There are many reasons why someone may be having difficulty sleeping. But if it’s persistent, it’s likely related to your hormones. Melatonin, the well-known sleep chemical, is a hormone released by the pineal gland in the brain. As a hormone, it is intimately related and affected by the other hormones. You can think of the different hormones as pieces in a complicated game of chess. If you move one, it affects all the others and they have to move accordingly. With certain moves, things can get dangerous. If you are not sleeping well, it would be wise to have a professional assist you in holistically determining why. Conversely, if you are imbalanced for other reasons, appropriate rest is necessary to help bring things back into balance.
Get the right tests. Ask your doctor to check your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH and free T3 and T4, as well as thyroid antibodies including thyroid peroxidase (TPO) and anti-thyroglobulin antibodies. I cover this extensively in my e-book. Some people may need to dig deeper and get a special test called reverse T3 to learn if something like heavy metals (mercury), pesticides, yeast or nutritional deficiencies like selenium, vitamin D, zinc or even iodine could block thyroid hormone function. Reverse T3 is the brake that stops your thyroid hormone from working at the right times. Unfortunately, toxins and inflammation increase levels of reverse T3. Even if regular thyroid tests appear normal, high levels of reverse T3 mean your thyroid is not working properly!
Birth control is another dangerous medications that alters hormone levels. “The pill” is a type of hormone therapy that raises estrogen levels to such dangerous levels that it can cause many complications. I cannot urge you strongly enough to stop using the pill immediately, especially considering that there are many other (safer) ways to prevent pregnancy. My thoughts on taking the pill can be summed up this way: Just say no to birth control pills! Studies show that the risks of taking them, especially long-term, can include: (18)
Instead of immediately resorting to a hormone replacement (which might be your conventional doctor’s first line of treatment), you need to figure out the “why” – what is causing the symptoms. If you find that you do need hormones, then you need to find the way to replace them that most aligns with your body – low dose, topical, bio-identical, short duration.
For those with a hormone imbalance or who are struggling to get pregnant, avoiding these unnecessary chemicals is very important! Cook in glass or non-coated metal pans (no non-stick or teflon) and avoid heating or storing foods in plastic. Find organic produce and meat whenever possible and don’t use chemical pesticides or cleaners. Here is a recipe for a natural cleaner.
It may help to know that we have been in the better aging business since 1999, and have been leaders in the areas of anti-aging and longevity medicine ever since. We are thriving because we pride ourselves on our integrity, and on the quality of our programs, products, and services. We are interested in long-term relationships with our clients. That can only be achieved through an honest and open relationship. You are welcome to call us and speak with us personally. We will answer your questions in a forthright manner.
Estrogen that is too high or too low may lead to changes in breast tissues. High estrogen may cause lumpy or dense breast tissue, even cysts. Estrogen levels that are too low may cause decreased breast tissue density. In one study, postmenopausal women who took estrogen plus progesterone hormone replacement therapy experienced an increase in breast density compared to women who took a placebo. Xenoestrogens are compounds that mimic estrogen function in the body. They are naturally occurring in some plants and fungi but they are also found in some drugs, industrial by-products, and pesticides. Non-naturally occurring xenoestrogens may produce a number of harmful effects in the body, including geffects on breast density and the risk of breast cancer. They also disrupt the endocrine system. If you notice any breast changes or are concerned about your estrogen levels, see your doctor for an evaluation.