By Justin Pearce, D.C. | Millpond Integrative Health and Wellness Center
Being “hormonal” is no joke, especially when you begin to understand the pivotal role hormones play in the day-to-day functioning of your body.
What are hormones? They are specialized chemicals created and secreted within the body by structures called glands, which comprise the endocrine system. Hormones are chemical messengers, controlling various body functions: growth, fertility, metabolism, sleep, immunity, and even mood.
Major players in the endocrine system include the pituitary, hypothalamus, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, pineal, testes/ovaries and pancreas. The pituitary gland, located within the brain, serves as the “master” gland, producing hormones that travel throughout the bloodstream to the other glands, causing them to produce, or stop producing, hormones.
It may surprise you to learn that, despite our obvious physical differences, men and women have basically the same endocrine system, and that it functions in basically the same way regardless of your gender. The difference between us lies in the ratios of hormones to one another and how the male/female body reacts to hormones.
For example, the pituitary gland releases luteinizing hormone. In men, this hormone stimulates testosterone production. In women, it triggers the release of eggs for fertilization. In women, follicle-stimulating hormone causes egg development; in men it promotes sperm
Another hormone made by the pituitary, adrenocorticotropin, stimulates cortisol production, a hormone responsible for maintaining blood pressure and blood glucose levels. Cortisol is responsible for our “fight-or-flight” response when under stress.
Keeping it in balance
The 50-some hormones in the human body work together in a delicate balance that is, unfortunately, all too easily disturbed by stress, environmental toxins, poor nutrition, aging, pain and irregular sleep patterns.
In men, symptoms of hormonal imbalance include:
• Weight gain
• Cognitive difficulties
• Lower libido/sexual performance
• Muscle wasting
In women, symptoms include:
• Bloating/weight gain
• Decreased libido
• Hair loss
• Breast tenderness
• Irregular heartbeat
• Mood swings
• Trouble concentrating
Understanding what your hormones are up to is important … and can help guide you in making changes that will help you enjoy life more, have more energy and live longer. The first step is
accurately measuring hormone levels and
interpreting test results.
Millpond Integrative Health and Wellness Center, 3650 Boston Road, Lexington, is the area’s leader
in holistic, integrative healthcare, offering
regenerative therapy, chiropractic care, integrative nutrition and functional lab testing, including DUTCH testing (Dried Urine Testing for
“There are any number of ways medicine has attempted to measure hormone levels,” said
Dr. Justin Pearce, “all of which have been problematic.” Blood testing can only measure hormone levels at the time the blood was drawn. Because hormone levels are known to vary throughout the day, multiple blood draws would be required at various times of the day.
“No one wants to submit to blood draws every three to four hours,” he noted, “to say nothing about the expense that would be involved.” Further, this type of testing does not measure hormone metabolites – the chemicals that result when hormones are used by the body.
Traditional 24-hour urine sampling measures both hormones and metabolites but is messy and inconvenient. “Most people don’t relish the idea of storing urine in their refrigerator for a day or dragging a gallon of urine into the office for testing,” Dr. Pearce noted.
DUTCH addresses those issues by capturing urine samples on special filter paper, which is then dried for analysis. “It is the most convenient and comprehensive way of measuring both hormone levels and metabolites,” Dr. Pearce said, “and we are proud to offer this innovative testing methodology at Millpond.”
As a Wellness Way affiliate, Millpond Integrative Health and Wellness Center specializes in helping men and women understand what their hormones are doing – and how to get things back in balance.
Millpond uses an all-natural approach, with no drugs and no hormone replacements. Our method focuses on getting the whole body back into balance using the nervous system, medicinal herbs, nutritional counseling, detox and lifestyle changes
“If you’ve been feeling out of sorts, tired, or uncomfortable and you’ve been unable to pin down the cause, it may be time to look into your hormones,” Dr. Pearce suggested. “We at Millpond can help you get back to a healthier, happier, more fit you.”
For more information, or to schedule an appointment for a consultation, please call Millpond at (859) 208-0035.
Millpond Integrative Health and Wellness Center