Hormone Disrupters In Our Enviornment

I see men and women on a daily basis due to symptoms from their hormonal imbalance. I treat them with bio-identical hormones and this helps them tremendously. In addition, I help them to understand the things that they can do in order to maximize the effect of their treatment.

Horomonal Toxins

Your hormones work in your body on a very specific system–the hormones (chemical messengers) fit into specific receptors on cells throughout the body. Your body functioning optimally is dependent on specific chemical structures interacting with other specific chemical structures. There are many things in our environment that can disrupt this fine tuned system. They are what we call hormone disrupters–they get into your body and masquerade as hormones, thus disrupting your body’s hormonal balance. Basically they wreck havoc on your body’s communication system (hormones) and the end result is that you do not think right or feel right.

It is imperative that you are careful with what you put into your body and on your body. You have complete control over these things.

Eating certified organic produce and consuming organic meats are a good way to minimize your exposure to hormone disrupters. Pesticides are hormone disrupters that many people know about. But have you thought about the danger in consuming dairy/beef products from cows fed GMO corn and/or given growth hormones and antibiotics? Or chicken and turkeys fed GMO corn and given antiobiotics on a regular basis? Eating organic meats, eggs, and dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc) involves ensuring that they are from animals that are raised “free range” (meaning that they eat what they naturally are supposed to eat) and not given growth hormones or antibiotics.

One thing that people do not often think about is their personal care products. Have you read the ingredients on your skin care? makeup? shaving cream? shampoo? sunscreen?? What you put onto your skin absorbs in about 26 seconds and can definitely disrupt your hormones. Be a smart consumer and know that whatever you put onto your skin should be safe enough to eat. Do your research and buy from companies that have your health in mind. We suggest taking a look at Radiantly You – www.radiantlyyou.com/jgrant.

There is a large number of younger and younger patients requiring my services to balance their hormones. Our society is exposing children to an increasing number of hormone disrupters. This is a wake up call to us all—pay attention to what you are putting into and on your body. Minimize the onslaught to your delicate hormonal system. You can’t be perfect, but you can be better! Teach your children to do the same. Start their lives off right as you are improving yours.

Bio-identical vs Synthetic Hormones

To understand the difference you need to first understand that hormones are basically chemical structures. Each hormone has a unique chemical structure. Sometimes the different hormones only vary by a few minor chemical differences that end up resulting in a huge difference in results.

Happy Women

Each cell in your body has numerous different receptors. The cell responds in a specific way based on the receptor that is activated. It is similar to puzzle pieces that match perfectly together. The hormone binds to its specific receptor and starts a specific reaction.

Bio-identical hormones are biologically identical to what your body makes. This means that their chemical structure is exactly the same as what your body naturally makes. Synthetic hormones are made when hormones are manipulated slightly so that the hormone can be patented. Thus the chemical structure is slightly different. Unfortunately the medical community often looks at them as exactly the same, even though they are not. Remember, your body’s hormones and receptors work based on very specific chemical structures. Simple chemical changes may seem innocent but it can potentially result in minor and major side effects.

A good example of this is Progesterone (bio-identical) and Progestin (synthetic). These two hormones are treated interchangeably in medical literature. They both can help your periods be lighter and help PMS, however Progesterone has been shown to decrease breast cancer risk and Progestin has been shown to increase your risk. This is only one example of the difference between a bio-identical hormone and a synthetic hormone.

Those of us that understand hormones believe that it makes more sense to replace your hormones with something that is the exact same as what your body would naturally make. We put back your hormone puzzle with exact fitting puzzle pieces.

Testosterone – Not Just For Men

What is Testosterone? Testosterone is a hormone that has many functions in the body for both men and women. It does impact libido but it is involved in many more bodily functions. Both men and women require optimal levels of Testosterone in order to live optimally and prevent certain diseases.

male and female sign

Testosterone is important to have if you want to feel mentally balanced and think clearly. It is also useful for helping your body recover from workouts and heal injuries to ligaments, muscles, and bones. Enhancing your energy and overall vitality is also a function of Testosterone. Night sweats in women and sleep disorders in both men and women can be a sign of Testosterone deficiency. The list goes on…..

There was a recently released study warning people of the dangers of Testosterone replacement. However the study looked at synthetic Testosterone, not bio-identical Testosterone, and the overall study had several other flaws. Over the years bio-identical Testosterone (administered by a physician who specializes in bio-identical hormones) has been shown to be safe and offers you the ability to live optimally.

Memory and Hormones

Losing your memory in your forties and fifties……

finger with reminder string

Do you ever feel forgetful?? Do you seem to have a brain fog? Are you feeling like you may be getting Alzheimer’s disease but you are under sixy years old??

