Hormone Imbalance Treatment in Clarkston
Hormonal imbalances are multi-factorial disorders, meaning they are caused by a combination of factors such as your diet, medical history, genetics, stress levels and exposure to toxins from your environment. Some of the major contributors to hormonal imbalances include:
- Food allergies and gut issues: An expanding field of new research shows that your gut health plays a significant role in hormone regulation. If you have leaky gut or a lack of good bacteria lining your intestinal wall, your more susceptible to hormonal problems including diabetes and obesity. That’s because inflammation usually stems from your gut and then impacts nearly every aspect of your health
- Being overweight or obese
- High levels of inflammation caused by a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle
- Genetic susceptibility
- Toxicity (exposure to pesticides, toxins, viruses, cigarettes, excessive alcohol and harmful chemicals)
- High amount of stress, and a lack of enough sleep and rest
For people who struggle with obesity and weight issues, hormones are often affect their overall health. Excess body fat can cause problems with with and hormonal imbalances. Leptin is one of the hormones directly connected to the body fat and obesity.
What Is Leptin?
Leptin is a master hormone and it is in charge of all other hormones. This includes:
Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone
Basically if Leptin is not getting into the cell it will cause imbalances in all these other hormones. Leptin is released from the fat cells located in adipose tissues and sends signals to the hypothalamus in the brain. The leptin hormone helps regulate and alter long term food intake and energy expenditure, not just from one meal to the next. The primary design of leptin is to help the body maintain its weight.
Because leptin comes from fat cells, leptin amounts are directly connected to the individual’s body fat. As fat increases, leptin will increase. As fat mass decreases, leptin will decrease.
What is the function of Leptin?
Leptin helps inhibit hunger and regulates energy balance, so the body does not trigger hunger responses when it does not need energy. However, when levels of hormone fall, which happens when an individual loses weight, the lower levels can trigger huge increases in appetite and food cravings. This, in turn, can make weight loss more difficult.
Could I be Leptin Resistant?
Many people are Leptin Resistant and are unaware. This gets missed in conventional medicine. When the body is functioning properly, excess fat cells will produce leptin, which will trigger the hypothalamus to lower the appetite, allowing the body to dip into the fat stores to feed itself. Unfortunately, when someone is obese, that individual will have too much leptin in the blood. This can cause a lack of sensitivity to the hormone, a condition known as leptin resistance. Because the individual keeps eating, the fat cells produce more leptin to signal the feeling of satiety, leading to increased leptin levels.
By midnight, Leptin needs to get into your cells to signal that your body needs to release fat. Typically you will release 40% of fat during 12 pm and 6 am. With Leptin Resistance, the signal is to store fat.
If you have a family history of heart disease, alcoholism, obesity or diabetes these are risk factors for you developing Leptin Resistance,
Questions to ask yourself:
Have you been a YoYo Dieter?
Are you a meal skipper?
Do you have a truck driver appetite?
Do you like to eat after dinner?
Do you have a hard time controlling portions? Or feeling satisfied?
Is your sleep interrupted?
Do you tend to snack a lot?
You can take our leptin quiz located in our forms section.
Once Leptin is under control this creates hormonal balance in all areas.
Forum Health Clarkston will customize a plan for you addressing your underlying issues. We use the design of the body to heal, and by giving your body the right environment, it can heal itself.
The Cortisol Hormone Connection
Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and if this hormone is out of balance it will affect all other hormones, including DHEA, glucose, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cholesterol, epinephrine and norepinephrine and best of all can create increase inflammation, which will lead to inflammatory disease states, when it is over secreted.
Your body was designed to respond to short bursts of stress, followed by long periods of rest and relaxation. In today’s world, however, time to relax is considered a luxury, while stress levels are at an all-time high.
Stress is frequently referred to as “the silent killer;” it has been associated with the top six causes of death. According to the American Psychological Association, two out of three visits to the primary care doctor are for health issues where stress plays a significant role.
The stress response is important for producing Cortisol in “flight or fight” situations of immediate danger, such as rescuing a child from a dangerous situation. It has an effect on other systems that results in a heightened sense of awareness, an accelerated heart rate and rapid breathing. These normal responses to immediate danger help you quickly respond to the threat.
A key component includes the adrenal glands that sit atop of each kidney. The adrenal glands are responsible for regulating the body’s strength and stamina, and release hormones and chemicals in response to stress.
The short term release of cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream prepares the body for an essential and quick response to potential danger. However, chronic long term stress causes a continuous release of cortisol and adrenaline into the blood stream, which can be damaging to the body if left unresolved. Stress can also affect the thyroid gland, causing a disruption in the normal production of thyroid hormones.
