So do millions of other women so you are certainly not alone. Too often when they see someone go to their primary care doctor and they are not given the full picture, instead leaving with prescription to help control their symptoms or telling them to simply ‘loose weight’ in about 5 minutes of time. No particular guidelines on how or why this occurs.
Now this certainly doesn’t solve the problem at hand but is the way conventional medicine is used to practicing. Over time this may allow the underlying problem to grow and cause real havoc on your body in the years to come. This is what causes chronic health problems. The excellent news is that by the time you are reading this you have found your way to Integrative Medicine. With a more advanced look at your health and cycle we can better help uncover women’s health issues like these from the source of their problem, better helping you eliminate them once and for all.
Commonly, the underlying problem at hand is often one of two hormone imbalances called Estrogen dominance and the other is Progesterone deficiency. These are the important hormones which contribute to a woman’s cycle and overall health. As it turns out having the wrong nutrition for your body type is fairly common cause of this imbalance. Certain people who may be carb sensitive or consume too much saturated fat can lead to excess estrogen storing in the accumulating fat tissue. This can throw off a woman’s cycle with irregular periods but also cause mood issues like anxiety, breast tenderness, and even fibroids. Progesterone deficiency can be caused by the ovaries not secreting or not making Progesterone from conditions like PCOS. Here woman can often have the same or similar symptoms as Estrogen dominance. The best way to understand if this is happening to you is to evaluate your hormones. There are tests now available to the cycling woman which can evaluate your entire cycle and pinpoint the underlying problem at hand. From here we can use lifestyle approaches and natural supplements to help re-achieve hormone balance, your cycle and resolve the true at hand.
Another culprit is environmental toxins. If you consume water out of plastic bottles, reheat your food in synthetic containers, apply excessive amounts of make up, or are exposed to questionable chemicals you could be at risk. All of these mentioned are called xenoestrogens. What this means is that they mimic estrogen in the body as synthetic materials which cause an imbalance between your two dominant hormones estrogen and progesterone. There are also heavy metals like lead cadmium and mercury as well as arsenic which can throw off hormones as well. Whether it’s from consumption of predatory fish or if have amalgam fillings in your teeth or perhaps some childhood exposures you aren’t aware of, these may influence hormone balance.
One way to test to see if you are at risk for this is something called an environmental toxins screen. This will elicit how much your body is metabolizing and urinating out suggestive of recent exposure. From there we can customize a plan based on what your body needs and aid your body‘s natural detox pathways.
You won’t believe the next culprit because it’s so common but it’s stress. Stress tends to throw your hormones into imbalance by suppressing its production and released from the ovaries. Not your day-to-day minimal stressors but rather a chronic state or buildup of it and may come from emotional distress as well. This is why things like yoga, meditation, Tai Chi and Ci Gong have become so popular, because they work to control it. Another one I’m very fond of his MBSR or mindfulness-based stress reduction offered right here at University of Miami. There is ample evidence to this technique which you can take home with you and practice. It helps manage your stress balance which in turn may help regulate hormones and decrease inflammation.
The last common culprit is birth control. This one is starting to become very well-known in our culture because so many women are on it. The literature has shown that birth-control can lower your overall hormones but also throw them out of balance. These synthetic hormones can lead to many changes within a woman’s body we are only now finding out.
There is no need to suffer through this any longer and simply mask symptoms, today we have the medicine and technology to approach women’s health in unprecedented new ways. With a combination of Lifestyle, detox, supplements and occasionally hormone adjustments we utilize the most natural approach to restoring balance to your female cycle and alleviating the several symptoms associated with it.
Dr. Dinetz recommendations:
- Do a cycle mapping test to see where the hormones are
- Thorough bloodwork
- A detailed history and thorough physical exam to help elicit the issue at hand.