david r md

 

Hormones play an extremely important role in our overall physiology and well-being.  Listed below are some symptoms which can occur when there are deficiencies or imbalances in the following six key hormones:  estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, human growth hormone (HGH), DHEA, and thyroid hormone.

 

Estrogen:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Increased perspiration
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Thinning hair
  • Decrease in skin thickness
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Lowering of libido
  • Increase/darkening of facial hair
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Osteoporosis
  • Urinary tract problems

 

During a woman’s perimenopausal years, her levels of estrogen begin to decline, until she eventually reaches menopause, which is the cessation of ovulation and menstruation, and not having had a period for at least one year.  The sometimes unpleasant symptoms of perimenopause and menopause can often be dramatically relieved by an individualized program of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.  Bio-identical simply means a hormone that is, molecule for molecule, exactly identical to what is produced naturally by the body.  In the case of bio-identical estrogen, Dr. Allen will often prescribe a transdermal cream which is compounded with 80% estriol and 20% estradiol, which should be applied as directed, usually once or twice a day.  Estrogen can also be administered via pellets placed under the skin in a simple, in-office procedure.   The dose is individually determined after blood testing for current levels, and then careful follow-up and monitoring of estrogen levels and symptom resolution/management during treatment.  The goal is always to use the lowest possible dose that produces optimal results.

 

Progesterone:

  • PMS
  • Nervousness and/or anxiety
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Irritability
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain and cramping)
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Swelling of fingers and/or feet

 

Bio-identical progesterone is often prescribed for relief of PMS symptoms in pre-menopausal women.  It is also an essential part of any estrogen replacement therapy, as it counteracts any potential “estrogen dominance” and minimizes the risk of endometrial cancer in women who are taking estrogen.  There is also some evidence that indicates that bio-identical progesterone, when given as part of estrogen therapy,  may improve a woman’s lipid and cholesterol profiles as well as lessening the severity of exercise-induced myocardial ischemia.  It can be given as a transdermal cream, as well as in capsule form.

 

Testosterone:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of muscle mass and strength
  • Weight gain
  • Low libido
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED) (men)
  • Depression
  • Moodiness, irritability
  • Brittle bones
  • Increased blood sugar levels (men)

 

As a man ages, his testosterone level begins to decrease, which can  lead to the onset of many of the unpleasant symptoms listed above.  Dr. Allen frequently prescribes testosterone replacement therapy (either by injection or with a transdermal cream), along with carefully targeted nutritional supplementation, to help restore a healthy level of this key hormone.  As with estrogen, testosterone can also be administered via pellets placed under the skin in a simple, in-office procedure.

Testosterone replacement applies for women as well!  Women need testosterone, albeit in much smaller amounts.  Careful balancing of this hormone in women can increase energy levels, preserve bone and muscle structure, and improve the libido.

 

Human Growth Hormone (HGH):

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Thinning hair
  • Loss of elasticity of skin
  • Weight gain, particularly in abdominal area
  • Thinning skin
  • Loss of muscle mass, tone and strength

 

Produced in the pituitary gland, growth hormone is a peptide hormone that stimulates growth, cell reproduction and regeneration in humans.  A carefully-tailored, individualized dose of HGH, injected six times a week can often produce such beneficial effects as:

  • Reduced body fat
  • Increased lean muscle mass
  • Increased bone density
  • Improved lipid profile
  • Reduced cardiovascular risk factors
  • Improved mood and sense of well-being

 

DHEA:

DHEA is the hormone that the body uses to make other hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone; as such, it is often termed the “mother hormone”.  Deficiencies and/or imbalances in this important hormone can produce a very wide variety of symptoms, a few of which are listed below:

  • Dryness of skin and hair
  • Loss of muscle strength and tone
  • Excess abdominal fat
  • Low libido
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Osteoporosis

 

By taking DHEA, you can increase the levels of various hormones naturally, letting the body  produce what it needs at any given time.  It is important to take DHEA under a physician’s supervision, with proper monitoring of all related hormone levels.

 

THYROID HORMONES:

Deficiencies and/or imbalances in these key hormones can produce literally dozens of symptoms.  Here are a few of the most common in hypothyroidism, or low thyroid:

  • Sensitivity to cold, especially in the hands and feet, particularly in the evening
  • Puffiness of the face upon arising
  • Weight gain
  • Dryness of skin
  • Fatigue, particularly in the morning
  • Constipation
  • Stiffness and pain in one’s joints, particularly in the morning
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Rough, dry, brittle, sparse hair
  • Hair loss
  • Low body temperature, readings of 97 degrees or less, taken upon arising three mornings in a row
  • Cold and heat intolerance
  • Depression
  • Slowed-down thought and movement in general, lethargy
  • Bloating
  • Hypoglycemia
  • High cholesterol and triglycerides

 

Hyperthyroidism, or high/too much thyroid, is a much rarer condition, with a few of the most common symptoms below:

  • Sudden, unexplained weight loss, not due to dieting, for instance
  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), or pounding heart (palpitations)
  • Increased appetite
  • Nervousness, anxiety and irritability
  • Tremor, usually in hands or fingers
  • Sweating
  • Increased sensitivity to heat
  • Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
  • Fine, brittle hair
  • Thinning of skin
  • Bulging or protruding eyeballs

 

 

LECTURES & PRESENTATIONS

Dr. Allen gives free lectures at the Library three to four times each year, on topics of interest from the cutting edge of integrative medicine.  If you would like to be added to our mailing list for these lectures and his other speaking engagements, please email da@davidallenmd.com.

BLOG FEED