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Sex hormone imbalances often get your attention that something is just not right with your body by displaying obvious symptoms that negatively impact your quality of life. Reestablishing your sex hormone balance is best achieved through the use of bio-identical hormones. These are hormones whose molecular structure matches that of the hormones that your body has made in adequate amounts until now. They can be administered as creams or oils on the skin, tablets under the tongue, pellets inserted under the skin, injectables, suppositories, and occasionally pills (only for progesterone).
Optimal hormonal balance can be achieved to relieve those bothersome symptoms, to slow down aging, and to reduce the risks of major diseases in the second half of life. This requires periodic testing, which is reliable if done appropriately and interpreted by a trained clinician. Nothing can take the place of testing to provide assurance that you are in the best physiologic balance with the hormones you are taking. Newer types of testing can even indicate how your body is processing the hormones, allowing us an opportunity to further reduce risks of imbalance.
But these are not the only factors that we must address to achieve optimal health. Several other systems of your body are directly implicated in creating hormonal balance. These include your thyroid gland – often under producing, a cause of low energy, poor sleep, PMS and other issues. The system that underlies all your other hormones is your adrenal glands – controlling your sleep, energy, ability to deal effectively with stress, and regulation of carbohydrate (glucose) metabolism and insulin. These also have to be addressed and given support.
Also affecting your vitality and wellbeing is your diet with the types of food you eat, your exercise habits, sleep patterns, stress management, and other lifestyle practices. Other systems and health issues that we may need to address in your health plan can include: gut health, healthy weight management, detox, methylation pathway defects, inflammation, allergies, neurotransmitters, and others.
The basic philosophy of medicine that I have come to embrace is Functional Medicine, where we assess, diagnose, and treat what is out of physiologic balance, restoring the natural balance of your body and mind/spirit with the most effective treatments giving the least side effects, while trusting your body’s natural ability to heal and bring itself into balance.