The Highs & Lows of Hormones
October 2022 Issue — Pink Prescriptions
The Highs & Lows of Hormones
Hormones are essential to our overall health, but it can be difficult to keep them in balance. Too much of one hormone, or too little of another, can have a major impact on our well-being. As advocates for women, we decided to ask local experts for the best ways to handle these hormonal fluctuations to reach our optimum health goals!
Thom Davis, Certified Nutritionist, Feelin’ Great Wellness Center
Is there a natural way to help you through menopause?
A more natural way to go through menopause would be to include foods rich in Calcium and Vitamin D. This would help with bone loss. If you are not eating the food, then supplement D3 and Calcium. Eat fruit and vegetables in the place of refined sugar or processed foods. Many studies have shown these foods cause bone loss, as well as increased depression, low mood, poor sleep, anxiety and fatigue. For hot flashes learn your trigger food! These can be caffeine, sugar, alcohol or spicy food. Keep a diary of what you eat to see if you notice something triggering. You want to eat foods with phytoestrogens in them. These include tofu, tempeh, flaxseeds, sesame seeds and beans. To supplement, you can use phytoestrogen black cohosh and red clover for hot flashes. Some have found schizandra helps with night sweats. Also take probiotics for overall health.
Thom Davis is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Nutritionist at Feelin’ Great Wellness Center, 718 Mall Boulevard in Brunswick. 912-265-1552.
Christopher May, Registered Pharmacist and Owner, Seaside Pharmaceutical
What are bio-identical hormones and
are they better for you?
The term” Bioidentical Hormone” is a loose term used to define hormones made from plant sources that mimic the naturally occurring hormones in our bodies. As we grow and mature, we undergo huge changes in our lives, forcing us to live outside of what is termed “normal.” Bioidentical hormonal supplementation, through the care and insight of a qualified medical provider, may help “turn back the clock” and return us to that normalcy we so desperately need to fully function in such a busy world of taking care of Mom, Dad, husband, wife, son, daughter and pet. This type of therapy must be carefully chosen by both patient and provider to achieve the patient’s goal of a more fulfilling lifestyle.
Christopher May is a Registered Pharmacist and Owner at Seaside Pharmaceutical, Inc, 1104 Fountain Park Circle, Brunswick. 912-554-8220. www.seasiderx.com.
Trace C. Deighan, MD, Southeast Georgia Physician Associates-Obstetrics & Gynecology
My bloodwork indicates I’m post-menopausal, but I still have periods. What’s up with that?
Checking your bloodwork for hormones can be tricky, as it is natural for your estrogen and progesterone to rise and fall depending on where you are in your cycle. If you’re still having cycles but also having menopausal symptoms, it’s best to check both your FSH (a hormone made by your brain that tells your ovaries to produce estrogen) and estradiol (your body’s usable estrogen) shortly after your period starts. Every situation is unique, so always feel free to openly discuss with your gynecologist. Further, vaginal bleeding after true menopause is never normal and always warrants evaluation.
Dr. Trace C. Deighan, an obstetrician and gynecologist, sees patients at Southeast Georgia Physician Associates-Obstetrics & Gynecology, 3025 Shrine Rd, Ste. 280, Brunswick. 912-466-7250. www.sghs.org.
Diane G. Bowen, M.D., Centered on Wellness and Golden Isles Center for Plastic Surgery, PC
How do I know if my hormones are out of balance?
Hormonal imbalances are typically caused by problems with the endocrine system. This system is composed of eight major glands in various locations around the body. These glands produce hormones, or chemical messengers, that travel throughout the body in the blood stream. Hormones help all organs and tissues to perform and coordinate various physical functions of the body. Most hormonal imbalances happen when the body is making either too much or too little of a particular hormone, or when the body can’t properly respond to the hormones that are present.
The most common symptoms that might indicate your hormones are out of balance include:
• Gaining weight quickly and having difficulty losing weight
• Hot flashes
• Facial hair growth for women or unwanted body hair, or hair loss
• Facial or body acne
• Decreased sex drive, vaginal dryness
• Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, fatigue
• Mood swings, depression, or anxiety
To know for sure if what you are dealing with is related to hormones, it is best to work with your healthcare provider for labs to be completed. Depending on the results, oral medication, topical creams, or injections can be prescribed.
Is there a link between taking hormones and cancer?
With all medications there are side effects that must be considered. Some medical professionals and studies have shown that taking Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy have decreased risks and side effects, as these medications closely resemble the hormones the body naturally produces in comparison to hormone replacement therapy. There are some common herbal supplements that can help with hormonal imbalance including:
• Black cohosh helps with hot flashes
• St. John’s wort helps with sleep
• Evening primrose oil helps with lubrication in the body
• Ginseng helps with mood and energy levels
Before taking any supplements speak to your health care provider.
Dr. Diane G. Bowen, specializing in plastic surgery, is owner of Centered on Wellness and Golden Isles Center for Plastic Surgery, 2485 Demere Road, Suite 103A, St. Simons Island, 912-634-1993 or 912-638-0034, www.drdianebowen.com or www.centeredonwellness.com.