Restore healthy hormone balance naturally

There are over 100 hormones made in your body that control stress, metabolism, blood sugar, blood pressure, fat retention, sleep, and the list goes on and on.  A hormones is chemical that the body makes that serve as a trigger which activates the cells in your body to perform certain activities specific to that hormone.

Of all the hormones there are three that are of particular interest when it comes to issues of stress, moods and weight control.

Cortisol

Cortisol is made in the adrenal glands (two small glands that sit atop the kidneys).  Cortisol is involved with chronic stress.  Too much of it will elevate blood sugar and blood pressure and cause fat to accumulate around the waist.  Elevated cortisol also leads to anxiety and insomnia.

Chiropractic is a great way to relieve internal stress on the body and help lower cortisol levels.  In addition you’ll want to decrease your caffeine intake (not just coffee, but soda as well), decrease your alcohol and increase your food sources vitamin-C from things like oranges and broccoli.  Vitamin-C inhibits the production of cortisol and therefore helps the body combat stress.

Estrogen

Estrogen is actually three hormones: estradiol and the less active forms of estrone  and estriol. Estrogens are made in the ovaries and not only give rise to physical female characteristics in the body, but also support healthy skin, bone strength, fertility and mood.  We can determine your estrodiol levels with a blood test.

Chemicals in our environment and food are a big problem when it comes to estrogen.  Certain skin, hair and cleaning products contains chemicals that increase estrogen to harmful levels and increase disease risk.  Plastic containers containing BPA (bisphenol-a) used to make baby bottles, water bottles and food containers can mimic estrogen in the body and possibly increase risk for imbalance in this hormone and possibly for estrogen related cancers.

Also, to minimize toxic estrogen in the body avoid processed soy products (and processed foods in general).  Soy is estrogenic, meaning it mimics estrogen in the body.  Certain foods can help lower toxic estrogen including apples, beans, oats and green leafy vegetables.  Foods like black olives, apples and onions contain flavinols which inhibit testosterone from converting to estrogen.

The spinal nerve supply to the ovaries can experience interference from spinal subluxation.  We have seen many cases of hormonal imbalance and infertility resolved when the nerve system is unblocked with specific chiropractic adjustments.

Thyroid

The thyroid is one of the larger glands in the body and it sits right in the front of the neck.  It makes two hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).  The thyroid is the master gland of energy and metabolism.  Elevated thyroid hormone levels lead to excessive weight loss, anxiety, high blood pressure and anxiety and moodiness.  An early sign of elevated thyroid is a kind of “bug-eyed” appearance.  We can test TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), T4 and T3 with a blood test.

exophthalmia

Exophthalmia from over-active thyroid

Low thyroid hormone levels can lead to weight gain, fatigue, depression, thinning hair (which often begins on the outer 1/3 of the eyebrows) and skin problems.

Minerals in the diet, especially selenium, iodine and zinc, are extremely important for a healthy thyroid.  Soy products interfere with thyroid function because they contain <em>phytic acid</em> which blocks mineral absorption in the intestine.  Important minerals for the thyroid are found in nuts like cashews and brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, yogurt, beef, lamb, pork and salmon.

You can do a little self-check and feel the front of your neck for enlargement, nodules or sensitivity.  Any of these findings along with any of the above symptoms can be a reason to have your thyroid checked further.

There have also been findings that people that have experienced a whiplash injury (for example from a car accident, a fall or a sports injury) are more likely to develop thyroid problems.  The nerves that supply the thyroid (the superior laryngeal nerve and recurrent laryngeal nerve) pass through the cervical region may be subject to pressure or irritation leading to hyper- or hypo-thyroid problems.  Chiropractic care may be an important part of restoring and maintaining good thyroid health.