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Hormone Balance

Hormone Balance. Hormones like estrogen, testosterone, adrenaline, and insulin are vital chemical messengers that affect many aspects of one’s health. Hormones are secreted by various glands and organs, including the thyroid, adrenals, pituitary, ovaries, testicles, and pancreas. The entire endocrine system works together to control the level of hormones circulating throughout the body. And if one or more is imbalanced, it can cause major health problems.

The most common symptoms of hormone imbalance include:

  • Infertility and irregular periods
  • Weight gain or weight loss (unexplained, not due to intentional changes in one’s diet)
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Low libido
  • Appetite changes
  • Issues with digestion
  • Hair thinning and loss

Symptoms of hormonal imbalances can range depending on what type of disorder or illness they cause. For example, symptoms of diabetes include weight gain, appetite changes, nerve damage, and eyesight problems. Conventional treatments for hormone imbalances include synthetic hormone replacement therapies, i.e., insulin injections, thyroid medications.

However, with these types of treatments comes negative effects, such as medication dependency, serious side effects like stroke, osteoporosis, anxiety, reproductive problems, cancer, and more. And with these synthetic treatments, the symptoms aren’t treated but only masked.

Fortunately, there are ways to acquire hormone balance naturally. For example, stay away from oils high in omega-6 fats (safflower, sunflower, corn, canola, soybean, and peanut). Instead, utilize rich sources of natural omega-3’s (wild fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, and grass-fed animal products).


Dr. Alex Jimenez Presents: Assessing Hormones

Dr. Alex Jimenez Presents: Assessing Hormones


Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents how to assess different hormones in the body and how different hormone tests can be used to determine the level in the body. This presentation allows many individuals to know what to expect when they are being diagnosed by their primary doctors. We refer patients to certified providers incorporating various hormone therapies to ensure optimal health and wellness. We encourage and appreciate each patient by referring them to associated medical providers based on their diagnosis when it is appropriate. We understand that education is an excellent way when asking our providers intricated questions at the patient’s request and understanding. Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., only utilizes this information as an educational service. Disclaimer

Assessing Hormones

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Welcome to everything you need to know about assessing hormones and how to do the testing. We have decided to do this as a webinar because we only have a little time to do it during the module. After all, that’ll make your life easier. You’ll need to have this information under your belt because here is the most important thing you need to know. Hormone therapy is an art, not a science. If you find five or six practitioners who do hormone therapy, you will find five or six different ways to make a prescription and way more ways than that actually to do testing to monitor it.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: The important thing is that you keep in mind what we know scientifically is a better or not-so-good way of taking care of the patients in terms of testing. Then find what works for you and become the expert in that. Because if you are consistent over time, you can work around the pros and cons of every given testing modality and figure out what you need to do, regardless of what type of test you end up doing. All right, so what do we need to worry about? There are many potential problems in measuring hormone levels because so many hormone levels fluctuate significantly. In order to evaluate hormones in the body, doctors need to know what, when, and who to test. So we’re going to talk about all of that.

Diagnosing Hormones In A Patient

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Some vary during the day, some vary during a cycle, and some hormones don’t vary at all. So you need to remember which ones you need to worry about in terms of fluctuation. The studies that have been done don’t measure hormone levels. So, finding normal hormone levels is sometimes problematic. It may be different from what the labs currently use. And in the studies where they have come up with normal hormone levels, a lot of them are much older studies, and the methodology was more unreliable than what we use now. So by keeping that in mind regarding what people call normal hormone levels, many of these studies also would average out non-comparable groups. What this means is that they would be comparing, let’s say, a group of apples, oranges, and grapes and put them all together and say, oh yeah, so this average is going to work.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So it’s like doing a meta-analysis, and if you are taking a bunch of different data, you can’t necessarily say that this average makes sense. You probably are already aware of the fact that other labs end up developing different reference ranges. And so if you use multiple different labs, you can’t necessarily compare the test results you’re getting because the reference ranges are different. And, sometimes, even within a given lab, depending on which test kit patients use, like a test from Quest, they may one day use one test kit. So a reference range will be XYZ, and they went to the same lab another day, but they used a different test kit and have an entirely different reference range. And so you have to the point that out to the patients. If you’ve got a smart patient trying to track what’s happening with themselves, they may have the wrong impression during an examination.

Estrogen & Progesterone

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: If you’ve got different reference ranges showing up on your test results, it is best to keep track of that in case you need to remember. Now there are big variations between individuals and even within the same individual. The serum concentrations of both natural and synthetic steroids might need to be clarified between other individuals. There’s a huge variation irrespective of the root of the administration of the hormones. What you expect from one person may be different from the next person. And, of course, within any individual, you’re going to get levels of fluctuation throughout the day based on lots of different things. Everything from perceived or actual stress that will change their hormone levels to foods they were eating that day can make a difference. Hydration status can make a difference. So some of the variations you see within a person, but with different blood draws, can be based on what was going on that day.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So try to impress upon your patients as you’re getting testing done to keep the blood draw days the same. Now measuring in different body fluids like serum, urine, or saliva doesn’t necessarily tell us about concentration in other tissues, and doctors need to keep this in mind because the patient may get a false sense of security, and it won’t necessarily have anything to do with the tissue they are trying to treat. Now, many doctors must remember all the different kinds of estrogens they might need to keep track of during examination. So, when they notice estrogen, there’s an estrogen pool. There is free and bound estrogen in the body and estrogen production in the woman or a man in themselves. There are exogenous estrogens that you may be giving them. There are stored estrogens, metabolites, and all these different estrogens doctors need to keep track of. So this is just one example of having many estrogen levels in the body, and the patient is wondering, what is it the doctor is looking at? Could one test give me all this different information? And this is only estrogen. The same thing is true, although not quite as complicated. The same thing is true about the other hormones in the body.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Now for progesterone, it is the same ordeal. Other results look like this for estrogens and testosterone, and this is to remind us of all the different variability there is. By showing the variation between different people at their biological stages, for example, premenopausal and postmenopausal. The results that the doctor presents to the patient establish a lighter shade of green on the outside of the intercycle variability from within a given woman. And then the yellowy green is the inter-woman variability, meaning one woman to the next. And then that blue line in the middle is the average; this provides what information they might need to diagnose.

Testing Hormone Levels

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: All right, so let’s look at testing and assessing hormones as we look at all the hormone types, the different ways of testing them, and the pros and cons. There are decades of well-validated research on serum hormone levels. So for the estrogens, estrone, estradiol, and estriol, as well as the estrogen metabolites in the serum, the good news is it measures endogenous hormone production. So if you get a serum hormone level, we know what those results mean.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: The bad news is these results give you the free and bound hormone. It shows you the total estrogens. However, you can’t order total estradiol and free estradiol test as they don’t offer them. There are limited data regarding serum levels of these metabolites in terms of prediction for health risk. And it can be difficult for some labs to get accurate quantification in postmenopausal women because the estrogen levels are very low. So, keeping that in mind is a matter of knowing your lab and how accurate they are. Now when it comes to saliva, the good news is it’s non-invasive. Patients can do this at home, making it convenient if doctors try to do a serial measurement of estradiols across a whole cycle in a premenopausal woman. Cause no one in the right mind will go to the lab and get blood drawn daily.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Knowing that salivary estradiol correlates well to free estradiol in serum allows doctors to see what’s in the saliva and what they want to see in the serum. The bad news about saliva is that there are fewer validation studies than serum. There are still quite a few, so it’s a valid testing method. It’s just that it’s not as well validated as a serum because it still needs to be done. Again, it can be very challenging for some labs because the estrogen levels in the saliva are much lower than in the serum. So doctors must ensure the lab is doing a good enough job assessing these very low levels. All saliva testing can be contaminated by blood from the oral mucosa.

