Around the age of twenty five to thirty years, one achieves the optimal hormone levels in life. Once those years are past, the body’s hormone levels slowly decrease, with noticeable clinical symptoms seen by the late thirties and early forties.
Numerous things may be indicative of hormonal imbalance.
1. Growth Hormone that is low
2. Inadequate thyroid, either hypothyroid (low) or hyperthyroid (high)
3. Cortisol dominance – if cortisol levels are too high, a person may gain weight.
4. Estrogen dominance – can bring on weight gain
In a normal situation, estrogen is balanced by progesterone. When a woman is having symptoms, the workup encompasses a comprehensive history and physical along with lab work to assist with diagnosing the deficiency. It’s possible that the production of progesterone is being blocked. In order to “unblock” this production, it may help to increase fiber in a woman’s diet. This diet includes fruits and vegetables that are green and leafy that may regulate estrogen levels.
It will speed up the female metabolism once estrogen and progesterone are balanced. With estrogen dominant, a woman may increase water weight and put on fat. If a woman is in need of replacing progesterone during a regimen of bioidentical hormones, she should have individualized dosing for optimal effect.
Stress and poor sleep quality will increase the body’s cortisol levels. When the adrenal glands pump out more cortisol, and a person’s metabolism is down regulated. This tends to store fat can make a person gain weight.
While stressed, individuals typically consume only 1 or 2 meals per day. This may trick the body into thinking it is starving, placing it in stress mode and having the body gain weight instead of losing it. Methods for avoiding this can include eating more often, like four to six times daily, or maintaining effective stress management. Regular exercise can help decrease cortisol levels by decreasing stress.
Underdiagnosed underactive thyroid is a significant problem in the US. Some studies show it goes undiagnosed most of the time. In addition to laboratory results, it is important for a comprehensive history and physical and looking at whether the patient has weight gain, sluggishness, depression, dry skin, and maybe constipation.
Men do have their own hormonal issues, typically revolving around testosterone. Women begin to lose hormonal balance within months of starting menopause, whereas with men it happens starting in the 40’s over a period of decades. Testosterone is important for mens’ libido, mood, strength, metabolism, heart health, and bone health.
Understanding that there is a reason for these clinical symptoms is vital to correcting the problem – hormone treatment. Physicians now have natural opportunities with bioidentical hormone treatment that did not exist before.