HORMONE OPTIMIZATION

The approach we take with the endocrine / hormone producing system is BALANCE IT ALL:

Insulin, thyroid, adrenal and sex hormones.

 

What do weight gain, low sex drive, anxiety, depression, an increase in colds and infections, and joint pain all have in common?

 

First, they are common symptoms that are often dismissed as “normal” signs of aging.

 

Second, they are all traced back to problems/imbalances in the endocrine system–the endocrine glands and the hormones they produce.

 

In order to suppress these symptoms, this system needs to be balanced or optimized.

 

Endocrine optimization is the balancing of the endocrine system, such as the thyroid and adrenal glands, so that your body is releasing the hormones that it needs to keep the above mentioned symptoms (and many others) at bay.

The best way to optimize your endocrine system is to choose what is right for YOUR body, YOUR needs, YOUR wants, and YOUR philosophy for how YOU should treat YOUR body.

Have I convinced you sufficiently of the personal nature of hormone optimization? Many treatments are available and range from more traditional, western medical options to holistic, alternative approaches.

 

Your physician should direct you through whatever treatment protocol you choose, but it is ultimately up to you to decide the method of treatment. More on that below, but let’s first discuss the specific functions of the endocrine system.

Why is the Endocrine System Important?

The endocrine system is the collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things.

 

As we age, the typical issue with the hormonal system is usually underproduction. This is when a decreased level of hormones is released into the body, producing uncomfortable, and sometimes debilitating, symptoms.

 

The standard response from many people (even many physicians) is that these symptoms “come with age.” This is technically true.

 

The endocrine system does slow down as we get older. However, there is no reason not to work to improve hormone production, and there are many different options for doing so.

What are Typical Symptoms of Decreased Hormone Production from Specific Endocrine Glands?

The major endocrine glands include the pineal gland, pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries, testes, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, and adrenal glands.

 

Deficiencies in the ovaries and testes are related to many sexual symptoms, such as vaginal dryness and erectile dysfunction. But, I want to focus in on the symptoms related to deficiencies of the thyroid and adrenal glands below, as many of these symptoms are brushed off as “normal signs of aging”:

Thyroid Gland Symptoms

 

  • Fatigue

  • Cold intolerance

  • Painful muscles and joints

  • Anxiety and/or depression

  • Forgetfulness and poor focus

  • Weight gain and difficulty losing weight, even when you don’t eat much

  • Infertility or miscarriages

  • Heavy periods

  • Hot flashes and other menopausal problems

  • Dry skin and hair

  • Thinning hair that’s falling out

  • Constipation

  • Cold feet

 

Adrenal Gland Symptoms

 

  • Fatigue the first thing in the morning and during the day

  • Intense irritability when you’re hungry

  • Frequent and lengthy infections (like sore throats and colds)

  • Feeling dizzy sometimes when you stand up

What Sort of Treatment Options are Available for Endocrine Support?

According to your own body’s needs and your personal philosophy on health and wellness, endocrine optimization can be as comprehensive as you choose.

 

There are a host of options, ranging from traditional western medical treatments to more holistic alternative therapies. Even specific diet and exercise programs can work toward balancing your hormones.

 

Image by Mathilde Langevin