Three Stages of Cortisol Dysfunction
Stage 1: Alarm Phase (Hyper-Cortisol)
Individuals in this stage usually report feeling restless, irritated, or “wired.” Immediate stressful situations are causing high cortisol production, but there is inadequate signaling to shut off excessive cortisol production. This manifests in higher levels of cortisol at night. If left unchecked, it can eventually affect other systems in the body, such as weakening immune response as well as loss of sleep, anxiety, weight gain, insulin resistance and blood sugar fluctuations.
Stage 2: Resistance Phase (Cortisol-Dominant)
This stage may be the result of ongoing acute adrenal dysfunction or the accumulation of years of mild stress without adequate relaxation and recuperation. Lab testing may indicate erratic patterns of cortisol production, inadequate diurnal rhythm, as well as reduced levels of DHEA.
Stage 3: Exhaustion Phase (Hypo-Cortisol)
This later stage of dysfunction is typically associated with a multitude of issues, including fatigue, severe insomnia, depression, hormonal imbalances, or an increase in pain and inflammatory conditions. Test results in stage three will show depleted levels of cortisol and DHEA (Addison’s disease is the complete loss of cortisol production). Individuals in this stage may find even the simplest tasks have become difficult to complete.
When most people think of “stress” they usually limit their definition to mental and emotional stressors. Going through a divorce or changing jobs can send your stress and cortisol levels soaring. However, blood sugar imbalances, inflammation and inadequate sleep are also potent stimulators of cortisol production. For example, you may have a low level of anxiety in your life, or you may be getting enough sleep each night, but if you are consuming a diet high in sugar, your cortisol, as well as insulin, levels will be on continuous roller coaster ride.
Another example would be someone who eats a balanced diet, has low levels of anxiety, but has a high degree of inflammation in his or her body. That inflammation is sending signals to secrete the cortisol needed to put out the inflammatory fire.
The specific driver of the cortisol activation may vary from person to person but over time cortisol and DHEA levels will eventually become imbalanced, along with other systems in your body.
Through a process of physical exam, health history, lifestyle and nutritional assessments, as well as lab testing, we can help determine your level of stress or fatigue that you are currently experiencing. By assessing your specific stage of dysfunction we can help you determine specific actions to take to help improve your health. A crucial step is to determine which stressor is affecting your cortisol and get to the “root cause.” This will significantly speed up the time required to restore balance to your stress response system as well as your overall health.
Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
The symptoms of hormone imbalance may vary from person to person and evolve over time.
- Hot flashes
- Night Sweats
- Weight gain
- Muscle loss
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low energy
Despite what we’ve been told, the number on the scale isn’t always a simple reflection of the number of calories we consume vs. the number we burn.
Often the real key to losing what may be unwanted belly fat, and gaining energy, clarity, and a better mood lies with your hormones. Out of whack hormones—thyroid, cortisol, testosterone, and estrogen—can contribute to weight gain and strongly affect your ability to lose weight.
According to research, in women, weight loss resistance is nearly always hormonal. Research has also shown a strong connection between low testosterone, elevated estrogen levels, and weight gain in men.
At Forum Health Clarkston, we use sophisticated tests that tell us the exact balance of your hormones. With this knowledge we create a program that addresses your specific needs, bringing you back in balance and helping you achieve, and maintain, a healthy weight.
The Benefits of Balanced Hormones
Achieving hormone balance offers men and women a number of benefits, such as more energy, better sleep, and stabilized moods.
Through our assessment process and the client’s health history, we can identify the root cause and help you with a customized plan that will help create the environment you need to have hormonal balance.
DUTCH Hormone Testing
This advanced hormone test offers an extensive profile of sex and adrenal hormones, melatonin, and cortisol (along with their metabolites), as well as measurements of the Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR) and cycle mapping. With an easy collection process you can do in the comfort and privacy of your own home, this unique testing and reporting method gives answers to complex clinical questions that affect everyday lives by identifying symptoms of hormonal imbalances.
Saliva Testing for Hormones
Hormones are essential for our overall welfare. We frequently think of estrogen as being a female hormone, and testosterone as being a male hormone. But both men and women make both, plus several more must be in balance for optimum health. An imbalance of any one hormone can throw physical and mental health out of balance, causing aggravating and even serious health problems. Saliva testing is the most convenient and least invasive manner to measure patients’ hormone status, as saliva measures the body’s “free” hormone levels. Hormones to test include estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, DHEA, and cortisol.