Hormonal issues are not just for teenagers and middle age women, in fact, you could be having issues with yours right now. Yes, even if you are a 30 year old man! There are around 50 hormones in the human body, and if you have unexplained fatigue, this is an area worth looking into. Keep in mind though, fatigue is only one of the many things that start going wrong if you have imbalances. Personally, I would look at fatigue as a symptom of something else that could be going wrong within a body system.
Hormones are affected by what you eat, how much exercise you get, how much stress you are under, and our growth and aging processes. Environmental issues also play a role, such as EMF exposure, as do chemicals like fluoride and other toxins.
I’m going to go over just a few, how they can go awry, and how to be tested if you want definitive answers. Similar to my post on genetics, I’ve learned a lot through my own personal experience and working with my clients.
Estrogens, Progesterone, Pregnenolone, DHEA, Cortisol and Testosterone – If these are out of balance, fatigue is one of the many symptoms that set in. If your adrenals are constantly under pressure from mis-managed stress, they will affect these hormones. Again, I feel I must stress that these imbalances can also lead to diseases like cancer. So getting tested is a good idea even if you think your fatigue is the least of your worries. It may be a symptom of something more. Along with getting these levels tested, I also recommend a “cortisol slope” test. If it is high in the morning, this is good…but it should sustain you throughout the day. If you experience afternoon fatigue it may be a sign of adrenal stress. For instance, when I first got tested, mine crashed around 11am. The good news? This can be healed.
There are many reasons for a thyroid that isn’t functioning optimally. It may be that your adrenals are looking to your thyroid too often for help. It may be that you have intestinal permeability (aka: leaky gut syndrome,) gluten is getting through your digestive tract and into the rest of your body where it doesn’t belong. Whatever the cause, make sure that your doctor knows what a full thyroid panel looks like, and is going by functionally optimal numbers. This is quite different from what most doctors were taught in med school. I can point you in the direction of some good resources online if you would like to compare your numbers.
Melatonin and Seratonin:
Often just associated with sleeping and waking, melatonin and seratonin have many functions within the body. Dr. Mercola has a great article on this. Typically we know that people struggle with not being able to sleep due to melatonin deficiencies, however, some have an excess that needs to be regulated. This can affect your energy throughout the day, but can be remedied.
Leptin, Ghrelin, and Insulin:
Typically these hormones are related to food regulation…cause and effect. It is key to understand these hormones when trying to lose weight. For our purposes today, the message is this – any hormone that is produced in the gut, or is related to food intake, is also at the mercy of the nourishment your body is given. Bad nourishment equals hormone dysfunction and low energy. Good nourishment has the opposite effect.
A person whose diet too low in fat will typically have hormonal issues and fatigue. Hormones are created with fat and cholesterol.
This is just touching on some key hormones that play a part in energy production and fatigue. How do you know what is going on in your body? Aside from the blood test for thyroid function, a simple adrenal test will tell you a lot. The latest in adrenal testing is called the DUTCH Test. It’s a dried urine test which is easy to do. It is the most comprehensive test on the market today, surpassing blood and even saliva tests. However, I’ve used saliva testing for great results in the past. Depending on which one your doctor chooses, a personal protocol will be created based on the results. If your doctor isn’t familiar with these tests or doesn’t understand the importance of them, I can point you in the right direction to get the job done.
Next up? Weight. I promise you that it will go beyond the obvious!
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