HORMONES AND HEALTH: FEELING AWFUL ALL OVER

Hormones and Health

HYPER-HYPOCHONDRIAC?

“So, hey, how’re you doing?” you might hear.

So, how do you answer?

Uh, let’s see…queasy, jacked up, run-down, rotten, defective, debilitated, blah, bleh, broken, not so hot, woozy, wobbly, stricken, sick, ick, uck, yukky, ucky, a total mess, at a total loss, down and out, out of it, in the dumps…oh heck, get out the thesaurus. Point is, that at different times in our lives, we all go through feeling like dreck (there’s another apt word). Well, the good news is that it just might be that your hormones are unbalanced. Hormones? Oh groan, something else to worry about. (Hold on, hold on…keep reading…)

WHO KNOWS WHAT A HORMONE IS, ANYWAY? (HONESTY, HERE…NO WIKI WANDERING)

in the simplest of terms, hormones are powerful chemical messengers in your body that are constantly traveling around your bloodstream telling your tissues and organs what to do. (And their word is golden.) They control most bodily functions and are essential for every activity of life. The bummer is that you can’t control them on your own. They choose to play “mayhem and misery”, with every inch of your body, and it’s a game you can’t win.

GOLDILOCKS AND THE 50 OR SO HORMONES

There are about 50 different hormones in the body which effect trillions of our cells. Each hormone has a different effect on our body, and each and every one of those hormones can be out of balance at some point or another during our lives. Here’s how the story goes:

“This hormone is too much”, Goldie would say.

“This hormone is too little”, she might claim.

In both cases, with too much or too little of any hormone, even tiny changes can have serious effects throughout your body. From head to toe. To get to “this is just right”, takes fine tuning to get your hormones in a balance that gets you feeling your best. It can be a bear of a problem.

IT’S EVERYWHERE, IT’S EVERYWHERE

So, what causes all these hormone imbalances? To name a few (ok, more than a few) …maybe you should be sitting:

  • Chronic or extreme stress
  • Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
  • Hyperglycemia (overproduction of glucagon (more insulin produced than there is glucose in the blood)
  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
  • Poor diet and nutrition
  • Being overweight
  • Hormonal replacement or birth controlmedications
  • Abuse of anabolic steroids
  • Benign tumors and cysts(fluid-filled sacks) that affect the endocrine glands
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (low levels of cortisol)
  • Endocrine gland injury
  • Severe allergic reactions or infections
  • Cancers that involve endocrine glands
  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy
  • Iodine deficiency (goiters)
  • Hereditary pancreatitis
  • Turner syndrome (females with only one functioning x chromosome)
  • Prader-Willi syndrome- (what in the…?)
  • Anorexia
  • Exposure to toxins, pollutants, and endocrine disrupting chemicals, including pesticides and herbicides
  • Pituitary cancers

ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU SICK

So, what are some symptoms and signs you might be suffering from a hormone imbalance? Don’t leave now, and don’t fly into an apoplectic fit that you have not just one of the following symptoms, but all of them:

  • Tired all the time/no energy
  • Difficulty getting up in the morning
  • Poor sleep
  • Craving for salty or sugary foods
  • Taking more effort to perform everyday tasks and duties
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Decreased ability to handle stress
  • Increased time to recover from illness or injury
  • Light headed when standing up quickly
  • Depression
  • Lack of enjoyment or happiness
  • Weight gain/loss
  • Food intolerance
  • Sinus problems
  • Alcohol intolerance
  • Excessive allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Digestive disorders
  • Dry and thin skin
  • Excessive hunger
  • No hunger
  • Hair loss
  • Unexplained headaches
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Infections
  • Liver disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Inflammation
  • Blood pressure problems
  • Low body temperature
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Mood swings
  • Poor memory
  • PMS
  • Sleep disorders
  • Tender breasts
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty building muscle
  • Cramping
  • Fluid retention
  • Slow metabolism
  • Irritability
  • Chronic illness
  • Unexplained or excessive sweating
  • Changes in sensitivity to cold and heat
  • Very dry skin or skin rashes
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Brittle or weak bones
  • A bunch of different cancers and hard-to-even pronounce maladies

A DIAGNOSIS FOR FAILURE

Certainly, at this point, the biggest thing you’re suffering from is panic. The point is, there are times you don’t feel well, and well, can’t figure it out. So, you might ignore what’s gnawing at your health and try to go your merry way. No way that’s going to work. Finally, it gets to the point it starts to interfere with your life, so you start on a medical merry-go-round of supposed experts subjecting you to tests you couldn’t even attempt to pronounce. Which are followed by enough different diagnoses to puzzle Einstein. Maybe it’s this. Probably it’s that. Could be both. “Clueless” is the overwhelming diagnosis of all their efforts. Google any of it and you’ll be sure you’re going to die. Slowly. Painfully.

