You’re healthy, you eat right, you get enough exercise and sleep, yet you still find yourself having to give yourself a continuous pep talk to navigate through your daily life. Or you feel as though you are walking on a treadmill through your days, but not actually getting anywhere. Or maybe everything in your life is going great, yet you keep having this nagging thought that you should be happier than you actually are, having accomplished all that you have. Or perhaps you have an irrational fear that you now have to be hypervigilant so that everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve doesn’t crumble at your feet like a house of cards.
Go have a heart-to-heart with your doctor, and you’ll most likely find yourself with a prescription for something – an anti-depressant, a sedative, or an anti-anxiety medication – which may or may not be what you actually need to feel better. Instead, if you are finding that your mood or feelings don’t quite match up with your circumstances, why not take a long, hard look at your hormone levels?
Most women do not realize how much your hormones really do influence your mood and your outlook on life. Sure, you remember the emotional wild ride that was puberty, and you know all about PMS, pregnancy, post-pregnancy, menopause, and can recognize the ups and downs that and the pitfalls that hormone levels cause at certain, predictable times in a woman’s life. But no one ever told you that the “off” feeling you sometimes have – when the reality of your situation, which is basically positive, doesn’t match up with your mood, feelings, or the emotions you are having – doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong with your mental health or neurotransmitters! However, isn’t it reasonable to believe that your hormones may also be the cause at these times?
Studies have shown that changes or decreases in hormones can cause moodiness, with estrogen having an influence on those key brain chemicals that affect your mood as well as your level of depression and anxiety. Testosterone replacement therapy has also been shown in research studies to improve irritability, depressive mood, and anxiety. And progesterone creates a calming effect on your brain.
So hormones not only affect your reproductive cycles throughout your life, but they also have a huge effect on your overall feeling of well-being. And whenever you become aware that you aren’t feeling as well as you could be, it’s probably worth checking your hormone levels for clues to what’s actually going on.
Many people think of hormones only in terms of controlling reproductive systems, namely testosterone for men and estrogen for women. But the truth is that, in both men and women, the endocrine glands – pituitary, adrenal, pineal, thymus, thyroid, pancreas, and testes/ovaries – comprise the body’s complete hormone factory that produces, stores, and releases hormones into your bloodstream, controlling many of your vital organs and systems. Hormones affect so much more than most people think and provide critical signals for all of these body functions:
- Growth and development, including bone density and muscle mass
- Sexual function
While age is what most of us primarily think of as affecting our hormone levels, many other factors can create hormonal imbalances in both men and women, including these, to name just a few:
- Environmental toxins
- Physical activity
You can see why these chemical messengers have a huge effect on your overall system and sense of well-being. If any of your endocrine glands are not functioning at optimal levels, both men and women suffer from hormonal imbalances that can result in many unwanted effects.
But the GOOD NEWS is that BIO-IDENTICAL hormones–in use since 1938 and with dozens, if not hundreds, of studies performed showing nothing but good effects when properly optimized – can balance your hormones AND help maintain your mood and emotional health. Not only that, but bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can also provide protective benefits to help lower the risk of developing cancer, coronary artery disease, and dementia.
Hormones Affect Us at All Ages
With aging, most of us are aware that women approaching menopause experience imbalances in their levels of the hormones estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. And with the demands and stress placed on us by our busy lifestyles, even women in their 20’s can begin to experience hormone imbalances, and perimenopause can start affecting women who are in their 30’s.
This means that at nearly every age, anyone can start feeling symptoms of hormone imbalance, including changes in emotions and mood, anxiety, or depression. No matter what age you are, your body is sensitive to changes in hormone levels throughout your entire lifetime. Even small imbalances can affect your mood, sleep, weight, cravings, bloating, GI tract, concentration, fertility, and more.
What’ more, hormonal imbalances in thyroid, testosterone, and estrogen levels can occur several years before the obvious symptoms appear. So it’s never too early to consider how hormone levels might be impacting your daily life and your health and well-being at every age, in order to help you avoid any lasting or serious health issues – especially considering the hectic lifestyles we all live today.
How to Correct Hormone Imbalance
If at any age you are feeling like your mood or emotions are out of sync with the reality of your situation in life, or are preventing you from being your best self on a daily basis, please take the time to call Advanced Image Med Spa & Elite Wellness Center and schedule a consultation with Dr. Jennessa Iannitelli (Dr. I). Dr. I will carefully discuss your symptoms with you and order bloodwork to check your hormone levels. It’s worth starting at what is the most likely cause, rather than wasting time and money trying random “fixes” such as vitamins, supplements or even prescription medications that may or may not help you feel like you are back on top of your game. Why try to put a band-aid on the problem if you can actually identify the root cause and correct it? Not to mention the fact that long term optimized hormone levels can actually protect against Alzheimer’s, dementia, and heart disease!
If your blood test does show imbalances in your hormone levels, Dr. Iannitelli can inset subdermal bio-identical hormone replacement pellets just under your skin, and at the precise levels you need to bring your hormones back into balance for optimal biological function. Instead of synthetic creams, patches, and pills, the pellets offer a natural, bioidentical alternative – hormones that are plant-based and structurally identical to those that occur naturally in your body. These hormones are released as needed based on your cardiac activity level. This keeps your hormones functioning at their optimal levels throughout your day, to meet your body’s individual needs.
Additionally, by using pellets you get long-term effective levels – men need pellets every 5-6 months and women every 3-4 months, versus the continuous fluctuation in levels that can be experienced in other delivery methods like creams and injections.
Integrated Approach to BHRT
Because there are many things that can affect your hormones and the endocrine glands that produce them – stress, lifestyle, diet and nutrition, sleep quality, allergies, and more – Dr. I offers an integrated approach to identify what exactly is affecting your hormone levels and creates a plan for what can help keep your hormones in balance moving forward.