Hormone imbalances can develop as the natural course of aging or can be accelerated by nutritional deficiencies, immune stimulation, chronic stress or exposure to environmental toxins.
Symptoms such as weight gain, increasing abdominal fat, fatigue, inability to build muscle, maintain bone density, sagging skin with increasing wrinkles, hair loss, brain fog or cognitive decline and worsening musculoskeletal issues all can be a manifestation of hormone imbalance. Instead of taking medicines or undergoing invasive procedures to address these issues, restoring the natural balance of hormones can improve all of theses symptoms at once and help regain the vitality that was inherently present in your more youthful state.
Identifying hormone imbalances involves a combination of lab testing, a thorough history and physical exam. Many hormones have natural fluctuations with times of the day, month and year. Some hormones and their metabolites may only be detectable by urine testing. Understanding when and what to test and how to interpret those tests involves a nuanced understanding of the natural state of hormone balance.
Genetic variations can determine how your body will metabolize certain hormones, which can increase your risk of developing certain cancers or heart disease from certain hormone imbalances. Nutritional deficiencies and impaired hormone metabolization due to struggling detoxification pathways can confound these genetic variations and further cause the deleterious effects of hormone imbalance. A robust approach to treating hormone imbalance involves looking beyond the hormone imbalance to understand it in the context of the other systems that effect it.
In many cases, hormones are a reflection of other systems in the body such as the health of the musculoskeletal system, sleep quality, nutritional status, detoxification pathways, digestive health and more. Functional medicine lab evaluations allow us to understand the inter-relationship between these various systems so that we are not stuck with simply treating hormone imbalances with hormone replacement.
In many cases, hormone imbalances can be addressed without using hormones as long as the root cause of the imbalance is addressed. In other cases, where a hormone imbalance is due to glandular atrophy as in Menopause or advanced Hypothyroidism, replacing the deficient hormones is an art that can restore the health that would be maintained if those glands were functioning optimally.
At the San Francisco Institute for Integrative and Regenerative Medicine, we specialize in addressing the root cause of hormone imbalances and the art of maintaining the optimal hormone balance to restore youth and vitality to your body. By not only replacing deficient hormones, but also supporting the body in its production of hormones and addressing the system in which hormone imbalances occur, we are able to achieve the hormonal harmony that is Health.