We often joke about how hormone imbalance feels, but putting laughs aside, the disruptions that occur and all of the resulting health consequences are quite a serious health concern in so many ways, for so many women. And worse, due to the increasing impact of hormonally disruptive chemicals in the environment (see the recent World Health Organization report for a summary: http://www.who.int/ceh/publications/endocrine/en/), more younger people are also dealing with the health consequences of hormone disruption. It is not just women and men in their 50’s that experience these symptoms anymore . . . . . .
So, I ask, is this the normal thing that is supposed to happen to us as we go through life, to just live with and tolerate? Most of us prefer a better quality of life, for sure! In the conventional approach, providers are taught to singularly treat symptoms with hormone therapy for the shortest amount of time, with the lowest dose possible. And . . . . that’s about it! The options to “treat” with are fairly limited, including pharmaceutical pills, patches, gels, and sometimes shots. There is no guidance for us in our standard training on the best ways to OPTIMIZE hormones for health, and certainly no teaching on how to improve hormonal consequences & symptoms in a more well-rounded comprehensive health approach.
Appropriately addressed hormone balance is cornerstone, but to go the extra mile and help people feel their best again, we don’t want to stop there either! We consider and understand the role of insulin metabolism and blood sugar control, the impact of stress hormones and inflammation in the body (this is a HUGE one!), and the impressive contribution of hormonally disruptive chemicals in the environment, less than optimal nutrition, sub-par digestion, and detoxification processes in the body. These things affect nearly everyone, so we don’t pretend they don’t matter or exist!
Why is Hormone Optimization so important for me?
Hormone optimization is not just for women going through menopause, and men going through andropause, but is important for all of us!
Hormones are of increasing concern due to the huge impact of hormonally disrupting chemicals in our environment, nutrient depletion in soil and food, and the impact of stress. It can be hard to avoid environmental chemicals and stress, BUT still effective to address the hormonal consequences, improve symptoms now, and prevent disease down the road!
We take more medications than ever that aren’t fixing our problems, and cause unnecessary side effects, but we CAN change this reality.
Who can benefit?
Do you have? fatigue, mood swings, anxiety, tension/irritability, poor sleep, depression, lack of focus, brain fog, hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, joint pain, headaches, bladder symptoms, and decreased interest in intimacy
Do you have? PCOS, Postpartum Depression, PMS/PMDD, Metabolic issues, Perimenopause or Menopause Symptoms
What are the big players?
- From age 20-40, women lose 50% of our testosterone production (worse with stress)
- Low testosterone in women = more risk for heart disease, dementia & diabetes
- Benefits of optimization: protect the heart, bones, brain, and breasts; improve cholesterol, energy, sleep, feeling of well-being, reduce body fat, stronger bones and muscles, reduce “brain fog,” improve depression
- THYROID HORMONE
- Due to stress and the impact of environment chemicals, nearly 40% of Americans have low thyroid. Many of these cases are from secondary hypothyroidism and are missed by the common lab tests. TSH and T4 are normal, but T3 is suboptimal (but almost never checked!).
- Low thyroid = feeling tired, weak & cold; having thin hair, nails & skin; weight gain and increased body fat, poor motivation, and poor mood
- Benefits of optimization: regulate temperature, metabolism, cerebral function, and energy; protect against heart disease, cognitive impairment, fatigue, weight gain, and memory loss
- For some women, improves symptoms in PMS, Postpartum Depression, and Menopause, in particular anxiety and sleep
- Plummets in menopause; has over 400 body functions including controlling hot flashes, maintaining bone density, memory, collagen in your skin, and increasing serotonin and dopamine (“happy” hormones in the brain)
While we all fear cancer, and rightfully so, the leading cause of death in women is actually heart disease. When achieved as part of the kind of full wellness approach that we offer, hormone optimization can actually PROTECT the breasts, bones, brain, and heart. Now, who doesn’t want to do that! I certainly do! Over and over I hear how much energy has returned, how much mental clarity has improved, how much sleep is better, and how relationships have renewed. One of the best comments I got recently from a patient was “I feel like a woman again” – WOW! I LOVE that! Another patient commented about her husband, after 4 months of working with us, “Now this is the man I married, I have him back, thank you!”
Please share this with those you know and care about, so they too can come and learn how to take back control of their bodies! It is not just about taking the right medication, but rather understanding how to address all the important pillars of your health that contribute to your delicate and critical hormonal milieu, amongst many other health concerns!
