Our bodies depend on many different hormones to function properly. Many factors influence hormone function, including nutrition, disease, stress, and aging.
Although hormones are made in many different parts of the body, they act together in what we call a “hormonal symphony”. Because of this, having too much or too little of any given hormone can have far reaching effects on other body systems and ultimately on how we feel.
That is why maintaining a hormonal balance is so essential to well being. Just replacing one hormone that is low does not necessarily solve the problem, and often results in feeling worse.
Symptoms from different hormone imbalances can also often overlap:
- Memory loss/lack of concentration
- Weight gain
- Food cravings
- Changes in libido
- Hair loss
- Dry skin/ increased wrinkles
- Brittle hair and nails
- Changes in skin pigmentation
- Difficulty sleeping
- Decreased muscle mass
- Aching joints
- Anxiety/depression/mood swings
For these reasons, a comprehensive evaluation is the first step to feeling better. Often, once the cause of the hormonal imbalance is addressed (stress, nutritional deficiencies, illness, lack of sleep) your hormones rebalance naturally. Sometimes hormonal support or replacement is indicated, including:
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)
BHRT is helpful for both men and women suffering from symptoms of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, or DHEA imbalances. These plant-derived hormones are chemically and biologically identical to the hormones produced naturally in your body. Bio-identical hormones are most commonly associated with the treatment of menopause and low testosterone or andropause, but they have many other uses as well. A careful evaluation and hormone testing can reveal what therapy is right for you. BHRT may come in the form of a prescribed cream, gel, oil, pill, or injection. Every patient is unique with no “one size fits all” treatment.
Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy
The hormones produced by the thyroid, known as thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), play a major role in regulating your metabolism, cholesterol and heart health.
When your body produces too much thyroxine (an overactive thyroid), hyperthyroidism results, leading to symptoms such as anxiety, a racing heart, and sudden weight loss.
Treatments prescribed for hyperthyroidism seek to lessen hormone production, but may sometimes result in losing the ability to produce enough thyroid hormone.
When the thyroid gland fails to produce enough T3 and T4, this causes a condition known as hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism may also be the result of a number of conditions including autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), pregnancy, infection, chemotherapy/radiation, iodine deficiency, and even genetics.
Thyroid hormone imbalance can significantly impact your life and even lead to serious health risks.
Evaluating your thyroid hormones and thyroid antibody levels along with other factors that may be contributing to imbalance is the first step. From there, a treatment plan can be created. Any thyroid replacement therapy will be individualized to your needs and may include natural versions of T3 and T4 hormones or various other prescription brands. Thyroid replacement hormones are not all the same, and it is essential to find the replacement therapy that works the best with your body.
The adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys and produce a variety of very important hormones, such as cortisol, the “stress” hormone that helps regulate your immune system, blood sugar, and metabolism. Severe dysfunction of the adrenal gland can result in significant abnormalities such as Addison’s disease or Cushing’s Syndrome.
However, outside of those disease states, prolonged stress, will cause the adrenal glands to make cortisol at the expense of your other hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone). This can lead to fatigue, blood sugar dysregulation, weight gain, heart, blood pressure, and lipid issues (Metabolic Syndrome) as well as affect many other organ systems. Our bodies are brilliantly designed to protect us from immediate danger – “fight or flight”- but poorly equipped to deal with chronic pressure and stress.
Adrenal Imbalance may result in:
- Difficulty getting up in the morning
- Mid-day fatigue
- Increased belly fat
- Increased cravings for carbohydrates, sugar, and salt
- Increased night eating
- Sleep disturbances
- Water retention
- Decreased libido
- Short term memory loss
- Exercise intolerance (lack of energy)
- Menstrual irregularities
Addressing adrenal imbalances starts with an evaluation including testing your adrenal function and making sure that your overall endocrine system is functioning properly. Adrenal imbalances most often can be managed with a combination of nutrient, vitamin, and mineral support and stress management techniques. In some cases, adrenal hormones may be needed until the body can rebalance itself.
