Updated: Mar 21
If having unbalanced neurotransmitters weren't enough to make you feel "crazy" or "not yourself", there's one more thing to add to that list.
Day 19: Hormones
The first time women are significantly aware of hormones is in our youth. Ah, yes, puberty. The surge in hormones at this time catapults us into adulthood. Hormones are supposed to stay pretty stable for the majority of our adult years until we reach the age of around 45 - 50. Of course, this isn't always the case. Conditions, such as PCOS, can really send you into a tailspin due to excess production of androgens, and endometriosis due to the excess production of estrogen. For the purpose of this post, I'll stick to typical changes in hormones as we age.
From the ages of 45 - 55, women start the menopausal transition. Symptoms like hot flashes, irritability, weight gain around the stomach, decreased libido, night sweats, all can impact day to day living. Essentially, hormones start to decline from the age of 35 - 45 and then become pronounced after menopause. Progesterone, the hormone associated with calmness, takes a nosedive. Testosterone, our libido hormone (although it also plays a role in heart health and cognitive function) slowly declines. And, estrogen, women's main sex hormone and contributor to bone health, fluctuates in a downward descent. All of these changes lead to the unpleasant symptoms listed above.
Neurotransmitters and hormones all function in an intricate symphony to produce harmony in day to day living. The good news is there are natural remedies to help ease symptoms. This is where a dietitian can assist you as an asset with your health care team. Addressing your day-to-day diet is a good first step. Following tweaks and/or nutrition education, there are several well researched supplements that have been successful in treating symptoms like St. John's Wort and ginseng, to name a few. And, of course, we also have medical-grade supplements to assist in balancing and the repletion of hormones and neurotransmitters.
During our initial health and wellness assessment we go over the need for further testing (neurotransmitters and hormones) so that we can identify your specific profile and markers. Our Medical Director looks at these results, the accompanying comprehensive health and wellness assessment, as well as additional lab work to determine your exact profile and make targeted, specific recommendations. We work back with your primary care physician to ensure that your entire healthcare team is involved and on the same page. Click below to schedule your assessment.
Jen Pfeilfer, MS, APD
Dr. Thomas R. Schneider, Medical Director