Hormone Balancing

Balanced hormones are integral to overall health and wellness.

At San Jose Integrative Medicine, we treat hormone imbalances in women and men of any age. Optimizing and balancing hormones, whether 18 or 65, is a prescription for wellness. The hormones of the body: adrenal cortisol, thyroid hormone, insulin, sex hormones, and others, maintain a delicate equilibrium in our body.

When one hormone is out of balance, it creates a cascade effect. All hormones suffer and you feel it!

She is extremely knowledgeable with women’s health issues and has helped me balance my hormones

Kristina S.

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Hormone Imbalance San Jose Integrative MedicineSigns of Hormone Imbalance

Think you may have a hormonal imbalance? Hormone imbalance can present itself in a variety of ways. Common signs that you may have a hormone imbalance are: unexplained fatigue, trouble sleeping, severe PMS, difficulty getting pregnant, anxiety, acne, hair loss, low libido, weight gain, and irregular periods.

How to Stabilize Your Hormones

From meditation to hormone replacement therapy, there are many ways to stabilize your hormones. One of the first and most important ways is through a healthy diet.

Unhealthy fats and sugar wreak havoc on our hormones. A diet with hormone supportive foods is essential. Foods containing healthy Omega 3s and 6s provide the building blocks for hormones. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables and dark leafy greens contain antioxidants which support the hormonal detox pathways.

Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

Because hormones direct every aspect of our lives, there are many possible symptoms. Hormones regulate your sleep, metabolism, mood, heart, reproduction, energy, and more. Symptoms include but are not limited to: insomnia, fatigue, weight gain, depression, anxiety, low libido, acne, heart palpitations. Each hormone when out of balance, whether deficient or in excess, has its own presentation of symptoms.

Sex Hormones

There are three types of sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone. All men and women have them. Women have more estrogen and men more testosterone. Both men and women have progesterone.

Estrogen Imbalance Symptoms

For women, the first effects of estrogen occur in adolescence with the development of breasts, more body fat, ovulation, periods, and strong bones. Estrogen stimulates growth hormone, making girls grow tall.

Estrogen is a great thing for giving us curves and strong bones, but when too high, estrogen dominance wreaks havoc on fertility and moods. When too low: lack of periods, early menopause, perimenopause, and menopause. High and low estrogen makes women gain weight, especially around the middle.

Men need a little estrogen too but in very small amounts. When estrogen is too low or too high in men, it can result in erectile dysfunction. Other effects of high estrogen in men is gynecomastia (enlarged breasts) and infertility.

As estrogen is so important in women, let’s detail the symptoms of low estrogen in women.

Symptoms of Low Estrogen in Women

Hot Flashes

Dry Skin, Fine Wrinkles

Irregular or No Periods

Vaginal Atropy, dry vaginal tissue which can cause painful sex

Poor Memory

Loss of dense breast tissue/sagging breasts

Joint Pain

Headaches

Fatigue

Weight Gain/Belly Fat

Depression

Hair Loss

Bone Loss

Symptoms of High Estrogen in Women

Anxiety

PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) Symptoms

Ovarian Cysts/PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

Uterine Fibroids & Endometriosis

Menstrual Irregularities, Painful Periods, Heavy Periods

Painful Fibrocystic Breasts

Water Retention/Bloating

Migraines

Weight Gain/Belly Fat

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Progesterone Imbalance Symptoms

Needed by both men and women, progesterone mediates the effects of estrogen. It binds to the brain, has a calming effect, improves memory, and aides sleep. In men, progesterone converts to testosterone, which is important for spermatogenesis (sperm production) and libido. As men age, low progesterone can cause anxiety, insomnia, and low libido.

In women, progesterone prevents thickening of the endometrium, sustains early pregnancy, and development of milk ducts. Progesterone is a very important hormone for women. High levels of progesterone only occur in women when given at inappropriate high doses in hormone replacement therapy. Symptoms of high progesterone are bloating, breast tenderness, and water retention. As progesterone has many effects on women, let’s detail symptoms of low progesterone in women.

Symptoms of Low Progesterone

PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)

Infertility

Anxiety

Heavy & Irregular Periods

Migraines

Insomnia

Irritability

Sore & Tender Breasts

Spotting between periods

Vaginal Dryness

Low Libido

Fatigue

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Testosterone Imbalance Symptoms

Men have much higher levels of testosterone than women. It’s needed for libido, sperm production, bone mass, muscle strength, and energy. Although at lower levels, testosterone is absolutely needed for healthy hormone balance in women. Like estrogen for men, women need just a little testosterone. Too much grows hair where it’s not wanted but too little causes women to lose their “mojo”!

