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Horomone Imbalance

Progressive Medical Center of Atlanta uses an integrative medical approach to treat this condition.

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Integrative Medicine Overview

Hormone Imbalances for Men & Women

Hormones are powerful chemicals and are constantly held in a precise balance by the body. They are responsible for weight management, fertility, sex drive and can affect mood, energy levels, strength, and various other critical health factors.

 

Men’s Hormones

Some men thrive with robust levels of hormones while other men feel at their best with moderate levels of hormones. But most men feel bad if they have very low hormone levels. Men with low testosterone may experience weight gain (abdominal), poor memory, depression, fatigue, weakness, low muscle mass, bone loss and lack of sex drive. It is important to find a knowledgeable practitioner of integrative and functional medicine to determine what is right for you and customize a hormone treatment specific for your body’s biochemistry. Hormones are transported throughout the body and are important in growth, development and overall wellbeing. There are a number of glands in the body which release hormones as needed for a variety of process occurring within the body. The most common functions of hormones are:

  • Growth
  • Blood pressure regulation
  • Stress management
  • Regulate metabolism
  • Carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism
  • Bone growth

Throughout life hormones change. Testosterone and estrogen levels begin to decline as men age. Evaluation of hormone levels can identify hormonal imbalances and inform your doctor how to prescribe the specific bio-identical hormone replacement formula needed to get you feeling better. A true understanding of male hormonal health will involve not only testosterone, but also estrogens and progesterone. Estrogen, while sometimes neglected for its role in male hormonal health, helps promote libido. On the other hand, if a man has excess estrogen it can increase his risk for prostate cancer. In addition to sex hormones, it is also important to evaluate adrenal function, thyroid function, and bowel function. These systems are all interconnected in the body and a knowledgeable physician must take these other factors into account to fully balance a man’s hormones. Hormones, like all therapies, should be done with the individual’s overall clinical picture in mind. What may seem to be simply a hormone imbalance could be caused by other imbalanced systems in the body.

What Symptoms are Associated with Hormonal Imbalance in Men?

Most men begin to experience hormonal imbalances as they age, primarily due to the gradual decline of testosterone as men enter their 30s. The decline in testosterone may cause a number of symptoms which are listed below. Low Male Hormones

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle Weakness and Atrophy
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Low Libido

Excess Male Hormones

  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Acne
  • Prostatism (nocturia, dysuria)
  • Male Pattern Balding

Declining testosterone levels not only impact men physically but may also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, anxiety, and depression. Testosterone replacement has been found to improve a number of conditions associated with hormonal imbalances such as insulin resistance, bone loss, and poor muscle mass. Testosterone may be utilized as a predictor of diabetes and bio-identical hormone replacement with testosterone improves insulin resistance. Testosterone replacement is also known to increase muscle tissue and improve bone density in men with declining testosterone levels. A man with low testosterone may find dramatic improvement in his health after using bio-identical hormone supplementation. However estrogen levels in men are also important. With too little estrogen, a man can have poor libido. Excess estrogen or problems getting rid of hormones can pose a problem for a man with prostate cancer. Progesterone levels are also measured for comprehensive men’s health care.

How Does Progressive Treat Hormone Imbalance in Men?

The clinicians at Progressive Medical Center treat the whole person, not simply a low hormone lab result. We do this by listening to what symptoms you describe, and even if your lab results are normal, we will still assess the underlying cause if you are feeling unwell. Bio-identical hormones (testosterone, estrogen, DHEA, and progesterone) can improve energy, libido, memory, and muscle mass, in a man with low hormone levels. DHEA has been shown to improve the cardiovascular health of middle-aged men. If you are concerned about the safety of hormone supplementation, then an integrative medical doctor is your best option. Excessive hormone supplementation can cause unwanted side effects. For safe bio-identical hormone supplementation, integrative medical doctors use your test results and symptoms to determine the minimum dosage needed to resolve your symptoms. Integrative medical doctors often institute measures to enhance the safety and efficacy of this treatment. Each patient is monitored carefully through regular follow-up hormone panels to ensure they achieve symptom relief at the lowest possible dosage. In the initial stages, hormone testing will be done every three months to monitor treatment and hormone levels. Once hormonal balance is restored, hormone levels will be monitored yearly. Your doctor will assess and support your body’s ability to clear hormones, which is fundamental to safe and effective bioidentical hormone replacement.