Saliva Testing

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So if the patient has periodontitis or something along those lines, doctors don’t want them to salivary levels; it is important to tell them to do it before they brush their teeth, not after, in case they bleed when they brush their teeth. But that’s true of any salivary test; you can’t get estrogen metabolites done through the saliva. And the bigger problem in a postmenopausal woman is that many get dry mouth after menopause. And so, it can be really difficult to do the test because they need to produce more saliva to get an adequate specimen. Now, if that happens, they can go for a 24-urine test. The 24-hour urine testing for estrogen and estrogen metabolites can be helpful if you’re trying to get the total daily production of the hormones. You can get measurements of estrogen metabolites, which are stable for a long time.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: You have plenty of time for processing and get both free and conjugated estrogen measurements. So that’s helpful. The bad news, which is true for any 24-hour urine test, is it relies on accurate volume measurements and complete collections by the patients. Many patients will inadvertently screw that up. When they have a busy day, they’ll go pee and need to remember what they are supposed to do, which can be a problem. So, making sure the patient understands can help with the test results. You cannot use this for people with renal dysfunction because it’s based on creatinine correction. So if their creatinine is abnormal, they will need to be able to give you an adequate, appropriate level and sometimes give you some of these tests that do 24-hour urines will provide you with many metabolites that could be more clinically useful but are not.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Now for dried spot, you’re in testing, and you can get estrogen metabolites, which is good because the metabolites are stable for a long time, so that’s no problem. And you can measure both the free and conjugated estrogens on these spots in urine tests. The biggest problem here is that it has the least clinical validation studies. So, it’s a newer way of testing. It is popular and easy for patients, but there is little concern because of the few clinical validation studies they’ve done. Now, additional challenges are mentioned: to think about what a lab has to do; the measurements they need to be able to provide can vary enormously because there are very low levels of estrogen in older women, not on hormone replacement therapy.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: And then up to measuring these super high doses in women getting ready for IVF. And, you know, the levels can vary by 10,000. Is it reasonable to assume that any test will be accurate for all those circumstances? It is also difficult to assess estrogen levels in women treated with aromatase inhibitors because they will likely have very low estrogen concentrations. So that may not be accurately detected by standardized testing. And then specificity is a problem because we talk about how estradiology focuses mostly on how it gets broken down into estrone and then how the estrones get broken down. But the reality is that estradiols convert it to more than a hundred different metabolites, which may interfere with accurate quantification.

Serum Testing

 Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So, labs must keep that in mind and ensure that they’re getting adequate specificity for you. Another interesting tidbit is that exogenous sources of S-trial can lead to falsely elevated estradiol levels. So keep that in mind if you have a funny test result that makes no sense.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Progesterone and progesterone metabolites in the serum; there’s lots of literature to support using a progesterone level drawn hopefully on day 21 of a 28-day cycle to confirm ovulation. Progesterone has problems as it differs from estradiol. So it is acceptable to use serum progesterone levels for that, as the reproducibility of serum levels is limited if the serum levels are low. So if what that means is if you were to take a person in the first half of her cycle and draw a progesterone level three days in a row at the very beginning of the process and the progesterone should be low, you may not get similar numbers just because the hormone levels are low.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So the reproducibility makes doctors a little crazy, but that’s something they need to keep in mind with the serum. Again, saliva testing is not invasive; it’s convenient if you want to follow an entire cycle in a premenopausal woman. Also, research shows that a salivary level of 17 alpha hydroxyprogesterone is just as acceptable as a serum level for diagnosing congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Now the downside for progesterone’s metabolites salivary levels of progesterone in its metabolites is that you’ve got a rapid fluctuation of progesterone levels in the saliva. So, if you’ve got somebody who doesn’t wanna get their blood drawn and doesn’t mind spitting into a tube, you can use this instead.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So you should use more than one test result to make a decision; you may need serial sampling to get a feel for the average. There’s also a problem with cross-reactivity that might interfere with immunoassays and affect the results. And again, the same problem is having much lower progesterone levels in the saliva than in the serum. So for some labs, that can be challenging to get preliminary analysis and the same problem in terms of contamination by blood; however, that’s true of all cellular tests. The 24-hour urine and the spot dry urine testing for progesterone have the same problem because the progesterone metabolites will correlate with symptoms. So they’ve studied, for instance, allopregnanolone in urine. The level of that does connect with the sleep quality in perimenopausal women.

The Different Implications Of Hormone Testing

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: The implication is that if it’s correlating, it’s probably an accurate level; however, progesterone is hard to quantify in urine. And so, they use metabolites for assessment and determine the progesterone level based on the metabolites. That’s great, except there’s no literature describing the clinical utility of progesterone metabolites. So progesterone in the urine is relatively problematic regarding the accuracy and what you are getting. Part of the issue with serum progesterone is that very little of it is available, and non-protein ground, most of it is bound to all and other proteins; it’s the free progesterone that is available to the target tissues and also to saliva. So the progesterone that you’re measuring in the serum is mostly the bound-up progesterone, not what is clinically important.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Transdermal progesterone is extremely difficult to measure because anyone gets metabolism by five alpha reductases in the skin. It’s rapidly absorbed by red blood cell membranes and delivered to the tissue. And really, it comes down to that after the patient uses exogenous progesterone cream or gel, they get these crazy high levels of progesterone in the saliva and the capillary beds, but not in the serum. And so there could be a better way to measure what’s happening to the patient. So transdermal progesterone, trying to follow that with any testing is difficult.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: There are decades of research on serum hormone levels. In serum testing, testosterone, and its metabolites, you can get both a total and a free hormone level test, and you can also get a DHT level, which is helpful. There are established serum ranges for the diagnosis of androgen insufficiency. So serum levels for testosterone are fine in general. It can be difficult to assist the whole serum if the levels are low, like in women and kids and hypogeal men. So, you need to know your lab and its methodology. Suppose you’re assessing testosterone in women, hypogeal men, or kids because they must ensure they’re doing the appropriate serum test to get these really low levels accurately.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: For saliva testing, it is very convenient to obtain the sample. There are established ranges for diagnosis of antigen insufficiency, and it’s easy to use this testing for differentiating between gonadal and hypogonadal men. And you can get a free hormone level as lots of published research on using salivary levels for assessing testosterone. However, the problem is like with progesterone; you get this rapid fluctuation in saliva. You might need more than one saliva test result to get reliable information. So you don’t necessarily want to decide based on just one result. And again, you need to know your lab because the levels are much lower than in the serum. So it is challenging to get an accurate story and be careful about blood contamination. In urine testing, the 24-hour and spot urine have slightly different issues.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: The 24-hour urine testing for testosterone can be used to get a total daily testosterone production. Patients will get a free hormone level and metabolites, which is nice. They can use that information to indirectly assess five alpha-reductase and aromatase activities based on how many different metabolites they’re getting. Only a few data support the clinical utility of all the measured metabolites. There is a polymorphism of UGT to B17; if the patient has that, their urinary testosterone level will return to zero, so keep that in mind if you ever get a test result. After all, it’s so low because it may be that your patient has this issue. Now spot urine will give you some of the same pros as you will get free hormone levels and metabolites. This allows you to use that information to assess the five alpha-reductase aromatase activities; however, the problem is there; like with the other hormones we’ve discussed, this testing generally has fewer clinical validation studies because it’s a newer form of testing, so keep that in mind.

Cortisol

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Cortisol and its metabolites in the serum are similar to the other hormones mentioned, as there are validated reference ranges for cortisol. Lots of peer review literature detailing the use of this test, and patients can feel comfortable getting these results. It will tell them just total cortisol, not their free cortisol. So by keeping that in mind, they’ll get the diurnal pattern. They can only get a four-point test as they would with saliva because they don’t have normal ranges for four different times in the day. And many patients mention to their doctors as they get the serum cortisol, they go, “Wait, you don’t understand. I am so scared of my blood being drawn that it shoots my cortisol up, and I don’t normally look this bad.”

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Keep in mind that in serum, they only have normal reference ranges for two times of the day, 7 to 9:00 AM and 3 to 5:00 PM. So you have to ensure that if you use serum cortisol, they go in fasting before nine o’clock, or they can go later in the day. And if they go later in the day, they don’t have to fast. So if you get cortisol at 10 or 11 in the morning, it isn’t very helpful to the results. Now the salivary testing, lots of people are becoming familiar with this.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: You can get your diurnal pattern because many companies have kits where you’ve got four or five samples throughout the day. There is abundant peer-reviewed literature detailing the use of this. And this is for cortisol, not for the cortisol metabolic. It reflects the unbound plasma concentration, which is not what we’re seeing with the serum. The problem is that 11 beta hydroxy steroid dehydrogenase is an enzyme in the salivary glands that significantly converts cortisol to cortisone. So there are some questions about the results doctors are getting in the salivary cortisol and what’s happening or did it get converted to cortisone, and you’re not picking that up in the test?

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So when looking at cortisol metabolites in the saliva, which some companies do and some don’t, the salivary cortisone correlates with cortisol exposure over 24 hours. There’s a moderate level of literature using this test but enough that you should feel comfortable. There are issues when your serum cortisol is really low, making it seem like the patient is crashing or under hydrocortisone therapy. That makes the salivary cortisone a superior serum marker compared to the salivary cortisol. Under these circumstances, because of how this is being processed, only a few companies are even looking at cortisone directly in the saliva. So at this point, because especially of the moderate literature level, you will primarily be doing cortisol levels in the saliva.

