Expert care in Hormonal Health in Erie
Are you struggling with period problems, hormone imbalances, navigating the challenging phase of perimenopause, or still having symptoms post-menopause? Our specialized functional medicine approach in Erie CO is designed to provide personalized and effective solutions to support you on your journey to hormonal balance and optimal well-being.
Functional medicine is a holistic and patient-centered approach that addresses the root causes of health issues rather than merely treating symptoms. In the realm of women's health, functional medicine takes into account the intricate interplay of hormones, nutrition, lifestyle, genetics, and environmental factors that influence a woman's health throughout her life.
Our functional medicine practitioners focus on understanding your unique physiological and biochemical makeup to tailor individualized treatment plans. By addressing the underlying imbalances in the body, we aim to promote wellness, vitality, and quality of life for women experiencing menstrual irregularities, hormonal imbalances, and the transition into perimenopause.
Menstrual irregularities can significantly impact a woman's life, causing discomfort, pain, and emotional distress. Unfortunately, our society considers these issues as something to "just deal with" or only have birth control or SSRIs as possible answers. In our office, we are lucky to be able to give women much more in-depth answers about their hormone struggles. We offer actual solutions to stop unwanted symptoms and create a healthier system, rather than band-aiding the problem with birth control and medications.
Our functional medicine approach delves into understanding the underlying factors contributing to these issues. We utilize advanced diagnostic tools and personalized assessments to pinpoint imbalances in hormones, gut health, cellular waste management pathways, inflammation, brain signaling, and more.
Through personalized treatment plans that may include nutrition adjustments, lifestyle modifications, targeted supplementation, and stress management techniques, we strive to help you achieve balanced menstrual cycles and alleviate associated symptoms.
When it comes to period problems, we work with young women just starting their period journeys all the way through menopause. Nowhere along this journey do we believe a woman should be told to "just deal with it."
If you're unsure whether or not you have a healthy period, visit our page here that talks about what a normal period should feel like. Visit our page here.
Hormones play a critical role in a woman's overall health and well-being. Imbalances can lead to a range of symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, mood swings, and disrupted sleep patterns throughout the month. We are dedicated to identifying the root causes of hormonal imbalances, including issues with the thyroid, adrenals, brain signaling, blood sugar dysregulation, and reproductive hormones.
All of our hormones are often somewhat dependent on what all of our other hormones are doing. The brain is initially supposed to send out a cascade of hormones to activate different gland and hormones throughout the body. Thyroid hormones greatly affect what our sex hormones are doing. Insulin (our blood sugar hormone) can change cortisol levels (our stress hormone) or how effective estrogen is. Leptin and grehlin (two hormones that help control our appetite) also interact with melatonin and cortisol to create our circadian rhythm and make sure we have restful sleep. At our office, we take into account all of these different hormones and how they are interacting with one another to give you the best possible outcome.
By creating personalized protocols that encompass hormone balancing, nutritional optimization, targeted supplementation, and stress management strategies, we aim to help you regain hormonal equilibrium and achieve a state of vibrant health.
Perimenopause, the transitional phase leading to menopause, can bring about a multitude of physical and emotional changes. At our office was understand the challenges you may face during this time. We strive to empower you with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate perimenopause successfully.
The transition into menopause can often be difficult for women due to two main reasons:
- Women's progesterone levels tend to start dropping before their estrogen levels, sometimes up to 13 years before. This puts women into estrogen dominance and all of the symptoms that go along with it, increased PMS, decreased sex drive, mood swings, bloating, constipation, weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, etc. If we find that you are not creating enough progesterone, we can work at naturally raising progesterone levels or progesterone signaling, lowering estrogen levels, or supplementing with progesterone.
- In the transition into menopause, it's our adrenal glands, rather than our ovaries, that start making most of our hormones. The adrenal glands are also responsible for cortisol and stress management. If over the past 1 to 30 years, you've been really stressed (looking around the room at most women we know), you are going to dampen the brain's ability to signal the adrenal glands. This in turn results in a much larger and quicker decrease in hormones than the body was prepared for. By optimizing the HPA (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal) axis, we can help prevent this drastic shift in hormones, allowing you to feel more yourself.
These are by no means the only reasons women have issues during perimenopause, but they are two of the larger ones. We will still always do a comprehensive assessment of your health history, symptoms, and biomarkers, and develop tailored treatment plans to support you through perimenopause. Our approach may include hormone balancing, lifestyle adjustments, nutrition optimization, and stress reduction techniques to help ease the transition and improve your overall well-being.
Post menopause is a significant transition in a woman's life, marked by the end of the menstrual cycle and a decline in hormone levels. While this transition is natural, it often comes with a range of physical and emotional changes that can affect your quality of life. Our functional medicine approach is tailored to address these changes and provide holistic solutions that support your well-being.
We believe in taking a comprehensive approach to post-menopause care, encompassing a thorough evaluation of your health history, symptoms, lifestyle, and individual needs. Hormone imbalances post-menopause can lead to a variety of symptoms, including hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, weight gain, and more. We recognize that every woman's post-menopausal experience is unique, and our treatments are personalized to reflect that diversity.
