Hormonal Health

Integrative and Functional Medicine Approach to Optimize Hormonal Health

Integrative Collaborative Care: When indicated, we will recommend evidence based natural therapeutics to help support hormonal health from Naturopathy to Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Homeopathy. Furthermore, collaborative referrals to appropriate provider(s).

Functional Medicine is a new emerging field, that helps to address numerous imbalances within our physiological system, by using objective functional tests, detailed history, relevant diet analysis, lifestyle questionnaires and comprehensive physical exam.

So you have been suffering from chronic fatigue, you can’t seem to concentrate lately to the point of brain fog, you see your doctor but your blood tests are all “Normal” Sounds familiar?

You are not alone !

Chronic Fatigue is one of the most common conditions we see in our practice.

Hormonal Imbalances and Chronic Fatigue

There are many causes for chronic fatigue, some are potentially serious as in the case of cancer in addition to heart or lung condition(s) (congestive heart failure, pulmonary fibrosis) viral or bacterial infections as in the case of mono or even lyme disease. Others are due to nutritional deficiencies (iron deficiency, Vitamin D3 or B12). Furthermore, Hormonal imbalances as in the case of hypothyroidism, adrenal dysfunction or even early andropause in men or menopause in women. Nevertheless, In many instances we see patients that have more than one contributing factor for their chronic fatigue.

We will review your symptoms in detail and after a complete physical examination will recommend a detailed panel that will help assess the root cause(s) of your chronic fatigue including full hormonal assessment that will cover a full thyroid panel, adrenal and sex hormones:

What is Adrenal Dysfunction?

In a healthy individual, cortisol is higher in the morning to help with waking, and slowly lowers throughout the day. Melatonin, your “sleepy time” hormone, is inversely proportional to cortisol, so when cortisol is high, melatonin is low and vice versa. Adrenal fatigue happens when there is an imbalance in this cortisol rhythm. Cortisol is either low when it should be high, high when it should be low, or always low or always high. But the problem isn’t isolated in your adrenals. In fact, your brain tells your adrenal glands what to do through a complex web of communications called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis), or simply the brain-adrenal axis. Your hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which tells the pituitary gland to release the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH then tells your adrenal cortex to release cortisol.

Adrenal fatigue is really a dysfunction on a physiological spectrum NOT a pathology of the adrenals as seen in adrenal conditions like Addison’s disease or Cushing’s disease.

What causes adrenal fatigue?

Some chronic stressors that can lead to adrenal fatigue include:

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Chronic viruses or co-infections (HSV, HPV, Lyme, etc..)
  • PTSH due to accidents or physical injuries
  • Chronic stress and not enough sleep
  • Overtraining or excessive exercise
  • Food intolerances
  • microbiome dysfunctions
  • Toxic load

How do you know if you have adrenal fatigue?

Aside from testing your adrenals, If you’re struggling with adrenal fatigue, you’re likely experiencing most of the following symptoms:

  • Slow to start in the morning
  • Cravings for salty or sugary foods
  • Low libido
  • Fatigue in the afternoon
  • A “second wind” in the evening
  • Inability to stay asleep
  • Dizziness when standing up quickly
  • Afternoon headaches
  • Blood sugar issues
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Weak nails and brittle hair
  • Moodiness
  • Difficulty losing weight

How do I know if my Thyroid is working well?

Most doctors will request the “TSH” lab test also known as the “Thyroid Stimulating Hormone” produced by the pituitary gland. This is a very good sensitive test and we recommend the range to be 0.5-4.0 for most patients. However, in many cases the TSH could be normal and the patient will continue to have symptoms due to thyroid dysfunction, due to poor FT4 to FT3 conversion, elevated antibodies, specific nutritional deficiencies (Iodine, Selenium etc..) toxic load or other issues.

In order to better address Thyroid issues we recommend the following initial Thyroid panel:

  • TSH
  • FT4 (Inactive), FT3 (active)
  • Anti-TPO, Anti-TBG (Antibodies)
  • rT3 (Reverse T3)

Menopause and Andropause

As we age, our bodies go through numerous changes, affecting us both physically and mentally. A major change occurs in both men and women when we’re aged typically around the age of 50, which is caused by a drastic drop in our reproductive hormone levels. This is known as menopause for women and the male equivalent, andropause

What are the symptoms of menopause?

All women experience menopause and it’s quite a sudden process, leading to a number of symptoms as the body responds to the fast changes. These can include:

  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • A low libido
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Brain fog
  • Hair loss
  • A lack of energy

What are the symptoms of andropause?

Despite the gradual onset and effects of andropause, there are various symptoms, similar to menopause in women, that men can suffer from, including:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss
  • Night sweats
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Hot flushes
  • A low libido
  • Brain fog
  • A lack of energy

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