Urine Testing For Hormones

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So let’s move on to the urine test. Now, in a 24-hour urine test, you can assess the cortisol ratio, which can be helpful when diagnosing. And 24-hour free cortisol correlates with the serum-free cortisol level; however, the only problem is there are limited clinical validation studies for this. And, in the 24-hour urine test, you’re not getting a diurnal cortisol pattern. And, in the spot urine, you can get the cortisol ratio, which can be helpful. You can have the patient do the spot urine test multiple times a day so you can get the diurnal change just like you would with saliva. But unfortunately, the spot you’re in testing has the least clinical validation studies. So you have to keep that in mind. So with this, primarily, people feel most comfortable with using either serum levels done at the right time of day, understanding that you’re not getting the unbound cortisol, or they’re doing a four-point salivary test.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: The four-point salivary test could see a pattern between what the patient told their doctors about their energy level throughout the day and how they felt and compared that with what the result returned. Many doctors note what they had expected the test result to be before the national labs even had it available.

DHEA Testing

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: We will discuss DHEA and DHEA sulfates separately since DHEA in the serum has many clinical validation studies that can make you feel comfortable getting adequate results. Now, DHEA has a diurnal pattern. So you have to ensure they get it done at the right time of day since this is fasting before nine o’clock in the morning, just like with cortisol. A DHEA done later in the day means nothing; however, a DHEA sulfate in the serum doesn’t follow a circadian pattern, so a single test done at any time is okay.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: There are numerous clinical validation studies about DHEA; unfortunately, there is a problem with DHEA sulfate since it has a little circadian pattern. You may miss small variations in a DHEA over time in a person based on how they’re feeling and stressed out. So occasionally, it’s nice to check the DHEA in a patient as long as they’re done in the morning because then you’ll get a feel for the changes over time in the same individual you wouldn’t see with the DHEA sulfate.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Salivary testing for DHEA is where you measure free DHEA in the body, which is great. There’s a correlation with serum levels, and it’s not invasive. The problem is that the concentration is inversely related to the salivary flow rate and is also affected by the salivary pH. An example would be someone walking past the bakery, starting to salivate heavily based on what they just smelled. This could change their results for their salivation rate when they are doing their DHEA test. DHEA sulfate has the same basic problem in the saliva, related to the salivary flow rate and the salivary pH. So keep that in mind if you’re looking at salivary levels in urine, whether this is 24-hour or spot urine; there are no clinical validation studies about looking at either DHEA or DHEA sulfate in the urine. So, keep that in mind if you’re doing urine testing and they’re giving you a whole panel that includes DHEA or DHEA sulfate, you may need to know what those results mean.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: For pituitary hormones, the preferred testing is the FSH, LH, and prolactin serum. Not convenient for serial measurements throughout the day to detect the LH surge, for instance, but the results are very accurate. And in saliva, there’s limited peer-reviewed literature detailing salivary pituitary hormones and whether or not they’re adequate. LH detection kits at home are convenient for urine tests since they are widely used and have been around for a long time. The LH surge correlates with the urine and works well with the LH surge’s serum. So if you’re trying to help people figure out where they are in their cycle and whether or not they’ve ovulated, this test is the way to go. It doesn’t do a good job of quantifying it; it just tells you there’s a surge because these are bigger hormones, so they don’t get into urine very easily.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So you’re going to know whether or not you’ve gotten the surge, you’re not going to know what the actual level is, and that’s okay because most of the time, it doesn’t matter what the hormone level is. So essentially, unless you’re just trying to find out if they got an LH surge, you want to use the serum for either FSH, LH, or prolactin. For sex hormone-binding globulin, most clinical validation studies are in the serum; you can’t measure it in saliva or urine, so that’s easy to remember. So we’ve already talked about the issues with different forms of testing, and there are only a few forms of testing that will give you everything you need to know about every hormone you need to know.

When Is The Best Time For Hormones?

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So now, when is the best time to test hormones? Early morning is when the hormones will be the highest for most hormones. So, the best way to go and test hormone levels like cortisol and gonadal hormones is first thing in the morning since you have to be consistent and fast because what you’ve eaten can change hormone levels. So if you’ve always fasting, at least you’ll find consistency between specimens and the same person. You also need to know where they were in their cycle for certain tests. So, women patients who are still cycling need to record the first day of their next period to know what day you did their testing. Otherwise, they’ll have to use ovulation kits to know exactly where they are.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: And of course, the downside here is that if you’re trying, for instance, to get a day-21 progesterone, and she typically has a 28-day cycle, so you tell her to go on day 21, but that particular month she has a 35-day cycle, you didn’t get the level that you were looking for. So it can be a little problematic, but remind them to keep track of it so that you won’t be able to look back and know where they were when they had their tests done. So, when do we want these tests in pre and perimenopausal women? Suppose you want progesterone on day 21. You can also do a sex hormone-binding globulin on that day. Menstruating women shoot for as close to day three for estradiol, estrone, FSH, testosterone, or a sex hormone-binding globulin.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Now, even though these are ideal, can you get them on other days of their cycle? Yes, but they will have different accuracy. And, of course, it may be an additional day than day three because what if day three happens to land on the weekend and the lab’s not open? So, please consider that what you are looking for here is to test the hormone levels when they’re at their highest. And that’s why we’re shooting for three and 21. So, you know, here’s day three and four. And so the FSH is going to be a nice level here. The estradiol bounces around a lot at this point, so trying to get it in this part of the cycle would be less helpful. And, with progesterone, you’re going to get your peak here, so that’s why you want to try to shoot for 21 days because you know that’s going to be the easiest way to ensure you’re getting it. And also, it’ll help you be more consistent from cycle to cycle if you’re always trying to get it at the same time of the process.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Now here’s where it gets tricky since it’s one thing to find out where the person is before you put them in any hormone replacement therapy; however, monitoring hormone replacement therapy gets more problematic still. If you’re using oral estrogen, it is recommended to get a serum baseline before HRT and then monitor during treatment; if you’re doing oral estrogen, the salivary levels don’t reflect the exogenous estrogen use at all, so they’re not very helpful.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: And oral estrogen or any hormones that undergo this test must accurately reflect the liver’s first-pass metabolism and the urines’ levels. So if you’re doing oral estrogen replacement therapy, the only way to assess it is with serum because doctors will convince the patient with the module, so you probably don’t want to use oral estrogen anyway. If you’re using sublingual estrogen, the levels will rise and fall rapidly within hours. And so the serum’s not effective in terms of measuring. The saliva will make no sense if you’re doing sublingual because you just had your estrogen there. So what does it mean? It means that 24-hour urine and drive urine testing with sublingual hormones aren’t recommended because there’s always a question of how much you are swallowing and how much is getting absorbed sublingually.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Now, if you notice that it says in sublingual, there could be better testing methods. Since you don’t know how much was swallowed and got the first-pass metabolism effect, the result in a 24-hour or dried spot urine may need to be clarified. So that’s problematic. You can still do sublingual estrogen replacement therapy; it just means there’s no great way to test it. If you’re using estrogen creams, serum testing can be effective, and we know that clinical parameters correlate to serum levels when using estrogen creams, so we can do that. In saliva, estradiol and estriol are actively transported into the saliva; the levels are way higher than you would see in the serum and are highly variable. So salivary levels for creams don’t make sense, and there are no good peer-reviewed studies detailing the effective estrogen cream on urinary levels.

