Hormones: Achieving a Better Balance
Hormones act as chemical messengers of change in the body. They influence how we think, feel, breathe, look and age. We’ve heard much of hormones, but what exactly are they?
Hormones are chemicals that are made in specialized organs, circulate by blood and lymph, and essentially affect every cell in our bodies. They do this by adhering to either specific or generalized receptor sites on the cell itself. With this contact, signals are sent.
There are many areas in the body that both create and are influenced by hormones, such as the thyroid, adrenal, and pineal glands; as well as the ovaries and testes, to name a few. With that said, it’s essential to remember that all individualized hormones not only have a specific role, but they also interact with each other in a complicated structure. This is why there is importance in investigating hormones on a comprehensive level.
When balance is achieved, we feel well – mental faculties are optimized: concentration, memory, mood, and sleep come easily. Our physical selves also reflect this on many levels: optimized weight, periods are fluid and regular, muscles are strengthened, and we age gradually.
When hormones are out of sync, we may start to see many negative effects. For example, in our teens, we may see mood swings, acne, and irregular or painful periods. In our 20’s, imbalance may also include: infertility, postpartum depression, a decreased attention span and PMS. By the time we’ve reached our 30’s, if imbalance remains, the cycle extends, including: bloating, migraines, breast tenderness, and weight gain. And by the time we’ve reached our 40’s and 50’s or later, we may see all of these symptoms and more: bone loss, night sweats, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, depression, anxiety, heart disease and heightened cholesterol.
Of course, all of these symptoms can overlap at many ages and many levels of imbalance. The trick is to identify what hormones, glands and organs need better support, as symptoms don’t always point to the “correct hormonal imbalance”.
To best identify if your body needs hormonal balancing, as a Naturopathic Doctor, I look at the symptoms you present with, alongside your history, your family history, and your intentions for health. I often then investigate hormonally-related blood testing and saliva testing to objectively determine where the imbalance may lie. I may also inquire about previous pelvic ultrasounds, PAPs, bone density testing and mammography to evaluate the safest and effective means of achieving hormonal balance for your body.
The road to hormonal balance can be complicated, although need not be. As a Naturopathic Doctor, my hope is to help guide you in identifying if there is a hormonal disturbance to address, which hormone(s) may be involved, and in helping suggest achievable ways to help correct and rebalance the body’s hormonal system(s).
If you require any further information about how Naturopathic Medicine may assist you in attaining your best hormonal balance, please do not hesitate to call the clinic’s front desk staff at: 204-943-6079.
Wishing you much health and inner balance,
Dr. Dara Morden, B.Sc., N.D.