Do not stress!! Memory issues are not necessarily the sign of dementia. Of course you want to have your doctor do a mini mental status exam on you which takes about 5 minutes in the office. If your doctor tells you everything is fine but you know that it is not, then it is time to look at hormones as the cause.

A hormonal imbalance of Estrogen, Testosterone, and Progesterone can affect many things including your memory. These hormones affect both men and women. It is amazing how much these hormones can affect your day to day functioning, including memory and overall brain function. If you are over the age of 35 and feel that your brain function is not as good as it should be, then you must seek the advice of a medical provider specially trained in bio-identical hormones if you want the right treatment.

Optimizing your hormones is not something that traditional doctors are trained to do. Proper hormone optimization takes time and special training. The good news is that when you get to the correct bio-identical hormone specialist, you will be able to regain your brain function and feel better in a lot of different ways.

Pain and its relation to Hormonal Imbalance

Hormone Pain in Stomach

Many people feel the onset of generalized aches and pains as they get older and feel this is normal and they have to live with it. You may even feel that you don’t recover well after exercising or get injured more easily. The good news is that there may be something that you can do about this.

Low Testosterone is often the culprit for these symptoms–especially when you get around 40 – 50 years old. Testosterone is a hormone that we often think about with sex drive and energy, but it is a key hormone for helping your body to heal properly. An optimal Testosterone level enables your body to deal with the day to day physical traumas, and to recover from exercise. You also feel more energized, have more balanced moods and think more clearly.

You are bombarded by many things in your environment that can decrease your Testosterone: pesticides, stress, chemicals in skin care, medications, etc. It is important to have an optimal Testosterone level in order for you to feel great, heal well and prevent diseases. The first step is to check your Testosterone level and see if it is in an optimal range. Please keep in mind that it may read “normal” but “normal” is not always optimal. Have a practitioner trained in hormones interpret your results.

Hormonal Imbalance

Lacking Energy?

People often feel tired and run down, and instead of fixing the problem they reach for caffeine. They end up in a yo yo of being artificially wired and then feeling fatigued again. They are so caught up in surviving each day that they don’t realize they can stop this mad cycling.

Picture of a happy couple

Naturally if you are in this cycle you want to fix the problem. A hormonal imbalance can be a cause of your fatigue. Cortisol, Thyroid, and Testosterone are hormones that are often overlooked. Cortisol is your “stress” hormone, Thyroid your “metabolism” hormone, and Testosterone is your “vitality” hormone. If any of these hormones are out of balance it can cause fatigue, among many other potential symptoms.

You may get your blood drawn but are told your labs are normal. It is important to look at your levels to see if they are in the optimal range. Optimal is better than normal. Optimal is living your life full of life and vitality. If you feel tired, this is not normal and a bio-identical specialist can work with you to figure out the cause and the appropriate treatment.

Hormones and Emotions

Every thought and feeling that you have affects your hormones. Stressful events can range from death of a loved one to a divorce to being told that you are fat, ugly, or stupid. Most often people get exposed to negative words and after a while, they may start believing it. Believing it turns into living it (making others judgment of us actually true). This can turn into a loss of self-love and can trigger a hormonal release that causes you to open the refrigerator and eat “comfort food” or causes you to have zero sex drive.

Woman having an emotional headache

When you have fear it causes a cascade of hormones to be released. This happens whether the fear is real or imagined. Your body does not know the difference between the fear of failure or the fear of a lion rushing towards you to eat you. Your body will respond to these stressors in the same way. It is the only way that the body knows how to keep you safe.

The problem is that the hormonal cascade that gets produced because of things that we perceive and believe was meant to deal with physical harms and not emotional ones. The result is that these hormones end up causing weight gain, fatigue, headaches, etc. You do not need to understand all of the details of these hormones, just the fact that they affect you!

In order to feel balanced and achieve a healthy weight, it is important that you deal with your emotions. The good news is that you can do this. My advice is to turn off the news (it is mainly negative) and to have a gratitude journal that you write in every day. This helps you to focus on what is good in yourself and your life. Regular exercise helps you as well. Yoga and meditation time is invaluable to keeping your emotions in check.

When you get your emotions and feelings balanced, you will find it easier to eat healthy and to feel vital. If you feel that your hormones are seriously out of balance then it is also important to seek the guidance of a physician specially trained in bio-identical hormones.

Chronic stress and your Hormones

When your body is faced with stress–a car about to run you over (acute) or day after day rushing around to take care of things (chronic)–your body launches into a stress response. This is a 2.5 million+ year old human response in order to survive. It is orchestrated by hormones.

