Let’s work together to find balance in you.
I suffered for a year with extreme pain in my left arm and right hand. Even with strong pain killers I have been miserable. At one point, my right hand was completely numb and I could not bend my fingers. This past year, I have seen many doctors, physical therapists and even a hypnotherapist with the hope that they could make the pain stop. Additionally, I have suffered with unbearable menopause symptoms. Though skeptical of chiropractors, in desperation I thought I would give it a try. I first saw Dr. Wards about one month ago and felt safe in her hands. Ten days later the menopause symptoms went away and I was given my youth back. Plus, my middle finger on my right hand which has been numb for 1 year was not numb. – D.M.
More on the Endocrine System
The endocrine system is a complex and beautifully refined feedback mechanism. It can be compared to a world-class orchestra, where all of the musicians work together to create harmony. If one section of the orchestra is out of tune or loses tempo with the rest, the entire effect can be ruined.
Because the areas of the endocrine system work so closely together, you’ll find that treating one area will have a cascading effect into another. The traditional western medical approach to treating hormone imbalances is to do a blood test for a single hormone. I believe it is vital that the entire endocrine system be evaluated together to to reveal potential hormonally related conditions.
Many women who should really be treated for estrogen dominance and adrenal dysfunction end up misdiagnosed and unnecessarily taking thyroid medication for years.
For example, estrogen dominance can interfere with thyroid hormone conversion. Estrogen, particularly estradiol, interferes with insulin’s actions in the body, leading to carbohydrate cravings, weight gain, and excess cortisol production (which can then lead to sleep disturbances and high blood pressure). For some women, eating excess simple carbohydrates (such as sugar, bread, pasta, corn, and rice) can create improper conversion of estrogen to testosterone, leading to thinning hair, facial hair, and polycystic ovaries. Hormone imbalances also play a part in chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, depression, panic disorder, and other debilitating conditions.
As you can see, there’s more to balancing hormones than just drawing blood to test progesterone and estradiol levels. There’s also more to the process than picking up a natural Progesterone or Wild Yam cream from your local health food store. You are unique, your diet and habits are uniquely yours, and your history of trauma, both physical and emotional, has contributed to the body you currently inhabit. Similar symptoms may have different underlying causes and require unique treatments in varying body types. For example, a blonde woman of northern-European descent suffering from hot flashes may need an entirely different approach than a dark haired, Latin woman also suffering from hot flashes.
Although my original reason for seeking out Infinity Wellness Center was for balancing my hormones; I use Dr. Wards for all of my health care and have been most pleased on how she approaches my symptoms. And, I’m grateful that she has referred me on to other specialists. She puts the patient’s health care needs first. I also appreciate her continuous learning approach; she is always seeking out new modalities. I highly recommend her! – L.A.
What Are Natural Hormones?
Natural hormones are derived from building blocks found in plants. Soybeans and wild yams are the most common sources. Many prescription medications are plant-derived chemical synthetics that have been dramatically altered. As a result, their molecular structure is no longer compatible with the human body. Naturally derived herbs and hormone replacements, however, maintain their molecular affinity for the human organism. Natural hormones, unlike synthetics created in laboratories by pharmaceutical companies, are identical in molecular structure to the hormones the body makes. When taken in a transdermal cream (a quickly-absorbed cream applied topically to soft skin), the natural hormones bypass the digestive tract. This is very important when you are talking about hormone therapy. If hormones are consumed in pill form, they are broken down in the liver and may not be sufficiently strong enough to be effective.
For the last 50 years, many women have unknowingly placed their trust in HRT. Many disillusioned women are now searching for a safe, reliable means of achieving hormone balance and a way to reverse the potential damage from previous use of HRT. Fortunately, 100% natural hormone support as well as elegant nutraceutical products for cellular repair is available.
Warning! The next sections are full of big words and technical information. It may make for dry, but informative, reading. Proceed with a light heart and mouse in hand.
Progesterone Balances Most of the Hormones, Particularly Estrogens
It both enhances the benefits of estrogens and prevents the problems associated with estrogen excess. Progesterone also helps balance all other steroids, even cholesterol. In addition, it has calming and diuretic properties. Progesterone plays an important role in helping men maintain prostate health.