For a hormone consult and the most up to date hormone health answers you can get, call 225-250-1025 ext 701, and make an appointment. This is available for both women and men!
To get started in our progressive comprehensive functional wellness approach, come to our next event to learn all about The Modern Path to Wellness! In this approach, hormone optimization is one of the pillars of health we address, but we don’t stop there – you’ll learn about all of the other tricks you need to keep you not only ticking, but rejuvenated, healthier, and happier for years to come! Registration is required and space is limited, so be sure to grab your spot now:
http://www.myminthealth.comevents/ to register for an upcoming date
Recipe of the week – The Phytonutrient Salad Bowl!
One of the best and first things to do for your health is to be sure to eat your colors every day! I know . . . . . . we learned this back in grade school at some point, and have managed to absolutely forget how important it is!
Think about this – how instinctually attracted are you to brightly colored foods? A BUNCH! Over thousands of years we have evolved to be drawn to a variety of colors that hold tremendous protective health benefits for us! That is why the food industry has capitalized on this fact and created items with all sorts of artificial colors – would M&Ms be as appealing if they were all dirt brown? I doubt it.
So, while we back away from fake/processed colorful food, we absolutely need to embrace and indulge in all of the colors that nature has given us, because each color has a special set of phytonutrients that are super important to us for the following reasons:
RED: Anti-cancer, Anti-inflammatory, Cell protection, Gastrointestinal health, Heart health, Hormone health, Liver health
ORANGE: Anti-cancer, Anti-bacterial, Immune health, Cell protection, Reduced mortality, Reproductive health, Skin health, Source of vitamin A
YELLOW: Anti-cancer, Anti-inflammatory, Cell protection, Cognition, Eye health, Heart health, Skin health, Vascular health
GREEN: Anti-cancer, Anti-inflammatory, Brain health, Cell protection, Skin health, Hormone balance, Heart health, Liver health
BLUE/PURPLE/BLACK: Anti-cancer, Anti-inflammatory, Cell protection, Cognitive health, Heart health, Liver health
WHITE/TAN/BROWN: Anti-cancer, Anti-microbial, Cell protection, Gastrointestinal health, Heart health, Hormone health, Liver health
When I build my salad (which I do almost every day for lunch), I try to make sure I have an item from each color group in my bowl! Not only is it beautiful and delicious, I am getting the phytonutrient spectrum in each day, which I know is a top priority for health.
What is in this lovely salad?
- RED: Dried gogi berries that I found in the pantry and added after I took the picture! (I often use red bell pepper but had gobbled those up the day before, pomegranate seeds and beets are other favorites)
- ORANGE: orange carrots (I also use leftover sweet potato when we have it from dinner!)
- YELLOW: yellow carrots (another favorite is yellow squash!)
- GREEN: green pea shoots, cilantro, fresh lime juice, green onions
- BLUE/PURPLE/BLACK: purple cabbage, black olives
- WHITE/TAN/BROWN: olive oil, and the white part of my green onions (I also commonly use mushrooms, sunflower seeds, and cauliflower)
After you have assembled your colors and topped with some vinegar or fresh citrus juice, and a splash of olive oil, pack some protein to go on top. For this salad I had grass fed ground beef cooked with green onions and chile powder. Other quick items I love to grab are canned wild caught sardines and boiled eggs.
YOU’LL NEVER BE BORED WITH SALAD AGAIN!!!
So, when you shop, make sure to look for nature’s colors, and teach your kids to do the same. Then when you open the fridge to put together your meal, you can’t help but choose all those lovely beautiful colors you have found. Aim to get a couple of servings from each color group every day – KIDS TOO!
Interested in a little more science? What are some examples of those “phytonutrients” we keep talking about? Various molecules found in foods have beneficial health effects. Isoflavones such as genistein and daidzein found in legumes can help reduce hot flashes and blood pressure; anthocyanins found in berries inhibit nitric oxide production, induce apoptosis, and decreased platelet aggregation; isothiocyanates found in cruciferous vegetables metabolically enhance the biotransformation of estrogen and protect against certain cancers; zeaxanthin found in some squashes may have beneficial effects on vision; the list goes on. Various fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes that come in different colors have a multitude of benefits.
That’s a lot of wordy words! All you really have to remember is to eat your colors.