Hormones in Harmony

Living abundant joy through bio-psycho-spiritual balancing

Location: Ojai, California, United States

Welcome to Hormones in Harmony where I shall share pearls of wisdom gathered over two decades of consulting with the hormonally challenged. As a holistic nurse practitioner specializing in neuro-immune-endocrinology, I have merged my western education with eastern philosophies, but the key to being a successful healer is to embody physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. At 54, married for 32 years with two grown children, I strive to keep my Hormones in Harmony with a positive attitude, a loving environment, and faithful consumption of Genesis Gold.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hormones Affect Your Health

As the interface between the energy of the environment and the matter of your body, hormones affect everything ~ Your moods, your memory, your metabolism.

Your appearance, your aging, your appetite. Your sleep patterns, your stress response, your sex drive. Everything.

When I refer to hormones, I mean all the body’s messengers—the traditional hormones of the endocrine system, the neurotransmitters of the neurological system and the cytokines of the immune system. All of these act as hormones affecting everything we do, everything we feel, everything we think.

Living in today’s fast paced, high-stressed world of the interminable electric light and too many manmade carbohydrates create havoc with our hormones.

Think of the hormones as the software program of the human computer. Many of us are so Hormonally Challenged—sick, aging, tired, or just plain stressed out—that we need a software update.

From Puberty to the Pause

Your hormone story began when you were in your mother’s womb. As a growing fetus your hormones were higher than they will ever be again. All those hormones helped you grow from a tiny zygote to a newborn baby. At birth, you entered a hormonal slump. Although growth occurs, hormones are naturally low in childhood. But at puberty, your hormones entered a fantastic rollercoaster.

First your adrenals started pumping out high levels of DHEA—a hormone needed to metabolize protein and fat for you to grow rapidly. DHEA converted to testosterone and hair began sprouting on your body and you developed body odor. DHEA then converted to estrogen and your breasts budded. A couple years later, your ovaries woke up and you had your first period.

During this time your pancreas began pumping out glucagon to release stored baby fat and insulin to fuel your pubescent growth. A couple years after menarche, your growth hormone levels peaked and you reached your full adult height. Then your thyroid hormone levels reached a plateau to maintain your new young adult metabolism.

Perimenopause follows the same pattern as puberty, but in the opposite direction!

As we came in thus we go out….

First your adrenals falter. Stress greatly affects you and you get tired easily.
Then your ovaries slow down. Your periods become heavier, irregular, you begin skipping periods. You become moody, irritable, and forgetful. Then fat! Because your pancreas is producing more and more insulin to keep up with the Change and eventually you become insulin resistant.

Then your growth hormone levels drop and you just don’t heal as quickly. You do not recover from exercise or a late night out like you did when you were younger. Finally your thyroid slows way down. Why? Because you cannot have a high metabolism with low hormones….you would literally implode.

Hormones Also Affect Your Digestion and Detoxification

We are what we eat…literally. 

We all know that protein builds muscle and that carbohydrates are energy foods, but did you know that every chemical you make, every hormone, every neurotransmitter, every cytokine, all come from nutrients derived from the food you eat? 

If your diet does not provide all the nutrients necessary to run your system, then something has to go…Usually those parts of your body that are not crucial for life--your skin, your hair, your nails.  Your internal health is directly related to your external appearance.

Hormones are made up of protein and fat…specifically cholesterol. In fact, “steroid” hormones are derived from the “sterol” in cholesterol. When you reach middle age and your hormones begin to decline, your cholesterol naturally rises in response. Your liver is just trying to help out your failing ovaries!

Food is digested into protein, fat, and carbohydrates. These macronutrients provide calories and building blocks for new tissues and biochemicals like hormones. Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals that help run the system. If you cannot digest your food properly, break it down into absorbable macronutrients and assimilate it into essential micronutrients, then you cannot produce adequate hormones to remain healthy.

Your liver and kidneys are organs that detoxify your body. They need energy from food (mostly carbohydrates) and essential amino acids (from protein) and essential fatty acids (from fats) to do their job. They also require micronutrients to run the detoxification pathways. It’s an incredibly complicated system -- One that most health care providers ignore.

Years ago I was attending a medical conference. The physician presenter was lecturing on the drug interactions between a blood thinner and Tylenol. After the lecture, I asked: where in the hepatic detoxification pathways were the interactions occurring? When he didn’t answer, I clarified by asking specifically about phase I enzyme interactions versus phase II conjugation issues. As if I was speaking a different language, he said very slowly and very loudly, “I am a lung doctor, not a liver doctor.”

I replied, “Doctor, don’t all your ‘lung’ patients have livers? So wouldn’t it behoove you and your patients to know what detoxification pathways are affected? That way you can advise your patients on what foods, herbs, and supplements to also avoid.”

He shook his head. “I just check their blood levels frequently.”

And his patients are dependent on him not to bleed to death!

Now I know that as a layperson, you probably do not have a clue about the hepatic detoxification pathways but I expected my esteemed colleague to understand. We learned this basic physiology in our undergraduate pre-med training. Yet so few of us utilize knowledge of biochemistry in our clinical practices. And it is SO VERY IMPORTANT!

That’s why as a patient you need to know how your body works so you can make the healthiest choices. Knowledge is power and very well may save your life. 

I keep my Hormones in Harmony™ and optimize my digestion, detoxification and metabolism by taking Genesis Gold®. So even the Pause is just another Joyous Transformation!

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Copyright 2013 DMaragopoulos
For permission to reprint this article please contact Deborah@lovedance.com

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