BALANCE YOUR HORMONES
Learn how stress can wreak havoc with your adrenals, thyroid, neurotransmitters and reproductive hormones.
Cortisol and the chronic stress response can have devastating effects on maintaining optimal balance of your hormonal system. Cortisol and the glucocorticoids are secreted by the adrenal glands in times of chronic stress. Cortisol imbalances can lead to overwhelming fatigue, weight gain, low libido, depression, anxiety, digestive complaints, thyroid problems, fertility problems, sugar cravings, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Knowing how to effectively measure and interpret the often-subtle imbalances in the stress hormones and the impact they can have on the rest of your body is crucial in designing a program to correct hormonal imbalances. HPA axis dysregulation AKA Adrenal Fatigue has become so widespread that it’s become known as the “21st Century Stress Syndrome”. Conventional medical care does not address Adrenal Fatigue and will only treat cortisol related problems in people suffering with Cushing’s or Addison’s disease.
THE 3 DISTINCT STAGES OF BURNOUT
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01. Years of chronic unrelenting stress:
Emotional, dietary or inflammatory will cause huge increases in cortisol. DHEA will be falling - signalling adaptation to the chronic stress response.
Cortisol levels start dropping as the feedback mechanism starts to falter and cells become resistant to cortisol. In stage 2 cortisol levels appear within the normal range but they’re decreasing along with DHEA.
Complete burnout is where the HPA axis has become down-regulated, levels of both cortisol and DHEA are dangerously low. Years of stress-induced chronic metabolic dysfunction is the cause of advanced damage to the HPA axis.
“If you get chronically, psychosocially stressed, you're going to compromise your health. So, essentially, we've evolved to be smart enough to make ourselves sick.”
Dr Robert Sapolsky
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ASIDE FROM ADRENAL FATIGUE, STRESS INDUCED HORMONAL IMBALANCES CAN INCLUDE
The Three Types Of Stress which Lead to Adrenal Fatigue.
Your entire endocrine system works as one to control levels of hormones circulating throughout your body. If your adrenals are out of balance it can cause widespread hormonal imbalances.
Under times of prolonged stress progesterone is sequestered to make cortisol, the primary chronic stress hormone. This will result in an often-dangerous imbalance between progesterone and estrogen. This imbalance can lead to insomnia, changes in weight and appetite, sluggish metabolism and higher perceived stress.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
(PCOS) Chronic stress can increase the levels of androgenic hormones such as DHEA being released from the adrenals. Androgens are male sex hormones which may cause unwanted hair growth, acne, weight gain, infertility and PCOS.
Cortisol inhibits the conversion of the thyroid hormone T4 to the active T3 version, it can also lead to increased reverse T3 resulting in hypothyroidism. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) isn’t always affected which is solely testing TSH is often insufficient in identifying a thyroid disorder.
The hormone Pregnenolone, also known as the “mother” hormone is preferentially used to produce cortisol in times of prolonged stress. Testosterone levels plummet as valuable stores of pregnenolone get converted to cortisol. In addition to this, excess body fat increases “aromatization” activity, a process which converts estrogen to testosterone. Erectile dysfunction, muscle loss, weight gain, fatigue and mood related disorders are all signs of low testosterone.
Psychological stress and cortisol imbalances have been linked to decreased levels of Estrogen. Decreased sex drive, menstrual irregularities, mood disorders and infertility are all possible consequences of low estrogen caused by the stress response.
Hyperthyroidism & Grave's Disease
An overactive thyroid can lead to insomnia, anxiety, thinning hair, IBS, weight loss and an irregular or racing heartbeat.
One of the main roles of cortisol involves blood sugar regulation. Almost every person suffering with diabetes, prediabetes or insulin resistance will be suffering with adrenal fatigue and cortisol imbalances. Diabetes is more than just a blood sugar regulation problem, it can lead to nerve damage, vision loss, weight gain, fatigue, loss of limbs.
THE 4 STEPS TO BALANCING HORMONES NATURALLY
The Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones has become the gold standard for testing the adrenal hormones and their relationship to estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. Standard blood testing cannot give the same amount of information and is not recommended when assessing for adrenal dysfunction and sex hormone imbalances.
The treatment of Adrenal Fatigue via The Kalish Method has been shown in studies to provide one of the best outcomes in the recovery of this often-debilitating condition. The treatment protocol involves the use of bioidentical hormones in the correct amount and frequency combined with the necessary vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and herbal products.
Swapping carbohydrates for a variety of foods high in healthy fats is key for your body to create the necessary hormones.
Low Lifestyle Changes
We use and recommend Heart Rate Variability (HRV) training to help decrease the effects of emotional stress. Meditation, exercise and sleep are also crucial in overcoming Adrenal Fatigue and to balance your hormones naturally.
Dr. Adrian Clegg
When I began practicing eighteen years ago, people suffering from multiple debilitating conditions had few places to turn to receive the care they needed to get better. As the years have gone by, I began to realise that more and more people were suffering with chronic health problems—feeling tired, depressed, gaining weight, experiencing digestive problems, allergies and a host of hormone issues. FIND OUT MORE
Over the years I have worked with 1000’s of people to help them overcome chronic health conditions using Functional Medicine and AO.