Understanding how these hugely misunderstood molecules determine your fate & wellbeing
Most people today think about hormones as a feminine topic that revolves around mood and reproductive cycles/patterns. Some males think hormones are about their sexual vitality and muscular strength and proudly proclaim “my hormones are working fine!”
I decided to write about hormones today as it probably affects EVERY adult in our society today. At the PRIME of your life, hormones would be the BIGGEST thing to look at for overall wellbeing.
What Are Hormones Really?
Hormones are essentially chemical messenger molecules that transport a signal from one cell to another. Whilst there are countless of hormones in the body, there are a few which MUST be in balance and optimised. These include cortisol, thyroid hormones, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and other androgens e.g. DHEA. Very important hormones to also consider in the overall picture to vibrant health are insulin and vitamin D. Neurohormones such as dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline are also an intrinsic part of this hormonal balance picture.
Note that many of the hormones mentioned are sex hormones. And we need to understand that sex hormones are really health hormones – and has nothing to do with lust and other negative connotations. We have to start getting this right!
Why Are Hormones So Important?
From the “sex hormones are health hormones” equation, you can already guess that hormones are fundamental to vibrant health. For example, progesterone does a lot for women what testosterone does for men, from cancer prevention to bone preservation, diabetes prevention and much more.
Having sufficient hormones IN BALANCE brings you joy and the ability to be resilient and calm even in the most stressful situations; increases your confidence, willpower, and compassion; helps you to sleep well, feel energetic and be grateful about life and stay positive. Of course, hormones are the ultimate “beauty or hunk” molecules which help keep you fit, lean and in shape … and just plain’ol looking good!
People who are “transgenders” generally use hormones of the opposite sex – which is a clear testament that they make you “more of a man” or “more of a woman”. You’ll find incredible mental, emotional and physical performance when your hormones are sufficient and in balance.
In fact, hormonal balance may very well be the deciding factor between whether you get that job promotion or not; live till above 100 without disease or get a sudden cardiac arrest at 60; lead a positive and happily married live VS getting divorced and having frequent arguments within the family. Hormonal balance is definitely the recipe for a better world!
A study of successful and prominent male individuals found that they all have high testosterone levels – which also correlates to confidence, compassion and willpower. Without hormonal balance, your ability to relax, be happy, to successfully reproduce, and your libido levels will all be low. I can’t emphasise enough the importance of getting our hormones in check.
Why Existing Treatments May Not Be Optimal
The current paradigm of treating hormonal problems by conventional doctors is focused on synthetic hormones which aren’t the actual hormones naturally produced and required in the body. These synthetic hormones occupy hormone cell receptors and prevent the actual hormones from entering and hence prevent their messages to be sent, causing more hormonal havoc.
Drugs like Premarin® and Prempro® are commonly prescribed for females facing hormonal-related challenges and these are derived from horse’s urine. If you do your homework, you will find that these drugs have been linked to cancers, deaths, accelerated ageing, agony and health damage. This is also why Prempro® maker Pfizer faced about 10,000 lawsuits and committed more than US$1.2 billion to settle all the legal problems they face. Although this is nothing for a multi-billion dollar company who would have already made a fortune from this drug alone, imagine the amount of people who have been made to suffer.
There are a very tiny handful of conscious integrative medical doctors who practise hormone testing and prescribing bioidentical hormones instead. These are safe to use and under their professional guidance with constant monitoring through hormone testing, people do get good results. However, doing hormone testing is expensive and to continuous testing would price many people out.
Another drawback of bioidentical hormones ALONE is that it will cause the body’s natural hormonal production systems to be sluggish as it now has an external source of hormones flooding the body and sees no need to produce more. This really means that someone will need to rely on them for life.
Don’t get me wrong though – many of the people in their fifties and beyond who use bioidentical hormones for life look great, feel great and often even swear by their hormones. But unless you can keep up with the expenses, this is not the ultimate, naturalist, and end point to look at.
Bioidentical hormones do have its place for people who have reached an age where their glandular and hormonal production systems have become sluggish. It also has its place for boosting someone’s wellbeing or say, robustly augment their battle against a disease e.g. cancer or diabetes. They can come in the form of micronised tablets for oral or sublingual consumption (oral less effective!), suppositories, or more commonly, in the form of transdermal creams. Some people opt for periodic jabs as well and this is effective as part of a disease prevention and longevity protocol.
