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Hormonal Imbalance As Part of the Aging Process

adult-affection-baby-302083When men and women reach their middle years, generally after age 35, the sex hormone levels begin to decline. This can result in many symptoms such as decreased sex drive, decreased stamina, poor sleep, difficulty controlling weight, and decreased mental concentration. Some symptoms may be quite severe, such as hot flashes, night sweats, painful intercourse/vaginal dryness, migraine headaches and depressed mood. Many people will notice the onset of aches and pains in the joints.

Replenishing the hormone levels to those typically found in the mid-30’s relieves these symptoms and gives protection for health problems commonly seen with aging as well. When estrogen and testosterone levels (and progesterone for women) are optimized, the body can build normal bone, and prevent the development of osteoporosis. A healthy and beneficial cholesterol balance is maintained with higher HDL levels and lower LDL and triglyceride levels, which lowers risk of cholesterol plaque formation in the arteries. Insulin sensitivity is improved through the presence of testosterone and increase in muscle mass and metabolic rate. This leads to better control of type II Diabetes Mellitus.

For women, menstrual problems of heavy and/or frequent periods are controlled with optimization of the hormones.

There are several different ways to go about replenishing the sex hormones estradiol and testosterone. First, the hormones must be given safely. This means they must be the same as the hormones that are naturally present in the human body, or “bio-identical” to human hormones. Secondly, they must be given a safe route of administration that does not require the use of the digestive system. Of the methods available, the subcutaneous (beneath the skin) placement of hormone pellets has been the most consistent in producing optimal blood levels and symptom relief for sustained periods of time.

Women typically get relief of symptoms for 3-4 months before replacement pellets are needed. Thus, women need only 3-4 procedures per year to maintain healthy hormone levels. Men typically get relief for 5-6 months, resulting in only about 2 procedures per year.

At Health Quest we are a multi-specialty clinic and have different ways of dealing with not only hormonal imbalances but with counteracting the effects of the aging process in general. The following services are offered at our clinic:

1. BioTe Hormone Replacement Pellet Therapy

Determining a patient’s suitability for pellet therapy and their individual hormone doses are done at a consultation visit with a full physical examination, followed by a panel of blood work. After discussing results, he or she is scheduled for their first pellet insertion Once the hormone pellets are in place, they require about 3 days to start releasing hormones into the bloodstream. Patients begin to feel relief within the next 4 weeks, often feeling significantly better after only 7 days. Lab tests are drawn 4-6 weeks after placement of the first pellets. This is to check if the pellet dose has given the expected blood levels of estradiol and testosterone required to impart the multiple benefits of healthy hormone levels.

 2. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient healing art started in China over 4000 years ago. The premise of acupuncture is based on meridians (or pathways of energy) that run throughout the body. When a practitioner of acupuncture places needles into the body, they are placing those needles on key points along those meridians in order to manipulate that energy in order to promote healing in the body. Acupuncture is very effective at treating hormonal imbalances and restoring overall function to the body. We can perform acupuncture protocols to deal with hormone related issues such as menopause, pre-menstrual syndrome, etc. These particular protocols involve a specialized form of acupuncture called auriculotherapy. Auriculotherapy is a system of treating the body by stimulating points on the outside of the ear in order to promote healing in the body. Where the needles are placed depends on the condition being treated. There is a map of the human body on the outside of the ear that can be stimulated normally with either needles or electrical stimulation. In our menopause example, 6 points are stimulated including points representing the ovaries and uterus.

3. Chiropractic Care

Regular adjustments are key to good health. Your brain controls and coordinates all the body parts and the organs in relation to its environment. In order to function properly, you have to have 100% of the nerve supply coming from your brain into the body at all times. Chiropractic care removes interference in the nervous system by realigning the spine and other joints in the body.

There are a few things that you can do at home in order to help promote good hormonal balance and mitigate the effects of the aging process.

1. Good nutrition

We each turn over new cells at the rate of 30 million new cells every minute. That’s 500,000 new cells every second. We are constantly in a state of regeneration from the moment you are born to the moment you die. And we build these new cells by the nutrients that we take in. So it is vitally important that we are picky about what we place in our bodies. The first thing you can do is to make sure you are consuming an adequate amount of protein at each meal. Protein provides essential amino acids that your body can’t make on your own and stimulates the release of hormones that make you feel full faster and for longer. You also want to stay away from high amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates. In addition to being associated with a lot of health problems – these foods increase insulin output leading to insulin resistance over time which can lead to diabetes. So stay away from sugar and foods such as white bread and pretzels. Finally, you want to strive to eat healthy fats. Healthy fats reduce insulin resistance and help stimulate the release of hormones that make you feel full and satiated. Healthy fats include coconut oil, olive oil and generally oil from nuts.

2. Exercise

Because our hormone levels decline with age, it becomes more and more important to exercise as we age. Your body needs this kind of stimulation in order to maintain the various systems in the body and keep you functioning at an optimum level.  Let’s use walking as an example. Walking causes compression of the joints, which causes the body to increase calcium production. This increase in calcium increases your bone mass in addition to muscle mass. There are many options when it comes to exercises but as you can see simply walking can be one important way to decrease the effects of the aging process.

3. Positive Mental Attitude

A good healthy or mental or spiritual outlook on life is very important to physical health because mental or emotional stress leads to break down of the body and eventually disease. It actually causes a physiological change in the body that leads to damage on a cellular level. So being happy not only feels good – it’s good for your physical health as well!

If you or someone you know is suffering from age-related health issues and/or hormonal imbalances, we may be able to help you at Health Quest through chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture or family medicine. Call us today to schedule an evaluation at 573-635-9655.

Yours in health,

Dr. Ted Tang D.C.


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