Using Hormone Creams & Patches

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: It is probably not a great idea to use urine levels for someone using estrogen creams at the time. If you’re using labial or vaginal estrogen, the serum test appears to be the best choice for monitoring absorption. The salivary levels don’t reflect any dose changes. So basically, it’s probably a waste of time to get a salivary level trying to do urine testing; using vaginal or labial estrogen might be problematic because how do you know you didn’t contaminate the urine specimen. And if you’re using a patch, serum values will rise dose-dependently and then rapidly decline the following removal. It may be helpful, we know that the serum values change based on when you put the patch on and when you take it off, but it is still problematic.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: There’s no peer-reviewed evidence showing that salivary estrogen can be used to monitor the estrogen patch. And when it comes to the urine testing and the estrogen patch, it does appear that the values in the urine will go up dose-dependently. It may be relatively accurate, but it’s not the best clinically validated test for an estrogen patch. The take-home message here is that no testing is perfect and many of us adjust the dose to the lowest amount, the lowest level we can get, and still have our symptoms controlled. That doesn’t mean they don’t test; you must try to ensure you’re not overdosing on this person. But keep in mind that there are a lot of limitations around what testing can be helpful depending on what form of estrogen replacement you’re using.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Now, progesterone and oral progesterone, if you’re using that, the levels rise and fall quickly. You may not be able to catch a serum level that makes sense if you’re taking your progesterone in the evening and then measuring in the morning. Because most women, if they’re taking oral progesterone, will take it in the evening because it helps them sleep. There’s also a problem with the cross-reactivity of metabolites with the immunoassays. So progesterone replacement therapy, if oral, you must take the serum levels with a grain of salt. The same thing with saliva and 24-hour urine testing. We talked about how you’re not getting progesterone; you’re getting progesterone metabolites, so that might be useful. But there’s the problem of how clinically valid the use of progesterone metabolites is. So oral use of progesterone, getting a level, and following it is a little tricky.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Now with creams and transdermal progesterone, none of the tests makes any sense because you get mentally increased levels in the serum that don’t rise in any particular way that makes sense. Like all steroid hormones, these are fat-soluble, so if it goes and sits in adipose rather than getting into the bloodstream, it doesn’t necessarily reflect a serum level. Doesn’t necessarily reflect the tissue levels in the uterus and the breast, which is where we care about it. So a serum level for progesterone cream is problematic. Salivary levels after progesterone cream go way up and don’t correspond to symptoms at all. So don’t bother getting salivary level after a progesterone cream. There’s some evidence in urine testing that you can get small increases in the pregnant dial three glucosides if you use progesterone cream. And so it may turn out that we can use that as a measure of what your progesterone is doing.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: But this still needs some more testing. So it would be best if you remembered that there needs to be a reliable method to track what’s happening when a person uses progesterone cream. So please take your time with getting a level and making a decision based on it. Now, vaginal progesterone suppositories have the same problem. You get minimally increased levels in the serum, which will not give you an adequate result. Progesterone melts or atrocious; you can use serum levels in at troche because you get a more accurate level in the serum than if you had taken it orally. There’s a lack of peer-reviewed research on salivary levels after vaginal progesterone suppositories. And you have to be careful if you’re trying to do urine testing because how do you know you didn’t contaminate the sample?

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: You can’t use a salivary level because you just had the troche or the melt in the person’s mouth. And then, there is at least a potential problem with getting a urine level for a troche or melt because, like a sublingual, how much of this are you swallowing? Individuals may consume some of it and are subject to first-pass metabolism, which means you won’t be able to pick it up in the urine. The larger portion will be absorbed into the capillary blood and probably be accurate in the 24-hour or dry urine test. But that needs to be adequately studied, so keep that in mind if you’re using atrocious or melts. And this is a study that showed that after applying topical progesterone, the saliva and the capillary blood levels were very different compared to those seen in the serum or whole blood.

It’s Important To Do Research

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So this is just an important research study to remind you of the reliance on serum levels for progesterone. If you’re monitoring, topical dosing can lead to underestimated tissue levels, so you’ll give more than you need. So, be careful about relying on serum levels for topical progesterone because you’re going to overdose people like crazy. And remember, if you overdose on progesterone, it’s high up in the steroid hormone pathway, and you don’t know what this person’s body will do with it; they might turn it into pretty much anything else. Now, testosterone replacement therapy creams or gels can cause blood levels, and the serum level rapidly increases with the application and doesn’t reliably reflect dose changing, any dose changes. So the serum and blood levels are probably not the great way to go. In the saliva, the levels are much higher than the serum and are highly variable since they may give a false indication of overdose.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: In the urine testing, there’s not good in the 24-hour urine. You probably want to use something other than 24-hour urine. The good news is the dried urine. Now in dried urine, the epitestosterone can be measured if there’s going to be suppression due to exogenous testosterone production if that’s what you think is going on. You can measure the epitestosterone in dry urine testing, which will tell you whether or not, you’ve suppressed this person’s production of testosterone by giving them some. Now, vaginal or labial application of testosterone, there’s no good way to get a blood level that makes sense. The salivary levels, like any other cream or application we might have on your hands, you have to be careful because if you’re handling the specimen vials, to get the saliva, you might get it into the testing medium.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: And then, just like any vaginal or labial application, if you’re trying to get urine specimens, you have to be careful that you’re not contaminating the urine and getting a falsely elevated level. Blood levels are good if you’re doing testosterone injections, either injection or pellet. Get one-third baseline, and use them for monitoring. It gives you adequate levels. You’ll get a significant elevation in saliva after an IM injection, but there’s wide variability from person to person. So you must take that with a grain of salt regarding how accurate your result might be. The same thing happens in the 24-hour urine specimen. You’re going to get an elevation after an IM injection, but then, there’s a great deal of variability, so who knows how accurate it is?

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: With a salivary level, there’s only some correlation to the bioavailable testosterone. If you’re using a testosterone patch, you can get adequate levels, and there are good studies to show that a blood level will be okay. If you’re using a testosterone patch, the urinary levels, both in 24-hour urine and dry urinary levels, will reflect the increasing doses. You’re getting a reasonably good level with using that. Now, if you’re using DHEA treatment or oral DHEA, you’re going to get a rapid increase in the blood levels right after the oral supplementation as you get with the saliva. You get that also in saliva and also in urine. So you’re picking up on the fact that you took the DHEA test.

Conclusion

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: The problem is variability in the blood, saliva, and urine results. Many don’t particularly appreciate using a lot of oral DHEA anyway because, like all steroid hormones, your body’s going to take it to the liver, and the liver has the opportunity to change it into something else before it even gets into the bloodstream to do its job. Other applications may be more helpful, like transdermal DHEA or topical DHEA; you’ll have to see how the patient feels in terms of symptoms because if you use topical DHEA, the blood levels you’ll get a big rise right after the initial application.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So what does that mean because it drops right away? Then, in the saliva after transdermal application of DHEA, the levels will increase, but not linearly. So that doesn’t make any sense. And there is no peer-reviewed research detailing what happens in DHEA levels in the urine after transdermal application. The bigger issue then becomes you might want to keep an eye on what the downstream breakdown products are doing because if you’re not able to get a good DHEA level, you might want at least look at testosterone and estradiol. And that’ll give you some fuel if you’ve overdosed or underdosed on the DHEA. Now, with the vaginal or labial application, the levels in the blood don’t go off at all.

Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: There’s no research detailing levels after vaginal application looking at salivary or urinary levels. So you can’t use that as a way of monitoring it. So again, this will be just a matter of following the person and how they feel after using it. You’re not going to need to worry about getting any measurements afterward. It’s simply clinical. The test you choose depends on what you’re giving the person, the form you’re giving it in, and then what you’re trying to find out. By finding a treatment form you like and feel comfortable with, understand whether or not to get testing depending on the structure and replacement you’re using. And then, make sure that you are getting helpful information and not misleading information.

How Cushing Syndrome Affects The Body

How Cushing Syndrome Affects The Body

Introduction

In many situations, stress or cortisol in the body allows the host to go into a “fight or flight” response that works together with the sympathetic nervous system. In its acute form, stress enables the individual to experience various symptoms quickly and doesn’t last very long. However, when there is residual stress still in the body over an extended period can cause havoc to the body and affect a person’s well-being is known as chronic stress. To that point, when the body is dealing with chronic stress, over time can become at risk of developing chronic disorders associated with chronic issues affecting the endocrine system. One of the endocrine disorders that correlate with chronic stress is Cushing syndrome. Today’s article examines Cushing syndrome, its symptoms, and ways to manage Cushing syndrome in the body. We refer patients to certified providers specializing in endocrinology treatments to aid individuals suffering from Cushing syndrome. We also guide our patients by referring them to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer

11 Trindade Endocrine Disruption-compressed

What Is Cushing Syndrome?

 

Have you been experiencing abnormal weight gain around your midsection? What about feeling tired throughout the entire day? Or has your mood been changing all day? Many of these symptoms that you are experiencing could potentially make you at risk of developing Cushing syndrome. Cushing syndrome is an endocrine disorder that causes the brain’s anterior pituitary to produce excessive ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), leading to excess cortisol release from the adrenal glands. In the endocrine system, cortisol is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands above the kidneys. These hormones help the body by:

  • Maintaining blood pressure
  • Regulates glucose levels
  • Reduces inflammation in the body
  • Converts food into energy
  • Manages respiration

When the adrenal glands overproduce cortisol, it causes the body to be on high alert and can become a risk of developing chronic symptoms associated with Cushing syndrome. Studies reveal that Cushing’s disease (a condition where the pituitary glands overproduce ACTH and turn into cortisol) becomes associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders that overlaps chronic symptoms, thus affecting the body.  

