It can be incredibly challenging to treat hormonal complaints in women –after all, there are so many variations. Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone – any or all of these hormones can be high, low, normal – either together or separately. Clinical symptoms can definitely help define the picture, but STILL – not always accurate. For instance, a woman suffering from insomnia can have low estrogen or low progesterone. Or a woman suffering from anxiety can have either high estrogen or low progesterone. And acne and hair loss can be attributed to either high progesterone or high testosterone. The clinical picture can only take a doctor so far. And let’s be honest – all women seeking to have a true glow from the inside out must have balanced hormones.
So yes, treating hormonal problems is difficult, and an excellent assessment tool is needed. My personal choice is a salivary hormone assay – but I digress. What I really want to talk about is identifying a woman’s particular hormone picture, and understanding that this hormone picture will likely be hers for life. Not to say that we cannot treat the woman and bring her hormones into balance, but whenever her life is out of balance, this same particular hormone picture will emerge.
For instance, I suffer from PCO-like syndrome. The moment my life is out of balance, I suffer from acne, hair loss, insomnia, and anxiety. It is not a pretty picture (literally). Believe me, I have good incentives to maintain balance. So I keep a meticulous diet, daily yoga and meditation, I take supplements, and I am constantly try to find a balance between being a doctor, a mother, a wife, a friend, a sister, (not to mention meals, housekeeping, exercise, accounting, appointments, playdates, actual dates and of course, seeing my therapist and etc. etc.). Wow, that list just caused my DHEA to shoot through the roof. I am sure I will get a zit or at least lose some hair in the next little while. Let’s be honest, sometimes it is so difficult to maintain balance and stabilize our hormones. It is the world we live in.
So ladies, prepare to do battle. Your hormones are a barometer of your life, so know your hormonal picture and what weapons you can choose to keep yourselves feeling and looking wonderful.
First, see your Naturopathic Doctor and get a thorough assessment – the results are the first step in determining what tools you will need. Dr. Joseph Collins ND has written an excellent book called Your Menopause Type, in which he has identified 12 different hormonal patterns. Do not be put off by the name of the book – even if you are 25 years old one of the hormonal patterns will resonate with you. Once you and your doctor have discovered your particular hormonal pattern (salivary or serum tests are required to accurately do this), a specific protocol will be developed that will help you feel your very best. Your protocol can include diet, herbs, acupuncture, meditation, vitamins and minerals – the list goes on. Bottom line – you will have a plan to help you deal with your specific picture and feel wonderful – and get that naturopathic beauty glow!