Hormone Balance

Hormones happen to be my favorite area of study and I guess I have gotten pretty good at helping people with imbalances. I always tell patients that your hormones are like a bicycle wheel…lots of spokes in the wheel keep it round and keeps it rolling smoothly. If one spoke breaks, your whole wheel can collapse.  So here are a list of the spokes (hormones) and what their job is.

Hormones: What they mean and what they do

 

HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE — the growth hormone

  • Decreases body fat
  • Increases muscle mass
  • Improves tissue healing and protein synthesis
  • Increases bone density
  • Quicker illness recovery
  • Increases capacity to exercise
  • Increases skin hydration and elasticity
  • Improves sense of well being
  • Decreases incidence of illness

TESTOSTERONE — the male hormone

  • Improves brain function
  • Increases energy
  • Increases strength
  • Increases bone density
  • Increases libido
  • Improves sexual sensitivity
  • Improves sexual function
  • Improves HDL and LDL levels
  • Improves cardiovascular health

DHEA — the mother of hormones

  • Improves neurological function
  • Increases sense of well being
  • Improves immune function
  • Improves stress tolerance
  • Increases metabolism

ESTROGENS — the female hormone

  • Protects against heart disease, stroke
  • Decreases cholesterol
  • Lowers incidence of Alzheimer’s
  • Improves memory
  • Alleviates symptoms of menopause: headaches, mood swings, bloating, hot flashes, fatigue, waning libido

PROGESTERONE — the hormone of pregnancy

  • Protects against breast and uterine cancer
  • Protects against fibrocystic disease
  • Helps fat metabolism
  • Helps normalize blood sugar
  • Helps reverse osteoporosis
  • Helps thyroid hormone function
  • Acts as a natural antidepressant
  • Protects against nervousness
  • Protects against anxiety and irritability

PREGNENELONE — the gateway hormone

  • Promotes formation of other hormones
  • Repairs brain and nerve tissue
  • Enhances many brain functions
  • Reduces aging skin
  • Improves sense of well being
  • Increases energy and mobility
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Reduces harmful stress effects
  • Reduces aging brain deficiencies

THYROID — the hormone of metabolism

  • Increases energy
  • Increases fat burning, and controls weight
  • Increases your heart rate
  • Increases your appetite

INSULIN — the hormone of storage

  • Responsible for getting blood sugar into all cells
  • Increases fat storage
  • Increases risk of diabetes, hypertension and stroke

MELATONIN — the hormone of sleep

  • Responsible for maintaining sleep
  • Helps alleviate “jet-lag”
  • Improves one mood
  • Improves the immune system (by decreasing cortisol)

CORTISOL — the hormone of stress

  • Responsible for responding to stress
  • Helps protect you against your environment (allergens)
  • Mobilizes energy, improves fatigue
  • Increases your appetite for sugar
  • Decreases bone mass, muscle mass, and slows down your metabolism

Resources

Download and complete the following checklists of symptoms to see if one of your SPOKES is off.

For best results, is recommended that you open these PDF documents in Adobe Reader

Hormone Testing

I utilize both blood and saliva testing in my practice but prefer saliva for female/male hormone panels. I do test thyroid via the blood only.

Insulin/metabolic process

Insulin, HgA1c, Crp h.s.

Thyroid

Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3, and TSH

Female/Male/Adrenal

Saliva tests estrogens, testosterone, progesterone, DHEA, cortisol, and some metabolites.

Why Salivary Hormone Testing?

Salivary hormone testing measures unbound, or free, hormone levels in the body, unlike serum based hormone testing. Salivary hormone testing accurately reflects the active and unbound hormones which are biologically available to their receptors in target tissues.
Since its development, salivary hormone testing has been gaining popularity as a testing methodology in large part due to its simplicity and non-invasive method of collection. Further, the ease of sample collection allows for accurate timing to obtain samples at critical intervals throughout the day, yielding more accurate results than blood or serum testing.
Since hormone levels may vary during the day or during the month, multiple saliva specimens can be collected, conveniently offering precise measurement. The inherent stability of salivary hormones also allows latitude in collection and shipment.

Importance of Hormone Testing

Hormonal imbalances have been linked to a broad spectrum of health conditions and clinical symptoms in both men and women. As science has shown, hormones decline and change as we age. Identifying and managing such changes is critical in the prevention of many chronic diseases. Measuring critical hormone levels and interpreting the results can help explain symptoms and accurately recommend proper treatment. This makes hormone testing an essential element of every annual check-up and disease-prevention program.

Common Symptoms and Conditions Associated with Hormonal Imbalance

• Cardiovascular disease• Depression & irritability • Low sex drive, libido • Fatigue • Weight gain and decreased muscle tone • Memory loss, foggy thinking & Alzheimer’s disease • Insomnia & sleep disturbances • Hair thinning and loss• Osteopenia and Osteoporosis • Cancer • Acne

Advantages of Salivary Hormone Testing

• Less expensive than serum • Non-invasive • Easy sample collection, convenient • No special handling or shipping • Painless collection • Multiple collections, important for hormones with circadian or monthly rhythms • More representative than serum of total bioavailable steroid hormone levels • Detects unbound and free hormone.


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