I like to talk about the different parts of achieving optimal wellness. It is not one major thing that gives you vitality and health, it is a combination of several different things. One of those things is the proper balancing of your hormones.
As a physician who specializes in integrative medicine and hormone balancing I often get asked by a patient if they need hormone balancing. People in general want to live well and die quick (later in life of course), and they are searching for how to do this. They hear about hormones and hormone balancing and they wonder if they need it. There is a lot of confusion and an overload of information and misinformation about hormones. Most people frankly just don’t know what to do or how to do it. They are overwhelmed. Before I can answer whether you need hormone balancing or not, I believe that it is important for you to understand what a hormone is.
We throw that word around like we throw a baseball around. Do you really know what a hormone is, or what it does? What would you say if I asked you to define it? Basically hormones are chemical messengers that relay messages from one part of our body to another—telling the target cell what to do. Our brain can not pick up a cell phone and call somewhere else in our body and tell it what to do. The hormones are specific chemical structures and they each relay specific messages—like a lock and a key. Each hormone is biochemically specific and fits perfectly into its receptor on the target cell—the hormone is like the key, and the receptor is like the lock. Once the lock, or cell receptor, is unlocked a specific reaction occurs in the cell. It is a precise system. Each different hormone gets a different reaction from the same cell.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what hormones are, you may be asking to yourself “what do they do”? Why are they important for my health? Your hormones perform numerous functions in your body. There are a lot of different hormones in your body but when we talk about hormone balancing we are typically talking about thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, cortisol,and growth hormone. Most people are aware of their function with weight, sex drive, and their involvement with periods and menopause for women. But that is only the tip of the ice berg. These hormones are important for hundreds of functions within your body. They help you to feel happy, strong, energetic and vital. They help your bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments to heal, repair, and stay strong. They help you to remember things and to stay focused. When your hormones are in proper balance research has shown that it helps to prevent dementia, osteoporosis, heart disease, possibly cancer, among other things. It is easy to see that your hormones being in balance is important for your health.
Do you need hormone balancing? My answer is most likely yes because we live in a toxic world that disrupts the hormonal balance. Stress and the multitude of chemicals that we are exposed to on a daily basis cause a hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalances can start as early as your 20’s in today’s toxic world. Sadly, these symptoms are often overlooked. The hormonal decline can occur gradually and people feel that it is just normal aging. This could not be farther from the truth as we were designed to live well and die quick (later in life).
As a result of a hormonal imbalance, people complain of fatigue, an inability to lose fat, brain fog, dry skin or hair, a lack of focus, decreased ability to remember, an increase in aches and pains, an inability to gain muscle, depressed mood, irritability, anxiety, poor sleep, etc. The list goes on and on. Essentially the person does not feel like he or she used to. Hormonal imbalances affect the person’s ability to exercise, choose the right foods, their mind set, and their sleep–all important pieces to achieving optimal wellness.
The symptoms that you have are more important than any lab test that you can have done. Hormone imbalances are often missed because the medical community focuses on labs and does not focus on the individual. They forget that the Normal lab values are not necessarily Optimal lab values. The bottom line is that if you feel that something is off, then you most likely need hormone balancing.
When you ask whether or not you need hormone balancing, you are really asking whether you want to continue suffering or do you want to feel great and live life as it was intended to be lived. Proper hormone balancing is an important piece to living a vital, healthy life. I find that once your hormones are balanced it is easier to sleep, exercise, eat right, and have a good mind set. I have helped numerous people live a dynamic life when they choose to seek help. What is it that you want to do??