Hormone imbalance

Hormone imbalance is a true epidemic in our country. The average American female and male over 35 years of age suffers from some form of hormonal imbalance. With the poor diet, stressful lifestyles and declining popularity of physical exercise, more and more young men and women are developing hormonal imbalances. The effects of such imbalances increases as we age and become more devastating and harder to treat the longer they go on and the worse they become. Because most of the symptoms come on gradually, it is difficult to figure out initially, until the problems become more pronounced and the hormones become even more imbalanced.

It becomes a vicious cycle that slowly robs you of your energy, your vitality and your life and lifestyle. It also robs your loved ones of their lifestyle. Unless properly diagnosed and evaluated, proper recovery is very difficult to achieve. This is where a properly trained healthcare professional is so important. You will require a doctor who is up to date on hormonal function and can discover “subclinical” hormone imbalances, not just “diseased” glands or organs.

Often times it is the simplest of signs that indicate hormone imbalance, but these signs are blamed on other factors. Some of the initial symptoms include:

  • Fatigue not relieved by rest
  • Tired all the time/no energy
  • Difficulty getting up in the morning
  • Poor sleep
  • Craving for salty or sugary foods
  • It takes more effort to perform every day tasks and duties
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Decreased ability to handle stress
  • Increased time to recover from illness or injury
  • Light headed when standing up quickly
  • Depression
  • Lack of enjoyment or happiness
  • Weight gain/loss
  • Excessive allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Digestive disorders
  • Dry and thin skin
  • Excessive hunger
  • Hair loss
  • Unexplained headaches
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Chronic pain
  • Inflammation
  • Blood pressure problems
  • Low body temperature
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Mood swings
  • Poor memory
  • PMS
  • Sleep disorders
  • Tender breasts
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty building muscle
  • Cramping
  • Fluid retention
  • Slow metabolism
  • Irritability
  • Chronic illness
  • And more and more and more

Various clinical conditions are the direct result of hormone imbalance that, in most cases, can be completely preventable. Such conditions include:

  • Chronic viral infections (EBV, Herpes, etc.)
  • Yeast overgrowth
  • Allergies
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Migraines
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Insomnia
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Type II diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Irritable bowel disease
  • Celiac disease
  • And more and more and more

Quite simply, hormones affect body function.

Hormone imbalances affect body functions in a detrimental way. The more hormones and systems involved and the longer the time that the imbalances have been present, the more symptoms will devastate your life.

This isn’t how the story ends, however; there is hope! Hormone imbalances can be corrected by taking the correct action steps and supplying the body with what it requires to heal – This first requires the correct testing to determine what the TRUE cause of your problem is.

Be sure to read my next upcoming 3 articles on Female Hormones, Male Hormones and the Correct Testing!

One of the most common questions I get asked is “how do I know if what I’m eating is healthy or not?”

There is so much deception in our food industry today that it has become difficult to determine what is healthy and what is not. Every food manufacturer is competing for your dollar, so they come up with catchy commercials, campaigns, slogans and buzz-words to attract your eyes and buy their product.

I’m going to share with you some simple tips that will allow you to easily and quickly determine is a product is healthy for you and your family.

Okay, so let’s dive in

Tip #1:   This may sound a little crazy or unorthodox, but DON’T  focus on the amount of calories, fats, proteins and carbohydrates. When we are eating healthy foods, the amount of calories, fats, etc… don’t matter. The type of foods you’re eating is much more important to focus on.

Tip #2:   What I DO want you to focus on is the ingredient list.  This is where you’ll actually find what’s in your food. If you see a long list of ingredients with big words that you don’t recognize or are hard to pronounce; odds are this product does not belong in your shopping cart.

Smaller ingredient lists with easy-to-read words that you recognize are best. Also, whole foods that don’t come with a nutrition label are obviously your best choice; fresh fruits and veggies, good quality meats and healthy fats are whole foods that don’t need a nutrition label.

If there is one ingredient quantity/amount you do want to look for, it would be the amount of SUGAR in a product. Even if a product says “organic” or has few ingredients, if the sugar content is high, skip this product.

Tip #3:   Organic foods are preferred because they are not exposed to the amount of harmful pesticides and herbicides of conventional produce.

When it comes to meat or animal products, look for words such as “grass-fed”, “free-range”, and “wild-caught”.

Tip #4:   Shop the perimeter of the store; this is generally where you will find the healthier quality foods. The inner aisles of the store will generally contain the most processed, pre-packaged and boxed foods.

