my hormones are imbalanced will it age me” long story short.. family history of endometriosis and hormone issues related to diet. . I follow a strict lifestyle of no meat, absolutely no preservatives, I go back and forth with allowing fish and dairy into my life when I’m feeling particularly gaunt.. I drink water or plain almond milk. I basically avoid refined sugars or anything processed at all. Anyway, my Ob/gyn who specializes in fertility and hormones started me on this charting thing to track my cycles and ovulation in order to begin me on a regimen of the “bio-identical” hormones. After doing a hormone panel at peak+3,5,7,9 he saw that my estrogen and progesterone dropped very low, so he prescribed estradiol and progesterone. I ended up refusing to take these because I don’t like to mess with my natural chemistry and I’m so anti- anything unnatural. But tonight looking at my face which seems to be aging, my disrupted sleep pattern and some minor depression.. I thought, could these pills help? Am I doing myself a disservice by NOT taking them? Most importantly at that moment, is it AGING me not to take them? Lol. Silly I know. If you could offer some advice I would heed it after reading what you’ve said. Thanks and thanks again, 🙂
You might never know this from conventional medicine, which seems to subscribe to the idea that women are destined to suffer throughout their reproductive life. Women suffer from mood and behavior swings resulting from the three P’s: Puberty, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and peri-menopause (the years leading up to and just after their final period), or the three M’s: menstrual cramps, menopause and mental anxiety!
Hormones are essential to your overall wellbeing. They relay chemical messages throughout the body, helping to keep your emotions and body systems in check. One of the key body systems affected by the balance of the hormones in your body is the reproductive system. A female hormonal imbalance could cause heavy periods, infertility, and endometriosis. (Imbalances can affect other body systems, as well.)
Ideally, we could get all of our nutrients from food, properly hydrate from water, and get enough Vitamin D from the sun on a daily basis. We’d get magnesium from the ocean and not get deficient in the first place since we’d be consuming adequate minerals from eating fresh seafood. Since this is rarely the case, supplements can sometimes be needed! I’ve shared the basic supplements that I take before, but certain supplements are especially helpful for hormone balance.
The Labs: Mainstream medicine typically just runs TSH and T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) to determine thyroid hormone dosage. A functional medicine thyroid panel involves looking at many other labs such as Free and Total T3 (active thyroid hormone), Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies to rule out autoimmune thyroid problems. For a full list of thyroid labs and how to interpret them, read my previous article here.
If you suspect that you might suffer from hormonal imbalance, the first step is to consult with a medical doctor. It is possible that your lab results are within the normal range but you still have many of the above symptoms, some of the tests are not sensitive enough to pick up on all indications of imbalance. This just means that your journey to find alternative treatments will be a long one, but very much worth it.
Experts say that mood swings and other symptoms do not necessarily indicate abnormal hormone levels. "Every study done on women with PMS shows their circulating levels of hormones are normal," says Nanette Santoro, MD. Santoro is director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. "But some researchers believe that certain hormone metabolites in the brain cause the mood changes - or that some women just metabolize hormones differently. No one knows for sure."
I have read that because the Mirena delivers progesterone to the uterus only, this can cause the body to stop producing it elsewhere, and actually cause progesterone deficiency. I have also read that blood tests only show an incomplete snapshot reading of hormone levels. However, my gp assumes I have adequate progesterone and low estrogen, and has prescribed estradiol. I’m too scared to take it, as my symptoms seem more akin to estrogen dominance.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids that are extremely beneficial for your health and provide building blocks for hormones. These fatty acids help reduce the inflammation within your body that might have occurred due to hormonal imbalance (1). Coconut oil is also great for your overall health as it helps you lose weight by boosting your metabolism and reduces stress and anxiety (2).
Functional medicine wants to find out the root cause of patients’ hormonal symptoms as well as support the body’s natural mechanisms for healthy hormone balance, and that makes a lot more sense to me. Let’s go over some of the most common hormone problems that I see in patients, and that you may be going through right now. I’ll also explain which labs you may want to consider asking your doctor about.
Many women have unknowingly been estrogen dominant for years, resigning themselves to tender breasts, heavy bleeding, painful cramps or PMS mood swings and depression as the monthly consequence of “the curse.” But behind this all-too-familiar symptom picture lurks the greater health impact of hormone imbalance. “For women with undetected estrogen dominance,” writes co-author Virginia Hopkins, in the popular John Lee books on menopause, “Being put on synthetic hormones when they reach menopause is like pouring gasoline on a fire in terms of breast cancer risk.”