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What Are Hormones


What Do Hormones Do?

Hormones are very powerful chemical messengers found in the human body in very small amounts. They are involved in the regulation of mood and behavior, tissue growth, hunger and satiety, and sexual/reproductive health and they also assist the body in the healing and repair process. 

Some common types of hormones you may be familiar with include progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, thyroid, and insulin (yep, insulin is a hormone). However, there are many others found in the human body as well including leptin, grehlin, pregnenolone, prolactin, oxytocin or the "molecule of love", and many others. 

Hormone imbalances can happen at any age and for many different reasons. In the US, our western diet and lifestyle predispose us to having hormone imbalances. The standard American diet or the SAD diet and our high stress lifestyles wreak havoc on our hormone production. Couple that with exposure to one or many of the 80,000 plus chemicals registered with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), some of which are known as "endocrine (hormone) disruptors" and "obesogens" or chemicals that make it hard to lose weight, and you have a recipe for disaster, imbalance, and disease. 

Achieving and restoring hormone balance is a complex process. Balance can be achieved through a variety of different modalities including diet and lifestyle modifications, herbal remedies, fasting, vitamins and minerals supplementation, ozone therapy, detox therapies, and direct hormone replacement with bioidentical or biologic hormones.  

Conventional western or allopathic medicine has limited options for addressing hormone imbalances. The mainstays of western medicine's approach to hormone imbalance include synthetic or animal derived hormones such as depo-testosterone or testosterone cypionate (synthetic man-made testosterone), premarin (estrogen derived from pregnant horse urine), and synthetic progesterone called progestins.


Other mainstays of conventional western medicine include surgical removal of sex organs such as hysterectomy, or ablation or burning of tissues. These modalities are effective at treating symptoms but come with a whole host of potential side effects and downstream consequences to health and quality of life. Not to mention, they never really address the underlying causes for hormone imbalance. 

The best approach is to utilize gentle, natural, and non-invasive therapies first, in order to help the body heal and restore balance to itself. This is the approach utilized by functional medicine practitioners. 

It is important to know your options and work with a provider that understands the complexity of hormone balance, one that develops a comprehensive individualized plan based on your particular needs, wishes, and realistic health goals. 

To find out more about the benefits of various hormones, click here

To find out more about bio-identical hormone replacement, click here

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