What are Other Causes of Hormone Imbalance?

Hormones have powerful effects on the body’s tissues, cells, metabolism and growth. Sex hormones are just one chemical system in the body but they communicate with many other systems in the body including hormones from the adrenal glands and the thyroid. The gastrointestinal tract must be working well so that the body has everything it needs to make hormones and remove them from the body. Healthy hormone balance requires a tune-up of all of these systems.

Adrenal Health Many people are chronically stressed which can deplete the body’s levels of hormones. Adrenal testing allows the physicians at Progressive to look more closely at the impact of stress on your hormones. If you always feel stressed, have extra abdominal fat, are having trouble sleeping and waking up, and easily feel overwhelmed by things in life, then you are probably suffering from adrenal fatigue. Testing adrenal function allows our physicians to customize treatments to help raise your energy levels and endurance by supporting adrenal function. Your doctor will also evaluate your lifestyle and determine when it may be necessary to utilize stress management techniques.

Thyroid Health Thyroid balance is very important when adjusting sex hormone levels. The thyroid is often called the “master regulator” because it is vital for so many systems in the body and controls metabolism, which helps you to maintain the optimal weight for your body type. Thyroid testing allows us to evaluate if your body has adequate thyroid hormones to function properly. If your thyroid is not working correctly, it will interfere with balancing hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. By using your thyroid test results, we can determine the best course of nutritional and dietary treatment to support optimal thyroid function and metabolism. Read about the Biochemistry of Thyroid Function.

Gut Health Gastrointestinal health is critical for making hormones and getting rid of hormones. Healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients gives your body all the building blocks it needs to manufacture hormones. Gut health is critical in eliminating hormonal waste products that no longer are needed by the body. A stool test may be run to evaluate your gut health. Your practitioner may also choose to do a food sensitivity test. Food sensitivities can create inflammation that may cause hormonal complaints such as fatigue, weight gain, or brain fog.

 

Women’s Hormone Balance

 Some women thrive with robust levels of hormones while other women feel at their best with moderate levels of hormones. But most women feel out of sorts if they have very low hormone levels. It is important to find a knowledgeable practitioner of integrative and functional medicine to determine what is right for you and customize a hormone treatment specific for your body’s biochemical make-up.

 

Hormones are transported throughout the body and are important in growth, development and overall wellbeing. There are a number of glands in the body which release hormones as needed for a variety of process occurring within the body. The most common functions of hormones are:

  • Growth
  • Blood pressure regulation
  • Stress management
  • Regulate metabolism
  • Carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism
  • Bone growth

Throughout life hormones change, estrogen levels begin to decline as women age; as will progesterone and DHEA which begin to decline in a woman’s mid-20s and 30s. It is for this reason that evaluation of hormone levels is particularly useful to identify hormonal imbalances, restore balance, and resolve the associated symptoms. A true understanding of female hormonal health will involve not only estrogen and progesterone; but also evaluating adrenal function, thyroid function, and bowel function. All are important for achieving optimal hormone health. Hormones, like all therapies, should be done with the individual’s overall health in mind. What may seem to be simply a hormone imbalance could be caused by other imbalanced systems in the body that must be resolved first.

What symptoms are associated with Hormonal Imbalance?

There are a variety of symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances that may vary depending on whether a woman is premenopausal, menopausal or postmenopausal. Women troubled with infertility may have hormone imbalance. A fairly common phenomenon in premenopausal women is premenstrual syndrome (PMS). A variety of symptoms may be associated with PMS including physical discomforts such as:

  • Weight gain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • General unhappiness

At the start of menopause, estrogen levels decrease and women may experience symptoms such as:

  • Hot flashes
  • Incontinence
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Weight gain
  • Mood changes

Declining estrogen and progesterone levels not only impact women physically but may also increase the risk of bone loss. Both estrogen and progesterone may be utilized as part of bioidentical hormone replacement. When a woman has a hormone imbalance, treatment with topical hormones can resolve her symptoms sometimes instantaneously.

How do we treat Hormonal Imbalance?

