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Hormone Function – Key Remedies in Treating Hormone Imbalance



Hpathy Ezine, August, 2012 | Print This Post Print This Post |

Dr. Danny Thomas discusses hormone function and dysfunction and key remedies in treating hormone imbalance.

Hormones are chemical messengers that travel through blood and enter tissues to regulate cell function. These chemicals are manufactured by glands in our body and released into the bloodstream for particular cells. Most cells ignore the hormone until the chemical “message” is accepted and the cell is doing what it is told to do. The premise of hormones is to keep the body functioning and maintaining balance. Hormones are only the messengers that start the cells into action. They are released when told to by the gland, but it is the cells that do the work. Hormones influence:

  • The initiation and cessation of growth
  • Mood and temperament
  • Increase or decrease in metabolism
  • Onset of puberty
  • Onset of menopause
  • Regulation of fight or flight
  • Sexual function

Over the last few years I have been flooded with cases of hormonal imbalance and deregulation in women of all ages (16-20, 30-45 and 50+). While I do have cases of dealing with male hormonal health, the focus of this article will be on how to understand, recognize and treat women that suffer from thyroid disorders, irregular periods, mood disorders, weight gain, hot flushes, foggy thinking, bleeding changes and loss of libido to name a few. The most prominent hormones to investigate and evaluate for these instances would be estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA(s), as well as cortisol, and what varying levels of each could be indicating.

Estrogens

Low estrogen: Low estrogen levels are often addressed by supplementing with estrogen, however some nutritional supplements may also help improve symptoms. For example, boron may help boost estrogen production, and plant estrogens and progesterone may provide relief from symptoms of low estrogen.

High estrogen: Occurs either from making or retaining too much estrogen or supplementing with too much. Women who carry weight around their midsection often have high estrogen levels, because fat cells have an enzyme that makes estrogen from adrenal hormones. Thus, weight loss often reduces estrogen levels. When estrogen levels are high, it is important to make sure there is enough progesterone to balance its effects. Supplementing with too much estrogen can make estrogen receptors less responsive, leading to estrogen deficiency symptoms.

Progesterone

Low Progesterone: Treatment often includes natural progesterone supplementation, which is generally very safe and effective. The herb chasteberry may also help normalize progesterone levels. Sometimes low progesterone indicates low thyroid hormone levels, therefore lab tests for thyroid function may be recommended.

High Progesterone: Is almost always a consequence of over-supplementation. Therefore, it is likely that your health care practitioner will recommend a dose reduction. Prolonged supplementation of high doses of progesterone may cause progesterone receptors to become less sensitive, which could result in symptoms of low progesterone. An excess of progesterone may also lead to increased testosterone levels and symptoms of testosterone excess. A dose reduction or different progesterone type (cream instead of capsule) may be required.

Cortisol

Low Cortisol: Low morning cortisol may be indicative of adrenal issues, which require further testing or interventions by your health care provider.

High Cortisol: High cortisol levels are associated with numerous symptoms and conditions including: bone loss, high blood pressure, insulin resistance and diabetes, weight gain, memory impairment and immune system suppression. High cortisol levels also interfere with the action of other hormones. Therefore, when cortisol levels are high, the first step in restoring hormone balance is often to lower cortisol levels. Your health care provider may recommend lifestyle changes as well supplements to help address high cortisol levels.

DHEAs

Low DHEAs: The signs and symptoms of low DHEAs are not well-defined although low DHEAs is often associated with chronic illness. Some women may benefit from supplementing with DHEA to bring saliva hormone levels within range.

High DHEAs: Is associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome and insulin resistance. Thus, it may be necessary to undergo further testing, or to receive treatment for these conditions. High levels may occur when too much DHEA is given, in which case your health care practitioner will likely recommend reducing the dose.

Testosterone

Low Testosterone: Sometimes adding progesterone or correcting adrenal issues can improve low testosterone symptoms. However, in some cases it may be necessary to supplement with testosterone.

High Testosterone: Is associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome and insulin resistance. Thus, it may be necessary to undergo further testing, or to receive treatment for these conditions.

Factors that influence hormonal imbalance include:

  • Excess or prolonged use of birth control pills

  • Drugs (medicinal and recreational)

  • Caffeine, alcohol and smoking

  • Poor nutrition (low protein and fat portions but excess carbohydrate consumption)

  • Adrenal fatigue

  • Stress

  • Eating disorders

  • Lack of physical activity or exercise

  • Poor sleep

  • Xenoestrogens (poor 2-OH to 16-OH ratios in the body)

  • Exposure to chemicals and inhalants

Useful diagnostic tests include blood, saliva and urinary hormone testing as well as imaging (ultrasound and thermography).

In clinical practice I have come across cases of amenorrhea, menorrhagia, infertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), menopause, adrenal fatigue, uterine fibroids, ovarian and breast cancer. While each case within a given diagnosis may seem similar, they often are different and hold different key remedies to aid in treatment and improved prognosis. The most useful tool in treatment is accurate case taking and history. Many patients typically ignore or neglect key symptoms that help accurately determine the most beneficial remedy or remedies for treatment. Proper administration of the treatment plan, nutritional, and lifestyle advice and patient compliance pay dividends in healing. These are the key remedies in treating hormone imbalance that we have implemented successfully, however this list is not exhaustive.

