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Important Hormones

Estrogen

A hormone secreted primarily by the ovaries and the adrenal glands and stored in fat cells, from puberty until menopause. It is responsible for multiple functions throughout the body making the extreme fluctuations in a woman’s estrogen level through her child bearing years and the perimenopausal period (months to years prior to menopause) and the dramatic decrease in estrogen levels at menopause the cause of the majority of symptoms and detrimental health effects women suffer from. Estrogen protects against heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and memory disorders. It also protects against vaginal atrophy, urinary incontinence, and UTI’s. Adequate estrogen provides adequate temperature regulation (prevents hot flashes and night sweats), mood stability, and increased libido. Optimized estrogen levels have the ability to:

  • Increase metabolism
  • Improve insulin sensitivity
  • Prevent muscular damage
  • Regulate body temperature
  • Improve sleep
  • Maintain elasticity of arteries
  • Increase blood flow
  • Decrease plaque in arteries
  • Maintains collagen in skin
  • Has a positive effect on cholesterol levels

Progesterone

A hormone secreted only by the ovary with receptor sites in the uterus, breast, vagina, blood vessels, and brain. It is responsible for protection against breast cancer, coronary artery disease and heart disease. Progesterone works synergistically with estrogen to maintain bone density and reduce plaque build-up in the arteries. It also has an excellent effect on PMS symptoms by decreasing headache, bloating, and irritability. Natural Progesterone can relieve anxiety and act as a natural sleep aid. This hormone is vital to women of all ages.

Optimized Progesterone levels have the ability to:

  • Balance Estrogen
  • Improve sleep
  • Reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms
  • Protect against breast cancer and endometrial cancer
  • Relieve minor inflammation
  • Protect against bone degeneration
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Improve libido

It is extremely important to differentiate natural progesterone from synthetic progestin (Provera, norethindrone, levenogesterol). The medical community uses these two hormones interchangeably and they are NOT. Additional molecules have been added to progestins that results in unfavorable symptoms (weight gain, migraines, and mood swings) and detrimental effects (increased risk of breast cancer, coronary artery disease, and diabetes). RWC chooses to use only natural progesterone to treat our patients.

Testosterone

A hormone secreted by the ovaries, adrenal glands, and testes. It is vital to the health and well-being of both men and women. Testosterone is responsible for maintaining muscle mass, strength, and endurance. It also maintains collagen levels in the skin, improves healing, and enhances libido. Testosterone protects against excess body fat, cardiovascular disease, joint and bone degeneration, and dementia. Testosterone levels decrease with age, leaving a 40 year old woman with half the amount of testosterone she had when she was 20 years old. Optimizing levels of testosterone can have an impact on almost every major body system.

Optimized testosterone levels have the ability to:

  • Improve strength and endurance
  • Decrease body fat
  • Improve lean muscle mass
  • Increases sexual performance and desire
  • Improve healing
  • Maintain memory
  • Improve skin tone
  • Maintain positive lipid profile
  • Increased sense of emotional well-being
  • Maintain bone density

Thyroid Hormone

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located in the neck that is stimulated by the brain to produce hormones (T4). The T4 then converts to the active form of thyroid hormone (T3). Active thyroid hormone (T3) is responsible for temperature regulation, metabolism, cerebral function, and energy. There are over 200 symptoms that can be related to thyroid deficiency (or insufficiency) including weakness, cold, fatigue, loss of energy/motivation, loss of memory/clear thinking, weight gain (inability to lose weight), and a poor sense of well being.

Often times, when a woman has her thyroid tested, she is told it’s “normal” even though her symptoms of low thyroid persist. The most common way to test for thyroid function is to look only at TSH (hormone produced by the brain to stimulate the thyroid) and T4 (the inactive thyroid hormone). By testing, then optimizing the active form of thyroid hormone (T3), women experience the benefit of thyroid hormone through improved symptoms.

Optimized Thyroid (T3) Hormone levels have the ability to:

  • Increase fat breakdown
  • Thicken hair/skin/nails
  • Improve temperature regulation
  • Clear foggy thinking
  • Increase energy
  • Improve ability to loose weight
  • Improve mood and overall sense of well being

DHEA

DHEA is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. It is a precursor to testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. The presence of DHEA results in a shift to an anabolic, or protein building, state. DHEA stimulates the immune system and can decrease the risk of chronic diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. DHEA also plays a vital role in enhancing mood and emotional well-being.

Optimized levels of DHEA have the ability to:

  • Improve well-being
  • Decrease risk of chronic disease (cardiovascular disease and diabetes)
  • Improve bone density
  • Increase energy
  • Restore sexual vitality
  • Improve memory
  • Decrease visceral fat

Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland within the brain. It influences stage IV and REM sleep. The presence of melatonin can improve sleep patterns including the depth and quality of sleep. Melatonin has a positive effect on the immune system and possesses anti-oxidant properties. The combination of improving sleep pattern and boosting immune function makes melatonin a vital supplement to overall well-being.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin which can be consumed, but also a hormone which is produced in the body as a result of sun exposure. There are vitamin D receptors throughout the body including the bones, brain, breasts, intestines, and immune system, thus making adequate levels of vitamin D vital to good health. Vitamin D aids in bone mineralization, phosphorus and calcium absorption, insulin release, and thyroid function. Optimal levels of vitamin D play a role in disease prevention including osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.

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