Hormone Imbalances: A Functional Medicine Approach
Hormonal imbalances can cause a host of serious health problems, including inflammation, metabolic syndrome, adrenal fatigue, sexual dysfunction, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, hypertension, dementia and more.
While many factors can cause an imbalance in our hormones, the good news is we can often fix these imbalances without medications.
Hormones & Habits
Hormone imbalances are not a result of coincidence or bad luck, but due to an accumulation of a variety of bad habits over time that so many of us fall prey to when looking for convenience as we rush through our busy lives. It’s no secret that the schedules we keep don’t allow for the necessary time to take care of our bodies, minds, and spirits.
However, if we do not take deliberate time to care of ourselves, we can be sure that later we will have to make the time when our bodies finally break down and we are faced with sickness, hospital care, and a pile of bills.
If we don’t make a conscious decision to change what we eat and drink, our daily movement and activity, and to ensure we have adequate time to rest and sleep, we will continue to be frustrated by our lack of energy and increasing struggle to keep up with the pace of our lives, while staying positive and productive.
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Why Do I Feel
Most of us are living life completely out of balance. Unfortunately, after a time, we come to accept the symptoms of imbalance as “normal”. The path to real healing starts when you decide feeling lousy, low energy, and out of balance is NOT your normal. It begins when you decide you need to know the “why?” behind your issues — What is the underlying cause of your problems? Why do you feel lousy, out of balance, and sick without any obvious issues?
When you figure out what creates the imbalances – and treat the underlying problem – you find a true solution.
The Functional Medicine approach facilitates the diagnosis and treatment process by identifying and treating the underlying cause(s) to create balance and improve symptoms.
Hormone Imbalance Symptoms Include…
- Low energy, even after sleep
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Headaches, including migraines
- Tired all the time or overwhelmed
- Low sex drive
- Easy bruising
- Adult onset diabetes
- Water retention
- Weight gain (especially abdomen)
- Brain Fog
- Difficulty with memory
- Irregular periods or PMS
- Sleep difficulties or insomnia
- Vaginal dryness
- Salt craving
- Mood imbalance
- Poor wound healing
- Craving sweets
- Bone loss or osteoporosis
- Frequent infections
Indentifying the Cause of Hormone Imbalance
- Saliva testing – especially for cortisol and DHEA – stress hormones
- Urine testing – a complete evaluation can check stress hormones, sex hormones and mineralocorticoids
- Blood testing – thyroid, autoantibodies, insulin, lipids, inflammatory markers, oxidative stress markers, toxin levels, IgE & IgG allergy testing, nutrient levels, etc.
- Genetic testing – helpful to evaluate individual tendencies that impact production and breakdown of hormones which guides the approach
- Nutrient assays – evaluates nutritional needs to support hormone production
- Stool studies – looks for gut related issues and source of potential inflammation
- Dietary history – helps to identify foods that may be creating inflammation and hormone imbalance
A Balanced Approach to Balancing Hormones
Medical Grade Supplements
Fish oil and additional vitamin D and B vitamins help balance hormones. Take these in addition to a good multivitamin and mineral with sufficient calcium and magnesium. Probiotics, antioxidants and phytonutrients (vitamin E, resveratrol, curcumin, n-actetyl cysteine, green tea, selenium), and the anti-inflammatory omega-6 fat (GLA or gamma linoleic acid) can help balance hormones.
Follow a Tailored Nutrition Plan
Everyone’s body is unique and discovering which foods give life and which foods cause inflammation can be key in balancing hormones.
The benefits of exercise far outweigh what any pill can do for us. Not only does it decrease inflammation, help manage stress, increase energy and confidence, it also helps balance hormones.
Chronic stress can trigger or exacerbate hormonal imbalances. The key here becomes finding something that works for you to reduce stress, such as meditation, yoga, qi gong, nature or a creative outlet.
Create a Healthy Sleep Routine
Our bodies repair and recuperate from the day as we sleep. Insufficient amounts of sleep can adversely impact our health and create more disruptions and imbalances in hormones.
Work With Us!
It would be a privilege to work with you to improve your health and overall well-being.
By determining the underlying causes of your symptoms, we can find the most beneficial plan for you. Contact us today to learn more!