Do you suffer from any of these symptoms?
- Suffering from painful or irregular periods?
- Living with hot flushes?
- Mentally foggy?
- Struggling to maintain a healthy weight?
- Lacking clarity?
- Low libido?
- Tired and dragging yourself around?
Have you addressed these 7 key areas of hormone health?
1. Check your thyroid- thoroughly!
You’ve probably heard of the thyroid, but did you know that thyroid disease is becoming increasingly common, particularly in Australia? It could be the result of many factors such as an ever increasing stress load, depleted nutrient content in the soil our food grows in, chemical overload or increased autoimmune risk. Both selenium and iodine are low in many locations of Australian soil. Thyroid testing should be part of your routine health check as it determines your hormone balance. You usually need in detailed thyroid testing, basic thyroid testing rarely uncovers minor imbalances.
2. Are you sleeping sufficiently?
Waking up tired in the morning is usually an indication of poor sleep quality. If you are having difficulty sleeping it could mean that you have a melatonin-cortisol imbalance. Cortisol is the “fight or flight” response hormone, when it is high melatonin is then low (melatonin is what helps assist proper sleeping patterns). If you are under a lot of stress your cortisol levels are likely to be out of balance this then imbalances melatonin. These may cause a hormone imbalance and essentially if you aren’t sleeping properly your energy will not be optimal. Many people report they are getting enough shut-eye, but perhaps not enough of the good quality type.
3. Nutrient absorption and gut function.
Your digestive system plays a huge role in good health. It is like the root system of a tree, when the roots are healthy the tree is healthy. Did you know the digestive system is in fact a nervous system? It is called the Enteric Nervous System, it has clusters of nerves that release the exact same happy hormones or chemicals that your brain uses. These chemicals can influence your hormones. Bacterias in the gut have the potential to produce an enzyme called Beta-glucuronidase, this enzyme can increase oestrogen re-circulation. This may lead to oestrogen dominance, this sort of imbalance is linked to altered happy hormone balance, painful periods, PMS, breast tenderness, irritability, weight gain, depression, fluid retention and lethargy.
4. Long-term stress.
This is one of the biggest contributors to hormone imbalance. The body produces a hormone in the body called pregnenolone. When you are exposed to stress the body uses this hormone to produce stress hormones and this can cause havoc on your reproductive hormones.
Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Its role is to help regulate our response to normal levels of physical and psychological stress. Clinically we frequently see cortisol levels either too high or too low. High cortisol is often seen in the acute stages of stress, however, when the stress response is activated too frequently the adrenals can fatigue and produce too little cortisol. Imbalanced cortisol levels are often seen in those suffering from unexplained fatigue, disturbed sleeping patterns, blood sugar level imbalance, increased fat mass, blood pressure issues, brain fog, and altered mental performance.
Watch the simple video on this page explaining how long-term stress can cause hormone imbalance.
5. Liver detoxification.
Our liver is like the filter of a vacuum cleaner, the more clogged it gets the less it works. The liver is responsible for keeping our body nice and clean. It assists in the removal of heavy metals, toxins, medications, hormones, and pollutions. When the liver does not filter the way it should you may start to get an accumulation of unwanted “toxins” in the body, which can make you sluggish. We will often request a series of liver profile tests to assess your liver function including liver inflammatory markers and how testing of how efficiently your body clears toxins out of the body.
6. Get tested for Pyroluria and methylation imbalance.
Pyroluria is a genetically determined metabolic condition. Those with elevated pyrroles usually have an increased demand for certain nutrients that are essential for neurotransmitter production, such as serotonin and other mood altering compounds. These are your happy hormones that the brain uses! Pyrolurics are more likely to suffer with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, autism, alcoholism, strong fatigue, temper outbursts, IBS, joint pain, memory loss or low stress tolerance. A simple urine test through a reputable laboratory can confirm if you have elevated pyrroles.
Methylation is an important process for balancing hormones. It is well documented that the MTHFR gene mutation can affect many processes in the body leaving you feeling depleted, hormonally sensitive and moody.
7. Ensure you have had all of the necessary hormones checked.
Did you know that there are 3 different types of oestrogen that we can assess?
Blood testing only checks 1 of those oestrogens. Functional and in detail pathology testing is just one way we address and treat the cause.
Your hormone rhythm changes over the month and so the way you interpret those results should vary over the month. Often when reviewing blood tests it is evident that not all the female reproductive hormones have been checked. Our Naturopaths prefer to do both blood and saliva testing to give you a description of hormones at the cellular and blood level.