Tip #5:   Avoid buzz words that are intended to catch your eye. They are misleading and often do not deliver a healthier product. This words include: Diet, Zero-Calories, Calorie-Free, Light, Fat-Free, 0g Trans-Fat and even the words All-Natural, which has a very vague meaning in today’s world.

The 7 most dangerous food ingredients to avoid:

1) Artificial Sweeteners – This will include sucralose, aspartame and saccharin. They are found in many zero-calorie drinks and the blue/pink/yellow packets on diner tables.

2) Synthetic, Man-Made Fats – Trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils, canola oil.

3) Artificial Flavors – Typically labeled as “artificial flavoring”.

4) MSG – Monosodium Glutamate is known as an “excitotoxin” that causes brain-chemistry problems and brain cell death.

5) Artificial Colors – These include the blue, red, yellow dye’s added to many foods.

6) High Fructose Corn Syrup – See below.

7) Preservatives – BHT, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Nitrate, Sulfites and many other chemicals that are toxic to your body and raise cellular inflammation.

Finally, it is hard to look for GMO foods on labels because North America is one of the only countries in the world that does not require food companies to label GMO ingredients; however, some companies have taken the initiative to self-label that their products do not contain GMO’s.

Some of the highest concentrations of GMO food crops in the world are found in corn and soybeans. For this reason you want to avoid almost all products that contain corn, high fructose corn syrup, soybeans and soybean oil unless labeled organic and non-GMO

According to the National Women’s Health Information Center there are over 20 million Americans suffering from some type of thyroid disorder. A whopping one in eight women in the United States will be impacted by thyroid disorder in their lives (from the American Medical Women’s Association). Are you one of them?

Thyroid disorders and thyroid disease can have a negative impact on just about every area of your life. From weight issues to depression and anxiety, the thyroid gland is vital to keeping your physical, mental, and emotional life balanced and healthy. And what’s more is it’s estimated that about half of those in the world suffering with thyroid issues are completely unaware this is the root of their problem.

If you suffer from unexplainable symptoms but have been told that your thyroid levels are “normal”, you are not crazy and it’s not just in your head. The following are 3 common causes of low or hypothyroid dysfunction that can occur even if your blood tests look normal.


1) A Conversion Issue

Your thyroid produces two important hormones, T4 & T3. Most people are aware of their T4 levels because that is the predominant hormone the thyroid produces; and one of the markers that doctors routinely test for.

But did you know that T4 is not the active form of the hormone that your body needs to run everything correctly?

Think of it this way, T4 is comparable to crude oil; T3 is like gasoline. Crude oil is what is harvested out of the earth, but it must be refined and converted into gasoline for us to run our cars with. If you were to just take crude oil and put it into your car’s gas tank it wouldn’t run. Well, our cells are the same way; they need T3 gasoline to run correctly.

Over 90% of the hormone your thyroid produces is crude T4 hormone. It must be converted into active T3 hormone for your body to be able to use it. This conversion takes place predominantly in the liver, and also the digestive tract to a lesser extent.

Therefore, you may have PLENTY of T4 hormones floating around your system, but if you have a toxic, overburdened liver or dysfunctioning bowel, this conversion process may not be taking place correctly. In essence, you have plenty of “crude oil”, but you’re not converting it into the usable “gasoline” for your cells.


2) A Hormone Receptor Problem

Cellular Inflammation has been discovered to be the one commonality among all chronic diseases –from diabetes, to cancer to autoimmune disease. This type of inflammation occurs silently, but causes of host of serious problems in regards to cellular health including: altered genetic expression (bad genes become activated), toxicity build-up, and hormone receptor problems.

We are concerned with the latter of the 3 for the purpose of this article. You see, every cell in your body has thousands of hair-like projections sticking out of the cell called hormone receptors. Different types of receptors bind different types of hormones (I.E. Insulin, T3, Testosterone, etc…). When a hormone binds to a receptor site, it tells the cell to perform a specific action.

When cells become inflamed, it means the membrane that encapsulates and protects the cell becomes inflamed. This is where the hormone receptors are located. When inflammation becomes chronic, the receptors become blunted or dysfunctional and can no longer bind hormones correctly; meaning that even if you have enough T3, your cells cannot use it correctly because the receptors that bind the hormone have been damaged.

Think back to the last example again. If you have plenty of gasoline, but your gas-tank door on your car is locked, it won’t do you any good still. You need to get the gasoline into the car for it to work.

The same goes for T3 hormone. If it cannot bind to the cell receptors, it cannot perform its action within the cell. The inflammation must be corrected for the hormone receptors to work right.


