Dr. Kelley’s approach to hormone balancing has changed over the years. Instead of focusing solely on identifying sex hormone and thyroid hormone deficiencies and replacing those hormones, she also looks at underlying causes and ways to bring the body in balance. Some of these contributing underlying causes include toxicity, GI dysfunction, inflammation, stress, nutritional deficiencies and insulin resistance.
Hormones are chemical messengers that are secreted directly into the blood, which carries them to organs and tissues of the body to exert their functions. When a hormone binds to a cell, this triggers a set of cellular responses. Hormones are potent. There are many types of hormones that act on different aspects of bodily functions and processes. Some of the classes or hormones include:
- Thyroid hormones
- Sex hormones
- Adrenal hormones-Cortisol and DHEA
- Hormones like insulin, leptin and glucagon which regulate carbohydrate and fat metabolism
- Growth hormone- This hormone is important for maintaining lean muscle mass, energy and good sleep
Our hormone assessment evaluates these different classes of hormones in order to help you get your body in balance.
Thyroid and Adrenal Hormones
The foundational hormones are thyroid hormone and adrenal hormones. When they are out of balance, it is difficult to balance the sex hormones. There is a significant amount of debate regarding the appropriate way to assess thyroid hormone function. In the past, doctors assessed thyroid status clinically using symptoms and basal body temperature. Now that we are able to check the different thyroid hormone blood levels, most doctors are trained to only focus on those numbers. Our doctor evaluates symptoms, history as well as a comprehensive thyroid lab panel. The American Academy of Anti-aging medicine has determined optimal levels of hormones which may different from the traditional values. Many of our patients have benefited from this type of approach. Adrenal testing can be performed with saliva or blood. Our modern lives are very stressful. It is not uncommon for our patients to present with adrenal dysfunction. Cortisol and DHEA are two adrenal hormones that need to be balanced appropriately. Testing can be done but addressing underlying causes may be of more benefit. Common conditions that stress the adrenals include toxin exposure, insulin resistance, gut inflammation as well as emotional stressors.
Bioidentical sex hormones are hormones that have the same structure as those produced naturally by the body. Sex hormone levels can decline with aging. This can occur in women and men. Perimenopause and menopause occur in women resulting in changes in estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels. These conditions became highly publicized when Oprah and Suzanne Somers revealed to the public that these hormones have improved their lives. Common symptoms of sex hormone imbalances in women include hot flashes, mental fogginess, low libido and vaginal dryness.are
Men can experience a decline in testosterone levels associated with low testosterone such as lack of motivation, difficulty building muscle, depression and sexual issues. This condition is called Low T, Manopause or Andropause.
Because bioidentical sex hormones have the same structure as the hormones produced naturally, they are easier for the body to recognize. Hormones need to bind to receptors on cell membranes in order for them to work. If you think of a hormone receptor as a lock, bioidentical hormones fit into that lock and bind easily to their receptors.
The main sex hormones which are present in men and women include estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. Estrogen is the dominant sex hormone that makes women feminine. Testosterone is the main sex hormone that makes men masculine. The goal with bioidentical sex hormone replacement is to restore hormone levels and increase vitality and health without increasing the risk of cancer and other disease.
When considering taking bioidentical hormones, it is very important to optimize nutrition, manage stress and work on emotional issues. These hormones can help many men and women, but should be part of a comprehensive plan to achieve health, vitality and balance. It is not advised to use them without addressing all aspects of healing.
To get started, you will have an hour long consultation with Dr. Kelley to review your symptoms, family history and to determine the lab testing you need. We have modified our program and recommend that everyone perform a 14 day detoxification program prior to starting on bioidentical hormones. The liver is an important organ for breaking down and eliminating hormones. If it is overworked and congested, you are more susceptible to excessive hormone stimulation in the tissues. Our goal is balance.
Options of pills,creams, troches or pellets may be discussed. Once starting on hormones, most patients feel a benefit after a few weeks of bioidentical hormone therapy. Improved energy, improved sleep and fewer hot flashes and a restored sense of vitality are common. Men note that they feel more vital, strong and libido increases.
Books that discuss sex hormone balancing
Suzanne Somer’s books “The Sexy Years” and ” Breakthrough” detail her experience with bioidentical hormones and anti-aging medicine. We are proud to be listed in the Resources section of “Breakthrough”, “The Sexy Years’ and “Ageless”.
The book, Testosterone for Life, written by Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, a Urology professor at Harvard discusses Andropause and the safety of testosterone replacement in men.
Human Growth Hormone
Growth hormone declines from our mid 30s on. If you have ever had a head injury, you may have low growth hormone. Growth hormone supports healthy body composition and retains lean muscle. We offer a medical food that helps you to release more of your growth hormone. Typically after being on this program for 3 months there is a 5.37% gain in muscle mass without any change in diet and exercise habits. Our doctor believes that this is safer than injectable HGH.
To learn more about our hormone balancing programs contact us at (770)649-0094 by text or phone.
Commonly asked Questions about Hormone visits