As a Naturopathic Doctor, when I treat a patient, I am always looking for the underlying causes of malaise rather than just the symptoms. Many times the following symptoms for example are because of an issue with hormonal balance.
Hormonal balance includes using bio-identical hormones, homeopathy, herbs, nutrition, diet and lifestyle for conditions, e.g:
- Adrenal fatigue
- Thyroid issues
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings and irritability
- Low libido
- Andropause issues (men’s version of menopause).
To treat hormone imbalance, one of the key things to work on first is balancing the adrenals as this can have a major influence on the other hormones and neurotransmitters. And, oftentimes, the adrenals are the first to be stressed as we are faced with endless life’s challenges e.g. work, family, relationships, finances, traffic and the list goes on. Once the adrenals become worn out, it now needs to borrow from it’s reserves—the sex hormones. Testosterone and progesterone often times are the hormones being shunted away to support the adrenals. This may be one reason why women who have PMS or menopausal issues are needing progesterone. And for men, besides age-related decrease in testosterone, it’s dropping even more as it is being shunted away to help the adrenals.
Furthermore, another key hormone to look at is thyroid function. As we age and for women as they go through menopause, the thyroid gland also takes a hit and is producing less thyroid hormones. Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for regulation of their metabolism. This is why if the thyroid function is low, they may experience more fatigue, hair loss, constipation and/or dry skin.
When women go through menopause, they experience a myriad of symptoms but commonly they experience hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, forgetfulness. It’s important to balance their adrenals, sex hormones and thyroid for a complete approach. Let’s not forget about the men. Men also go through hormonal changes and this is what we call Andropause. Some may call it the Mid-life crisis. It’s important to keep a healthy testosterone level in both women and in men as it is important for vitality. Unfortunately, for many men, they are silently going through this when there is no need to. Some classic symptoms are irritability, fatigue, depression, reduced libido and erection problems. Again, it is important to balance their adrenals, sex hormones and their thyroid for a complete approach.
Treatments for hormone imbalance include using bio-identical hormones, homeopathy, herbs, nutrition, diet and lifestyle. Ideally, I like to have their hormone levels checked every 6 months to make sure their levels are getting into or staying in balance.