The Symptoms

When the body is dealing with Cushing syndrome, studies reveal that chronic exposure to excess cortisol could potentially be involved with its associated comorbidities that contribute to decreasing a person’s quality of life. When a person has the signs of Cushing syndrome, the symptoms are unmistakable as the symptoms vary in different people. One of the prominent symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome is rapid weight gain along the face, abdomen, back of the neck, and chest. Some other symptoms associated with Cushing’s syndrome include: 

  • High blood pressure
  • Purple/red stretch marks along the abdomen
  • Fatigue
  • Weak, thin muscles along the arms and legs
  • Excessive hair growth in some regions of the body
  • Cognitive difficulties

 


An Overview Of Cushing Syndrome-Video

Have you been experiencing rapid weight gain along your face, neck, and abdomen? What about feeling stressed constantly? Or have you noticed that your memory is declining? Many of these symptoms are associated with an endocrine disorder called Cushing syndrome. The video above explains what Cushing’s syndrome is, its causes and symptoms, and how to treat Cushing’s syndrome. Cushing syndrome is developed when the adrenal glands produce an excessive amount of cortisol in the body. When the body is suffering from too much cortisol caused by Cushing syndrome, one of the symptoms is bone fractures associated with Cushing syndrome. Studies reveal that the skeletal system is one of the common targets that cause glucocorticoids to attach themselves to the skeletal joints. To that point, Cushing syndrome causes structural and functional impairment to the skeletal system associated with morbidity and disability to many individuals. Fortunately, there are many ways to manage Cushing syndrome and lower cortisol levels in the body.


How To Manage Cushing Syndrome

 

Since stress/cortisol is beneficial and harmful to the body, it has a causal relationship with the organs and tissues in the body. The body needs cortisol to regulate the metabolism and functionality of the endocrine organs. Too much cortisol causes the development of Cushing syndrome, and fortunately, there are ways many individuals can manage this endocrine disorder while keeping an eye on their cortisol levels. Many individuals suffering from weight gain from Cushing syndrome should try to find an exercise regime that their primary physician recommends to lose weight and improve their muscle strength little by a little. Other ways that individuals can manage Cushing syndrome are by:

  • Eating nutritious foods that are anti-inflammatory and taking supplements that have calcium and vitamin D.
  • Meditation or yoga can help calm the mind, and taking deep breaths can help relax the body while lowering cortisol levels.
  • Incorporating massages and chiropractic care to alleviate muscle and joint pain caused by Cushing syndrome. Chiropractic care and massages can help loosen stiff muscles and support the joints to regain their range of motion in the body.

Slowly incorporating these lifestyle changes can lower cortisol levels and help prevent Cushing’s syndrome from progressing further in the body while helping the individual get back on their health journey.

 

Conclusion

The body needs cortisol or stress to get through stressful situations that a person is going through. Cortisol is a hormone formed from the adrenal glands that help regulate the body’s metabolism and provide the functionality to the organs and tissues. In its acute and chronic form, cortisol can range from mild to severe depending on the body’s situation. The body risks developing Cushing’s syndrome when the adrenal glands overproduce cortisol. Cushing syndrome is an endocrine disorder that causes an increased risk of metabolic disorders associated with chronic symptoms like weight gain around the face, neck, and abdomen. Luckily, there are ways to manage Cushing’s syndrome and lower cortisol levels by incorporating an exercise regime, eating anti-inflammatory foods filled with calcium and vitamin D, meditation to calm the mind, and incorporating deep breaths to lower cortisol levels. Utilizing these small changes can significantly impact the body while helping the individual better manage their cortisol levels.

 

References

Buliman, A, et al. “Cushing’s Disease: A Multidisciplinary Overview of the Clinical Features, Diagnosis, and Treatment.” Journal of Medicine and Life, Carol Davila University Press, 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5152600/.

Faggiano, A, et al. “Spine Abnormalities and Damage in Patients Cured from Cushing’s Disease.” Pituitary, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2001, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12138988/.

Kairys, Norah, and Ari Schwell. “Cushing Disease.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 2 Feb. 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK448184/.

Nieman, Lynnette K. “Cushing’s Syndrome: Update on Signs, Symptoms and Biochemical Screening.” European Journal of Endocrinology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4553096/.

Disclaimer

Hypothyroidism May Affect More Than The Thyroid

Hypothyroidism May Affect More Than The Thyroid

Introduction

The body is a functional being with the brain to control the host’s movements when going to places or resting, the immune system to battle viruses that enter the body, digest food through the gut system, and the endocrine system regulate hormones that maintain the body. The thyroid secretes hormones out and has a vital role in the body’s functionality, and when it gets affected, it can cause issues associated with the body. When the thyroid doesn’t produce more hormones in the body, it can be at risk of developing hypothyroidism. Today’s article looks at the thyroid’s role in the body, how hypothyroidism affects the body, and how to manage hypothyroidism in the body. We refer patients to certified providers specializing in endocrinology treatments to help many individuals with hypothyroidism. We also guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer

13 Swidan Neuro-Endocrine-Immune

What’s The Thyroid’s Role In The Body?

 

Have you been experiencing fatigue out of nowhere? What about having constipation issues in your lower abdominals? Or have you been experiencing frequent and heavy menstrual cycles? Some of these symptoms are associated with hypothyroidism. The thyroid is located at the neck’s base and produces hormones. Studies reveal that this small organ is mighty as it has a massive responsibility to the body by controlling its metabolism, growth, and functionality. As the thyroid secretes hormones for the body, these hormones travel with the bloodstream to different organs, muscles, and tissues throughout the body. Thyroxine(T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) are the two main hormones the thyroid gland produces. While the hypothalamus produces TRH (thyrotropin-releasing hormone), and the anterior pituitary glands produce TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone). All three of these organs work in synchronized harmony with the body by maintaining the proper mechanism and homeostasis. The thyroid hormone affects not only the body but the vital organs like:

  • Heart
  • Central nervous system
  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Lungs
  • Skeletal muscles
  • Metabolism
  • GI tract

 

The Effects Of Hypothyroidism In The Body

Since the thyroid helps regulate hormones in the body, environmental factors play a role in hormone production. When environmental factors begin to affect the body, they potentially involve hormones. When the thyroid gland cannot produce sufficient hormones in the body, it risks developing hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is defined as a common condition that is the result of low hormone production overlapping various conditions and manifestations. When left untreated, hypothyroidism could associate with sympathetic and parasympathetic dysfunction. Studies reveal that the thyroid hormone influences the autonomic nervous system. Individuals suffering from hypothyroidism correlate to a dysfunctional autonomic system overlapping sympathetic reactivity. This means that hypothyroidism will cause the body’s metabolism to slow down and cause various symptoms to affect each vital organ. 


An Overview Of Hypothyroidism-Video

Have you been experiencing chronic fatigue? How about muscle weakness in your arms or legs? What about feeling cold all the time? Individuals experiencing these symptoms are dealing with a condition known as hypothyroidism. The video above explains hypothyroidism, how it is diagnosed, and its symptoms in the body. Many environmental factors do play a role when it comes to the development of hypothyroidism. Some of the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism include:

  • Constipation
  • Decrease in sexual function
  • Depression
  • High cholesterol
  • Weight gain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Hashimoto’s

When the body is being affected by environmental factors correlating with hypothyroidism, studies reveal that factors like spinal cord injuries do cause an impact on the body’s metabolic function and derange various hormonal axes. This causes issues that could potentially involve co-morbidities like urinary tract infections. Fortunately, there are ways to manage hypothyroidism and regulate the hormones to make the body functional again.


Managing Hypothyroidism

 

One cornerstone in managing hypothyroidism and reducing its associated symptoms is following a proper treatment for health and wellness. Maintaining healthy hormone levels in the body is achievable regarding hypothyroidism. Taking thyroid medication as prescribed by a doctor help improve symptoms associated with hypothyroidism while regulating T3 and T4 hormones. Eating nutritious foods may help relieve some symptoms of hypothyroidism. Exercising helps enhance energy levels and strengthen weak muscles for individuals with hypothyroidism. Incorporating chiropractic care can help reduce somato-visceral disorders associated with hypothyroidism through spinal manipulation. Utilizing these treatments to manage hypothyroidism benefits one’s health and wellness journey.

