Hormone Balancing and Women’s Health

Dr. Alison Beach, Naturopathic Doctor
Dr. Clayton Bostock, Naturopathic Doctor
Dr. Faren Brogan, Naturopathic Doctor

Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate numerous biological processes in the body. Imbalances in hormones for both men and women can cause a wide variety of health conditions and symptoms including women's health R2fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, erectile difficulty, fibrocystic breasts, PMS, light or heavy periods, irregular periods, infertility, low libido, inability to lose weight, and/or easy weight gain. Imbalances can occur in hormones produced by many glands of the body including the ovaries/testes, thyroid, and adrenal gland.

The most typical hormone imbalance in the female body is the result of estrogen dominance.  Estrogen dominance is a condition where the body is producing or being exposed to too much estrogen, or when there is not enough progesterone to balance out the estrogen.  Estrogen dominance can increase your risk of developing female related cancers including breast and ovarian cancer.Other hormone imbalances that predispose to estrogen dominance include imbalances in thyroid and adrenal gland production. In fact, elevated levels of estrogens may inhibit thyroid function.  Like the ovaries, the adrenal glands also make many steroid hormones including estrogens, progesterone and cortisol.  As a result, well functioning thyroid and adrenal glands are important for hormone balance as well. The symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause are the result of hormone deficiencies.  This is due to the fact that menopause is a natural biological process whereby a woman’s ovaries decrease in function leading to a significant decline in the production of sex hormones including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.  This decline can lead to very unpleasant symptoms including fatigue, depression, hot flushes, night sweats, brain fog, vaginal dryness, weight gain, insomnia and/or loss of libido.

Thyroid health is also important and clinically we are seeing increased rates of hypothyroidism. The main symptoms of hypothyroidism include cold intolerance, weight gain, constipation, fluid retention, fatigue, hair loss and/or dry skin.  In our medical system the standard screen for thyroid is thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).  However, TSH is only the signal from your brain to your thyroid, not your active thyroid hormone.  To appropriately diagnose and treat hypothyroidism it is also important to determine your levels of free T4 and free T3 which are your actual active thyroid hormones. Time and time again we see normal TSH levels with lower than optimal levels of free T4 and/or free T3.

In order to treat hormone imbalance Dr. Beach, Dr. Bostock, and Dr. Brogan initially screen with salivary and/or serum hormone testing to collect baseline data on hormone levels. Treatment to restore hormonal balance then may include botanical support, homeopathy, phenolics, acupuncture, and/or Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT).  Dr. Beach, Dr. Brogan, and Dr. Bostock have all taken extra training in BHRT through the American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine.  BHRT is different from the conventional Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) such as Premarin as they are made from natural compounds and have the same chemical structure as hormones that are made by the human body.  This means that bioidentical hormones are “human identical” and work like the body’s own hormones if prescribed in proper balance.