Our sex hormones regulate mood, they play a big role in optimism, confidence, maintained energy and focus, thyroid health, breast health, uterus health, libido, regular periods, lean body mass, reduced cravings, better adaptation to stress, skin elasticity, improved sleep, healthy weight, and metabolic flexibility to name a few. Hormonal balance is crucial to navigate the ups and downs of daily life in harmony and without triggering this cascade of disruptive symptoms and HPA-axis dysfunction.
The most common complain when hormones are out-of-whack are weight gain, and depression but there are far many more issues that arise with hormonal imbalance and cortisol dysregulation.
For example, consider the following: Low Progesterone is the most notorious cause of anxiety, sleep issues and migraines. On the other end, excess Progesterone results in sleepiness and depression, as well as digestive problems.
Excess Estrogen (Estrogen Dominance- E2) is responsible for retention of salt and fluid, anxiety, headaches, impaired blood sugar control, increased of body fat and weight gain, interferes with thyroid hormone function, lowers libido, restrains bone loss, triggers autoimmune disease, and even increases the risk for breast cancer. Yet, on the other end, low Estrogen can cause hot flashes, sleep disturbances, skin issues, no libido, and even apathy. Excess Testosterone can lead to androgenic acne, hirsutism, blood sugar dysregulation and PCOS. While low testosterone will affect your mood, increase muscle loss, and will deplete your energy.
A hormone balance knowledgeable practitioner can help you accomplish this goldilocks effect: not too much, not too little, but just the perfect hormonal balance for overall health, and sanity! You have heard me say this before and here again; when it comes to hormones, they factor in immensely in sickness, and in health. So please; “Test, don’t guess”!
There are 3 types of estrogen: Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2) and Estriol (E3). Ask your Dr. to test for all 3, plus all other markers for inflammation and hormonal imbalance; Pregnenolone, DHEA-S, Testosterone, Free Testosterone, SHBG, Progesterone, FSH, LH, complete Thyroid panel with TPO and TG Antibodies, Leptin, 4-point Cortisol Salivary test, and a complete Lipid panel. Why cholesterol? Because cholesterol is the building block for all your hormones. including Vitamin D, also a hormone.
All these labs are beneficial to have for an overall wellness assessment for women, and for man. Hence if you are a male dealing with andropause, you may be converting testosterone to estrogen through a process called Aromatization, so it is important to look at all your sex hormones, plus other labs and lipids for a whole picture of how your individual system operates to make the right assessment and treatment protocol rather than just prescribe HRT, which is both, overdone in the US and causes issues if on it for too long.
Most conventional medicine doctors only test for a few of these markers, so learn to advocate for yourself and request that the appropriate labs are done to identify imbalances and target the root cause.
As a Functional Medicine Nutrition practitioner, I trust and use the DUTCH test with my clients, as this test gives us a complete range of sex hormones and metabolites, as well as all other hormonal balance related markers such as urine adrenal cortisol input, creatinine and DHEA-S. In addition, the DUTCH test includes several other markers to identify vitamin and nutrient deviancies as well as neurotransmitter’s health: B12, B6, Glutathione, Dopamine, Norepinephrine, Melatonin and Oxidative Stress levels.
You can certainly fix your hormonal imbalance. How long would it take? The answer is: it depends on how motivated you are to start healing yourself in natural ways.
There are several holistic healing methods you can utilize right away to give yourself a head start.
Here are a few:
- Work on Gut Health: most clients get their hormonal imbalances fixed just by addressing and correcting digestive issues, infections and food allergies (I identify these by running GI-MAP Stool Analysis).
- Daily SUNLIGHT exposure: no sunglasses, glasses, or contacts. Watch the sunrise and sunset without looking directly at the sun.
- Grounding: barefoot on grass, not curated concrete, soil, natural stones, sand, water, or bamboo floors. Grounding lowers inflammation, improves sleep, reduces pain and anxiety, reduces blood pressure, alleviates fatigue, improves mood, reduces oxidative stress.
- Decrease nnEMF exposure and blue light after sunset.
- Quit or significantly decrease drinking alcohol for the time being; your sleep will improve immediately
- Work on getting off the benzodiazepines
- Whole Foods diet. Reduce the amount of processed carbs, get into Ketosis with proper carb cycling if applicable.
- No-skipping breakfast: A 12-14 hour overnight fast is all you need for autophagy results.
- No caffeine before breakfast
- No fasted workouts while fixing your hormones
- Stress management through RLT, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises or anything that calms your nerves. Read my HPA-Axis, Stress and Cortisol post on the blog.
- Adrenal support supplements like magnesium, Vitamin C, and Omega-3 fatty acids, and/or adaptogens such ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Holy basil, Reishi Mushrooms, Eleuthero and American Ginseng (Don’t self-prescribe, some adaptogens make stress worse. Dose and adaptogen choice dependent on your specific DUTCH test results)
- Hydration: ½ your body weight in fluid ounces (add Hydrogen tablets: see H2 Elite on my Fullscript online supplement store at 20% off): https://us.fullscript.com/welcome/vkapp
- Limit cardio workouts and incorporate more strength training.
- Cold plunge therapy (start with 35-second cold showers and gradually increase the time)
This is how I, myself, fixed my own hormones and put my Hashimoto’s to remission.
Is truly the best investment for a healthier, younger, happier self!! And for the sake of all your relationships as well😀😉
In health and wholeness, Victoria