Hormone treatment of all kinds is growing steadily more popular. Women are taking proactive approaches to finding a healthy hormone balance since hormone imbalance can contribute to such common problems such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), peri-menopausal difficulties, infertility or subfertility, miscarriage, osteoporosis, breast cancer, heart disease, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, menstrual difficulties, mood disorders, ovarian cysts, etc…
Our hormones are the most delicately balanced system of our bodies. Nobody knows for sure why this system gets out of balance so easily except for the sure fact that if our body’s needs are not completely met from the food we eat, the amount of exercise we receive, the amount of rest we get, and from reducing the stressing our lives, we may experience more hormonal difficulties. Diet, nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction are some of the basic changes women need to make in their lives to restore hormone balance. Some women need hormone supplementation to help bring their bodies back into balance.
Hormones and Their Life Cycle
Hormones have too much impact on our lives to ignore since they coordinate the continuous biochemical activity that occurs in all our cells in our body and our brain. Hormones after being made in certain cells, act as the body’s chemical messengers to orchestrate our metabolic processes by stimulating changes in body cells. There are many different types of hormones in our body which can be found in blood, in urine, and in saliva. Levels of hormones can be evaluated in these fluids throughout the menstrual cycle so we can observe how the hormones are fluctuating and how the fluctuations affect how you feel. Once released from the organs/tissues that make them, hormones circulate in the blood to get delivered to the target tissues to do their work. Once their work is done, hormones then are released back into the blood stream, this time taken to the liver to be “de-activated or conjugated” to become inactive. The inactive hormones are then transferred to either the gastrointestinal tract or the kidneys to be excreted out of the body. Everyday and every month, this process or cycle gets repeated and you can imagine how busy your body is producing, delivering, processing, metabolizing, and excreting these hormones.
Supporting the Body While on Hormone Therapy
What’s unique about Hormone Balancing Therapy offered at Restore Balance Natural Health Center is that I take into consideration all the mini-steps that take place during a hormonal process. When it comes to restoring hormone balance in a woman regardless of her age or medical condition, I feel it’s critical to make sure all other bodily functions work right to support the process of hormone metabolism. I don’t just evaluate how much hormones you have, whether you have excess or deficiency in a hormone; I also examine thoroughly all your systems to make sure the hormone delivery step, hormone processing step in the liver, hormone elimination step in the guts and the kidney are all working properly to ensure success in her hormone balancing therapy and to protect the body from potential harmful side effects of hormones. Whether the hormones of interest are natural or synthetic, they are still powerful molecules and should be used with great cautions. This thoughtful and safe approach to provide whole body support helps reduce any side effect any hormone may cause and has been the key to success in my practice.
Choosing What Form of Hormones to Use
I use the same hormone life cycle illustration above to decide which form of hormones should be used in a patient based on her body’s ability to process hormones. Using some of the highly-advanced tests and after in-depth interviews with the patient, I can help my patients decide which forms of hormones to use. For instance, those with compromised gastrointestinal tract functions (chronic yeast infection, irritable bowel syndrome, etc…) may have a more difficult time absorbing the hormones when they are administered orally so these patients should consider other options such as sublingual, transdermal, or topical cream. The same may apply to those patients who have compromised liver functions—having other form of hormones other than oral will lessen the burden on the liver. So, deciding which form of hormones to use is not a simple task—it requires a lot of open and continual communications between the doctor and the patient so that together as a team, they can come up with the best option for that patient. Choosing a form of hormones now is a very individual choice based on the patient’s lifestyle, belief system, experiences, and biochemical uniqueness.
Deciding on How Much Hormones to Use
It’s extremely crucial to have your levels of hormones tested on a regular basis by your doctor. The lab test can establish a baseline of where you are at before any treatment, monitor your progress throughout treatment, and help the doctor adjust doses of hormones to maximize the hormone’s effectiveness. I offer both blood and salivary studies of hormones in women of all ages; which are done at reputable, licensed, and professional leading laboratories in the field. Please inquire more about the available lab tests if you are interested. Besides having regular lab tests done to monitor hormone levels, I also rely on my keen listening skills to fine tune your treatment based on your on-going experiences with the hormones. Having frequent visits or communications with the doctor is very important. The patient’s feedback on her progress is extremely valuable in helping the doctor assess what the hormones are doing and how the patient’s body is responding to the hormones. Through thorough physical examinations and interviews from the office visits, I can closely support you and customize your doses to fit your changing needs.
Emphasizing on Total Endocrine Hormone Balancing
It’s very easy to lose sight of the big picture that all your hormonal systems (the brain, thyroid gland, adrenal glands, reproductive organs such as ovaries, testes, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, etc..) work in harmony with each other to provide a state of balance “homeostasis” in our body. Dysfunction in one system can weaken other systems and further creates larger and more serious imbalances. Due to this tight relationship between the hormonal organs/tissues, I recognize the importance of restoring complete endocrine balance rather than just focusing on one system function. Restoring all hormones has been shown to have a beneficial effect on quality of life and disease prevention. Obtaining the proper hormone balance that is right for you can protect you from the problems of hormone imbalance throughout the stages of your life. When you come in for menopausal issues, I will also evaluate you to make sure other systems besides the hypothalamic-ovarian system are working properly. There are questionnaires and physical exams designed specifically to identify other hormonal imbalances. There are also innovative laboratory tests that help the doctor confirm her diagnosis of your imbalance issue. The goal is to restore complete harmony and balance. Strength, energy, productivity, and glowing health should be enjoyed throughout all the stages of a woman’s life, from girlhood through womanhood to old age. And anyone can achieve this with proper guidance and coaching from a well-trained and experienced physician.
By Dr. Mylinh Vo, ND, ABAAHP