 

Conclusion

The thyroid is an organ at the neck’s base as part of the endocrine system. This organ is mighty as it helps the body by secreting hormones for all the various organs, muscles, and tissues. When the thyroid can’t produce sufficient hormones to regulate the body, it risks developing hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a common condition that results in a low hormonal count, triggering symptoms that affect the body. If left untreated, it could become the mediator for sympathetic and parasympathetic dysfunction. Luckily, treatments are available to manage hypothyroidism and regulate hormonal secretion in the body. This allows the individual to incorporate healthy habits to maintain their hormones while their health and wellness journey continues impacting their lives.

 

References

Cheville, A L, and S C Kirshblum. “Thyroid Hormone Changes in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury.” The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 1995, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8591067/.

Hardy, Katie, and Henry Pollard. “The Organisation of the Stress Response, and Its Relevance to Chiropractors: A Commentary.” Chiropractic & Osteopathy, BioMed Central, 18 Oct. 2006, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1629015/.

Mahajan, Aarti S, et al. “Evaluation of Autonomic Functions in Subclinical Hypothyroid and Hypothyroid Patients.” Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, May 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3712377/.

Patil, Nikita, et al. “Hypothyroidism.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 19 June 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK519536/.

Shahid, Muhammad A, et al. “Physiology, Thyroid Hormone – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 8 May 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK500006/.

Disclaimer

An Early Indication On Hyperinsulinemia

An Early Indication On Hyperinsulinemia

Do you feel:

  • Agitated, easily upset, nervous?
  • Like you crave sweets during the day?
  • That eating sweets does not relieve cravings for sugar?
  • That you must have sweets after meals?
  • Hormone imbalances?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then your blood glucose levels are dramatically fluctuating up and down. It might be an early indication of hyperinsulinemia in your body.

When it comes to the body, many people often try to make sure that their body is healthy and strong by eating the right food, exercising regularly, and even getting a routine check-up from their primary healthcare providers. Even though people can achieve this, sometimes harmful pathogens like autoimmune diseases, metabolic syndrome, and chronic illnesses can affect the body. When harmful pathogens attack the body from the inside, it can cause the body to dysfunction, especially the body’s system. Many people have found ways to dampen the effects that harmful pathogens have caused in their bodies. However, there are some people who are autoimmune compromises or even have diabetes have taken the necessary precautions to make sure that they are in control of their bodies.

It is surprising that when people are controlling their insulin levels, they are accustomed to think that insulin is a blood sugar-regulating hormone. Research shows that when the blood glucose rises in the body, insulin is being secreted in the body to help bring the blood glucose down a bit. This is a partial stimulation known as insulin-sensitive glucose transporters, and this is one of the many roles that insulin provides that are unrelated to the body’s blood glucose. When the blood glucose levels are rising and falling dramatically in the body, it can cause anyone who has diabetes to go into DKA or diabetic ketoacidosis.

Chronic Hyperinsulinemia

Studies have found that when diabetic individuals are keeping an eye on their blood glucose levels, they go on a ketogenic diet to keep their ketones under control. It is a surprise to many people that insulin is not required for cellular glucose uptake. The research study mentioned that when individuals are in a deficient carbohydrate diet, their bodies can regulate and control the production of the ketone bodies, causing a harmless physiological state known as dietary ketosis. The study even mentioned that when ketone bodies are flowing from the liver to the brain, it can be used as fuel. When this happens, spare glucose metabolism is very similar to the mechanism of spare glucose that is oxidizing fatty acids as an alternative fuel.

Picture-of-woman-doing-injection-with-insulin-pen_MEDIUM

There is another study that shows that the use of exogenous insulin in individuals who have type 1 diabetes may need to suppress the free glucagon secretion that facilitates glucose transport into their cells. The hormone glucagon has a stimulatory effect on fuel production from the liver and can even modulate the hepatic glucose uptake and the hepatic glycogen synthesis in the body. The study even shows that the hormone glucagon has been longed dismissed as a minor contributor to metabolic diseases in the body. Not only that, but glucagon can even increase hepatic glucose from the liver to the brain and ketone production in the body.

Research on Hyperinsulinemia

What is interesting is that when insulin�s myopic focus is related to blood glucose. Research shows that many people have missed a host of health problems that can occur in the presence of average glucose in the body, but it is known as chronically elevated insulin. The research study showed that when there is a lack of insulin in the liver, it causes glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis are being activated. When this happens, it can further enhance an overproduction of hormones like glucagon and cortisol, which can stimulate the process of insulin deficiency. A study has found that when a person has chronically elevated insulin or hyperinsulinemia, it can develop cardiometabolic diseases even if elevated glucose is absent. This is due to fasting glucose being part of a routine check-up and chronically elevated glucose.

Studies have shown that chronic hyperinsulinemia is the main factor in POS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and that there is a high prevalence of undiagnosed insulin resistance with patients who have Parkinson’s disease. Chronic hyperinsulinemia can contribute to insulin resistance, as studies show that this factor can alter lipid metabolism in the body. The research study even shows that insulin sensitivity can be determined by hyper-insulinemic and can lead to weight gain, raised plasma triglycerides, and free fatty acids in the body.

Chronic hyperinsulinemia can be present long before there is a rise in blood glucose. Research shows that there are at least five stages in the progression of diabetes, and it can indicate any metabolic dysfunction that is happening in the body. In one study, it showed that there is an association between hyperinsulinemia in the fasting state and the development of diabetes. The study mentioned that basal hyperinsulinemia in adults who are normoglycemic could constitute an independent risk factor for metabolic deterioration to dysglycemia and can even help identify healthy subjects that may have an increased risk for diabetes.

Conclusion

All in all, if someone wants to make sure that their insulin levels are functioning correctly, they will have to be in a very low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and keep an eye on their blood glucose levels. Individuals that are living with a condition due to chronic hyperinsulinemia, there are effective ways to manage this condition and even preventing it. Many people should start eating healthy, nutritional food, exercise regularly, and start developing healthy habits in order to achieve an overall sense of health and wellness. Some products are beneficial to regulate blood glucose by providing support to sugar metabolism with hypoallergenic nutrients, enzymatic cofactors, metabolic precursors, and phytonutrients.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Dankner, R, et al. �Basal State Hyperinsulinemia in Healthy Normoglycemic Adults Heralds Dysglycemia After More Than Two Decades of Follow Up.� Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22865584/.

Hogg, Elliot, et al. �High Prevalence of Undiagnosed Insulin Resistance in Non-Diabetic Subjects With Parkinson’s Disease.� Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2018, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29614702/.

Manninen, Anssi H. �Metabolic Effects of the Very-Low-Carbohydrate Diets: Misunderstood �Villains� of Human Metabolism.� Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, BioMed Central, 31 Dec. 2004, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2129159/.

Morita, Ippei, et al. �Chronic Hyperinsulinemia Contributes to Insulin Resistance under Dietary Restriction in Association with Altered Lipid Metabolism in Zucker Diabetic Fatty Rats.� American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Apr. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28143857.

Sonksen, P., and J. Sonksen. �Insulin: Understanding Its Action in Health and Disease.� British Journal of Anaesthesia, 1 July 2000, bjanaesthesia.org/article/S0007-0912(17)37337-3/fulltext.

Team, DFH. �Hyperinsulinemia: An Early Indicator of Metabolic Dysfunction.� Designs for Health, 12 Mar. 2020, blog.designsforhealth.com/node/1212.

Unger, Roger H, and Alan D Cherrington. �Glucagonocentric Restructuring of Diabetes: a Pathophysiologic and Therapeutic Makeover.� The Journal of Clinical Investigation, American Society for Clinical Investigation, Jan. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3248306/.

Weir, Gordon C, and Susan Bonner-Weir. �Five Stages of Evolving Beta-Cell Dysfunction During Progression to Diabetes.� Diabetes, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mar. 2004, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15561905/.


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The University offers a wide variety of medical professions for functional and integrative medicine. Their goal is to inform individuals who want to make a difference in the functional medical fields with knowledgeable information that they can provide.

Balance Hormones Naturally

Balance Hormones Naturally

Keeping hormones in balance can be a tough challenge. There are many individuals with hormonal imbalances and they don’t even know it. Despite�tests for abnormal thyroid function, they don’t always acknowledge a thyroid that isn�t functioning properly. The same can be said for the adrenals. When they are overtaxed, the imbalance that follows can be quite challenging. There are top-quality natural remedies for hormonal imbalance.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Balance Hormones Naturally El Paso, Texas

How to tell

Under-producing glands will have some symptoms that are different from glands that are over-producing. But there are some symptoms that are shared across the board.

