What Exactly is Hormone Imbalance
Let's start by going over what hormones actually are. Hormones are a certain type of chemical messenger created in endocrine glands such as the:
- hypothalamus (what usually 'talks' to the pituitary)
- parathyroid (regulates calcium)
- thymus (immune health)
- pancreas (blood sugar & digestion)
- thyroid (metabolism)
- pituitary ('master control gland'- e.g. lactation, ovulation, libido, metabolism)
- pineal (produces melatonin, our sleep hormone)
- ovaries (only in women, release estrogen, testosterone, & progesterone)
- testes (only in men, produce testosterone, & sperm)
There's a few different lines of communication, such as the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid, hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad (either ovaries or testes), or hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (not quite endocrine, but enough involved; makes sex hormones, stress hormones, and regulates blood pressure). Except it's not always so simple...
- too much estrogen can inhibit thyroid hormone
- too much stress lowers melatonin production, inhibits thyroid hormone production, increases pancreatic secretion of glucose (sugar), etc.
- stress on the liver (one of our main detox organs) such as from high cholesterol, increased alcohol consumption, various medications, living in an urban environment, hinders thyroid function, and hormone production & metabolism
Our gut integrity affects how much is digested, aka if we're getting enough/all the nutrients necessary for all these processes to take place, and there's also many environmental toxins that act as hormones so our body gets confused, tries to figure it out, except things are out of balance, signals get misfired, but somehow our body compensates.
Like our body is REALLY GOOD at compensating. Where sometimes birth control, or any other type of hormone replacement can just mitigate those one or two pesky symptoms. Or we can just ignore it.
Until something else sometimes not quite related pops up. Perhaps can't lose the weight you once were able to? Sleep is a little off? 'Tired but wired'?
Ah yes, these could all point to hormonal imbalances cleverly disguised as symptoms not as obvious as hot flashes and low libido.
Therefore hormone imbalances all feed off these now new compensated mechanisms that function as best they can, but will still produce symptoms because the scale (no pun intended) has been tilted. My philosophy is not just to help you feel better, but to work on who YOU are as an individual to correct those imbalances and bring the scale back to balance. Take off all those 'quick fixes', pharmaceutical or natural, and work on why, and help ensure it doesn't happen in the future.
Oh, and I didn't say it would be easy. We could be correcting years, even decades of 'stuff'. And many times healing is two steps forward, one step back, but the good news is that all these lifestyle efforts double as prevention- and hormone balance.