Hormones are very important communicators in the body relaying messages (usually from the brain) to target tissues elsewhere. Hormones are usually transported by two transporting proteins (albumin or globulin) to target organs or tissues with specific receptor sites. Blood tests can determine if there is enough of the two transport proteins.
It is important to have target tissues or organs so a specific hormone with an important message does not send that message to all tissues. If there are free hormones (not bound to these proteins) many tissues and organs will inadvertently react where they should not react to these hormones.
There are many reasons why hormones can become dysfunctional and unless those reasons are resolved the hormone effect will be undesirable usually resulting in illness or disease.
Standard Hormone Treatment
The usual treatment for hormone dysfunction or a low level of a particular hormone is hormone replacement. The two types of hormone replacement are utilizing synthetic or natural hormones. Both types of hormone replacement therapies have their downsides but with either one the real underlying cause of hormone dysfunction or hormone related illness is not being addressed.
Ultimately hormones may need to be replaced but if the underlying cause is not addressed the hormone related illness will not be resolved long term resulting in chronic illness.
The true underlying causes of hormone dysfunction
Before discussing the underlying causes of hormone dysfunction here are the more prominent hormones we are considering:
- Adrenal hormones
- Thyroid hormones
- Kidney directed hormones
- Gut directed hormones
- Blood sugar / Pancreatic hormones
- Brain directed hormones
There are other hormones but these are the significant ones which cause the major health issues when disrupted.
What Disrupts Hormones
There are quite a number of disruptors that will cause hormone dysfunction, hormone related disease or illness.
The communication from the brain to the hormone target tissue is a gland complex in the brain called the hypothalamus- pituitary (HPA). This HPA control center can be disrupted by toxicity (eg fluoride or heavy metals), structural imbalances, brain dysfunction or low sensitivity of the Hypothalamic – Pituitary to the hormone feedback loop.
The HPA complex must be the first issue to be addressed with hormone disruption (see HPA product at end of this blog for balancing this control center). Other disruptors of the hormone /endocrine system that should be corrected before any hormone manipulation are:
- Toxicity – toxicity with hormones can even result in autoimmune disease
- Inflammation- reducing overall body inflammation which disrupts not only the brain but the HPA and all target organs for the hormones
- Stress- stress from emotional, nutritional, pain and poor sleep issues will all cause release of cortisol from the adrenals. Cortisol significantly disrupts hormones
- Poor liver detoxification will not clear used hormones, which in turn continue to interact with target organs past their usefulness
- The use of synthetic hormones will eventually disrupt hormone balance
- Over secretion of some hormones causes the tissue receptor sites to no longer respond (e.g. insulin resistance results from constant sugar intake that causes insulin release by the pancreas)
- Hormone gland exhaustion- this usually occurs with the adrenals
These are the common causes of hormone disruption and resulting disease. The most effective treatments for hormone disruption is to remove the underlying cause (e.g. decrease cortisol or inflammation, detoxify, improve liver removal of old hormones) and supply the raw nutrients for the endocrine system to reset itself.
All this should be done before even considering replacement of hormones unless hormone replacement is short term (no more than a couple of weeks) so that the underlying causes can be rectified.
Some of the products that help balance hormones will be products that decrease inflammation, balance the HPA, detoxify the liver, decrease cortisol and utilizing products that re-sensitize the target organs to the hormones.
Remember to enjoy the journey,