There Are Three Estrogens: Estradiol, Estrone, and Estriol
In adults, they maintain the reproductive tissues, breasts, skin, and brain. Often estradiol is the culprit in many uncomfortable symptoms for women, and it is the hormone most often measured in blood tests. Estrogens are responsible in our early years for feminine characteristics, and in proper balance, keep us youthful and vital.
Improper Amounts of Estrogen
Whether naturally occurring or as a result of incorrect Hormone Replacement Therapy, improper amounts of estrogen can cause fluid retention, weight gain, migraines, and overstimulation of the breasts, ovaries, prostate and uterus. Imbalanced ratios of estrogen to progesterone or testosterone can cause symptoms associated with menopause or andropause, such as hot flashes, enlarged breasts in men, vaginal dryness, rapid skin aging, prostate problems, urinary problems, excessive bone loss, and possible acceleration of dementia.
Androgens (Testosterone, DHEA, Androstenedione)
Androgens play an important role in tissue regeneration, especially the skin, bones, and muscles. The adrenal glands are vital to the formation of androgens, and attention must be paid to their role in your body’s recovery of health.
Testosterone helps maintain lean body mass, bone density, skin elasticity, sex drive and cardiovascular health in both sexes. Men make more of this hormone, accounting for their greater bone and muscle mass.
DHEA is the principal androgen for repair and healing in both men and women. These levels naturally decline with age, and unnaturally decline too quickly if the body isn’t given ample opportunity to repair and maintain itself, especially at nighttime.
Androstenedione is a building block for both estrogens and testosterone, especially in females. Often during early menopause, this hormone can be produced in excess by the ovaries. Too much of it can cause some “androgenic” symptoms, such as scalp hair loss and facial hair growth.
She is a chiropractor but she does a whole lot more than that! She helps women with fertility issues, natural hormonal therapy, acupuncture anything else that you can think of. She can help – naturally. She won’t mislead you and she won’t tell you to take things you don’t need. She will be honest and really HELP you. – Stephanie
The Importance of Choosing the Right Healthcare Practitioner
First, when I say hormones, I am referring to the endocrine system, which is much, much more than just the sex hormones or monthly menstrual cycle hormones. The endocrine system runs a vast majority of your body functions and has long-reaching effects. You may be surprised at what symptoms are your body’s hormones giving you a signal that something is amiss.
So here’s the bottom line:
If you are tired, check your thyroid.
And just because your doctor says that your blood work says your thyroid is fine, keep checking. Find someone else to check it, if necessary. There are excellent tests available that are far more comprehensive than those offered by most doctors.
If you are depressed, check your adrenals and blood sugar.
If your doctor doesn’t know how to do this, go elsewhere. It isn’t all in your head, nor do you suffer from Prozac deficiency syndrome. Seventy-five percent of people with depression have physiological imbalances in their bodies.
If you have lost your sex drive, check your entire endocrine system with a saliva test.
Blood tests are limited, and results are very dependent on what part of the month, even what time of day, you’re test.
If you have panic attacks, check your adrenals and change your diet.
If you have asthma, again check your adrenal glands.
Asthma is not a lung issue; it’s an adrenal issue.
If you have gallbladder problems, check your estrogen and cortisol levels.
If you have high cholesterol, check your thyroid.
If you can’t sleep, check your thyroid and estrogen levels.
If you have heartburn, check your adrenal glands.
If you crave sweets, check your blood sugar.
If you have allergies, check your thyroid.
If you have hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia, check your estrogen levels.
If you have PMS, cramps, migraine headaches, irregular cycles, heavy bleeding, lack of fertility, check your progesterone levels.
Now I’ve just told you to “check” all these different systems of your body. How do you go about doing that?
The endocrine system–the thyroid, pancreas, adrenal glands, parathyroid gland, ovaries, testes, the pituitary gland and pineal gland–is a beautiful feedback system similar to an orchestra.