The decrease in the production of hormones is one of the largest reasons women continue to have symptoms post-menopause. If the body went into menopause unprepared, due to stress, diet, genetics, surgery, medication, infection, etc., menopause can be a shock to the system that takes years to recover from without proper intervention. At our office, we often work on naturally boosting a woman's own hormone production, creating stronger signaling processes so that we don't need large hormone levels to get the same effect, and reducing any irritating factors that might be making symptoms worse (gut health, inflammation, neuroinflammation, brain signaling, liver health, etc.).
Are you struggling with hormonal imbalances affecting your energy, mood, or overall well-being? At our office, we specialize in functional medicine to help men like you achieve optimal hormone balance and lead a vibrant and fulfilling life. Our dedicated practitioners are committed to understanding your unique needs and tailoring personalized treatment plans to enhance your vitality and wellness.
We often have men in the office who have only ever been tested for testosterone in the blood and have then created protocols based on that one test. The issue with this is that men have a lot of other hormones and even a lot of other androgens. DHEA, androstenedione, androstenediol, etiocholanolone, 5a-DHT are just some of the other androgens we test for. It's important to know a man's total androgen load, not just their testosterone.
Testosterone Therapy: Giving men testosterone often makes them feel better for a month or two. This initial increase creates more mental clarity, energy, and muscle growth. However, many men feel that initial effect wear-off quickly and feel either the same or worse than before. This is because their other androgen levels and hormone levels are not being taken into account. Testosterone is probably not going down the correct pathway in the first place, and then often just gets turned into estrogen by men. At our office, we look at all of the hormones and the pathways they take to make sure we're creating the biggest and longest lasting difference for you.
Hormonal imbalances in men can manifest in various ways, including fatigue, low libido, mood swings, weight gain, and decreased muscle mass. Functional medicine offers a holistic approach to addressing the underlying causes of health issues rather than just managing symptoms. In the realm of men's health, we recognize the intricate interplay of hormones, nutrition, lifestyle, genetics, and environmental factors. Our functional medicine approach focuses on uncovering the root causes of hormonal imbalances to restore optimal health and vitality.
One of the main tests done in our office is the DUTCH test, which stands for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones. However, more patients are familiar with testing hormones in the blood. While blood tests are far more commonly performed, they often don't provide the answers we're looking for or match with a patient's symptoms. Blood gives us information about what resources are available, but not how those resources are being used. We often find with patients that how they're utilizing the resources is what's causing imbalances.
Hormone Testing in Blood
1) Common Method: Blood testing is the most traditional and widely recognized method for hormone analysis. It involves taking a blood sample, typically from a vein in the arm.
2) Snapshot of Hormone Levels: Blood tests provide a snapshot of hormone levels at the specific time the blood is drawn. However, hormone levels change drastically throughout the day, and some even change every few hours.
3) Shows Resources Available, not Resources Used: Hormones in the blood stream show what is available to be utilized by cells, but not the amount that is actually getting used. There are many reasons why cells may be getting much larger or smaller amounts than what the bloodstream is showing.
4) Short Half-Life Hormones: Blood tests are ideal for measuring hormones with a short half-life, such as insulin and cortisol, providing real-time information about these dynamic hormones.
5) Variability Throughout the Day: Hormone levels in the blood can fluctuate throughout the day due to various factors like stress, exercise, and food intake. Timing of the blood test can significantly impact the results.
Hormone Testing in Urine
1) Extended Analysis: Urine hormone testing allows for an extended analysis, often over a 12-24-hour period. This provides a more comprehensive view of hormone metabolites and excretion patterns.
2) Integration of Hormone Metabolites: Unlike blood tests, urine tests measure hormone metabolites (break-down products), providing insights into how the body is processing and utilizing hormones.
3) Better Representation of Hormone Levels: Urine tests may offer a more accurate representation of the body's hormone levels over time, offering a broader perspective of hormone production and excretion.
4) Less Affected by Daily Fluctuations: Urine levels are generally less affected by daily fluctuations, making them a reliable option for hormones with longer half-lives.
5) Shows How the Body is Utilizing Hormones: Urine testing can be particularly useful in functional medicine approaches, as it shows how hormones are being used, which pathways they are going down, and what break-down products are being created and properly excreted.
Which is Right for You?
he choice between blood and urine hormone testing depends on your specific health concerns and the information you're seeking. If you need a snapshot of your immediate hormone levels or are concerned about short half-life hormones, a blood test may be more appropriate. On the other hand, if you're looking for a comprehensive analysis of your hormone metabolites and their patterns over time, a urine test might offer a more holistic view. Having both blood and urine testing completed gives us the biggest picture, both the resource pool available, and how those resources were used.
Ultimately, consulting a healthcare professional well-versed in both methods can guide you in selecting the most suitable hormone testing approach based on your unique health needs and goals. Your health provider can help you interpret the results and develop a tailored plan to optimize your hormone balance and overall well-being.
Experience the Difference of Functional Medicine in Erie CO
Discover a holistic approach to hormone health that prioritizes understanding your unique needs and promoting optimal wellness. Our functional medicine office is dedicated to supporting you on your journey towards hormonal balance, improved menstrual health, and a smooth transition into perimenopause, and menopause.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and embark on a personalized path to better health and vitality. Your well-being is our priority, and we're here to guide you every step of the way.
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