The Constellation of Hormones

Most people don't know how many different hormones there are in the body nor how crucial each one is to how we function. If we want to feel energetic & engaged in our lives they need to be present & they need to be balanced. I have 25 years of experience helping Patients re-balance their hormones. Read below and see if you relate to the information. Then come in & we'll talk about it! As a doctor, I analyze your hormones and correct imblances

As a doctor, I analyze your hormones and correct imbalances

Reproductive hormones made largely by the ovaries & testes play a large role in women and in men. For women PMS, irregular menses, menstrual cramps, infertility, fibroids, ovarian cysts, peri-menopausal & menopausal fatigue, irritability, depression, sleep disorders, loss of libido and weight gain can all result from changes in estrogens, progesterone and testosterone (yes, women have testosterone, too, just less than men). Analyzing these hormone levels & correcting imbalances is a much more successful approach than medicating the symptoms with the likes of Ambien & Prozac.

Your Thyroid may not be "within normal range"

Our Thyroid gland produces several hormones that are often overlooked. Most Primary Care doctors (and even many Endocrinologists) do not check TOTAL  Thyroid function. They  look only at one hormone called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (or TSH) which is made by the Pituitary gland in the Brain. If the Thyroid is producing too little of its Thyroxine hormone (or T4), the Pituitary will secrete more TSH to stimulate the Thyroid to increase its production. TSH and T4 have, therefore, an inverse relationship. When one is up, the other is down. When everything's in balance they are both "in the normal range". The problem is not everyone's normal range is the same even though lab tests would have us believe they are. And, further, there is a third hormone to be considered. Triiodothyroxine (or T3) is what the T4 produced by the Thyroid becomes once it enters the body's circulation. It's a complex story to be sure. You can read more here.

Are your Wired but Tired? Let's examine those Adrenal Glands and your Cortisol Levels.

the Adrenal glands which produce hormones intended to help us to adapt to the varying challenges of human life. The Adrenaline it makes is our "fight or flight" hormone. Its purpose is to shunt blood away from the core of our bodies to our heart, lungs & limbs so we can run away if we need to. It's secreted at a moment's notice but the effects last for hours. Just ask someone who's ever had a panic attack. The Adrenal glands also make a hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol is a life sustaining adrenal hormone essential to the maintenance of homeostasis. Called “the stress hormone,” cortisol influences and regulates many of the changes that occur in the body in response to stress including:

  • Blood sugar (glucose) levels
  • Fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism to maintain blood glucose (gluconeogenesis)
  • Immune responses
  • Anti-inflammatory actions
  • Blood pressure
  • Heart and blood vessel tone and contraction
  • Central nervous system activation

In conventional medicine, Adrenal gland function is rarely considered in a work up for fatigue or insomnia or mood issues.

If by chance it is, Cortisol levels are checked with either an "AM" or "PM" test with a range wide enough to be normal in anything other than pathological disease states like a tumor or Addison's disease. Cortisol levels normally fluctuate throughout the day and night in a circadian rhythm that peaks at about 8 AM and reaches it lowest around 4 AM. While it is vital to health for the adrenals to secret more cortisol in response to stress, it is also very important that bodily functions and cortisol levels return to normal following a stressful event. Unfortunately, in our current high-stress culture, the stress response is activated so often that the body does not always have a chance to return to normal.*  This is a favorite topic of mine.