Who Should Test Hormones?

Are you experiencing…

• PMS • Hot Flashes • Migraines • Night Sweats • Hair Loss • Insomnia • Fibroids • Water Retention • Endometriosis • Acne • Depression • Muscle Loss • Gum Disease • Vaginal Dryness • Low Sex Drive • Osteoporosis • Impotence • Dry Skin • Irritability • Weight Gain • Oily Skin • Anxiety • Low Energy

… One or more of your hormones could be high, low, or out of balance … Take Charge of Your Health. If you are struggling with any of the above symptoms, call Susan at 805.987.7222 for an appointment. This could be your first step toward a happier and healthier tomorrow!

… Scroll down to learn more about Hormone function …

Thyroid Function
The thyroid gland secretes hormones that regulate your metabolism. Disruptions can slow down or speed your body’s metabolism, resulting in fatigue, hair loss, dry skin, weight gain or loss, changes in menses, high blood pressure and/or heart problems.

Adrenal Function
The adrenal glands produce several hormones, including DHEA and cortisol. When out of sync due to stress and other influences, these hormonal imbalances can cause weakness, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, obesity and reduced sense of well being . A prolonged imbalance can impact the immune system, trigger premature aging and set the stage for chronic illness.

Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease that results from bone loss, gradually leading to bone weakening. Reduced height, stooped posture, fractures, and deformities may result. Most diagnostic tests only confirm bone loss after it has occurred. Genova Diagnostics’ Bone Resorption Assessment detects early active bone loss before it becomes a problem, allowing you to take preventive action.

Melatonin Production
Melatonin possesses powerful anti-aging and anti-cancer properties, and enhances sleep. Low levels may be associated with insomnia, menstrual irregularities and/or infertility. High levels may be associated with depression.

Menopause Indicators
Menopause is unique to each woman. Historically, menopausal symptoms were thought to be associated solely with fluctuating hormone levels. Neurotransmitter imbalances may also contribute to the symptoms some women experience. These imbalances may explain why some women have few symptoms at menopause, while others are more seriously affected. During perimenopause and menopause, hormone and neurotransmitter imbalances may cause any of the following complaints.

  • Chances in menstrual flow (heavier, lighter, clots)
  • Changes in menstrual frequency (longer, shorter,
  • or irregular cycles)
  • Weight gain
  • Hot flashes (flushes) and/or night sweats
  • Sleep disturbances (awakening at night,
  • trouble falling asleep)
  • Mood swings, tearfulness
  • Nervousness
  • Panic attacks, anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Changes in the skin (itchiness, thinning, dryness)
  • Fatigue
  • PMS-type symptoms
  • Breast tenderness
  • Foggy thinking
  • Dizziness
  • Hair loss or thinning
  • Problems with memory, difficulty concentrating, achy joints or muscles
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Loss of bone density
  • Worsening allergies
  • Changes in sense of taste or smell
  • Changes in breath and body odor
  • Gastrointestinal complaints
  • (gas, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, constipation)
  • Urinary incontinence (especially with laughing or sneezing)
  • Heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat
  • Tinnitus (ringing or other sounds in the ears)
  • Changes in sexual desire or function
  • Weakening of fingernails

Recognizing Signs of Menopause

In the course of a women’s life cycle, she experiences transitions that are characterized by a shifting and readjustment of the hormones associated with reproduction. During menopause, a women’s ovaries gradually make less of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and later testosterone. Menopause is the transition that signals the end of menstruation, and with it, reproduction.

A woman has reached menopause when she has not had a period for 12 months in a row. The average age of menopause for a woman in the USA is 51, but menopause may be premature (occurring prior to age 40) or artificial due to such circumstances as radiation exposure, chemotherapeutic drugs, or surgery. Early onset of menopause may also be initiated due to smoking, poor nutrition or a CO find -existing medical condition.

Menopause symptoms may include irregular periods, decreased fertility, vaginal and urinary changes, hot flashes, sleep disturbances, night sweats, emotional and cognitive changes, and changes in appearance. Some women experience very few or no symptoms, while others experience multiple physical and emotional symptoms. The extent and severity varies significantly among women.

Facts About Menopause

Menopause is only one of several stages in a women’s reproductive life. There are actually four main stages, know as:

  • Premenopause – refers to the time from a women’s first to her last regular menstrual period. This time is referred to as the “normal” reproductive stage for a women.
  • Perimenopause – refers to a transitional stage of two to ten years before before a woman stops experiencing her menstrual period. It is characterized by hormone fluctuations in which women can experience typical menopause symptoms such as hot flashes.
  • Menopause – refers to the time in which the ovaries produce less estrogen and progesterone and stop producing eggs. At this time a woman can no longer become pregnant naturally.
  • Post menopause – refers to the time after menopause has occurred. Generally, this stage begins when 12 full months have passed since the last menstrual period. This stage will continue for the rest of the woman’s life.

