Our hormone function seems subtle, however when hormones become out of balance many symptoms and issues come to light. Hormone imbalances can occur at any age in anyone. Some of the main symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, anxiety and depression, insomnia, sweating and digestive issues. There are contributing factors in hormone imbalances that we are exposed to everyday from lifestyle and diet, environmental factors like pollution and toxins, birth control, xenoestrogens (synthetic chemicals that act as estrogen in our bodies), and the overgrowth of candida albicans which also mimics estrogen and disturbs our hormonal harmony.
Many women experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and/or abnormalities in their menstrual cycles. During puberty our young bodies require time to balance and regulate hormone changes. As young women, we are often put on birth control at the onset of our first periods to alleviate a variety of symptoms like acne, cramping, bloating, and irregularities in menstruation. While many experience relief of their symptoms on birth control, the source of what is causing the symptoms is not acknowledged. Menopause is comparable to the first menstrual cycle, hormones are changing and adapting to this new phase of life. Similar to our other organ systems, our reproductive organs and endocrine system functions can become imbalanced from stress, insufficient sleep, trauma, diet, exercise and hormone imbalance.
Registered in the same part of our brain, our hormones and emotions influence each other. When we experience stress or feel emotions of anxiety, depression, anger, frustration, irritation, and resentment, it has the potential to cause hormonal imbalances. The liver plays a significant role in hormonal imbalances because the liver breaks down or metabolizes the hormones once they have done their work in the body1. Consequently symptoms of PMS like breast tenderness, cramping before a period, cramping during a period, migraines, acne, late periods and feeling very emotional can worsen.
To address hormonal imbalances, thyroid issues, premenstrual syndrome, menstrual irregularities, and menopause the combination of BioMeridian testing, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and supplements are used to stabilize hormonal variations. Collectively they encourage the body’s natural functions and restore optimum balance.
"There is a silent health crisis in America...it’s that fact that, on average, American men live sicker and die younger than American women.” Dr. David Gremillion Men’s Health Network
Although men are least likely to visit their doctor for health concerns, at Ananta Health we believe that a preventative measure is the best approach. Common men’s health complaints are cholesterol and heart disease, diabetes, pain management, fatigue, sexual function, and prostate health.
At Ananta Health Dr. Risk and Dr. Kohlman are dedicated to helping all their patients achieve infinite health. After a full health assessment and questionnaire, BioMeridian testing is done to screen for anything that can be contributing to the main complaint. For example, if there is high cholesterol and heart disease, the diet and subsequent infections are assessed. In this way, a preventative method is approached to the main health complaint, and an anti-inflammatory diet is prescribed along with herbs and supplements for each individual case.
Your thyroid is a gland located at the base of your neck, just below your Adam’s apple. It is shaped like a butterfly – each wing, or lobe of your thyroid lies on either side of your windpipe. The purpose of your thyroid gland is to make, store, and release thyroid hormones into your blood. These hormones, affect almost every cell in your body, and help control your body’s functions. If you have too little thyroid hormone in your blood, your body slows down. This condition is called hypothyroidism. If you have too much thyroid hormone in your blood, your body speeds up. This condition is called hyperthyroidism.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition of the thyroid, and is the most common autoimmune condition2. Unfortunately, those suffering often go undiagnosed for a long time, as it’s not commonly tested for. The characteristics of this illness can be similar to hypothyroidism, but the autoimmune component adds a twist. Symptoms people often experience are fatigue, dry skin, pain, hair loss or brittle hair, TSH levels that fluctuate, anxiety, depression, weight gain, paleness or puffiness of the face, joint and muscle pain, constipation, inability to get warm, difficulty getting pregnant, irregular or heavy menstrual periods and slowed heart rate and heart palpitations3. It is common for Hashimoto’s to be triggered after giving birth since Estrogen fluctuations can trigger the gene expression of Hashimoto’s4, but can also happen at others times.
If you have thyroid symptoms that are not responding to treatment, or you are still tired, the first step is to start with getting your TPO-antibodies tested by your doctor. The common treatment for Hashimoto’s in Western Medicine is to provide medication (usually Synthroid or desiccated thyroid) and allow the autoimmune aspect to continue to damage the thyroid. The complications of an autoimmune condition make Hashimoto’s multi-faceted. Diet is an important component, and gluten needs to be approached first5. Gluten is a protein contained in wheat, rye, barley spelt and kamut, so it is breads and pastas and packaged food that has to be removed. Gluten also causes a lot of inflammation and fatigue and contributes to any autoimmune disease. After the diet is assessed, we will then test the patient (usually using BioMeridian testing) to find out what the root cause of the autoimmunity is. Often, the immune system has become over active due to an external pathogen. Heavy metal toxicity is common, as well as a candida infection and/or parasites, viruses and Lyme Disease all need to be assessed and treated. The treatment for this illness is individual according to each patient.
At Ananta Health Hashimoto’s is commonly part of our patient’s disease complex. The majority of our patients are chronically ill, and Hashimoto’s is often a component of Chronic Lyme Disease, heavy metals and Chronic fatigue. We find this disease can fluctuate up and down, especially in the beginning of treatment. As time goes on through treatment, we find that the TPO-antibodies stabilize and the autoimmune component calms down. Our goal is to save the thyroid from further damage, regulate the immune system, and treat whatever underlying cause there is. Our patients do go on to live normal lives, although they will constantly have to monitor their thyroid and stay off gluten to keep the autoimmune disease in check.
(1)Cabot, S. (2016, February 10). Your Liver Can Affect Your Mood and Hormones. Retrieved from http://www.liverdoctor.com/your-liver-can-affect-your-mood-and-hormones
(2)Merrill, S.J., Mu, Y. (2015, June 21). Thyroid Autoimmunity as a Window to Autoimmunity: An Explanation for Sex Differences in the Prevalence of Thyroid Autoimmunity. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25576242
(3)DerSarkissian, C. (2016, September 17). Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/women/hashimotos-thyroiditis-symptoms-causes-treatments#2
(4)Kresser, C. (2010, August 30). Basics of Immune Balancing for Hashimoto’s. Retrieved from http://chriskresser.com/basics-of-immune-balancing-for-hashimotos/
(5)Kharrazian, D. (2014, July 7). Gluten and the Connection with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism. Retrieved from http://thyroidbook.com/podcast-gluten-connection-hashimotos-hypothyroidism/