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Harmonious Hormones

By Dr. David Peterson, DC,
DCCN, FAAIM

Sexuality and sensuality for women is multifaceted. Many of my patients tell me they don’t have any sex drive and the passion just isn’t there anymore. Sleep deprivation, stress and a bad diet can cause imbalances in the chemicals that regulate libido, mood, appetite, metabolism, sleep, and fat storage. Life impacts hormones and hormones rule the woman.

Hormone harmony is a two part system. Within the brain, there is the hypothalamus and pituitary glands which comprise one system. This system sends hormonal messengers to the body controlling everything from adrenal stress response to pancreas blood sugar balance to thyroid hormones to sexual behavior and function via the reproductive organs. This system controls growth, sleep, mood, and much more. Secondly, there are important brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout your body to every cell, organ, and tissue and help you do everything from moving your arm to feeling happy or sad. Each and every cell in your body may have over 70 receptor sites where the hormones and neurotransmitters will attach to communicate and regulate cellular function. When neurotransmitters or hormones are out of balance, literally everything goes haywire.

A few of the things neurotransmitters control include: mood, libido, energy, well-being, mental concentration, alertness, motivation, hunger regulation, and sex drive. Neurotransmitters relay signals between nerve cells, called “neurons.” They are present throughout the body and are required for proper brain and body functions, including hormone release. Since neurotransmitter imbalances can lead to or exacerbate hormone imbalances, testing and restoring healthy neurotransmitter levels is immensely beneficial to restoring well-being.

The hot flashes and sleep deprivation associated with menopause can cause even the strongest, most confident woman to feel unglued. Hot flashes and night sweats have many triggers, but the one common factor influencing symptoms is stress and how the endocrine system responds to stress. During menopause, it is especially difficult for a woman’s body to support hormonal pathways, such as the neuroendocrine pathways that are involved in hot flashes. Inhibitory neurotransmitters control the degree of the hot flash. Many women don’t realize that stress can be physical and/or emotional. Stressors may be chronic inflammation, immune issues, anxiety, or depression. When stressed, hormone regulation between the nervous and endocrine systems becomes challenged and hormone-related symptoms increase. Long term, the stress hormone Cortisol is destructive. It suppresses almost all hormone feedback mechanisms.

Hormones levels change at certain phases throughout a woman’s life. Supplementing with hormones can be beneficial, but should not be the first choice and is rarely the best solution. In fact, for most women there are many other factors contributing to symptoms caused by hormonal deficits and imbalances. Due to the interactions between hormones and neurotransmitters, the symptoms associated with libido, mood, hot flashes, appetite, metabolism, sleep, and fat storage may be caused by more than a simple hormone imbalance. Accurate testing and natural approaches which combine medical-grade nutritional supplements, endocrine support, and dietary and lifestyle changes result in successful treatment for the majority of patients.

Get the livin’ and luvin’ back in your life. Call Wellness Alternatives, 636-227-4949 or visit Stlwa.com. For 10 practical tips to maintain hormone balance, visit STLWA.com.

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