Your hormonal response is as unique as your own fingerprints
Really think about that. Your hormonal response is as unique as your own fingerprints. That means when we discuss estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, we’re talking about something different for every single person who is reading this article. You may wonder, if that’s true, how is this going to help me? There are some underlying important concepts that all of us, both women and men, need to know in order to make sure that our hormones are optimized and also that our hormones are in balance.
Symptoms because of imbalanced hormones
- Headaches during your menstrual cycle
- Excessive menstruation
- Not getting a menstrual cycle and you’re not on birth control to prevent it
- Mood swings
- Increased anxiety
- Decreased libido
- Achiness in knees, wrists, shoulders
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Brain fog
- Dull memory
- Dry, thin skin
- Hair thinning
- Thin lips
You might be thinking, WOW, I have a lot of these symptoms, I better have my levels checked. If this is you, then here are the top 10 labs you should get checked just to find out where you are at and to find out if they are “normal” or “abnormal. “
These are 5 labs you should get tested as a bare minimum
- Estradiol (E2) because it is our reproductive hormone.
- Estrone (E1) if you are carrying excess weight or on any type of hormone replacement other than a biochemical cream. Are you really getting rid of your estrogen appropriately? If that number is super high, then it may mean you’re not detoxifying well.
- Testosterone Free and Total. We have a total amount of testosterone in our body, but part of that testosterone is bound to protein, and if that testosterone is bound to a protein, it’s not available for use, so you might have a high number in your testosterone total, but actually very little available for use. Therefore, you have a lot of symptoms that come with low testosterone.
- Progesterone: It plays a super big role in how we feel, deal with anxiety, and how good we are sleeping at night.
- FOR WOMEN ONLY: FSH (Follicular Stimulating Hormone) will tell us where you are in the perimenopause to menopause pathway.
5 additional labs you could get checked if you want a complete panel
- Pregnenolone, which is the precursor to progesterone. We call it the mother hormone because it’s the first hormone we make after cholesterol.
- DHEA because it is a precursor to testosterone. DHEA is made in the adrenals, and it helps balance out cortisol and gives us a sense of well-being and energy.
- Hemoglobin A1C. Done fasting, it gives you a picture of your blood sugar levels over the last three months, tells you what your average blood sugar is, and if you’re prediabetic or diabetic.
- CRP is a general marker of inflammation. If you’re inflamed, it doesn’t matter how hard we work to balance your hormones, if the inflammation is not addressed, then you’re never going to start feeling better.
- Salivary cortisol. This lab is all about your lifestyle, so maybe you’re stressed, burning the candle at both ends, etc. and checking this lab helps me help you.
What can you be doing on your own to help balance hormones without ever having to get tested?
Your focus should be on the food you are consuming and making appropriate lifestyle changes. Make sure you are getting enough good quality protein. Avoid sugar and refined carbs. If it’s real food, eat it. It’s much better to have a handful of grapes that is to have a handful of M&Ms. Eat healthy fats. Eat foods high in fiber. Try to get some regular exercise. You don’t have to kill yourself at the gym every day, as long as you have consistency. Consistency trumps intensity every time. Finally, practice stress management. Find a way to manage your stress. If you don’t have an outlet, it piles up, and pretty soon it’s going to affect your health. Stress is one of the number one drivers of disease. And finally, consistent, high-quality sleep. During sleep, our body starts to repair itself, our brain starts to remember things, and our whole body gets to rest.
You can change the way you age!
Hear more about this topic by visiting Dr. Page’s Podcast. or call the Wisconsin Institute of Functional Medicine to determine the best times of the month to come in and have your labs checked and for an initial consultation to talk about customized treatments for your symptoms.