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, 🙂
Once we’ve identified potential causes of the problem, we work with patients to create a roadmap of lifestyle and behavioral changes that will help heal their bodies, and reduce the stress on their endocrine system. Sometimes hormone replacement therapy is used in conjunction with these lifestyle and behavioral changes, but for many patients changes in diet and lifestyle can help reset the body and reduce the symptoms of hormone imbalance. If you have been diagnosed with a hormone imbalance, Aligned Modern Health has the tools to help you take control over your health and wellness so your body can restore the natural balance of hormones.
Some of the symptoms associated with a hormonal imbalance because of PCOS include growing hair on the facial area (chin and upper lips), abnormal uterine bleeding or no periods for months or weeks, Tran tells SheKnows. It can also result in obesity, a higher chance of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, infertility and uterine cancer later in life. Treatments for this type of hormonal imbalance include birth control pills, ovarian drilling procedures, laser hair removal (for the unwanted hair) and the drugs spironolactone or metformin, she adds.
Natural Progesterone Cream– PMS and menstrual troubles are often linked to specific hormone imbalances. Especially for those with short cycles or short second phase of their cycle (ovulation through start of menses), progesterone can be the issue. I’ve seen people add only natural progesterone cream and see symptoms greatly reduce. If you do use progesterone cream, do you own research, make sure you have a good brand that is soy-free and only use for the second half of your cycle (ovulation through menses). Check with a doctor or professional before using any hormone supplement.
After hormone levels have been tested, ask your doctor if plant foods that contain phytoestrogens, which are groups of chemicals that weakly act like estrogen in the body, are right for you. According to Healthline, Non-GMO Project Verified soy is a great dietary source of phytoestrogens, specifically isoflavones, which bind to estrogen receptors in the body. While there are some conflicting studies on isoflavones and soy, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports substantial beneficial evidence that soy foods may help address many conditions. Flaxseed is another significant source of phytoestrogens, which can help promote hormone balance if taken correctly.
"Women can be, and many are, greatly affected by hormone fluctuations. Sometimes it gets to the point of feeling totally overwhelmed - as if for a time they have lost control of their life," says Christiane Northrup, MD, author of The Wisdom of Menopause and Women's Bodies Women's Wisdom.Dieting, stress, anxiety, depression - even exercise -are all among the factors that can create a hormonal tailspin. So there are plenty of opportunities for things to go awry.
The functional medicine model may be a superior treatment pathway in that its primary aim is to search out the causative factors behind the hormone imbalances and then treat these causes directly. In this way, treatment has a strong, positive effect on regulating hormone levels. With that said, in some cases hormone replacement therapy, usually in the form of bioidentical hormones, is an important component in the overall treatment protocol, but this is not the only treatment offered.
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.
Cancer-causing toxins accumulate in body fat—the more body fat the more room for stored toxins. We can excrete these by losing weight and eating fiber that binds up toxins and escorts them out of the body. Fat cells also contain the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogens. This is why overweight and obese women have more estrogen. The more estrogen produced in the breast tissue, the more chance of stimulating the growth of breast cancer cells. Fat also produces substances called cytokines that are inflammatory in nature. A whole host of diseases including cancers of the breast and prostate are aided and abetted by silent inflammation.
Since I had a total thyroidectomy almost a yr ago my libido and breast have been dropping like crazy, I’m having night sweats, anxiety, puffy eyes, stress, confusion, lack of sleep, lack of energy, major hair loss, I’m getting very irritable very fast, depressed and worry a lot over nothing. I think its a hormonal issue because I never had the majority of these problems in my life till after the TT especially the the first ones, no libido and no breasts, could this be a hormonal issue/problem or am I losing it???
A decrease in estrogen levels during a woman's monthly cycle may trigger mood changes in some women. Some females may reach for comfort foods that are high in fat, calories, sugar, and salt in an effort to feel better. Sadly, eating these foods backfires and makes women feel worse. Sodium increases water retention and bloating.. Sugar, excess fat and calories will lead you to pack on the pounds. Falling estrogen levels also affect leptin, a hormone that inhibits hunger. Combat hormonal weight gain by adopting a healthy diet and exercise plan. Stick to lean meats, healthy fats, complex carbs, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables to help prevent PMS and encourage healthy blood sugar levels and weight loss.
Not getting enough sleep impacts our long-term brain health, memory, and hormone balance. Getting the ideal 8 hours of sleep per night allows the body to recover properly, detox, and keep hormones like cortisol, melatonin, and leptin balanced. To maximize hormone function, I recommend getting to sleep from 10pm-6am. Here are more tips to help you optimize your sleep.
Although it was many years ago, I still remember one of the first patients I saw with a hormonal disturbance. She was a lovely woman in her early 40s who was a little heavy; despite having tried every diet under the sun, she couldn't seem to shed the extra pounds. As we talked and she mentioned a few more of her concerns—dry skin, brittle hair, a lack of energy (even shortly after her morning coffee)—I realized I needed to test her thyroid levels. Sure enough, they were too low. With proper medication, my patient's skin and energy improved, and she was no longer a prisoner to a simple chemical imbalance.
Falling estrogen levels during perimenopause and a lack of estrogen after menopause may lead to vaginal dryness. This makes the wall of the vagina thinner. It can be painful to have sex. A doctor may prescribe synthetic hormones or bioidentical hormones to combat these and other symptoms related to menopause. It's important to take progesterone along with estrogen to decrease certain risks of hormone therapy. Some women are not advised to take it because of an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, gall bladder disease, breast cancer, and endometrial cancer. Hormone therapy may be associated with side effects that include headaches, breast tenderness, swelling, mood changes, vaginal bleeding, and nausea.
Before we get into hormonal imbalance, it’s important to talk about what hormones actually are. According to Dr. Patricia Lo, an OB-GYN at MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California, hormones are chemical messengers produced by glands in the endocrine system to help coordinate and dictate different body system functions. They also can regulate a whole host of functions, such as metabolism, appetite, sleep, reproductive cycles, sexual function, mood and stress, she tells SheKnows.
Hi. I feel like I’m losing my mind. I’m 43 and until 18 months ago lived a normal,happy, confident life. Due to a couple of bereavements I had a breakdown and all my issues regarding death and aging came flooding out. I’ve been on antidepressants ever since but I seem to be in this cycle of feeling ok then crashing through the floor around ovulation time. I can never feel well for long periods of time. I’m not sure whether I’m pre menopausal or what is going on. I’ve tried so many different therapies (counsellor type stuff) and spent so much money I’m just not sure I can go on like this. I’m not suicidal as I’m terrified of death but I feel totally joyless in my life which is so totally unlike how I was before. Please help if you can. Many thanks.
Dr. Jolene Brighten is a Functional Medicine Naturopathic Medical Doctor and the founder of Rubus Health, a women’s medicine clinic that specializes in women's hormones. She is recognized as a leading expert in Post-Birth Control Syndrome and the long-term side effects associated with hormonal contraceptives. Dr. Brighten is the best selling author, speaker and regular contributor to several online publications including MindBodyGreen. She is a medical advisor for one of the first data-driven apps to offer women personalized birth control recommendations.
When researchers looked at the fatty acid composition of the phospholipids in the T-cells (white blood cells), from both young and old donors, they found that a loss of saturated fatty acids in the lymphocytes was responsible for age-related declines in white blood cell function. They found that they could correct cellular deficiencies in palmitic acid and myristic acid by adding these saturated fatty acids.
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).