Tag Archives: estrogen

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Hormones: Getting the Entire Picture

The Expanded Female Hormone Panel

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Boggled by #hormones or issues that have been presumed #hormonal ? . .. In order to successfully implement any type of #estrogen #progesterone or #testosterone modifying approach, we must get the entire picture of the hormone fluctuation that takes place during the ~28-35 day female cycle. .. An 11 sample saliva test, with samples collected periodically throughout the entire cycle (rather than one blood sample taken on Tuesday, @ 9:30am; day 6 of the cycle) allows us to chart, graph, and analyze the desired peaks, dips, and surges in the aforementioned hormones (along with their precursors: #fsh #lh and #dhea ) we need to see throughout an optimally functioning cycle. .. This provides the comprehensive view of the entire process, rather than incomplete snapshot taken on one day, completing disregarding acknowledgement of the known hormone fluctuations. .. This is crucial for all function, but is obviously pertinent for matters of #fertility , severity of #pms symptoms (i.e. #headache , #cramping , #bloating ), heavy bleeding, spotting, #pcos , and beyond. .. Check out an example of this test, along with an explanation of how we interpret the findings over at: https://onebody.live . .. #insulin #endocrine

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What Goes ON Your Body, Goes IN Your Body.

When we work with patients in an attempt to improve underlying function by way of ridding the body of toxins and potential triggers, healing and sealing the gut and balancing the immune system, we often focus on dietary and supplemental support.  Mainly we are making changes as to what goes IN the body.

However, we often overlook what could potentially be the major source of systemic irritation and continued suffering.  We often overlook things like our everyday toiletries and cosmetics.  These are items that we voluntarily apply to our skin and thus invite into our bodies, sometimes numerous times a day.  The simple fact is that what we put on our body is just as important as what we put in our body because what we put on our body goes into our body.

When you apply a product to your skin, whether it be deodorant to the arm pit, lotion on the hands, or makeup on the face, the ingredients of that product are absorbed through the skin and into the circulatory system.  It is here where they can now travel the bloodstream, gaining access to any and every organ of your body, including the brain.

This is why as you continue your journey to wellness enlightenment and longevity, reading the labels on ALL items, not just food becomes an essential practice.

If you decide to be proactive and take a gander at the fine print label you will often find ingredients that you either can’t pronounce or make you scratch your head.  I implore you dig a little deeper into each ingredient.  You may find independent studies (not funded by the company that stands to incur a financial gain off the success of the product) done on those particular ingredients that may lead to the use of words like “carcinogenic,” or “endocrine disruptor.”  These words are thrown around so often due to the extensive menu of modern ingredients that they often lose their significance or meaning altogether.

Let’s start with the first one; carcinogenic.  This means cancer causing.  Yes, the one and only devastating cancer.  The one that continues to claim an increasing number of lives each year despite the acknowledged fact (by the World Health Organization) that approximately half of these cases could be prevented if current medical knowledge were acted upon and lifestyle strategies were implemented.  These lifestyle strategies include the voluntary daily use and topical application AND THUS SYSTEMIC APPLICATION of products containing carcinogenic ingredients.

One of the reasons a word like carcinogenic loses it’s steam is due to the prevalence of cancer. We become so inundated with studies demonstrating a possible cancer link here or an increase in tumor growth there, to the point that a surrender to circumstance is summed up in the phrase: “everything causes cancer.”

Well this simply is not true. In actuality certain lifestyle modifications are shown to do quite the opposite and vice versa.  The above referenced phrase serves as the proverbial white flag and explanation that I’ll continue to do what I want despite the information suggesting that it may be detrimental to my health and length of life.

The term endocrine disruptor is used to refer to interference with the normal expression of hormones.  However, even when we use the term hormone disruptor, the extent of the widespread ramifications are usually not fully understood.  When most people hear the word hormone they mainly think of the sex hormones; testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, etc.  While disruption of hormones does indeed include these, it extends well beyond that.

One of the intricate mechanisms the internal body utilizes for communication and subsequent function is carried out by chemical messengers known as hormones.  These hormones range from the aforementioned reproductive hormones (which are vital regardless of age), the oh so popular thyroid hormones, the adrenal (stress) hormones, human growth hormone or HGH which helps us repair daily damage and has been touted as the anti-aging hormone, to Vitamin D which is actually considered a hormone due to all of the changes and processes it is involved in throughout the body.

The reason why this can be such a serious issue is due to the fact that our bodies operate as an interwoven matrix in which balance is key.  Any disruption of one aspect will have a direct effect on another.  Overworked adrenal glands having a dampening effect on the thyroid gland, for example.

For something to be labeled as a potential disruptor means the potential to throw off homeostasis or balance exists.  This can contribute to sleep disturbances, issues with blood sugar handling and fat storage, hypo or hyperthyroid symptoms, slow wound healing or prolonged muscle soreness, hot flashes, fertility issues; and the list goes on.  This is not a term to be taken lightly, especially if you have a poor diet or are a growing child.

In the case for carcinogenic or endocrine disrupting ingredients, often times the argument is made that the tests were done on animals so we don’t know how it will effect humans, or that the amount used in the product is so small that it’s harmless.  First off, an ingredient doubling the rate of tumor growth in any life form should be a red flag.  If there is any doubt as to safety and an option exists, especially when it comes to cancer, wouldn’t it be wise to exercise that option rather than turn a blind eye to research?  It’s all about stacking that deck here people.

