Tag Archives: hormones

Must-read for Men: You Have Hormones!

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Men can also struggle with numerous negative symptoms daily, without being aware they might be directly connected to their hormone levels! Often enough, a dysfunction in male hormones means abnormal testosterone levels, the hormone responsible for “maleness.” And it’s a sad reality that during the past few decades, average levels of testosterone have been declining at a substantially fast rate. Today’s toxic environment coupled with poor nutrition is speeding up the aging process, which is also reflected by your hormone levels. For a man to be in shape and healthy, other key hormones besides testosterone need to be balanced as well, like pregnenolone, DHEA, cortisol, progesterone and growth hormone. So the problem might be more complex than just “fixing hormone levels.” An integrative and holistic approach is often needed for true health. Symptoms of Hormone Imbalances in Men The changes that happen in male reproductive hormones are often but not always […]

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy vs. Synthetic Hormones

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It is the utmost importance for women to understand that they have alternatives to Premarin and Provera that are scientifically shown to be safer and healthier. Below are the facts to support this statement on the benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Fact #1: Cardiovascular Health Natural hormone therapy maintains and augments the cardioprotective effects of estrogen and decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke. A number of medical studies have shown that coronary artery spasm, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, can be reduced with estrogen and progesterone. On the other hand, the addition of Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), a synthetic variant of the steroid hormone progesterone and marketed as Provera, to estrogen has the opposite effect and results in vasoconstriction, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke in postmenopausal women. In addition, MPA increases the amount of collagen in vascular plaques, which promotes thrombus (blood clot) formation. MPA […]

Hormones 101: What Hormones Are and How They Affect You

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Hormones are the chemical messengers that travel, via our bloodstream, to every organ and tissue in the body. They influence fat storage, energy levels, sex drive, brain health and a host of other vital functions. Find out below about some of the most important functions of your hormones and how too much, too little or wrong ratios of these have a tremendous effect on your health. Hormones 101 Testosterone Testosterone is secreted primarily by the testicles of males and, to a lesser extent, the ovaries of females. In males, testosterone protects against cardiovascular disease, hypertension and arthritis. It leads to improved lean muscle mass, increased bone density, decreases in cholesterol, improved skin tone, improved healing capacity, and increased libido and sexual performance. It prolongs the quality of life by decreasing age-related diseases—as does estrogen in females. Testosterone is also extremely important in females for body fat reduction, sense of well-being, […]

The Aphrodisiac You’ve Been Waiting For

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We all perceive testosterone as a male hormone, and its presence in our body is associated with virility. But testosterone is also present in the female body, only in a much lower quantity. The cause of low desire isn’t always medical, but it turns out that a large percentage of women with this problem have blood tests that are consistent with low levels of testosterone and other androgens. Birth control pills, for example, can alter the body’s testosterone production by rendering 50 percent of it useless, due to the synthetic estrogen it contains. As a response to the extra amount of estrogen contained by the pill, the liver produces the protein called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). This works by binding to testosterone and so less of it will be available for your body to use. High-sugar, refined carbohydrate diet, caffeine, stress, hormones in industrial meat and dairy and estrogen-like toxins can cause various […]

Is Intermittent Fasting a Key to Weight Loss?

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We know that full-on fasting – such as ultra-low calorie diets, or low-cal juice cleanses — tend to lower the metabolism and bring down the metabolic set-point, especially in people with thyroid issues such as hypothyroidism. But research has shown that short-term fasting does not have this permanent impact on metabolism, while potentially offering a number of other benefits. A 2013 study from the British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease found that IF diets can help combat diabetes and heart disease, lowering blood pressure, reducing insulin levels, and resulting in weight loss. More recently, Yale School of Medicine researchers discovered that a compound produced by the body when fasting can actually block responses that are involved in various inflammatory disorders. Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is produced when fasting, restricting calories, or on a ultra-low carbohydrate ketogenic diet. BHB inhibits the production of a protein that plays a key role in inflammation […]

13 Numbers About Your Health That You Need To Know

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2.5 OR LOWER Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels above 2.5 are considered to be suspicious for subclinical hypothyroidism by many integrative physicians. The “normal” reference range for the TSH test tends to run from .3 to 4.5, and many patients with levels above 2.5 are told their thyroid is “normal,” while their physicians fail to test to actual circulating thyroid hormone (Free T4, Free T3) or the thyroid antibodies that can detect an autoimmune thyroid disease. 1.3 OR HIGHER The Free T4 test measures the available amount of the T4 storage hormone available to be converted into T3, the active thyroid hormone. While the reference range at many labs runs from .8 to 2.8 ng/dL, integrative physicians have found that most patients feel best when their level falls into the top half of the range, at a level of 1.3 or higher. 3.2 OR HIGHER The Free T3 test measures […]

No Thyroid Gland: What Next?