The clinicians at Progressive Medical Center treat the whole person, not simply a low hormone lab result. We do this by listening to what symptoms you describe, and even if your lab results are normal, we will still look to re-balance your whole system. The symptoms that are commonly associated with imbalanced hormones can be corrected by utilizing bioidentical hormone replacement (testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone). Bioidentical hormones are utilized to correct hormonal imbalances, most commonly in the treatment of symptoms of menopause. However, even women with other symptoms such as headache, infertility, weight gain, or sleep disturbance may benefit from bioidentical hormone treatment. If you are concerned about the safety of hormone supplementation but you have a hormone imbalance, then an integrative medical doctor is your best option. Excessive hormone supplementation can cause unwanted side effects. For safe bioidentical hormone supplementation, integrative medical doctors use your test results and symptoms to determine the minimum dosage needed to resolve your symptoms. Integrative medical doctors often institute measures to enhance the safety and efficacy of this treatment. Each patient is monitored carefully through regular follow-up hormone panels to ensure they achieve symptom relief at the lowest possible dosage. In the initial stages, hormone testing will be done every three months to monitor treatment and hormone levels. Once hormonal balance is restored, hormone levels will be monitored yearly. Your doctor will assess and support your body’s ability to clear hormones, which is fundamental to safe and effective bioidentical hormone replacement.

What are other associated problems?

Hormones have powerful effects on the body’s tissues, cells, metabolism and growth. Sex hormones are just one chemical system in the body but they communicate with many other systems in the body including hormones from the adrenal glands and the thyroid. The gastrointestinal tract must be working well so that the body has everything it needs to make hormones and remove them from the body. Healthy hormone balance requires a tune-up of all of these systems.

Adrenal Health

Many people are chronically stressed which can deplete the body’s levels of hormones. Adrenal testing allows the physicians at Progressive to look more closely at the impact of stress on your hormones. If you always feel stressed, have extra abdominal fat, are having trouble sleeping and waking up, and easily feel overwhelmed by things in life, then you are probably suffering from adrenal fatigue. Testing adrenal function allows our physicians to customize treatments to help raise your energy levels and endurance by supporting adrenal function. Your doctor will also evaluate your lifestyle and determine when it may be necessary to utilize stress management techniques.

Thyroid Health

Thyroid balance is very important when adjusting sex hormone levels. The thyroid is often called the “master regulator” because it is vital for so many systems in the body and controls metabolism, which helps you to maintain the optimal weight for your body type. Thyroid testing allows us to evaluate if your body has adequate thyroid hormones to function properly. If your thyroid is not working correctly, it will interfere with balancing hormones such as progesterone and estrogen. By using your thyroid test results, we can determine the best course of nutritional and dietary treatment to support optimal thyroid function and metabolism. (See these articles on Thyroid Health)

Gut Health

Gastrointestinal health is critical for hormonal balance and determines how we handle hormones. Healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients gives your body all the building blocks it needs to manufacture hormones. Gut health is critical in eliminating hormonal waste products that no longer are needed by the body. A stool test may be run to evaluate your gut health. Your practitioner may also choose to do a food sensitivity test. Food sensitivities can create inflammation that may cause hormonal complaints such as hot flashes, fatigue or brain fog.

 

 

An INTEGRATIVE MEDICAL APPROACH

Integrative medicine is a comprehensive, science-based approach to medical care that draws on the best of many different specialties: natural medicine, allopathic (or conventional) medicine, diagnostic testing, nutrition, metabolism, detoxification, nutritional supplements, customized diets, acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage, among others. In integrative medicine, natural medical therapies are preferred as a way to mimic and enhance the body’s natural, healing abilities while minimizing unwanted side effects.

The focus is to address the underlying causes of illness, not just the symptoms, and to promote health of the whole person- mind, body, and spirit. If you are looking for a different approach to solving many of the medical issues and symptoms that plague millions of people around the world on a daily basis, then consider Progressive Medical Center.

The principles of integrative medicine:

  •     A partnership between patient and practitioner in the healing process
  •     Investigate and address the underlying causes of illness, rather than treating only the symptoms (via diagnostic testing)
  •     Appropriate use of conventional and alternative methods to facilitate the body’s innate healing response
  •     Consideration of all factors that influence health, wellness and disease, including mind, body, spirit, and community
  •     A philosophy that critically evaluates and selects conventional medical and alternative therapies based on clinical outcomes and known side effects
  •     Recognition that good medicine should be based in good science, be inquiry driven, and be open to new paradigms
  •     Use of natural, effective, less-invasive interventions whenever possible
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