Symptoms of Low Testosterone in Men

Erectile Dysfunction

Low Libido

Fatigue

Insomnia

Muscle Loss

Infertility

Weight Gain/Belly Fat

Hot Flashes

Bone Loss

Loss of body hair

Symptoms of Low Testosterone in Women

Lack of Motivation

Loss of Muscle

Infertility

Low Libido

Fatigue

Vaginal Dryness

Symptoms of Low Testosterone in Women

Excessive Body Hair

Hair Loss/Balding

Infertility

PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

Irritability

Thyroid Imbalance Symptoms

Important to every cell in your body, the thyroid controls metabolism. The thyroid regulates body temperature, weight, heart rate, menstrual cycles, hair growth, circulation, and more. With so many actions in the body, it’s an important contributor to hormone balance. Women, in particular, suffer from thyroid hormone imbalances and are more prone to hypothyroidism

Symptoms of Low Thyroid Hormone

Fatigue

Insomnia

Irregular or no periods

Delayed onset of regular periods in girls

Infertility

Joint Pain

Hair Loss

Dry Skin

Weight Gain

Water Retention/Edema

Low Blood Pressure

Heart Palpitations

Feeling Cold

Anxiety

Constipation

Symptoms of High Thyroid Hormone

Insomnia

Weight Loss

Increased Appetite

Bulging Eyes

Intolerance to Heat

Diarrhea

Rapid Heart Rate

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Adrenal Imbalance Symptoms

Adrenal fatigue and exhaustion is very common today. Many of the demands of modern life create stress that the human body was not designed for. Stress from traffic, not enough time in the day, demanding jobs takes its toll on the adrenal glands. It pumps out more cortisol than it was ever made to.

After years of this stress, adrenal fatigue and sometimes exhaustion (dangerously low amounts of cortisol) ensues. Cortisol is so important that if low, the sex hormone progesterone will chemically change into cortisol increasing PMS, infertilty, and menopausal symptoms in women. This is why going on vacation often results in a pregnancy! Menopausal women’s hot flashes will often disappear when on vacation. Stress (cortisol) is a powerful foe.

Symptoms of Low Cortisol

Fatigue, sometimes exhaustion

Insomnia

Depression

Weight Gain

Sugar Cravings

Exercise Intolerance

Feeling overwhelmed/Inability to tolerate any stress

Low Libido

PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)

Irregular Periods

Poor Memory

Menopausal Symptoms

Dizziness upon standing

Symptoms of High Cortisol

Insomnia

Anxiety

Weight Gain/Belly Fat

Inability to lose weight

Insulin resistance

Hypothyroidism

Frequent colds & flus

Irritability

Tired & wired

Insulin Imbalance Symptoms

With the over abundance of simple carbohydrates and sugar, insulin resistance has become an epidemic. It arises from years of high blood sugar from poor diet and lack of exercise. Without exercise, the sugar isn’t used. Instead, the body releases high amounts of insulin in response to drive the sugar into the cells. Eventually, the cells become resistant to insulin. They close their doors to more sugar!

Symptoms of Insulin Resistance

Weight gain/Inability to lose weight

Increased appetite

Irregular or no periods

PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

Infertility

Fatigue

Excessive body hair in women

Frequent colds & flus

Diabetic symptoms: increased thirst, weight gain, increased appetite, tingling in hands and feet, frequent infections, slow recovery from illnesses

Symptoms of Low Insulin-The Skinny Diabetics

Thought to be autoimmune, type I diabetes is increasing in incidence. It’s caused from a lack of insulin. Although more common in children and young people, it accounts for approximately 15% of all diabetes diagnoses in adults between 30 and 50. Symptoms include high blood sugar and increased thirst, but unlike type II diabetes, adults with type I are of normal weight and sometimes complain of an inability to gain or maintain weight. Insulin medication is essential in type I diabetes.

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The Lesser Known Hormones

In addition to the main hormones just discussed, there are many more. They are the chemical messengers of the body afterall. The following hormones are also addressed in hormone balancing:

Pregnenolone. The mother of the sex hormones. Synthesized from cholesterol, pregnenolone converts quickly to DHEA and progesterone. Whatever is left over is used by the brain. Pregnenolone improves memory, brain function, and mood.

DHEA. Made in the adrenal glands from pregnenolone, DHEA converts to testosterone and estrogen. DHEA improves metabolism, vaginal dryness, and may have anti-aging properties.

Leptin. Released from fat cells, leptin influences appetite. High levels of leptin occur in obesity. Following a low leptin diet may result in weight loss.

Growth Hormone. Important for growth in children. Growth hormone is needed in adults to maintain a healthy metabolism, muscle strength, energy.

Melatonin. Commonly known to aide in sleep, melatonin controls our wake/sleep cycle.

Serotonin. Serotonin is the “happy” hormone. Estrogen boosts serotonin levels and serotonin can act like estrogen. This is why antidepressants can alleviate hot flashes.

Oxytocin. The “cuddle” hormone, oxytocin enhances sexual response (orgasm), breast feeding, and bonding to infants and loved ones. Its effect is pronounced in the presence of estrogen. The more estrogen, the more oxytocin.

Prolactin. The lactation hormone, prolactin increases when a woman is breastfeeding but will also increase in uncontrolled hypothyroidism resulting in irregular or no periods.

Treat Hormone Imbalances - San Jose Integrative MedicineHow Hormones Interact to Create Equilibrium

All the hormones work together to create homeostasis in the body. They are interrelated so when one suffers, they all suffer. For instance, high amounts of cortisol from too much stress can sometimes cause the thyroid to shut down.

Reduced thyroid hormones can in turn cause an increase in prolactin which shuts down ovulation resulting in irregular or no periods. This is just one scenario to illustrate how hormones work together to create a balanced and working system.

If you’d like to discuss your symptoms and how we can help, give us a call at 408-357-3422 or book a complimentary phone consultation.

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