If you notice that you experience several of these symptoms, it could point to a hormonal imbalance:

  • Aches and pain in the muscles
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion and lack of mental clarity
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Migraines
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Swelling
  • Weight loss or gain without doing anything new/different

A chiropractor, naturopath, or specialist can help you determine if you have a hormonal imbalance. Medical doctors often prescribe medications, but in most cases, the imbalance can be corrected with a natural treatment. These treatments are highly beneficial in treating hormonal imbalances. They can be done separately or combined.

 

Herbs & Oils

There are several herbs and essential oils that work wonders when it comes to balancing hormones. Ashwagandha is at the top of the list for treating overactive or sluggish thyroid as well as overtaxed adrenals. It’s available as a tablet, capsule, in powder form, or as a liquid. Mixing � to � teaspoons of powder into some milk with honey and drinking it just before bed can help sleep, calm stress and balance the hormones. Various oils like clary sage, lavender, and sandalwood help reduce stress and promote wellbeing. Hormonal balance comes as a natural result. Put 3 to 5 drops in a diffuser and breathe in.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Food Sensitivities and Gut Health El Paso, TX.

Nutritional Balance

Hormonal imbalance can often be the result of stress, whether emotional stress from everyday life or physical stress from poor habits like not getting the proper amount of sleep and not maintaining a proper diet. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are vital for heart health, vibrant skin and hormonal balance.

Other nutrients include vitamin D, B complex, and magnesium. If not getting enough in the foods you eat, then consider supplements. Give the body a great boost by taking probiotics and reaping the healing properties of bone broth. Bone broth is available in powder or liquid or you can make your own. There is intense nutrition in broth so incorporating it into your diet is a very wise decision.

Natural Balance

Chiropractic is a powerful treatment for hormonal imbalance. It focuses on the heart of factors that cause the body to go out of balance and treats the problem at the root. It can relieve stress in the body and reduce and eliminate pain, which can contribute to hormonal imbalances. It is considered one of the best natural treatments for hormonal imbalance because it brings the body back into balance.

The whole-body approach that chiropractic offers means that you get recommendations on:

  • Healthy diet
  • Exercise
  • Lifestyle changes

All of these work together to balance your body and balance hormones for a healthier, happier you.


 

Back Pain Treatment


 

NCBI Resources

 

Metabolic Syndrome: Home Solutions

Metabolic Syndrome: Home Solutions

Metabolic Syndrome affects many people. In fact, more than a quarter of the United States has it! Metabolic Syndrome is not a disease, but instead a cluster of disorders. These disorders on their own are not necessarily alarming but when you have more than one, the body starts to feel the repercussions.

Symptoms

Those with metabolic syndrome often suffer from frequent headaches, inflammation, nausea, fatigue, joint pain, and many more. On top of these symptoms, metabolic syndrome can put individuals at a higher risk for Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, Stroke, Obesity, Sleep Apnea, and Kidney Disease.

Risk Factors

Individuals who have an “apple or pear” body shape, are at an increased risk for developing metabolic syndrome. There are no “obvious” signs of metabolic syndrome, but rather one with metabolic syndrome has 3/5 of these risk factors.

  • A fasting blood glucose level of 100 mg/DL
  • High Blood Pressure, measuring 130/85
  • High Triglycerides
  • Low HDL (Good Cholesterol)� measuring <40mg/DL Men & <50mg/DL Women
  • Excess Waist Fat (>40in Men & >35in Women)

What Can You Do About It?

Of course, no one wants to be left feeling sick and stranded. There are ways to help prevent metabolic syndrome at home. Below there are five tips for each risk factor and how to prevent/reduce your symptoms.

A Fasting Blood Glucose Level Of 100 mg/DL

  • Ketogenic Diet
  • Increase Fiber
  • Control Portions
  • Set “Carb Goals”
  • Choose complex carbs over simple carbs

High Blood Pressure, measuring 130/85

  • Reduce Sodium
  • Lower caffeine
  • DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)
  • Boost Potassium
  • Read Food labels

High Triglycerides

  • Limit sugar intake
  • Increase fiber
  • Establish a regular eating pattern
  • Eat more “tree nuts” ( almonds, cashews, pecans)
  • Switch to unsaturated fats

Low HDL ( Good Cholesterol) measuring <40mg/DL Men & <50mg/DL Women

  • Reduce Alcohol
  • Do not smoke
  • Choose better fats
  • Purple Produce (antioxidants to help inflammation)
  • Increase fish consumption

Excess Waist Fat >40 in Men & >35 in Women

  • Ketogenic Diet
  • Exercise Daily
  • Walk after dinner
  • Grocery Shop without Aisles
  • Increase in Water Consumption

Solutions

Aside from doing these tricks and tips at home, a doctor or health coach will be able to further assist one in healing. The main goal is to take these symptoms and disorders and correct them before they become a full-blown diagnosis.

Rather than just running a basic blood panel, they now have tests that allow us to see multiple different levels and numbers. these elaborate blood tests provide great insight to allow us to see the full picture. By completing these labs, it allows the doctor to evaluate the patients better and provide a more specific treatment plan.

In addition to detailed lab work, there are all-natural supplements that have been shown to help improve these symptoms along with proper diet and exercise. Some of these supplements include Vitamin D, Berberine, and Ashwagandha.

On top of these things, there is also an app that is available to download. This app is called, “Dr. J Today”. This app connects you directly to our clinic and allows us to monitor your diet, supplements, activity, BMI, water weight, muscle mass, and more! This app also gives you a direct portal to message Dr.Jimenez or myself.

As stated before, our main goal is to help you decrease your symptoms before they turn into a full-blown diagnosis. One thing we want to surround our patients with is knowledge and a team atmosphere. With the right team, anything is possible and better health is more attainable than you think!

Having Type 1 Diabetes, I have experienced metabolic syndrome before. It is one of my least favorite feelings that exist. I want our patients to know that they do not have to feel that way and there are treatment plans that can help! I will help to create a personalized plan that is tailed to you, so success is the only option. – Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach�

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

References:
Mayo Clinic Staff. �Metabolic Syndrome.� Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 14 Mar. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/metabolic-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20351916.
Sherling, Dawn Harris, et al. �Metabolic Syndrome.� Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, vol. 22, no. 4, 2017, pp. 365�367., doi:10.1177/1074248416686187.

Functional Endocrinology: Menopause and Osteoporosis

Functional Endocrinology: Menopause and Osteoporosis

Do you feel:

  • Perimenopausal?
  • Inflammation in the joints?
  • Alternating menstrual cycle lengths?
  • Hot flashes?
  • Hormonal imbalances?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might be experiencing menopause and its symptoms.

When a woman hits their late forties and entering their early fifties, they go through the natural aging process known as menopause. Menopause is when a woman has not menstruated in about twelve consecutive months as well as can no longer become pregnant. With menopause comes uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and hormones imbalance. For women, hormone imbalances can range from having too much or too little hormones in the body’s bloodstream. When menopause occurs, the loss of the ovarian function in a female’s body can have an impact on their skeletal health, causing osteoporosis in the joints.

Osteoporosis and Menopause

Surprisingly though, the hormone estrogen can play a role in the development of osteoarthritis and when a woman is under the menopausal phase. They can experience a decline in their estrogen levels, and osteoporosis will begin to wreak the bones and joints, causing chronic inflammation. Studies have found out that when estrogen hormones begin to change during healthy menopausal changes, they will begin to fluctuate then suddenly drop. They stated that estrogen helps prevent bones from getting weaker through the natural breakdown. Any fractures from accidents can cause pain, decreased mobility, and normal function of the female body due to osteoporosis.

osteoporosis-cropped

There is even more evidence that the fluctuation of estradiol that may even be more pronounced in the perimenopause and might not be able to correlate well with bone density and loss for the body. So, during the menopausal stage, the bone density will deteriorate when females have osteoporosis. There have been rumors that osteoporosis is something that a person should not have to worry because it only happens if there is a family history of osteoporosis. Sadly though, osteoporosis is a common bone disease, and having a family history of the disease can increase the chances. However, there are also other risk factors that can cause osteoporosis like:

  • Excessive alcohol
  • Amenorrhea
  • Smoking
  • Low body weight

Research shows that osteoporosis does start when a woman is at the start of the menopausal stage and has stopped ovulating, her monthly menstrual cycle stops. Her estrogen levels will dramatically stop, as well. It stated that women could have a total bone loss within the first ten years that follow menopause. When there is a lack of estrogen in the body due to menopause, bone density loss is much more significant and can cause fractures in the body. Studies have found out that local health care professionals will ask women about the amount of bone density that has been lost during their menopausal transition and when they begin. They even found out that the follicle-stimulating hormone in women has changed as well during their menopausal transition.

