Helping you to optimize thyroid, male, and female hormones so you feel your best at all ages.
Optimal hormone levels vary among individuals especially during different stages of life. Low functioning thyroid, declining sex hormones, or estrogen dominance can contribute to diminished health and vitality. The endocrine system is a collection of chemical messengers responsible for hormone balance. Your endocrine glands are stimulated by biochemical messages from your brain. Those glands then secrete hormones which are circulated by the body to stimulate the target tissue. This symphony of hormonal expression is dependent on nutritional status, inflammation, immune function and body mass index.
Hormones can be difficult to analyze. Most hormones are evaluated on blood tests but some others are more accurately measured through saliva or urine. Dr. Branson is an expert in hormone restoration therapy. She uses symptom analysis to identify which hormones should be tested, when to test, and the best method. A comprehensive hormone panel will evaluate bioavailable hormones and identify any deficiency or excess. A patient specific protocol is prescribed to balance hormones using nutrients, botanicals, or prescriptions. Optimal health is achieved when both lab levels and symptom profile improve. From balancing hormones, patients can notice increased energy, improved sleep, mood elevation, weight loss, and improved skin appearance just to name a few.
Some common hormone related health issues are:
Thyroid conditions can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Conventional medicine relies on limited lab testing to assess and manage thyroid disease. Without sufficient testing and treatment, patients may suffer from subclinical or mismanaged thyroid conditions. A holistic approach evaluates bioavailable hormones and thyroid antibodies providing a more complete patient picture. Some patients don’t respond well to commonly prescribed thyroid medications which is why it important to test active hormone levels in a more comprehensive thyroid workup.
As hormones begin to decline a woman can experience numerous changes in her body. Hot flashes are often the hallmark of this transition but a variety of other symptoms may also be present. Weight gain, anxiety, mood instability, sleep disturbances, and brain fog are also associated with menopause. When ovarian function slows it’s important to support other endocrine glands, such as the thyroid and the adrenals. Therapeutic dosing of specific vitamins, minerals, botanicals, or bioidentical hormones can ease the hormonal shift and support women as they enter menopause.
While this term is very cliche, aging with grace is important. Health is not reciprocal to age, the body experiences changes over time especially in regards to hormones. The body needs to be nurtured by adjusting lifestyle, diet, and supplementation that promote healthy aging. Hormone restoration may be an appropriate option for some patients.
Estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate throughout a normal 28-day cycle and the relative ratio of these complementary hormones is important. For example, estrogen and progesterone levels may be “normal” on lab testing, yet women still experience unwanted symptoms. While all females are “estrogen dominant,” the presence of inflammatory estrogens can cause heavy, painful, and more frequent periods.. Acne, PMS, breast tenderness or fibrocystic breasts, menstrual migraines, ovarian cysts, irregular periods can all be a sign that something is off with your hormones.
The best indication of female hormone health is the menstrual cycle. When periods start to become irregular, it’s an important sign that there is something more significant going on. There are many causes of irregular menses, and it’s imperative to properly diagnose and treat what is going on in each individual body. Some people have irregular periods due to PCOS, others from low cholesterol, and some from exposure to exogenous estrogens. While it is sometimes appropriate to test specific hormone levels, lab testing needs to be ordered on specific cycle days for specific reasons, so an across the board “hormone work-up” doesn’t give the information that people hope it will. The whole picture of health needs to be assessed, and treatment will vary based on individual needs. Once properly treated, women will notice improved energy, regularity of menstrual cycles and a boost in overall health.