Nutrition & Metabolism
Nutrition is one of the most important factors in overall health. What we eat directly affects how we feel, how we function, and how we look.
Nutritional imbalances can contribute to:
- Sleep disturbances
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Blood sugar abnormalities
- Hormone imbalances
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Autoimmune disorders
- Cardiovascular risk
- Inadequate detoxification
- Digestive issues
- Weight problems
One of the best ways to combat disease, optimize health, and maximize fitness is to ensure that what you put in your body is what works best for your unique needs.
AURAE MD customizes nutritional programs based on individual biochemistry, genetics (nutritional genomics), lifestyle, risk factors, pre-existing conditions and health and weight management goals. You will understand what foods and nutrients in what amounts work specifically for you. No more guessing or trial and error without results. Just feeling vibrant!
Food Sensitivities & Gastrointestinal Imbalances
A healthy digestive system is essential to your well-being. It absorbs and manufactures nutrients, contributes to energy metabolism, eliminates toxins, and is our first line of immune defense. Yet many people suffer with gastrointestinal issues. Symptoms can be caused by multiple underlying reasons: inadequate food breakdown and absorption, altered gut immune function, bacterial or fungal overgrowth or imbalances, and food sensitivities. It is essential to understand the underlying problem, and not just treat the symptoms.
Maldigestion can be a result of inadequate chewing, stomach acidity, or digestive enzymes. This can lead to poor nutrient absorption (malabsorption).
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition characterized by an abnormal amount of bacteria in the otherwise clean small intestine. The small intestine is responsible for digestion and absorption of nutrients into the body, as well as the transfer of waste into the large intestine (colon). An over-abundance of bacteria in the small intestine can cause pain, bloating, and ultimately malnutrition. Diseases that can be associated with SIBO are diabetes, scleroderma, short bowel syndrome, intestinal obstruction, alcohol excess, diverticuli, Crohn’s disease and Celiac disease.
Dysbiosis occurs when there is an imbalanced ratio of good and bad bacteria in the gut, causing the pathogenic bacteria to flourish and create unpleasant symptoms:
- Diarrhea/ constipation/ bloating,/abdominal pain/ flatulence/ indigestion/acid reflux,
- Weight fluctuations
- Fatigue and brain fog
- Food allergies and sensitivities
- Skin concerns like acne, rosacea or eczema
- Yeast overgrowth
- Mood changes
- Susceptibility to colds, the flu and sinus congestion
Possible Causes of Dysbiosis:
- Prescription and over-the-counter drugs like proton-pump inhibitors, NSAIDs and antacids, and antibiotics
- Poor dietary choices, particularly excess sugar or alcohol consumption
- Environmental toxins
Left untreated, dysbiosis can lead to more troubling health conditions including intestinal permeability syndrome, autoimmune diseases, fibromyalgia and chronic intestinal infections.
Intestinal Permeability Syndrome (Leaky Gut) is relatively unique in that it can both cause and result from other conditions. Any condition that inflames or damages the intestines, such as Crohn’s disease, carries a risk of causing leaky gut syndrome. Some medications can also contribute to leaky gut, along with chemotherapy, infection, inflammatory bowel disease, and certain allergies. Dysfunctional intestinal permeability can allow bacteria and food proteins to cross into your bloodstream and trigger autoimmune reactions, inflammatory conditions, and food allergies. As this can have far reaching consequences on your overall health, it is important to identify and treat intestinal permeability syndrome. Treatment may be comprised of identifying the underlying cause, diet modification, and specific gut healing treatments.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can put considerable strain on your daily life. Unlike Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, it is not associated with an increased risk of cancer, but it can cause immense discomfort. Symptoms usually include frequent episodes of abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and/or constipation that can be triggered by certain foods, stress, alcohol, or illness.