3) An Autoimmune  Presence.

Inflammation is a natural occurrence in our bodies. It is the way your body calls in your immune system to address a problem (I.E. foreign invasion).

For example, the last time you cut your hand and it became red and tender, it was your body’s way of “calling in reinforcements” to attack any foreign invaders and disarm the situation.

In a healthy person, this type of inflammation is transitory and short lived. The problem with this last scenario is when inflammation becomes chronic.

In cases of chronic, long-term inflammation the sirens signaling the immune system never get “turned off”. As a result the immune system cells can become desensitized over time; unable to differentiate between foreign and “self” cells of your body.

This is called autoimmune disease. When this occurs your immune system has become confused and begins to create antibodies against your own tissue!

There are many different types of autoimmune disease; each one classified by the tissue’s that are affected in the body. When the immune system attacks the thyroid it is known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (-itis means inflammation).

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is not a thyroid problem at all, but rather an issue with your immune system; or more specifically your gut!

Research has shown that over 80% of your immune system lies within the gut. It has been suggested now that autoimmunity begins to occur when the digestive tract becomes diseased and perforated through a process called Leaky Gut Syndrome. Without getting into too much detail for the purpose of this article, a leaky gut is most often caused by the standard American diet and lifestyle.

Many researchers now suggest that over 80% of Hypothyroid cases may be caused by autoimmune disease, yet it is almost never tested for!

Why is this you may be asking? Because the treatment is the same for traditional or autoimmune hypothyroid cases: T4 replacement hormone. This will certainly make your blood levels look better, but it will do little to address the real problem or help with your symptoms.


Getting To The Cause

To correctly repair hypothyroid disease, the cause MUST be addressed. If you don’t address the cause, all you’re doing is chasing symptoms and making blood work look better on paper.

To determine the cause you must receive the correct testing –which involves much more than just a TSH and T4 blood work panel.

To receive the correct testing and to see how we can best help you, call our office at 724-237-5299!

This is an extremely insightful article, written by Dr. Mark Hyman about the dangers of consuming wheat; beyond the gluten-free reasons. When it comes to diet and lifestyle changes, I’m always educating my patients about Cellular Inflammation and how it is the one underlying commonality in every one of the chronic, degenerative diseases we see today.

Cellular inflammation can come from a variety of sources, but one of the things we most commonly discuss is sugar’s role in raising inflammation -and not just table sugar, but anything that breaks down to sugar. This includes nearly all grain, as Dr. Hyman indicates.

This article will set the record straight and show you physiologically why it is so important to eliminate grain and wheat from your diet temporarily if your goal is to reverse a chronic disease or to lose weight. Once your health goals are achieved, there are healthier grains Dr. Hyman discusses; such as ancient einkorn grain, that have healthy benefits once your body is no longer in an inflamed state.

Click here to read the article


Raw, fermented foods are some of the biggest nutrient powerhouses on this planet.

I love drinking fermented beverages like Kefir and Kombucha; fermented vegetables are another avenue to get nutrient-dense superfoods into your diet. In ancient cultures, fermentation was a way to make their food last longer; something that we have gotten away from with the advent of the refrigerator. Not only does food last longer when fermented, but it also begins to produce a massive amount of healthy bacteria and enzymes that your body needs to dramatically boost gut health and immune function.

This is a great article on how to make homemade Sauerkraut – which is worlds away from the processed, heated version. Simple to make and extremely cheap; who says eating healthy has to be expensive! I just bought a whole head of organic cabbage for .69 cents! Replace one meal/snack per day with raw fermented sauerkraut and not only will your health improve, but your grocery bills will be lower as well.

Click Here to read the article

Great article by Dr. Mercola on the benefits of consuming raw, organic milk from grass-fed cows.

America is one of the only Countries in the world to outlaw this amazingly beneficial product in many States; coincidentally, we also lead the world in allergies and food intolerances. Raw milk contains wealth of healthy bacteria that repair the gut and boost immune function as well as a fatty acid called CLA that actually stimulates your brain to begin burning body fat. Both of these benefits of raw milk are lost when pasteurized and homogenized.

Click Here to read Dr. Mercola’s entire article.

Bone brothThis is a phenomenal article by natural health expert, Dr. Dan Pompa on healing your digestive tract by utilizing an ancient bone broth recipe used by virtually every ancient culture. A must for any person diagnosed with a chronic illness, especially autoimmune disorders.

Click Here to read article and get recipe!