When stresses occur, the adrenal glands are the squeaky wheel that gets the most attention. Your adrenal glands are a survival gland. This means that you can’t live without them and that they have the priority in the body to steal hormones from the other glands. Over time, this “theft” can lead to hypothyroidism, decreased progesterone, DHEA, and pregnenolone, and sometimes even decreased testosterone.
The adrenals are a fight or flight mechanism, meaning they respond to stressful situations. Keep in mind that your body views a stressful situation as “anything that isn’t neutral.” So anything that creates heart palpitations–good or bad–such as anxiety or excitement, causes the adrenals to work harder. From their point of view, a perceived stressor is the same as a real stressor, meaning that the thoughts and feelings that run through your head constantly have a huge impact on your adrenal glands, and therefore, on your endocrine system. Adrenals glands are vital, and in this day and age, are often literally physically exhausted and running down.
It’s often when the adrenal glands start to become exhausted that people end up in my clinic, asking me, “What’s wrong? I just don’t don’t feel good anymore. All my blood work says that I’m fine, and all my doctor offers me is an antidepressant.”
It’s important to keep in mind that the medical profession attracts the kind of thinkers that need to have a clearly defined solution to a problem. Balancing the endocrine system isn’t clear-cut; it can take time and patience to uncover what’s happening in each person’s unique body. This is why so many women are turning to alternative healthcare.
Checking and re-balancing your endocrine system isn’t easy. It requires you to be an active participant in your healthcare. Educating yourself is an important first step. It’s not that you need to become an expert on medical procedures, diagnosis, herbs, homeopathics, or chiropractic care. Rather, you need to educate yourself on your options.
It’s also important to become an expert in listening to and honoring your intuition about your health and your body. Handing over your power to a medical professional will not serve you. Instead, keep in mind that you are hiring doctors to help you with your health. If they’re not serving you, fire them! Don’t discount your intuition when confronted with the cold logic of the western medical model. Research your symptoms online, read books, and ask friends for references. Austin is filled with incredible alternative and conventional resources. If you don’t agree with a diagnosis or solution, keep looking.
Symptoms of Hormone Imbalances
Did you know that the following symptoms can all be related to a hormonal imbalance in your body? You can be tested accurately and in the comfort of your own home. From reproductive hormones such as Progesterone, Estrogen and Testosterone, to the Adrenal Hormones of Cortisol and Adrenaline, and even the hormone Cholesterol, your endocrine system can tell more about your health than you might ever suspect.
- High Cholesterol
- Elevated Liver Enzymes
- Craving carbohydrates and sweets
- Chronic stress reactions
- Lack of vitality and energy
- Muscle and joint pain
- Anger and irritability
- Migraine headaches
- Sleep disturbances
- Poor memory
- Alcohol intolerance
- Low sex drive
- Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
- Low body temperature or get cold easily when others are comfortable
- Vaginal dryness
- PMS and cramps
- Difficulty concentrating, mental confusion, Brain fog
- Aching, sore joints
- Increased tension in muscles
- Breast tenderness
- Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas, nausea
- Sudden bouts of bloating
- Exacerbation of existing conditions
- Increase in allergies
- Dizziness, light-headedness, loss of balance
- Changes in body odor
- Electric shock sensations under skin and in the head
- Tingling in the extremities
- Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, ‘whooshing’ buzzing etc.
- Startle Easily
- Panic Attacks
- Chronic Back Pain
- Heavy Periods
- Food allergies
- Fibromyalgia symptoms
- Heel and foot pain
- Painful urination
- Restless legs at night
- Inability to relax
- Panic attacks and anxiety
- Thinning hair
- Excess facial hair
- Gallbladder problems
- Bladder infections and incontinence
- Depression and mood swings
- Impotence or soft erections
- Indifference to life
- Weight Gain, especially through the waist
- Memory lapses
- Painful or irregular menstrual periods
- Bouts of rapid heart beat
- Sudden tears
- General drying out that can include eyes, mouth, joints and skin
- Crashing Fatigue
- Feelings of dread
- Gum problems, increased bleeding
- Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, dry mouth, change in
- breath odor
- Osteoporosis (after several years)
- Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier
- Immune system problems, allergies, catch colds easily
- Sinus infections