You’ve probably seen commercials and other advertisements for “Low T,” “PMS,” “Menopausal Symptoms,” and other problems. A lot of these symptoms come from Hormone Imbalances. Mostly, it’s been a female issue because women usually speak up about things that don’t feel right.
Men usually push through and just get resigned to their decreased functioning. Recent studies are showing that men’s hormones are as messed up as women’s are. Pharmaceutical companies have put on the full-court press to include men in commercials.
For men, the main problem is Low Testosterone. This usually manifests as Fatigue, Irritability, Depression, Loss of Vitality, Increase in Belly Fat, Sluggishness, Loss of Libido, and Erectile Dysfunction. Usually, the last two are what bring men in for help.
When we test hormones, we’re amazed by how low Testosterone is getting, even in young men. The majority of men we test are in the lowest part of the range, while some have none at all. Other common problems for men are High Estrogen and Low DHEA. These can also be tested easily by a blood draw.
For women, the majority pattern we see is High Estrogen, Low Testosterone, and Low Progesterone. Women usually complain of Hot Flashes, Night Sweats, Mood Changes, Weight Gain, Poor Sleep, Depression, and Anxiety. It usually progresses to Loss of Libido and inability to orgasm in extreme cases.
Also, certain Estrogens like 16-hydroxy Estradiol are being implicated in Breast Cancer. There are ways to decrease the Estrogen or change it into a more favorable Estrogen if it is high. For the most part, Synthetic Artificial Hormones are used by pharmaceutical companies.
Bioidentical Hormones, those mimicking natural ones in our bodies, are cheap. The profit is too low for a large drug company to put resources into. You can’t get a patent on something natural, so pharmaceutical companies have to develop a similar-looking molecule in the lab that is “close to” the real thing that no one else has patented yet.
Some have now been linked to Breast Cancer, Heart Disease, and other problems. We recommend anyone getting Hormone Replacement Therapy or additional Hormone Supplementation to work with a healthcare provider to obtain Bioidentical Hormones. It’s cheaper and less risky. Natural and Bioidentical Hormones have not been linked to these problems.
Saliva testing is the most accurate, but urine and blood testing are also available. Each has its advantages and can be useful in the hands of a provider trained to use that method. Follow up testing is always done because hormones change over time.
Some good hormones turn into bad ones or cause other symptoms not present before. Usually, a cream rubbed into the abdomen or back while dressing is the most consistent way to fix hormones. Some are done by injection or other methods.
Hormone imbalances can affect many of your body’s functions. If you want your hormones checked or a consultation to discuss your particular case, contact the Maine Center for Functional Medicine at (207) 941-0080. We’ll help you to find the cause of your hormonal problems.