Celiac Disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder in which the intestines can have a strong, harmful reaction to gluten that can result in bowel changes, inability to absorb vitamins, iron deficiency, diarrhea, and weight loss along with an association with other autoimmune disorders, neurological involvement, and infertility. Celiac disease can have a variety of presentations from no symptoms to severe symptoms. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity or intolerance causes the body to mount a different immunological response than that which occurs in celiac disease. This immune response is often time-limited and does not cause damage to the GI tract, but can still cause uncomfortable symptoms. Gluten is found in bread products as well as hidden in many other foods. For this reason, it is important to diagnose whether you have Celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or another food allergy. This can be done through an evaluation, and a simple blood test.
Food and environmental sensitivities have been associated with a wide range of medical conditions affecting virtually every part of the body, including mood and behavior. Symptoms may include asthma, arthritis, migraines, ear infections, eczema, hives, sinusitis, stomach upset, and fatigue – just to name a few. Often these allergies go undiagnosed, and patients are left wondering why they just don’t feel well. Find out if hidden allergies are causing your symptoms.
The brain-gut connection refers to the interconnected nature of the gut and the brain. There is research to suggest that when the gut has become inflamed or damaged, it may affect brain health. Some signs that gut inflammation may be affecting the brain include:
- Chronic stress
- Poor memory
- Sleep disturbance
- Cloudy” thinking
- Chronic fatigue
Gut inflammation itself can stem from many different issues including poor diet, chemicals, toxins, autoimmune diseases, and infection.
Just as poor gut health can affect the brain, excess stress or depression can also lead to problems with digestion, pain, diarrhea, and IBD.
As you can see, your digestive health is crucial to your overall well being!
Stress comes in many forms, but it’s not just what you feel. It’s also what is happening inside your body on a cellular level. Stress can result from illness, lack of sleep, major life changes, and job or school pressures. Stress can also cause illness, lack of sleep, weight changes, depression/anxiety, inflammation, and digestive issues. With stress having an impact on so many health issues, stress management becomes an integral part of being well. Getting enough rest and good nutrition are the simplest ways of being resilient to stress. Understanding how your body responds to your thoughts and feelings is the next step to reclaiming your sense of well-being.
AURAE MD specializes in helping you understand how your body is responding to stress, and gives you the tools to naturally find balance again.
Genomics provide insight into your unique genetic predispositions, allowing for targeted, customized interventions. Many genes have “flexible” expressions.
They can be influenced or modified by your diet, lifestyle, and environment. That means that even though you may have a certain gene, you are not destined to necessarily develop the neurotransmitter, hormone, and drug metabolism. Identifying those variants allows for specific and successful treatments.
Gain insight into your health and wellness, promote positive behavioral changes, and make proactive decisions through targeted genomic evaluation.
- Nutritional Genomics: Diet, nutritional, and exercise recommendations based on your specific genetics.
- Skin Genetics: Your predisposition to sun-induced aging, dryness, wrinkles, elasticity, inflammation, allergies, and nutritional needs.
- Genetic Health Risks for high blood pressure, abnormal lipids, diabetes, inflammation, bone loss, arthritis, asthma, and allergies.
- Genetic evaluation of estrogen and nutrient metabolism and detoxification
- Hereditary Cancer Testing: BRCA and colon cancer
- Pharmacogenomics: analgesic, psychiatric, and cardiac medications best suited to your metabolism.
Vitamin therapies optimize physical and biochemical function especially when stress, illness, gastrointestinal absorption issues, increased physical demands, genetic variants and challenged nutrition come into play. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and other natural compounds support:
- Overall health
- Energy and stamina
- Memory and focus
- Mood stabilization
- Hormone balance
- Athletic performance, training, and recovery
- Antioxidant protection
- A strong immune system
Vitamin and nutrient support can be in the form of oral supplements, injections, or IV therapies.
AURAE MD prescribes nutritional supplementation based on the results of a careful evaluation including lab analysis. That allows for individually customized and specific therapies best suited to your exact needs.