Female Hormone Imbalance
(PMS, Menopause, PCOS)
Your hormones are designed to influence specific functions such as digestion, metabolism, sleep, appetite, activation of the immune system, and reproduction and tissue repair. For various reasons, your organs and glands may become weak or damaged over time. When a specific organ and its associated hormones are compromised it causes your entire hormonal system to spiral out of balance. This is why some people, regardless of their diet and exercise habits, feel lousy, while others do nothing at all and feel great. The symptoms of hormonal imbalance are often treated with medications. Unfortunately, these medications don’t get to the root cause of these problems.
Without addressing the root cause of these problems and merely treating the symptoms, your overall health will continue to decline and can lead to more and more medications.
The Top 5 Signs of Hormonal Imbalances
1) Continual weight gain despite exercise and diet
Your metabolism is controlled by your hormones, it’s not the exercise that causes the weight loss it’s the exercise that triggers the hormones that cause you to lose weight. This is why some people can eat whatever they want, don’t exercise and have the body you have always wanted. While others can eat very little, exercise an hour a day and gain weight. Research has shown us that certain hormones, like insulin and cortisol, lead to fat storage. While other hormones help us lose fat, like growth hormone and thyroxine (a thyroid hormone). Therefore if you are having troubles losing weight or gaining weight despite an honest effort, then it may very well be a sign your hormones are out of balance.
2) Suffer from fatigue
Hormonal imbalances, specifically adrenal and thyroid imbalances are a major cause of fatigue. The adrenal and thyroid gland work hand-in-hand to support your energy levels, so it’s important to understand exactly how they are functioning. In our clinic, we see many patients who suffer from fatigue. We believe the number one cause of fatigue is stress (emotional, biological, chemical, and physical). The fact is we all have stress but each of us has a different breaking point. Therefore it’s important to understand how unknown stresses such as infections, food sensitivities, and toxins can add to your total stress levels causing you to surpass your breaking point leading to fatigue.
3) Abnormal menstrual cycle
Cramping, irritability, PMS, and heavy prolonged menses are often believed to be a normal part of a women’s menstrual cycle. On the contrary, a normal women’s cycle should have very little cramping, with only a minor change in mood. The menses (bleeding) portion should be 4-5 days long, light red, and with no clots. With further investigation, an imbalance in the progesterone and estrogen levels are often found which can be easily remedied with a few lifestyles, dietary and supplement recommendations.
4) Problems with digestion and loss of sex drive
If you are wondering what digestion and sex drive have to do with one another, think about this scenario. While our ancestors were being chased by a predator their body would switch from the ‘feed and breed’ mode to the ‘fight-or-flight’ mode. During this stress response, cortisol and adrenalin would be released from their adrenal glands (little glands that sit on top of the kidneys), increasing blood pressure and blood sugar improving our ancestor’s ability to get more sugar and blood to the major muscles to help improve muscle strength and stamina. Their bodies would also shift the blood from the digestive and reproductive system to the arms and legs to further enhance performance and shut down systems of the body (reproductive and digestive) that are not necessary.
When things calm down, cortisol secretion decreases, along with blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and blood flow is redirected back to the stomach and reproductive system. This is the body shifting gears between the two opposing systems, the ‘fight or flight’ or the ‘feed and breed’ system. Your body cannot do both at the same time.
In today’s modern life, and its many chronic stressors, the ‘fight or flight’ system can be activated and not turn off. If the chronic stress response doesn’t leave, those cortisol triggers never stop. Eventually, this leads to problems with digestion and loss of sex drive because the body isn’t in the ‘feed and breed’ system long enough to perform the functions it supposed to. Regaining this balance is essential to long-term health.
5) Brain fog, anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness
Hormones affect our moods and memory. Almost anyone who has suffered from a thyroid problem before being treated will complain of mood swings, brain fog, depression, and anxiety. Why is this? Certain hormones are essential for brain function. For example, estrogen is a stimulating hormone and when high it can result in anxiety. Progesterone is more of a calming hormone and when low can lead to sleeplessness. Cortisol can help with short-term memory but cause long-term memory loss. Testosterone at high levels can lead to competitiveness or rage but a lack of testosterone can lead to apathy and lethargy.