SENECIO AUREUS

Menses retarded, suppressed. Functional amenorrhea of young girls with backache. Before menses, inflammatory conditions of throat, chest, and bladder. After menstruation commences, these improve. Anemic dysmenorrhea with urinary disturbances. Premature and too profuse menses. Sleep: Great drowsiness, with unpleasant dreams. Nervousness and sleeplessness.

SEPIA

Pelvic organs relaxed. Bearing-down sensation as if everything would escape through vulva; must cross limbs to prevent protrusion, or press against vulva. Leucorrhea yellow, greenish, with much itching. Menses too late and scanty, irregular; early and profuse; sharp clutching pains. Violent stitches upward in the vagina, from uterus to umbilicus. Prolapse of uterus and vagina. Morning sickness. Vagina painful, especially on coition.

SILICEA

A milky, acrid leucorrhea, during urination. Itching of vulva and vagina; very sensitive. Discharge of blood between menstrual periods. Increased menses with paroxysms of icy coldness over whole body. Nipples very sore, ulcerated easily, drawn in. Fistulous ulcers of breast. Abscess of labia. Discharge of blood from vagina every time child is nursed. Vaginal cysts, hard lumps in breast.

Sleep: Night-walking, gets up while asleep. Sleeplessness with great orgasm of blood and heat in head. Frequent starts in sleep. Anxious dreams. Excessive gaping.

PULSATILLA

Amenorrhea. Suppressed menses from wet feet, nervous debility, or chlorosis. Tardy menses, too late, scanty, thick, dark, clotted, changeable, intermittent. Chilliness, nausea, downward pressure, painful, flow intermits. Leucorrhea acrid, burning, creamy. Pain in back; tired feeling. Diarrhea during or after menses.

NAT MUR

Menses irregular; usually profuse. Vagina dry. Leucorrhea acrid, watery. Bearing-down pains; worse in morning. Prolapsus uteri, cutting in urethra. Ineffectual labor-pains. Suppressed menses. Hot during menses.

CAULOPHYLLUM

Spasmodic and severe pains, which fly in all directions; shivering, without progress; false pains. Revives labor pains and furthers progress of labor. After pains. Leucorrhea with moth-spots on forehead. Habitual abortion from uterine debility. Needle-like pains in cervix. Dysmenorrhea, with pains flying to other parts of body. Lochia protracted; great atony. Menses and leucorrhea profuse.

CIMICIFUGA – ACTAEA RACEMOSA

Amenorrhea. Pain in ovarian region, shoots upward and down anterior surface of thighs. Pain immediately before menses. Menses profuse, dark, coagulated, offensive with backache, nervousness; always irregular. Ovarian neuralgia. Pain across pelvis, from hip to hip. After-pains, with great sensitiveness and intolerance to pain. Infra-mammary pains, worse left side. Facial blemishes in young women

BOVISTA

Women needing this remedy tend to have problems with puffiness and edema during times of menstrual stress, and can feel very awkward and clumsy. Pain may be felt in the pelvic region, often with soreness near the pubic bone. Menstrual flow increases at night (and may even be absent during the day). Diarrhea occurring at the time of the menstrual period is a strong indication for this remedy.

** All remedy notes used were from Homeopathic Materia Medica by William Boericke MD presented by Medi-T.

http://www.homeoint.org/books/boericmm/p.htm**

Danny Thomas

Dr. Danny Thomas- B.Sc, DMS, HD, CCT -graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Biochemistry after which he completed research studies on the prevention of restenosis in patients with balloon angioplasty. Dr. Thomas completed his degree with the publication of his thesis: "A Homeopathic Therapeutic Evaluation of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Ulcerative Colitis & Crohn's Disease." Dr. Thomas works full time as the clinical director at Alberta Homeopathic Medical Clinic located in St. Albert, AB with a special interest in Gastrointestinal Health, Pediatrics and Women's Health. In addition to private practice, Dr. Thomas teaches at the Canadian Institute for Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture and is the clinical director of Alberta Thermography Clinic, specialists in Medical Infrared Imaging.

Comments

  1. rajshri

    July 20, 2013

    my son age 14 running, height 142 cm , weight 31kg. looks very small for his age
    parents’ height Father- 5-5′ , mother -5ft
    diet -normal, exercises a lot,
    intelligent & artistic
    sensitive to criticism, cold, frequent tonsilitis
    Irritable.
    tested for GH which was very low.but did not give him HGH
    Is there any homeopathic t/t by which he will gain height & weigt

  2. dr kamal ur rehmam

    December 1, 2013

    Vary useful information on this sites thankyou

  3. Profile photo of Dab

    Dab

    May 8, 2014

    Well presented article. Dr. Thomas, would you consider doing an article on how homeopathy would help people who are diagnosed with Mastocytosis? There are many of us who would be grateful.

    warmest regards

    Dab

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