GET THOSE HORMONES HUMMING

Something else you probably don’t know, is that there are two types of hormones that can be used in hormone replacement therapy. There are natural bioidentical hormones that have the exact same chemical structure your body produces, so when used, the body doesn’t know the difference. Then there are synthetic hormones patented by Big Pharma. (Big nightmare.) It’s a little too close to one size fits all. And we know how productive that is. Additionally, because synthetic hormones are not created structurally the same as natural hormones, they often lead to uncomfortable side effects. That’s where Denver Hormone Health comes in. All their doctors are skilled and experienced in the ups and downs of hormone imbalances. They use bioidentical hormones, not what could be dangerous synthetic hormones. Instead of using the “hunt-and-peck” method for discovering what imbalances you might have, the doctors at Denver Hormone Health look at your body as a whole. With simple tests they are able to determine where the problems are, and based on the results, create a unique, tailored treatment plan to get you feeling like you’re ready to take on the world. Which is why going to Denver Hormone Health makes all the difference in the world. Make an appointment at Denver Hormone Health now. And get ready to discover balanced hormone heaven.

HORMONES AND LIBIDO: WHAT’S SEX GOT TO DO WITH IT?

Libido

50 SHADES OF “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”

Libido. One of those words people think they’ve heard of, but aren’t exactly sure. It’s actually pretty easy; libido=sex drive, sexual desire, appetite for sex…all of which you’ve more than just heard of. Active participant and all that. You’d think. But sometimes, the urge dwindles and fizzles. Even fantasies can evaporate. You’re just not feeling it. But you are feeling horrified and puzzled and frustrated. How could this happen?

FREUD OR FRAUD

Freud believed in what he referred to as psychosexual development, a central element of his psychoanalytic sexual drive theory in which human beings, from birth, possess an instinctual libido that develops in five stages. (Not important to elucidate here). Failure to adequately adapt to the demands of these different stages could result in your libidinal (sexual sounds so much clearer) energy becoming dammed up or fixated in one of those stages. Which could manifest itself in adulthood in your unconscious mind. Forget about it. If your sex spirals into a freefall, you’re more than conscious of it. And it has nothing to do with your mind.

MOOD, MEDS AND A MYRIAD OF REASONS

Research shows that nearly a third of women and 15% of men lack the desire to have sex regularly. It’s not just that their libido got lazy. Stress can suppress anyone’s appetite for sex. Life in general is on the sexual hit list; you bring home work you know has a deadline you’re nowhere near, you let the kids jump in bed with you, your drooling, shedding Shetland shares your sheets; turn offs that can turn off anyone’s libido. But not exercising or eating right is right up there on the anti-libido list. As are a host of maladies-cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and menopause to name just a few, and medications-antidepressants, birth control pills, antihistamines, and opioids (kills your pain, dampers your lust). There are culprits around every corner.

WE’RE NOT THE HORNIEST ANIMALS ON THE PLANET

For boys, a burgeoning sex drive starts when their voice still cracks. Girls start with “crushy” around puberty and start thinking seriously about sex sometime after. But just for fun (since loss of libido can be such a downer) here are 14 animals who have the kind of libertine sex drives that would put caveman swingers to shame:

  • Emperor Penguins-travel 70 miles to get down to business
  • Praying Mantis-never have to pray for it
  • Dolphins-freaky for it
  • Rhinoceroses-males ejaculate every few minutes
  • Bonobos-not just a new men’s clothing chain
  • Macaques-perennial spring break
  • Short-Nosed Fruit Bats- too acrobatic to go into
  • Rabbits-litters of up to 12
  • Lions-a lioness is borderline insatiable
  • Salmon-must be pretty sexually driven to swim upstream just to spawn
  • Brown Antechinus -cute little Aussie rodents that can be compared to your hormone-raging teenage son
  • Shaw’s Jird-gerbil-like rodent who can climax upwards of 240 times in a single hour
  • Goat-as in “horny old”
  • Rarely is heard a “not tonight, hon”

THE BIGGEST APHRODESIAC IS KNOWING THERE’S HELP

One of the biggest reasons “horny” disappears and libido languishes are hormones that are out of balance-too much or too little cortisol (stress hormone), testosterone, estrogen, DHEA, thyroid, oxytocin and vasopressin are examples. Triggers you’d never even come near knowing about. Something that at Denver Hormone Health, their specialized and experienced doctors know all about. While loss of libido isn’t exactly dinner table talk, talking about your issues with any of them can put you totally at ease. With simple tests, they can tell what the trouble is, and develop a totally unique treatment plan that will put your libido back on track. And revved to go. All you have to do is call Denver Hormone Health for a consultation now.