Secondly, while there may be small or even trace amounts of certain substances within a product, many times these are products that are applied and reapplied to the skin on a daily basis.  As we’ve covered, this provides open access to your body via absorption through the skin and into the bloodstream.  Chemicals and toxins can then continue to circulate, often times in more toxic forms due to other metabolic interactions that take place within the body.  These toxins can then bioaccumulate in the body, mostly in fat (brain is ~70% fat by the way).

So you see even using small amounts can accumulate if the application is a daily ritual.  Add to this the potential impediment to breaking down and excreting these chemicals if there is sluggish liver function, which can be caused by toxic overload.  This is a real “chicken or egg” situation and is why using safer products and providing the liver with the support it needs with an annual detox/cleanse are two essentials for wellness.

In closing, let me just reiterate what I’ve said before.  There is no full proof way to achieve a guarantee for disease avoidance or even premature death.  However, there does exist ways to potentially facilitate that process in one direction or the other.

When it comes to the often overlooked ingredients in our skin care products and their similarly underestimated far reaching effects, it would serve as another strong step in the direction of clean living, wellness, and longevity to avoid these chemicals; even if the potential exists.  Why increase your potential for cancer or hormone disruption if you don’t have to?

Need help getting started?  Don’t know where to find alternative products?  Let us know and we’d be happy to share with you the products we utilize for our own family.

Hormonal? Fertility Issues? Have You Addressed the Adrenals?

Being a practitioner that places a heavy amount of emphasis on nutrition, I’d be remiss if I didn’t continue to elaborate on the far reaching hands of the adrenal glands.  Being a beaming new father who has been blessed with a beautiful and healthy wife and baby, I’d also be remiss if I didn’t go into more detail about how adrenal dysfunction can influence the sex hormones responsible for reproduction and beyond.  Well, nobody wants to be labeled as remiss, so here we go.

In the simplest terms, the adrenal glands are our stress glands.

(For a review on these essential workhorses feel free to refresh: https://clarkechiropracticwellness.com/2013/03/12/de-stress-your-life-part-1/

and

https://clarkechiropracticwellness.com/2013/03/19/de-stress-your-life-part-2/ .)

When they are overworked for any of a variety of reasons (mental or physical stress, food intolerances, etc.) they shift towards an overproduction of cortisol in order to help us deal with stress.  One of the many downsides to this is that the production of hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone decreases.

In order for the adrenal glands to make cortisol in response to sustained levels of elevated stress, it ends up stealing the cholesterol precursor that would normally be used to make something called DHEA, which is the precursor to our sex hormones.  This is a phenomenon called pregnenolone steal and can result in hormonal imbalances, PMS, infertility, male menopause, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Your hormone production is also dampened by overactive adrenals on a cerebral level.  As we’ve discussed in the past, the adrenal glands are under control of a part of the brain known as the hypothalamus, which in turn directs the pituitary gland.  The pituitary gland either makes, pumps out or sends the signal to trigger hormones like growth hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone, oxytocin, as well as hormones that signal the adrenals.

The anterior pituitary is also responsible for LH (luteinizing hormone) and thus progesterone, and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and thus estrogen.  These hormones are intracle in properly regulating the menstrual cycle, reproduction and beyond.  Adrenal overdrive overworks the pituitary causing it to be sluggish in its output of other hormones, like LH or FSH.

Another fact to be cognizant of is the fact that an inflammatory diet or unknown food intolerances will also have the adrenals logging extra hours at the office.  This not only attenuates hormone production for reasons described above, but it also downgrades the immune system.  This is critical for us all, but especially for a mother and her un or newborn child.

When dealing specifically with pregnancy, studies have shown that a mother with adrenal dysfunction can actually pass it on to her unborn baby by drawing hormones through the umbilical cord.  We’ve illustrated the systemic effects of adrenal dysfunction in the past, so a newborn child with this condition is highly susceptible to immune and gut dysfunction, allergies, eczema, food intolerances, even autism.

The best thing to do if you are having issues that have been deemed or you presume are hormonal is to consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner.  Cleaning up the diet and repairing the gut, identifying potential food intolerances, providing adrenal support if necessary, making lifestyle changes, making sure the nervous system (which ultimately controls ALL) is balanced, and just taking a deeper look inside for the root of the issue is the logical course of action.

If you or anyone you care about is going through any of this, please give us a call (321-848-0987) and we’ll work through it together.

On a personal note, as I prefaced in the intro, my wife and I are proud new parents.  Going into 2013 we didn’t have a time table to begin trying.  However, my wife is a patient of mine and we actually had her on various adrenal support and supplements due to symptoms she was having and the results of an exam.  After that we both partook in a fast/detox/cleanse together, while congruently sticking to an elimination/provocation diet.  A couple of months later we decided to “stop not photo 4trying” to get pregnant.  A month later Ashley was pregnant. And 9 plus months later we have a healthy baby boy.

I realize there are always other factors that contribute to hormonal imbalances and things such as pregnancy.  But don’t rule out these seemingly simple things. Don’t fall victim to the current status quo and believe that “that’s just the way it is,” or you need a pill to fix that. Keep hope alive.  Trust the body and treat it well and most likely it will return the favor.  This goes for the current topic or any other.

Good luck and do not hesitate to call for a consult if any of this resonates with you.