Hormonal Imbalance Treatment in McKinney, TX
Adrenal Glands and Female Hormonal Imbalance
Everyone has two adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are small, walnut-sized structures attached to the top of each kidney. They are part of your endocrine system, which is a collection of glands that produce hormones in relation to stress. Although they are responsible for numerous hormone-related functions in our body, specific disorders can be acquired when the adrenal glands produce too few or too many hormones.
What Hormones Do Adrenal Glands Produce?
Adrenal glands produce hormones such as cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, norepinephrine (noradrenaline), and epinephrine (adrenaline). These hormones (when the adrenal glands are functioning properly) help the body control blood sugar levels, regulate blood pressure, maintain normal estrogen levels, burn fat, and react to stressors like infections, a major illness, emotional stress, or injury. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are released by the adrenal medulla and nervous system respectively. They are the flight or fight hormones that are released when the body is under extreme stress.
How Do Adrenal Glands Imbalance Female Hormones?
Cortisol is the main adrenal hormone and is made from progesterone. Every molecule of cortisol you produce in your body, when you are under stress, decreases your progesterone level. Thus, the more you’re under stress, the more female hormone imbalance will occur as your progesterone levels drop. This leads to estrogen dominance in the woman’s body.
Signs of estrogen dominance:
- Decreased sex drive
- Irregular or otherwise abnormal menstrual periods
- Bloating (water retention)
- Breast swelling and tenderness
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Headaches (especially premenstrually)
- Mood swings (most often irritability and depression)
- Weight and/or fat gain (particularly around the abdomen and hips)
- Cold hands and feet (a symptom of thyroid dysfunction)
- Hair loss
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Sluggish metabolism
- Foggy thinking, memory loss
- Trouble sleeping, insomnia
Other Female Hormone Imbalance Symptoms
Food cravings found in Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome and in a woman suffering from imbalanced hormones can be caused by women eating the wrong food, especially sweet or salty food. Many times there is found to be an underlying yeast infection in the gastrointestinal system causing the sugar cravings. The adrenal glands regulate the first line of immune defense in GI tract. Other times, there is found to be low blood sugar issues causing the individual to crave carbohydrates. The adrenal glands are also responsible for controlling blood sugar. The underlying cause(s) must be found and handled as to help the adrenal glands rest and recover.
As the reproductive system plays out over time, it triggers the onset of menopause and common hormone imbalances connected with the middle of life. Unwanted habits can muddy the midlife picture by speeding the pace of hormonal changes and premature aging.
An adrenal glands disorder can be the cause of skin problems like acne and hyperpigmentation.
Human survival is based on the fact that it is efficient in dealing with stress (physical or emotional). Our body is well equipped with a stress modulation system that is skilled in tackling stress, and this system is controlled by the adrenal glands. The body becomes incapable of handling stress and suffers from frequent infections when the adrenal glands become dysfunctional. Adrenal insufficiency, also conferred as Adrenal fatigue, occurs when the adrenal glands bears the brunt of excessive demands placed on it and is unable to cope. These demands can be in the form of erratic working hours, lack of regular physical activity, poor eating habits, inadequate rest, or adapting unhealthy vices in the form of substance abuse. Adrenal insufficiency can arise from internal factors like improper digestion or faulty process of detoxification.
A mother with adrenal gland problems suffering from sub-optimal estrogen and/or progesterone levels will often have trouble getting pregnant. She is also at the risk of miscarriage in the first trimester. Sufficient estrogen is needed to insure ovulation will occur and sufficient progesterone levels are necessary during the luteal phase to keep and maintain a pregnancy.
Sometimes women have one or both of these problems. These symptoms are common, but they are not normal. It has been found that the ovaries are usually not the problem with women having a hard time getting pregnant. However, it is a symptom of one or more underlying problems of stress causing an imbalance in the female hormones. A well-trained Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner can test the three main body systems (neuroendocrine, gastrointestinal, and detoxification). After identifying external as well as internal stressors, the doctor can help correct these systems and bring the hormonal imbalance back to normal, many times resulting in a normal pregnancy.
How to Improve the Function of the Adrenal Glands
Stress is one of the main reasons for hormones imbalances. Stress can be emotional stress, such as relationship stress and work stress, so find time in your busy schedule to relax. Work with people you enjoy working with. Take a deep breath and fill your heart with all the reason you have to be grateful. Stress can be from physical pain or injuries. There are also silent stressors, such as non-symptomatic gastrointestinal infections. These infections keep the adrenals pumping out cortisol 24 hours a day. One or all of these stressors can wear out the adrenal glands over time, resulting in adrenal fatigue.
Get Sufficient Sleep
If you are not getting sufficient sleep, you stand no chance of balancing hormones. If you are not getting 8 hours of sleep per night, this will cause confusion and additional stress to your body and takes a major toll on hormones. Sleep deprivation, such as that experienced because of shift work, jet lag, sleep disorders, and aging, leads to deterioration of many aspects of health. Cognition deteriorates rapidly and substantially as well when we do not get proper sleep.
Take Vitamins and Herbs to Improve Hormones
There are lots of vitamins that maintain your hormonal health. Vitamin C and Vitamin B are essential for adrenal health and proper function. You should take a quality vitamin B complex and a 1000 mg of vitamin C daily to maintain adrenal health. Additional herbal supplements that help the adrenals are Ashwagandha, Siberian ginseng, Rhodiola Rosea, and Maca root.
Maintain a Healthy Gut
Our American lifestyle, poor diet choices, toxic overload, and bacterial imbalances all contribute toward a leaky gut. It is no wonder that the concept of leaky gut is widely discussed as the cause of various cancers and autoimmune diseases. Leaky gut gives rise to increased permeability of the intestinal wall that allows various toxins and bacteria to enter the circulation and spread to the rest of the body. These toxins can cause various food allergies or sensitivities. Leaky gut is also responsible for various autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (symptoms consists of fatigue, depression, nervousness, increased weight), nutritional deficiencies like Vitamin B12, depression, and inflammatory disorders.
The destruction of the normal gut flora by irrational use of antibiotics lead to bacterial imbalance. The microbiome or the beneficial bacteria that are the natural inhabitants of the gut form the second immune system. When deranged, this leads to many infections. Therefore, as mentioned earler, the adrenal glands are responsible for regulating the immune system in the gut. The adrenal glands again, work continuously attempting to fight off the dangerous pathogens and attempt to decrease inflammation in the gut and throughout the body as a whole. Detection of these pathogens by way of a stool test followed by the 5 R GI Program.
The elements of the 5R program for digestive health are described briefly below.
- Remove: Remove stressors: get rid of things that negatively affect the environment of the GI tract including allergic foods, parasites or other bad bugs such as bacteria or yeast. This might involve using an allergy “elimination diet” to find out what foods are causing GI symptoms or it may involve taking drugs or herbs to eradicate a particular bug.
- Replace: Replace digestive secretions: add back things like digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid and bile acids that are required for proper digestion and that may be compromised by diet, drugs, diseases, aging, or other factors.
- Reinoculate: Help beneficial bacteria flourish by taking in probiotic foods or supplements that contain the so-called “good” bacteria such as bifidobacteriaand lactobacillus species, and by consuming the high soluble fiber foods that good bugs like to eat, called “prebiotics.”
- Repair: Help the lining of the GI tract repair itself by supplying key nutrients that can often be in short supply in a disease state, such as zinc, antioxidants (e.g. vitamins A, C, and E), fish oil, and the amino acid glutamine.
- Rebalance: Pay attention to lifestyle choices – sleep, exercise and stress can all affect the GI tract.