Hormonal imbalances are pervasive. Hormonal imbalance is a very broad term that can present in many different ways, and each patient is unique. When we think of hormonal imbalances, we often consider menopausal symptoms, but it encompasses so much more. For example, teens with acne, menstrual irregularities, fertility concerns, polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, mood challenges, cardiovascular health, metabolic syndrome, breast health, loss of muscle mass and prostate health. The list is extensive.
Hormones play an intricate role in every aspect of our daily well-being. Hormonal health relies on the interplay between them. Like a domino effect, if one is off then the whole system may be affected. Hormones coordinate and regulate multiple functions in our bodies. Hormones are produced throughout the body including in our digestive tract. A healthy microbiome is essential for a healthy hormonal system. Once the hormones are utilized, they are broken down in the liver into waste products (metabolites) for excretion. The metabolites, if not processed and excreted appropriately, can cause just as many problems as their parent hormones. Liver, bowel and kidney health are essential in this process.
As a naturopathic doctor is it imperative to listen to the patient’s concerns and translate that information into a positive treatment outcome. Testing the appropriate parent hormones and their metabolites can help to shed light on many hormonal disruptions and resulting health issues. Blood tests are often used to determine active circulating hormone levels. Urine tests determine the level of their respective metabolites. Interpreting the results with the patient’s clinical picture aids in achieving a holistic more comprehensive treatment outcome for the patient.