The key with these hormones isn’t to figure out which ones are low and then be prescribed a prescription hormone or natural hormone replacement. It’s more important to discover why these particular hormones are low or high. For example, if someone was under chronic stress as we mentioned earlier, maybe their digestive system isn’t working properly which leads to a deficiency. All your hormones are made from amino acids and fats that are available from the food you eat. Therefore a nutritional deficiency can negatively impact your hormone levels.
What is PCOS?
PCOS is an abbreviation for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. This name is a little misleading because it entails a constellation of symptoms. Cysts on the ovaries are only one of many components to this complex syndrome. It is also misleading because it creates a label that feels like it can’t be changed and can lead to a hopeless feeling once the diagnosis has been given. This is similar to how diabetics get labeled and then often times succumb to the false notion that this is their life and medical therapy is the only hope to try to keep the disease process quiet. Though medical diagnoses are needed and can be helpful, they can also often be very paralyzing and prevent people from finding ways to heal their body and prevent progression without always needing to rely solely on medications.
PCOS is an area where functional medicine shines. The conventional approach to PCOS relies on a medication or two in an attempt to try to manage the symptoms of blood sugar instability, elevated testosterone and DHEA levels and often increased acne and facial hair. When the approach is solely medical, it is easy to miss the opportunity to get deeper and address things at the root cause instead of putting on band-aids that only cover things up. If you or someone you know suffers from the side effects of PCOS and has not had much improvement with medications alone, please read on and pass this on to others.
PCOS tends to have several commonalities across the board. There tend to be several digestive issues going on. Though women may not be plagued with severe digestive symptoms, often there are multiple underlying food intolerances. See my post on food sensitivities and food allergies to learn how the gut is intricately related to all body systems! Gluten is often the worst and most common one. Grains of any kind also tend to cause a worsening of the inflammation that is going on in the GI tract. Therefore removing all grains for a period of time often provides significant healing opportunities.
The majority of female hormones are made by the ovaries and therefore cysts in the ovaries could obviously cause a hormonal mess. The secondary place female hormones are made is in the adrenal glands which also manages our stress hormones. PCOS can lead to loads of stress, affecting adrenal function and further disrupting female hormone balance.
We help patients who are suffering from hormonal imbalances all over Chicago including these neighborhoods and areas:
Call today for your FREE consultation.
Chicago, IL Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Oak Park, IL Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Des Plaines, IL Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Schaumburg, IL Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Naperville, IL Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Wilmette, IL Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Elgin, IL Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Logan Square Chicago Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Gold Coast Chicago Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Lakeview Chicago Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Old Town Chicago Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Edgewater Chicago Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
West Loop Chicago Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Winnetka, IL Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Glencoe, IL Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Northfield, IL Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Highland Park, IL Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Lincoln Park Chicago Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
River North Chicago Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Streeterville Chicago Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Wicker Park Chicago Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Evanston, IL Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Bucktown Chicago Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
West Town Chicago Hormone Imbalance, PCOS, PMS, Menopause
Who We Are
Welcome to Chicago Natural Health Care, located in the heart of Chicago, where we use a modern, research-based approach to manage and help people optimize their health.
3432 W Diversey, Suite 253
Chicago, IL 60647
The information on this site is solely for purposes of general patient education, and may not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical care. Consult your own physician for evaluation and treatment of your specific condition. Chicago Natural Health Care is in close proximity to Chicagoland's surrounding cities and areas that include Chicago, Oak Park, Des Plaines, Schaumburg, Naperville, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Northfield, Highland Park, River North, Gold Coast, Lakeview, Old Town, Edgewater, West Loop, Lincoln Park, Streeterville, Evanston, Bucktown, West Town, and Wicker Park. | Chicago Natural Health Care | Chicago, IL