*Data adapted from the US Department of health and Human Services.

PMS Indicators:

A-List Symptoms

  • I feel much more depressed,
  • down, tearful, sad, or hopeless.
  • I feel anxious, tense, nervous,
  • “keyed up”, or “on edge.”
  • I feel hypersensitive to rejection,
  • or emotionally unstable and unpredictable.
  • I feel much more irritable, or I get
  • angry easily.

B-List Symptoms

  • I am much less interested than usual
  • in hobbies and daily activities.
  • I find it much harder to concentrate.
  • I am much more tired and low in energy.
  • I tend to crave carbohydrates, feel hungry
  • all the time, or eat more than usual.
  • I find myself oversleeping, taking naps, or
  • not sleeping well at night.
  • I feel very overwhelmed or out of control.
        I am bothered by any of the following physical symptoms:
        • Breast tenderness or swelling
        • Increased headaches
        • Joint or muscle pain
        • Bloating or water retention
        • Weight gain
        • Second: Answer the following questions:

Does the number of A-list symptoms plus the number of
B-list symptoms you noted add up to 5 or more?

        • Yes
        • No

Is at least one of the symptoms you noted on the A-list?

        • Yes
        • No

Do most of the symptoms you noted disappear by the end of your period?

        • Yes
        • No

When you are having these symptoms, do they interfere or cause problems in your day-to-day activities or relationships?

        • Yes
        • No

If you answered “yes” to all four of the above questions, you may have Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, the most severe form of PMS.

If you are bothered by some of the above symptoms, you may have a less severe from of PMS

*Adapted from: The PMS Program at The University of Pennsylvania

Recognizing PMS

For many women, the weeks or days before menstruation can be filled with extreme physical changes in their bodies. While the symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) can be seriously disruptive, they can be readily addressed.

PMS disorders fall into three categories:

Mild Menstrual Symptoms – symptoms do not interfere with daily activities.

Premenstrual Syndrome– Symptoms significantly interfere with some daily activities.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder – Severe symptoms interfere with many daily activities.

Common Physical Symptoms:

        • Headaches or backache
        • Swelling of ankles, feet, and hands
        • Abdominal cramps, heaviness, or pain
        • Muscle spasms
        • Breast tenderness
        • Weight gain
        • Recurrent cold sores acne flare-ups
        • Nausea
        • Bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
        • Decreased coordination
        • Food cravings
        • Painful menstruation

Common Emotional Symptoms:

        • Anxiety, panic, paranoia, or increased fears
        • Confusion or forgetfulness
        • Difficulty concentrating
        • Poor judgment
        • Depression
        • Irritability, hostility, or aggressiveness
        • Increased guilt feelings
        • Fatigue or sluggish, lethargic movement
        • Decreased self-image
        • Change or loss of sex-drive
        • Lower tolerance for noises and lights

Facts about PMS

        • The exact cause of PMS has not been identified. However, it is believed to be related to both biological (hormone) and psychological (neurotransmitter) factors*
        • PMS is most common among women in their late 20s to early 40s, with at least one child, or with a past medical history of either postpartum depression or an affective mood disorder.
        • PMS is estimated to affect up to 75% of women during their childbearing years.
        • 5-7% of women suffer from the most severe form of PMS – Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.
        • As many as 50 – 60% of women with severe PMS also suffer from a mood disorder, such as depression.
        • PMS can affect women with normal monthly cycles.
        • PMS can occur in women with normal estrogen and progesterone levels.

*Data adapted from the Mayo Clinic

Improving Menopause and PMS Treatment

Many prescription drugs used to alter hormones levels either imitate hormones in the body (synthetic) or are identical to human hormones (bio-identical). These medications provide relief by elevating hormones activity through substitution or replacement. When using any type of hormones supplementation, it is important to monitor hormone levels in order to reduce the likelihood of creating an imbalance between the various hormones. Susan has over 20 years of experience in testing and using bio-identical hormones, herbs, vitamins and medications to manage PMS and Menopause.

Neurotransmitter function can also be supported with nutrient-based programs. Neurotransmitters are made from various components of food in a normal, healthy diet. Increasing the amounts of these dietary constituents can help maintain normal neurotransmitter levels.

While no program can guarantee success for everyone, it is worth while to effectively match a drug-based and/or nutrient-based program to the specific needs of the individual.

Take Charge of Your Health!
If you are struggling with andropause, menopause, PMS or other mood disorders, call 805.987.7222 for an appointment. This could be your first step toward a happier and healthier tomorrow!

 

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