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How Someone Ends Up Without a Thyroid There are several ways that someone can end up without a thyroid gland. First, you can be born without a gland, or with a malformed or non-functional gland. This is called “congenital hypothyroidism.” When it’s found, newborns are started on thyroid hormone replacement, to avoid the signs and symptoms of this condition, which can include failure to grow, lethargy, developmental delays, and even mental impairment. Typically, in the United states, mandatory “heel stick” blood tests conducted at birth measure for thyroid hormone, in order to detect this condition, and allow treatment to begin right away. More information on congenital hypothyroidism: EMedicine Overview of Congenital Hypothyroidism About.com Overview of Congenital Hypothyroidism Second, you don’t have a thyroid if your gland has been surgically removed. In the United States, surgery to remove the thyroid gland, called a thyroidectomy, is most commonly performed on many patients […]

7 Signs That You Need a New Doctor

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To borrow the metaphor, you may have to kiss a few frogs along the way before you find that prince — or princess — or a practitioner. But in some cases, it becomes clear that this is not a working relationship, and it’s time to move on. Here are seven signs that you definitely need a new doctor. 1. Your Doctor Questions Whether Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Adrenal Insufficiency Are “Real” Diagnoses If you get an inkling that your doctor lumps Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome — as well as adrenal insufficiency — into the category of psychosomatic, somatoform illnesses, or suggests that they are somehow not real, “made-up,” “trendy,” or in your head, it’s a clear warning that you need a new doctor. Move on to a more knowledgeable practitioner who is up on the latest research and findings about these conditions. 2. Your Doctor Bristles at the Word “Bioidentical” […]

Adrenal Fatigue: Causes, Signs, and Symptoms

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More common are cases where the adrenal glands are producing some – but not enough – stress hormones. This is known as adrenal fatigue. (Note: the integrative health world is pioneering in this area, but conventional medicine still does not recognize that adrenal dysfunction includes more than just an absence or excess of adrenal hormones!) Some Causes/Triggers of Adrenal Fatigue What are some of the causes and triggers of adrenal fatigue? An acute life stress — death of a loved one, loss of a job, divorce, etc. Prolonged emotional or life stress — particularly when you have an inability to manage this chronic stress Acute infectious illness- i.e., a respiratory infection like bronchitis or pneumonia Prolonged physical stress — such as ongoing bacterial/viral infections An accident or surgery Other hormonal deficiencies or imbalances Insufficient levels of good-quality sleep Poor diet and nutritional deficiencies Overuse of stimulants Substance abuse Signs and […]

Weight Gain Despite Thyroid Treatment May Be Hypothalamic Obesity Disorder

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The research was presented in a poster session by Saad Sakkal, MD at the May 2014 annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). Before we take a look at the research, let’s explain a bit more about the hypothalamus and its impact on weight and metabolism. What is The Hypothalamus? Your hypothalamus is an almond-sized part of the brain that connects your nervous system to your endocrine system, with your pituitary gland acting as a go-between. The job of the hypothalamus is to release hormones that then cause the pituitary gland to release (or stop releasing) pituitary hormones. This hormonal process controls the body’s temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, sleep cycles, and daily cyclical rhythms. Cells in the hypothalamus take up the inactive form of thyroid hormone T4 (thyroxine), and convert the T4 into the active thyroid hormone, T3 (triiodothyronine.) The T3 then stimulates the production of TSH, […]

Sleep: A Summary

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Facebook Chat on Sleep If you missed thyroid advocate and bestselling author Mary Shomon’s Facebook chat about the effects of sleep disorders on our health, it took place on Friday, April 25. You can read through all the Q&As and the full chat transcript online here.

Melatonin: For Sleep, Thyroid, Hormones and More

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Melatonin is produced — primarily at night — by the pineal gland, a tiny gland located in the brain. The pineal acts as a controller of our body’s clock, including the day-to-day 24-hour clock that tells us when to sleep and when to wake. It also controls our lifetime biological clock that decides on bigger hormonal issues, such as when we enter puberty and when we enter menopause. Melatonin and Sleep Melatonin is known to be a help for sleep. Various studies have shown it to help people fall asleep more quickly, to stay asleep, have more refreshing sleep, and reduced daytime fatigue. The main side effect of melatonin is morning grogginess. If you experience this, you can drop down to a lower dose, and determine what dosage will help you sleep, without causing any morning side effects. Some research into melatonin have reported that it improves mood upon waking, […]