The naturopathic doctors at the Whole Health Naturopathic Clinic have a special interest in hormonal health, which includes testing and re-balancing hormones to help achieve optimal whole-body health. The body has many different hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, cortisol, and thyroid hormones. Our hormones help our organs and tissues communicate with one another, and with the outside world to regulate our metabolism, sleep, mood, reproduction, and most other parts of our everyday functioning. All of these hormones must be kept in an ideal balance in order to work together with the body for optimal health.
With varying life stages, stressful events, and chronic health challenges, hormone changes can result. Some examples of when patients notice these changes include having a baby, during menopause, or following a period of grief or loss. Whatever the cause of your hormone imbalance, individuals need help to regain their hormonal health.
There are many possible symptoms of hormonal imbalance, including:
- Agitation or PMS
- Mood swings, irritability, depression, weepiness, anxiety
- Cyclical headaches or migraines
- Painful or swollen breasts
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Heavy, painful periods
- Bloating in belly and ankles, fluid retention
- Ovarian cysts, breast cysts, or endometrial cysts
- Easily disrupted sleep or insomnia
- Itching or restless legs especially at night
- Increased clumsiness or poor coordination
- Weight gain
- Thinning hair
- Erectile dysfunction
- Prostate changes
- Increased breast size or tenderness
- Endometriosis or painful periods
- Brain fog
- Poor memory
- Hot flashes
- Nights sweats
- Leaky, overactive bladder
- Bladder infections
- Urinary frequency
- Joint aching
- Bone loss
- Sexual dysfunction and decreased libido
- Vaginal dryness
- Excess, abnormal hair growth
- Greasy skin and/or hair
- Skin tags
- Poor blood sugar balance
Patients can have any combination of the above symptoms. It is essential to test your hormones prior to treating them, as different hormonal imbalances can present the same symptoms. For example, patients with elevated estrogen and patients with low progesterone often display a similar set of symptoms. Testing will identify what exactly is happening in the body and, therefore, what the most effective treatment is.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)
Traditional HRT used synthetic hormones made from various compounds, including horse urine, which are different than our natural hormones. While these synthetic hormones worked well to alleviate menopausal symptoms, repeated studies have shown that their risks outweigh their benefits, and they are no longer recommended for long-term use. BHRT is a safer and more effective alternative when properly prescribed in physiologic doses, and monitored properly.
BHRT uses hormones made from natural sources, such as soy or wild yams to create hormones, which are identical to our own human hormones. Bioidentical hormones bind to our receptors, and are broken down in the same way as our own hormones, resulting in less harmful by-products than synthetic HRT. This means less side effects and less long-term effects with BHRT versus conventional HRT.
When using bioidentical hormones, it is essential to frequently test hormone levels to ensure your levels are within optimal range. Knowing hormone levels allows for an individualized prescription, which will optimize symptom relief and boost quality of life for those struggling with hormone imbalance.
CONDITIONS THAT COULD BE ASSOCIATED WITH A HORMONAL IMBALANCE
- Menopause and perimenopause symptoms
- Mood Changes that are cyclical or associated with hormone changes
- Insomnia and disrupted sleep
- Menstrual Irregularities
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- Fertility Concerns – both male and female
- Breast concerns
Our naturopathic doctors have an extensive amount of experience and success treating hormone concerns. Your first step to feeling better is to Make an Appointment today!