You’ll end up feeling good all over.

MENOPAUSE HORMONES – Caution: Falling Hormones

Menopause Hormones

Your ovaries begin to age and as your years go up, your hormones go down. These inevitable changes in your hormones and natural decline of estrogen levels during menopause can significantly affect your health for years to come.

If You Could Change the Change

Estrogen depletion can bring on a combination of hormonal and biochemical fluctuations that can lead to changes in your brain and nervous system. You may experience mood swings, memory loss, problems focusing, irritability, fatigue, hot flashes, night sweats, stress, anxiety and depression. (Some researchers believe that estrogen depletion can affect your memory in a way that can impact your risk for the development of Alzheimer’s disease.)  Due to estrogen depletion, women are also put at an increased risk for cardiovascular issues, such as heart attacks, strokes, or other heart-related problems. After the age of 30, the creation of new bone cannot keep up with the rate of bone loss in your body. The estrogen depletion that comes with menopause results in an increased risk for low bone mineral density, osteopenia and osteoporosis. For 5-10 years after menopause, this bone density loss accelerates into a gradual weakening of your bones and can lead to an increase in the risk for fractures and other injuries. (Gimme a break.)

Hit or Myth

Myth #1:  Menopause begins at 50

Menopause begins at 50…or at 42…or 36…or 61. The average woman begins menopause at 52, but you may start your transition anywhere from your 30’s to your 60’s.

Myth #2:  Weight gain is inevitable in menopause

Weight gain is an absolute in menopause but you don’t have to allow it.

Myth #3: There’s no difference between natural menopause and “surgical” menopause

It’s critical for women to know that natural menopause and surgical menopause are indeed very different. When a woman undergoes a total surgical hysterectomy, she experiences an immediate and significant change in hormonal balance, literally overnight, instead of the slower transition of natural menopause.

Myth #4: The first sign of menopause is hot flashes

Despite the fact that menopause and hot flashes are almost synonymous in peoples’ minds, (and are also the topic of endless, tasteless jokes,) your first sign of menopause could be any of these symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Irregular periods
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss
  • Cravings
  • Fuzzy thinking
  • Low libido
  • Forgetfulness
  • Heavy menses

Myth #5:  After menopause, your body doesn’t produce hormones

No cold turkey, empty bucket, here…

Myth #6:  The older you are when you get your period, the older you’ll be when you go through menopause

For many women, just the opposite is true.

Myth #7:  Menopause only causes physical symptoms

Could you describe yourself as a “raving maniac” at times? Are you more irritable and anxious? You’re not alone. Many women experience unnerving changes in their emotions, memory, and concentration during perimenopause and menopause due to sudden shifts in estrogen levels.

Some Hot Flashes About Sex.

Send up the balloons…your vagina is NOT going to shrivel up like a prune. Your libido isn’t going on permanent leave. You can still get hot and we’re not referring to flashes. Your desire isn’t headed to the dumps. The vagina is a “use it or lose it” place, the act of intercourse stimulating blood flow to keep it healthy. Media makes it sound gross to have sex after 50. It’s beyond Millennial imagination. (Hint: they’ll get there before they know it.) So, ok, you might not feel as sexy as before. Tip: up the intimacy. Go for as many orgasms as you can get. Why not? You just might have to work a little harder for it. Yes, you might be a little drier, but bring on the lubes. There are tons of them. And consider this; no tampon, pads, IUD’s. No kids doing anything interruptus. Enjoy. Probably even more.

Pause to Hear This

When it comes to menopause, there are many types of estrogen replacement you might hear of: pills, patches, creams, suppositories and more. None work as well as bioidentical hormones. It’s important to know the difference between bioidentical hormones and synthetic ones. Natural or bioidentical hormones are hormones made from a natural substance and are bio-chemically identical to human hormones. Synthetic hormones are not derived from a natural substance and not biochemically identical. Synthetic hormones were created by pharmaceutical companies in an attempt to mimic the effects of natural female hormones. Which creates huge differences in both efficacy and side effects. The most important thing to know is who to go to, to get the professional help you really need. Write this name down, right now: Stephen A. Goldstein MD, F.A.C.S. at Denver Hormone Health. With years of expertise and experience treating hundreds of perimenopausal and menopausal women, he is among one of few extensively educated and knowledgeable in BHRT specialists in the Denver area. You’ll begin to feel relief the moment you meet with him. He takes the time to listen and to talk about your individual symptoms and issues. Next, he does simple tests that tell him your estrogen levels. At which point he creates an integrated plan of hormones, healthy eating and exercise that will restore not just your estrogen, but what you need to feel as energetic and alive as you used to.

Call for an appointment now.

And be sure to keep the conversation going throughout your menopausal years.