10 Jan 2013
What to Do When Your Hormone Orchestra’s Out of Tune
There’s a delicate balance between the hormones in a woman’s body, and if the orchestra’s out of tune, a whole host of unpleasant symptoms can surface. Common signs of imbalance may include: fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, night sweats, insomnia, hot flashes, big-time crankiness and about 27 other things you’d rather not deal with.
Most of us chalk these problems up to falling estrogen levels. And though estrogen gets “first-chair” in the string section of your symphony, there’s much more to it!
Estrogen levels can drop approximately 40% as a woman approaches menopause, but progesterone levels can drop up to 90%. This difference in the ratio between estrogen and progesterone creates a situation of estrogen dominance and this is a prime cause of many of the symptoms women experience during the later years of their menstrual cycles.
Treating estrogen dominance may involve progesterone replacement, and sometimes estrogen and progesterone replacement. It’s all about creating perfect harmony between the two.
The rest of the orchestra includes testosterone, cortisol and the conductor, your thyroid. If testosterone is off key, your libido hits bottom! If cortisol’s drowning out the rest of the orchestra, weight gain and insomnia will be unrelenting. You can read more about that here.
Thyroid’s your conductor and it regulates the metabolism in nearly every cell in the body. If your conductor goes rogue, you may experience fatigue, cold intolerance, low libido, dry skin and hair, hair loss, memory loss, irritability, depression and constipation. Yuck!
There’s a lot of overlap in these symptoms, right? So how do you know who’s playing off key? One simple way is to do saliva or blood testing. Each has its advantages, but the convenience and ease of saliva testing makes it a good choice for testing estradiol, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone and cortisol levels.
Don’t suffer needlessly through the changes that age and stress bring. Get tested, get treated and get better. Once your imbalance has been identified, a trained provider can help you make choices about lifestyle, supplements and bioidentical hormone replacement (BHRT) if needed. Before you know it, your hormone orchestra will be playing a beautiful symphony again.