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Balancing Hormones for a Healthier Life

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One thing that could be causing problems for you is an imbalance of chemicals. Often doctors try to restore that chemical balance by prescribing antidepressants or anti anxiety medications that mask the symptoms for a time but that can have side effects over the long run. While there is a place for prescription medications for temporary relief from serious symptoms, it's essential to get to the root of the problem. I like to explain it to my patients this way: You weren't born with those synthetic drugs in your system–what you were born with are hormones that need to be brought into a proper balance before your body can heal itself.

Female or male, young or old, it is hormones that keep our bodies functioning properly and keep us feeling healthy and happy. Hormones are chemical substances that are released by various glands in the body to target organ systems and specific cells to help them function normally. They are essential for every activity of daily living, including the processes of digestion, metabolism, growth, reproduction, and mood control.

Hormones produced by the thyroid gland, for example, are essential to the proper function of every cell in the body. Insulin, produced by the pancreas gland, helps us to process sugars and convert them into energy. Sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone affect our libido (sex drive), but are important in many other bodily functions, as well. Stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline) help us to cope with the many stressors (both physical and emotional) that we face as we go through the day.

Proper amounts of these hormones can keep our bodies running healthy and help us feel good, but when we get imbalances of these chemicals in our systems it can have a negative impact on our health.

Causes and Symptoms

Some causes of hormonal imbalances for men and women are:
*consistent, long-term stress
*changes in life cycles (e.g., from adolescence to adulthood)
*genetic predisposition
*exposure to environmental or food toxins
*xenoestrogens found in some foods

Add a Comment2 Comments

Dr. Marcantel,

It's great to read your article, I like how you simplify the medical language into every day language.

Thanks for advising us on how to direct our own health.

May 4, 2009 - 9:21am

Dr. Marcantel,

Thank you for such a timely and informative post. We hear so much about hormones, both synthetic and bioidentical, these days that it can be difficult to know where to even start.

For those readers outside the Arizona area, is there a resource that you recommend where people can search to find naturopathic physicians closer to where they live?

May 4, 2009 - 8:30am
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