A must know about achieving hormonal balance – A personalized approach to medicine
Balance and communication
The foundation of hormonal balance begins by achieving balance within the body. Your organ systems and communication lines need to be open and functioning optimally in order to achieve hormonal wellness. The gastrointestinal tract, liver and kidneys, adrenals, thyroid and hypothalamus-pituitary axis all need to be cell signaling and detoxing effectively. Hormonal imbalances begin at early ages and carry on through adult life.
Part of the puzzle
As peri menopause approaches, many women want to pursue hormone replacement therapy for symptomatic relief. Hormone replacement therapy is one piece of the puzzle – however, if fundamental systems such as your gut health aren’t right, you will never be able to achieve optimal balance and function.
The cancer concern
The most common concern around estrogen replacement is an increased risk of breast cancer. Looking at full estrogen metabolization gives us more information regarding individual estrogen pathways and detoxification. There are certain pathways that are more favorable than others. With the advancement of dried urine testing, we can look at these specific pathways and anlayze them individually and collectively. If estrogen metabolism isn’t optimal, we can use certain herbs and nutraceuticals to improve it.
Bio-identical vs synthetic
Why are synthetic hormones so bad? They waste energy and send incomplete messages to the cells. We all know trans fatty acids are bad for us, but why? When we change the biochemical or natural composition of a fat, cholesterol, or hormone, we alter its ability to communicate to other cells.
What can bio-identical hormone replacement do for me?
Prevention of memory loss, improvement of heart health, maintaining bone mineral density, reduction of vasovagal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. Reduction of insomnia and depression, increasing vaginal tone and decreasing atrophy, less urinary tract infections and urinary leakage and increase sexual interest to name a few.
Estrogen has direct and indirect benefits on the cardio vascular system. It reduces homocysteine, cholesterol build-up, increases good cholesterol and has overall has positive effects on the cardio vascular system. Maintaining good heart health involves maintaining good estrogen levels. Estrogen dilates small arteries, decreases the accumulation of plaques, enhances magnesium uptake and utilization, maintains collagen, decreases Lp(a), and acts as a natural calcium channel blocker. Overall, Estrogen supplementation reduces heart disease.
Balance is an ongoing process
Achieving hormonal balance takes time. Many patients try hormone replacement therapy and give up only after a month or two. It takes nearly ninety days to feel balanced. We have receptors for our hormones all over our body. I often hear patients taking Estrogen only and told they don’t need progesterone because they no longer have a uterus. Women have estrogen and progesterone receptors all over our bodies, progesterone maintains a healthy balance, is critical for hair growth and sleep.
Lifestyle impacts hormonal balance
Eating a healthy balanced diet helps to detox estrogens in the gut. When you suffer from digestive issues and pathogens, you recirculate your hormones in the large intestine. Eliminating daily, eating fiber and drinking half your body weight in ounces of water per day help rid your system of circulating estrogens. You’ve heard it – eat the rainbow. Foods like rosemary, omega 3 fatty acids, cruciferous vegetables, and good quality proteins are essential for hormonal balance.