Naturopathic Treatment of Hormone Imbalances
Hormones are chemical messengers in the body that are created by endocrine glands such as the thyroid, adrenals and ovaries or testes. Addressing hormone imbalances can help you address symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, palpitations, anxiety, depression, insomnia, weight gain, infertility, low libido and menstrual irregularities.
As a Naturopathic Doctor, the most common hormone imbalances I help my patients with are adrenal, thyroid and sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone & testosterone).
Adrenal imbalances are usually the result of chronic stress.
Our adrenal glands, which sit on top of our kidneys produce adrenaline and cortisol in response to stress. This response is a good thing. The extra cortisol and adrenaline help us deal with the stress by increasing blood flow to the muscles, making our reflexes more acute, shutting down our digestion, and making us more alert. This can be helpful if we need to do things like study for a test, drive on a slippery road or take care of a sick relative. Also, some people don’t realize that even good stressors such as having a baby, getting married, or frequent travel can put a high demand on the adrenal glands.
When this stress response goes on for extended periods of time, the adrenal glands become overloaded and are unable to keep up. This condition is sometimes called adrenal fatigue. Some common symptoms of adrenal fatigue include daytime sleepiness, insomnia at night, anxiety or irritability. Fortunately there are many herbs that can treat adrenal fatigue caused by stress. IV Therapy is also another effective way to nourish and recharge the adrenals.
The thyroid gland is also very sensitive to stress.
Stress can suppress the production of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and interfere with the conversion of T4 to T3 (the active form). Other factors that interfere with thyroid function are: nutritional deficiencies such as insufficient selenium or iodine in the diet; electromagnetic radiation pollution (cellphones, electrical appliances); and certain medications. It is important to address thyroid dysfunction in its early stages because once the thyroid looses its ability to produce thyroid hormones, it is very hard to get this functioning back.
An imbalance of estrogen and progesterone can have a huge impact on your weight, sleep, mood and fertility.
Conventional blood tests do not pick up many imbalances because hormones fluctuate so much over the month and blood tests are an indication of the hormones in your blood stream, not the amount of hormones that are exerting their action at hormone receptors. Saliva Hormone Testing can be helpful when blood tests are normal because testing is done on pre-set days of a woman’s cycle and it tests hormones that are bioactive. Once an imbalance is confirmed through testing and a thorough health history, naturopathic treatment is initiated using dietary intervention and herbs or supplements.
Salivary Hormone Testing is an easy and noninvasive way of assessing your hormone balancing needs, and is proving to be the most reliable medium for measuring hormone levels. Unlike blood tests, saliva testing represents only hormones actively delivered to receptors in the body. Clinically, it is far more relevant to test these bioavailable hormones and provide an accurate reflection of the body’s active hormone levels. Hormone imbalances can cause or exacerbate many troubling symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, PMS symptoms, insomnia, low libido, and weight gain.
Book your initial consult 403-782-4600 today to determine if hormonal imbalances are affecting your quality of life. Book online.