Stress out man

Your adrenal glands are two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys. They produce your flight or fight hormones (adrenaline, epinephrine) that increases your heart rate, breathing, etc so that you have the ability to run away or fight. These are produced in the acute stress setting. If you see a car racing towards you, you need the ability to get out of the way quickly. Now, when you are exposed to day in/day out stress your adrenal glands produce cortisol. Cortisol is there to help you survive chronic stress. The problem is that most people are in constant chronic stress stemming from psychosocial stressors and not physical stressors. The brain does not understand the difference between perceived stress and real stress.
When you have continual Cortisol release, you will get an imbalance in your progesterone, estrogen, insulin, and thyroid. This hormonal imbalance can cause anxiety, irritability, fatigue, weight gain, trouble sleeping, mood swings, and can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, headaches, etc.

Adrenal fatigue is very common and requires patience to treat. You must rest your body and avoid stimulants such as caffeine and sugar. You need to eat a healthy balanced diet full of good protein, healthy fats, and vegetables. Yoga is a fabulous way to regain your mind-body connection. You should get your hormones tested and balanced appropriately with bio-identical hormones. You can regain your vitality and live an optimal life if you are willing to invest some time and money into your health.

Estrogen and Cancer

Your body–whether male or female–makes estrogen (of course women make a lot more of it than men!) There are three main kinds of estrogens that are made: estradiol, estriol, and estrone. Each one varies in how potent they are, i.e. how much they stimulate the estrogen receptors. Estradiol is the most potent and estriol is the weakest.

Happy Women

All hormones, including estrogen, are eventually broken down in the liver by enzymes (metabolized). A healthy metabolism of hormones is critical for keeping you in optimal health. You can affect this metabolism by what you eat, your environmental exposures, and your lifestyle choices. The right choices help your body to metabolize estrogen down a non-cancer pathway, while the wrong choices can encourage cancer growth. Estrogen is not a bad hormone, it is an excess amount of the wrong type of estrogen that promotes cancer.

Eating a healthy diet full of cruciferous vegetables (kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc) is one way to shift your body to promote estrogen metabolites that actually help to prevent cancer. Interestingly, it will also help improve your libido! This is also true when it comes to avoiding chemicals that can be found in the following products: herbicides, pesticides, plastics, household cleaning products, solvents, skin care products, etc. Many of the chemicals used in common products enter your body and can alter your hormonal activity and balance–potentially starting in-utero from the mother’s exposure!!

Using synthetic hormones such as birth control pills also affect the way that your body processes estrogen (among other things) and can potentially promote cancer cells. This is one of the reasons why there is so much controversy surrounding the use of hormones and cancer risk. Utilizing bio-identical hormones when your body needs additional hormonal help avoids this problem. Bio-identical hormones are a carbon copy of what your body naturally makes—your body knows how to utilize them properly.

Optimizing a woman’s hormones may involve the use of bio-identical estrogen and when done under the guidance of a properly trained physician it is safe and has not been shown to promote cancers. In fact, proper use of bio-identical hormones have been shown in many instances to decrease your risk of certain cancers.

Sex Drive

Happy Man and Wife

A healthy sexual relationship with your partner is important for your physical and mental well being. The good news is that there is help for a waning sex drive. The first step is wanting to do something about it (you already did that by reading this!).

Here are some other things that you can do:

  • Eat a diet low in sugar and other white foods as well as full of good proteins and fats. Fat does not make you fat!! It is actually the sugars/simple carbohydrates that stimulate fat storage. Cave men/women ate a lot of fat and they had muscular bodies. Fat should come from nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, and fish preferably.
  • Eat a small amount every 3 hours. Remember to eat lots of vegetables!! Berries or green apples are the best fruits.
  • Limit your alcohol to 5-7 drinks per week (max of two drinks per sitting).
  • Exercise regularly. A minimum of a half hour 6 times per week is the goal!
  • Take a multivitamin
  • Take Omega 3 fatty acid supplement daily
  • Optimize your Vitamin D level to 50-70 (get this from sunshine and/or supplements) If in doubt it is safe to add 1000 IU of Vit D3 daily
  • Resveratrol 100 – 300 mg per day is a powerful anti-oxidant (get from grape seeds)

Yes, your nutrition greatly affects your libido, not just your waist line!! The hormones that are responsible for your libido greatly depend on the right nutrition. The first line of treatment for hormonal balance is a healthy lifestyle. I also find that most women need some supplemental Testosterone to offset the stresses of living in our modern world. We are surrounded by many things that disrupt our natural hormones.

Using bio-identical Testosterone combined with a healthy lifestyle is a great boost to your libido!!