However, and I say this with absolute certainty, that unless your own life is in balance i.e. your diet, lifestyle, relationships, career, stress levels and so on are well managed, using bioidentical hormones alone will not give you the optimal wellbeing you seek. This is because we undergo changes throughout our lives and the balance often shifts to various extremes, and this creates varying hormonal needs. Again, unless one is willing to continuously test their hormone levels and let their doctor adjust the proportions of hormones after each test for administration, it’s not going to be easy.
There is a huge difference between working on the overall, holistic picture of health from within and then supporting it with hormones versus relying only on hormones to feel unstoppable but yet emptiness within exists. It is really a superficial way to treat yourself.
For men, they may take a testosterone jab to feel unstoppable, but if they choose to be aggressive in behaviour, and are cognitively focusing a lot on sexual needs, then they are going to be very off balance and at best only find physical satisfaction with their lives. On a more serious note, at a quantum level, the body might not be able to adapt to all the changes, emotional, spiritual and mental requirements – and even with the hormones making you biochemically stronger, you will feel a strong disconnection – almost like someone who is masking their problems with alcohol.
Finally, there are 2 more big reasons that I want to emphasise which might prevent bioidentical hormones from fully working the way they should:
1. Estrogen Dominance
This is what most doctors, nutritionists and natural health practitioners miss out in the hormone picture. Virtually ALL adults face this problem today be it men or women. You don’t need to look like a female to accumulate bad estrogens from alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs, xenoestrogens, metalloestrogens and mycoestrogens. This compounds to the existing and naturally-occurring estrogens that accumulate with age.
Estrogen dominance is a predictor of many diseases and fatalities especially when it is UNOPPOSED by say, progesterone or testosterone. If you inhale household products’ fumes, use non-organic skincare and personal care, eat non-organic foods which contain all forms of chemicals and pesticides, eat the common, commercial meats out there injected with artificial hormones or seafood that contain metalloestrogens, drink off plastic bottles (xenoestrogens) and so on, then estrogen dominance will affect you to a certain degree.
If you eat too much estrogenic foods like soy and flax seeds, it will further exacerbate this problem! It is because of estrogen dominance that we are developing cancers much faster, have infertility and many other diseases! These bad estrogens again, when in excess, occupy our hormone cell receptor sites that were meant for the other important hormones, causing imbalances and wreaking havoc on our health.
Estrogen dominance also triggers the release of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) which binds to estrogens and androgens like testosterone. The problem here is, they don’t really bind to many of the estrogenic substances that are not naturally occurring in the body – and what happens is that the natural estrogens and other important hormones like testosterone get bound and are not biologically active to do its work. This is a double whammy to our health and accelerates ageing multi-fold!
2. Hormone Resistance
Hormone Resistance occurs when the body itself is not responding even when you know and have tested for your hormones in say, your blood, and find that the levels are correct. So what happens is that you have sufficient levels of the right hormones in the body, but they are actually not occupying the hormone cell receptor sites and just circulating in the blood. So doctors who test your blood, saliva and urine may tell you that you are fine, but you just don’t feel fine!
Whilst estrogen dominance and high levels of SHBG can result in hormone resistance, in itself hormone resistance may be a result of a multitude of factors which are often prevalent as one ages. It may range from the hormone receptors on the cell nucleus being jammed, impediment of circulation and more. Sometimes, all it takes is a single herb to “flip open” the hormone receptors so that the hormones can enter again – restoring health.
It all sounds complex at first, but once you start to get it, it becomes easy to design your life for optimal hormonal health. At our talks and nutritional counselling services, we share a whole protocol that teaches people techniques and a set of lifestyle, dietary and exercise tips that help support the overall hormone health regime – which requires the careful selection of herbs and nutrients that help eliminate the unwanted or excess hormones i.e. the bad estrogens, and increase the natural production of good hormones.
Depending on individual responses, there might be an intermediate introduction of additional nutritional interventions that help “flip open” the hormone receptors. For some cases, we work closely with trusted practitioners to clear bio-energetic pathways and to get closer to homeostasis (a state of balance), or an integrative medical doctor who can prescribe bioidentical hormones.
Once you get your hormonal song right – life will be a beautiful melody – I guarantee you that 🙂