If you’re like most women, there’s a lot about your hormones that you just do not understand. You know you don’t feel right. You go to your “doc in the box” and often just get the pill for your ill. These pills may alleviate some symptoms temporarily, but the cost can be huge down the road!! If you’d like to learn how to balance your hormones in a more effective, natural, long-lasting way that can set you up for years of feeling and looking your best, read on.
There are over 200 hormones or hormone-like substances in the body – however, the ones that most often get the spotlight are
For most women, when we talk of “hormonal days,” we mean our sex hormones – Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone. Our “hormonal days” may include symptoms like PMS, morning sickness, unsightly acne, brain fog, bloating, hot flashes, insomnia, and mood swings. Just to name a few!
Your hormones are messengers to tell your organs what to do so you can feel fabulous and look your best. For many of us, we miss the signals that our hormones give us – attempting to tell us something is out of whack – until it’s unbearable!
You know that when your hormones are out of balance, everything seems to be much harder. It’s harder to think, it’s harder to get along, it’s harder to be grounded (and not get ticked off at folks), and it’s certainly harder to avoid fattening comfort foods and sweets! Our sex hormones impact nearly every area of our body. If our hormones are out of balance, then our body will NOT be functioning optimally. Period!! (No pun intended!)
As an example, Estrogen imbalance can impact the gut and alter the “microbiome,” which can cause bloating, constipation, discomfort, nausea, and diarrhea. Additionally, estrogen /progesterone imbalances dramatically increase the risk of hormone-related cancers (think breasts, uterine, ovaries, and prostate). But it doesn’t stop there – hormone imbalances impact brain function, hair and nail growth, energy, cause visceral fat accumulation (or fat around the bell), obesity & poor libido. And that’s just the impact of our sex hormones out of whack. When you combine the above mess with chronic stress and the resulting elevated cortisol and blood sugar changes, things get even worse!
So, to increase your access to vitality, you must first be aware. Simply increasing your awareness of hormonal symptoms – I call them “The Dashboard Lights” – will get you closer to understanding what is NOT working and then how to optimize the function of your endocrine system (hormone system).
Understanding Functional medicine
I’m the kind of gal that drives cars for a long time. I love them and treat them right, and they last a long time. Years ago, I loved my sporty, stick-shift, 6-cylinder Volkswagen Jetta. It was so fun to drive, yet I had a slow oil leak. My mechanic, whom I really trusted, told me he would advise me when it was time to get a new car. It did NOT make financial sense to take it all apart to find the little leak with the miles I had on it. So, we made the choice that I would just add a quart of oil when needed. Now, in addition to the quart of oil, I made sure that I also had my oil filter changed on a regular basis because adding a new quart of oil to a dirty oil filter does NOT create a happy engine!!! Your car can still be sputtering down the road or not functioning optimally.
That, gals, is a simple analogy for our bodies, our hormones, and our cell receptors. Unfortunately, I’ve seen this play out a mess in a lot of women’s bodies when they see a Dysfunctional corporate medicine doc that only check a lab value and then sends you out the door with a “pill for your ill.” You can, in essence, fill the oil tank or take a hormone prescription, but you will not relieve the symptoms. Like a clean oil filter, you need to clean out the junk that is clogging up your cell receptors and clogging up your liver causing poor hormone metabolism and putting you at risk for hormone-related cancers.
One more thing here- I’ve seen for decades, as I’ve worked with women, that they indeed take waaay better of their car than their own bodies. Often, they don’t know that the dashboard lights are on or what they mean. That’s why I’m here. Perhaps you may know that something is wrong yet choose to ignore it. Or, if you’re like many women I’ve known and have worked with, you avoid getting diagnostic testing because of the fear of “what if’s.” What IF I find out there’s a problem?
Well, like your automobile, if you leave the problem alone, it’s only going to get worse! And perhaps if left too long, your engine may blow up on the freeway at the least opportune time. Ah, as if there IS an opportune time!
I know, gals, I did this!! I did this for years. I was dragging myself around feeling horrible fatigue, NOT sleeping (as in a terrible sleep disorder), incredible stress with resultant cortisol levels beating my adrenals to no end, which, you guessed it, caused severe problems that took years to overcome.
If you are in your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s, then you really DO need to get a thorough evaluation of your hormones.
Comprehensive hormone testing
Your symptoms are what is known, in western medicine, as “subjective data.” Often, especially with years of experience, we can often make a “differential diagnosis” just with your symptoms / subjective data. However, a wise provider will get “objective data” / lab tests to confirm.
When I was trained in functional hormone therapy 20 years ago, I had to use blood (serum), urine, and saliva samples to get all the information that I needed to make an accurate assessment. However, in the past 6 years, I’ve been using the most comprehensive, most advanced test on the market – that you can do at home!!
The DUTCH test – Dry Urine Testing for Comprehensive Hormones is an extraordinary test you can do at home or carry in your purse/pocket and do on the go. It reveals FUNCTIONAL hormonal data. The test not only reveals your hormone levels (like checking the dipstick) but also has samples at various times of the day. And I think, even more importantly, that it reveals how you metabolize your hormones and evidence of estrogen dominance. These two factors are two of your biggest risks for hormone-related cancers. The colleagues that I train with suggest that women at ages 25, 35, 45, and 55 should be getting the DUTCH test for prevention and early warning signs of functional problems. Mind you, these “problems” can be easily managed and tracked, so you can turn things around 10 or more years BEFORE you’d find a lump.
The DUTCH test also reveals important data about your Adrenal function, how you metabolize your cortisol, and how your adrenal function affects other hormones. Neurotransmitters, gut health markers, inflammatory markers, evidence of DNA mutations, and many other important data give us a comprehensive picture of your health.
If you are interested in the DUTCH test. You can order the test here for a discount of $100 using the code LDF100. You will receive the kit in the mail with very detailed instructions. Then you can follow up with me to review your results and get on your way to healing your endocrine system and balancing your hormones. In the meantime, remember the basics – functional hormone health is more than just testing your levels- it’s about how the entire system is functioning or communicating!
One more thing -whether you drive a Mazda, Mercedes, Mini-van or Maserati – You determine if it’s in pristine or beat up condition by the choices you make each, and every, day. Your body, how it looks and performs for you, is all determined by your daily choices, too!