Hormones Treatments

Hormones

DEFINITION

Hormones play a role in our sexual, emotional, and physiological health. From vaginal health, sex drive, and erectile dysfunction, to brain-fog, memory, cravings, depression, anxiety, and beyond hormones influence many glands and neurotransmitters in the brain. Physiologically hormones play a role in metabolism, body composition, fluid retention, body temperature regulation, thyroid function, and circadian rhythms including fatigue and insomnia. A functional medicine nutrition practitioner will work with you to uncover dysfunction in your stress response assessing imbalances in your Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis (HPA-axis) and your hormonal expression assessing hormonal dominance or deficiency. Beyond laboratory assessment, with an individual consultation, your practitioner will work with you to identify contributing lifestyle factors while providing comprehensive education and a realistic achievable treatment plan supported by pharmaceutical-grade supplementation to accelerate your body’s response.

LABORATORY ASSESSMENT

Micronutrient Panel to identity vitamin and mineral deficiencies that drive excessive or deficient estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and thyroid hormones.

Labrix Neurohormone Panels to assess salivary values of sexual hormones (estrone, estradiol, estriol, progesterone, testosterone), cortisol, DHEA, and neurotransmitters (serotonin, GABA, dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, glutamate).

Comprehensive thyroid panel ensures your master gland of metabolism and balance in the body is functioning sound. This panel looks beyond your typical TSH and T4 to assess inflammation and autoimmune activity in the gland that can drive Hashimotos, hypothyroidism, Graves disease, and other thyroid or hormonal and metabolic concerns.

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TREATMENT PLAN

  • Individualized Consultation
  • Functional Medicine Assessment with Comprehensive Lifestyle Intake
  • Coordination of care with specialists, primary care physician, and medical team
  • Food-as-medicine education about:
    • Mechanisms of HPA-axis
    • Role of hormones on your body and drivers to dysfunction
    • Customized macronutrient ranges to aid in body composition change
    • Food-as-medicine to detox hormonal imbalance
    • Foods to support optimal gland function
    • Pharmaceutical-grade supplement recommendations to treat adrenal fatigue, excessive adrenaline output, testosterone deficiency, hormone dominance, and more!
    • Bioidential topical hormone support when appropriate
    • Lifestyle changes to support wellness outcomes

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FOOD-AS-MEDICINE TIP
Naturally Nourished: Focus Breakfast Choconanna Shake

  • 1/2 cup almond butter (Ali recommends roasted organic, grind-your own)
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 6-8 fl oz almond milk unsweetened
  • 2-3 Tbsp protein powder (rice, chlorella, pea-based) or 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

Directions:Blend orange through green tea in vitamix. Once mixed well, add scoop of grassfed whey and zip in blender to incorporate. Serve as light meal or snack for one.This smoothie combines compounds that support adrenal health while providing balance in the brain. Rich in amino acids for and cofactors for healthy stress hormone production, this smoothie helps to reset the brain and prevent depletion of serotonin and dopamine. It also provides anti-inflammatory support and L-theonine to aid as a pilot in the brain to steady stress response and provide stable calm energy.

“Conventional labs often overlook hormonal imbalances and ignore the role of stress on hor-monal expression. Beyond the classic hormonal transitions of aging including menopause and fertility, both women and men can experience dominance or deficiency that can negatively in-fluence quality of life. Functional medicine as-sessments work to identify the driving causes of estrogen dominance, progesterone deficiency, excessive cortisol and beyond while working to aid in the body’s ability to detoxify excess, build deficiency, or conserve and replete the gland that is overworked.”

Ali.

DID YOU KNOW?

“While individual effects of menopause vary widely, many women suffer because their bodies no longer produce sex hormones at sufficient levels required to optimally sustain critical physiological processes. Depression, irritability, and short-term memory lapses are common menopausal complaints, along with hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and weight gain.

Health problems encountered during menopause may adversely affect a woman for the rest of her lifetime in the absence of appropriate hormone replacement. Yet maturing women today are often told by their doctors to limit prolonged use of hormone drugs, only long enough to obtain relief from menopausal symptoms and then no more. Unfortunately, this advice fails to recognize the critical differences between hormone drugs foreign to women’s bodies and hormones identical to those naturally produced by women’s bodies.

The understandable, factual concern espoused by many mainstream doctors is that FDA-approved estrogen-progestin hormone drugs have been shown to increase the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. The dilemma facing aging women is that their bodies may still benefit from youthful hormone levels, but many of their doctors say “no.”

There is, in fact, a body of scientific evidence indicating that natural progesterone (as opposed to synthetic progestin drugs) and the natural estriol form of estrogen may help protect against the very diseases caused by unnatural estrogen-progestin drugs that are foreign to the human body.

Mainstream medical practitioners (many of whom prescribed unnatural hormone drugs for decades) and the FDA (which still allows these dangerous unnatural hormones to be sold) are now at the forefront urging aging women to avoid their prolonged use.

Overlooked by mainstream medicine is a plethora of research findings indicating that women may more safely benefit from individualized doses of natural estrogens and progesterone over their lifetime. Almost completely ignored are lifestyle changes (such as assuring optimal vitamin D status and cruciferous vegetable intake) that may prevent and even reverse the kind of damage to cell regulatory genes inflicted by some estrogenic compounds.” –Excerpt from October 2009 Life Extension Magazine

In this comprehensive white paper by Life Extension Magazine bioidential hormone white paper, they present data showing how women can safely benefit from comprehensive approaches that naturally restore youthful hormone balance, while protecting aging cells against carcinogenic and blood clotting influence.

Saliva testing is proving to be the most reliable medium for measuring cortisol and sex hormone levels. Saliva accurately represents the amount of hormone delivered to receptors in the body, unlike serum, which represents hormone levels that may or may not be delivered to receptors in the body. Clinically, it is far more relevant to test the amount of hormone delivered to the tissue receptors, as this is a reflection of the active hormone levels in the body.

The hormones in blood exist in one of two forms: free (5%) or protein bound (95%). While 95% of the hormones in the body are bound to protein carriers, it is only 5% of these hormones that are free and biologically active.

Saliva measures the free, bioavailable hormone levels in the body. When blood is filtered through the salivary glands, the protein bound hormone components are too large to pass through the cell membranes of the salivary glands. Only the unbound hormones pass through and into the saliva. What is measured in the saliva is considered the “free,” or bioavailable hormone, which will be delivered to the receptors in the tissues of the body.

Serum measures the “protein bound” biologically inactive hormone levels in the body. In order for steroid hormones to be detected in serum, they must be bound to circulating proteins. In this bound state, they are unable to fit into receptors in the body, and therefore will not be delivered to tissues. They are considered inactive, or non-bioavailable.

In a healthy person, cortisol levels are naturally highest in the morning and gradually recede throughout the day. Saliva testing allows easy collection over the course of an entire day so that diurnal cortisol levels can be assessed. In addition, saliva testing is preferable to serum testing as studies have shown that the stress of venipuncture can greatly alter cortisol levels; plasma cortisol levels after a difficult blood draw can be misleading.

Perhaps most importantly, only saliva testing can measure topically dosed hormones. The discrepancy between free and protein bound hormones becomes especially important when monitoring topical, or transdermal hormone therapy. Studies show that this method of delivery results in increased tissue hormone levels (thus measurable in saliva), with no parallel increase seen in serum levels. Therefore, serum testing cannot be used to monitor topical hormone therapy.

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