Hormone Imbalance Diagnosis and Treatment
Hormone testing, especially among women, has become a hot topic in today’s medical community. Up to 1 out of 4 women may now experience a miscarriage in their fertile years. One third of women have some type of pelvic disorder by the age of 60 with 600,000 hysterectomies occurring every year. At least 75% of mature women working through menopause now complain of a slew of symptoms from hot flashes and migraines to vaginal dryness and low sex drive. Eighteen percent of females are put on birth control by the age of 18. If we were to ask our great great grandmothers concerning these issues, they most likely wouldn’t be able to relate. So, what has caused such a drastic shift in hormone balancing throughout our lifetime compared to our ancestors? The simple answer is our ever-increasing exposure to toxicities driving more and more inflammation in our bodies. It is often true that a woman can assess how much overall inflammation her body is experiencing by the severity of her menstrual cycles. The worse the PMS or hormonal imbalances, more than likely the worse her total body inflammation. Toxicities driving inflammation can come from a variety of places. For example, applying 1 tablespoon of lotion to our skin every day for 5 years would result in “eating” over 7 gallons of toxic chemicals! Hormones are also largely dependent on our digestive health, diet and nutrition. Most women are afraid to eat healthy fats, like coconut oil, olive oil and avocados, because we are always concerned with gaining weight. When in reality, supplementing with more omega-3s has been shown to decrease total body inflammation and help in balancing hormones. Also, optimal amounts of essential fatty acids are critical to our immune health! While sources of toxicities should always be investigated in hormonal imbalances, it is also important to properly test hormones so that imbalances can be addressed in the meantime. Saliva testing for estrogens and progesterone is the most accurate measurement of circulating and available hormones in our body. This testing allows us to use treatments like herbs or plant-based hormone creams in order to manage symptoms while further investigation is being done to find the true causes.