Bone Remodeling

Furthermore, studies found that over 20 American individuals are affected by osteoporosis, and this can lead to about 1.5 million bone fractures each year, thus making osteoporosis to be one of the leading public health problems. More studies even found that women would lose at least fifty percent of their trabecular bone, and about thirty percent of their cortical bone in their body will eventually be lost during the first ten years during their postmenopausal stage. Women must at least take vitamin D supplements to make sure that their bones are healthy and are not prone to bone loss or fractures.

There is information about why bone loss seems to accelerate after a woman�s menstrual cycle has ended and why bone remodeling can help replace the old bones that have been lost due to osteoporosis or due to fracture. Surprisingly though, bone remodeling is a process to replace old bones with new bones for the body, and it is consists of five phases. They are:

  • Activation: During this phase of bone remodeling, osteoclasts are being recruited to the surface of the bone.
  • Resorption: In this phase, the osteoclast is being generated into an acidic microenvironment on the surface of the bone, thus dissolving and resorbing the bone�s mineral content.
  • Reversal: In this phase, the osteoclast then undergoes apoptosis and then is being recruited onto the bone�s surface.
  • Formation: This is the last phase of bone remodeling as the osteoclast deposits collagen and then being mineralized to form a new bone in the body.

Conclusion

Menopause is a natural part of hormone levels to drop, and women cannot get pregnant any more. One of the most common signs that menopausal women encountered is osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is when bones become brittle and can break from falls or injury. Women need to take supplements for bone health so that way the bones and the body is functioning correctly. Some products are designed to help support the estrogen metabolism in both the female and male bodies as well as products to help support the hormonal balance and the normal menstruation for females in the reproductive age.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Duggal, Neel. �What�s the Connection Between Menopause and Arthritis?� Healthline, 11 May, 2017, www.healthline.com/health/menopause/menopausal-arthritis.

Finkelstein, Joel S, et al. �Bone Mineral Density Changes during the Menopause Transition in a Multiethnic Cohort of Women.� The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, The Endocrine Society, Mar. 2008, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2266953/.

Rodriguez, Diana, et al. �The Osteoporosis-Menopause Connection.� EverydayHealth.com, 16 Feb. 2016, www.everydayhealth.com/menopause/osteoporosis-and-menopause.aspx.

Rosen, Clifford, and Ramon Martinez. �Post Menopause and Osteoporosis.� Hormone Health Network, Mar. 2019, www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/menopause/post-menopause-and-osteoporosis.

Sowers, MaryFran R, et al. �Amount of Bone Loss in Relation to Time around the Final Menstrual Period and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone Staging of the Transmenopause.� The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, The Endocrine Society, May 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2869543/.

Team, Penn Medicine. �Menopause And Osteoporosis: What’s The Connection? � Penn Medicine.� � Penn Medicine, 18 Mar. 2016, www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/womens-health/2016/march/menopause-and-osteoporosis.

Tella, Sri Harsha, and J Christopher Gallagher. �Prevention and Treatment of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis.� The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4187361/.


Modern Integrative Wellness- Esse Quam Videri

The University offers a wide variety of medical professions for functional and integrative medicine. Their goal is to inform individuals who want to make a difference in the functional medical fields with knowledgeable information that they can provide.

 

 

Functional Endocrinology: Perimenopause

Functional Endocrinology: Perimenopause

Do you feel:

  • Hot flashes?
  • Mental fogginess?
  • Disinterest in sex?
  • Mood swings?
  • Increased vaginal pain, dryness, or itching?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might be going through perimenopause.

When the body hits a certain age, the hormone levels will naturally increase then decrease, causing the person to experience symptoms that they never have. For women, they go through an aging progression known as menopause, which is a normal part of aging, and when the female stops producing eggs. Menopause occurs when a female is in her late forties to her early fifties, depending on which country they are from. Before a woman goes through the menopausal process, perimenopausal begins before the actual menopausal progression occurs. Not only that but when a woman goes through perimenopause, their endocrine system is being affected with hormonal changes as the hormones begin to fluctuate during the menopausal shift.

Perimenopausal

Perimenopausal can be defined in various ways; however, researchers can agree that perimenopausal begins when a woman starts to have irregular menstrual cycles. This is due to a natural decline in their ovarian function, and it will be their last menstrual period. Research shows that perimenopausal leads up to menopause and follows after post-menopause. Surprisingly though, during perimenopausal years, the hormone levels will begin to fluctuate, and the estrogen levels begin to become a bit higher than average. Afterward, though once menopause goes through the postmenopausal stage, the hormone levels will begin to decrease gradually naturally.

Perimenopausal Symptoms

estrogen

When it comes to the endocrine system, it plays a role when a female is going through perimenopause. Since the endocrine system produces hormones and is responsible for reproduction hormones, it makes sure that the female body has the two hormones estrogen and progesterone. When there is a lack of hormones in the female body, it is due to the effects of hot flashes that are caused by perimenopause. Now research shows that most women do not expect that to have hot flashes until they have menopause. It is one of the symptoms that all females get. Other symptoms can cause women to have them when they are going through. They are:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats: There is about an estimated 35%-50% of women who have perimenopausal, will suffer a sudden wave of body heat that is consist of sweating ant flushing that can last about five to ten minutes. Surprisingly it can happen at night as well when the body starts to sweat.
  • Vaginal dryness: When estrogen levels began to decline during late perimenopause naturally, it can cause the vaginal tissue to become a bit thinner and drier. When this happens, it can cause irritation, itching, and can be a source of pain during intercourse.
  • Uterine bleeding: When the progesterone levels start to decline, it can cause the growth of the endometrium, which is the uterine lining to become a bit thinker than usual before it sheds, thus resulting in a very heavy period. Not only that, but if a female has fibroids or endometriosis, then those two conditions may become a bit more troublesome.
  • Sleep problems: Studies found out that about forty percent of perimenopausal women have trouble sleeping. Between the night sweats and the disrupted sleep patterns, the problem can be a little complex to be blamed on the hormone oscillation, and the sleep cycles change as a person ages. Plus, insomnia is a common complaint for both sexes.
  • Mood swings: There is about ten to twenty percent of women who have experienced mood swings during perimenopause that has been linked to low estrogen levels. When women have experienced mood swings, it usually happens around midlife, like stress, poor overall health, and a history of depression.
  • Short term memory: Surprisingly, many women have complained about having short term memory problems as well as having a difficult time concentrating during the menopausal transition. Even though estrogen and progesterone help maintain brain function, there is too little information to separate the effects of aging and the psychosocial factors that can be related to hormone changes.

Studies have even found out that during the menopausal transition, the regular patterns of a female’s menstrual cycle will become disrupted, and the normal ovulatory cycle will decline naturally. At the same time, the gonadotropin levels will start to rise as well as the follicle-stimulating hormones will increase on a woman’s feature.

Conclusion

Menopause is a natural stage in a woman’s life. The hormone levels will begin to fluctuate, and it all starts when a woman’s menstrual cycle begins to stop. With perimenopause, it is the beginning of the menopausal transition as the female body starts to change. From hot flashes to irregular sleep patterns, perimenopause is a natural way to let the body know that change is coming. Some products are designed to help support the estrogen metabolism in both the female and male bodies as well as products to help support the hormonal balance and the normal menstruation for females in the reproductive age.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Publishing, Harvard Health. �Perimenopause: Rocky Road to Menopause.� Harvard Health, June 2009, www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/perimenopause-rocky-road-to-menopause.

Buckler, Helen. �The Menopause Transition: Endocrine Changes and Clinical Symptoms.� The Journal of the British Menopause Society, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2005, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15970017.

Cherney, Kristeen. � Effects of Menopause on the Body.� Healthline, 5 Feb. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/menopause/hrt-effects-on-body.

Edwards, Beatrice J, and Jin Li. �Endocrinology of Menopause.� Periodontology 2000, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23240949.

Wexler, Tamara L. �Perimenopause and Menopause Overview.� EndocrineWeb, 25 Mar. 2016, www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/menopause/perimenopause-menopause-overview.


Modern Integrative Wellness- Esse Quam Videri

The University offers a wide variety of medical professions for functional and integrative medicine. Their goal is to inform individuals who want to make a difference in the functional medical fields with knowledgeable information that they can provide.

Functional Endocrinology: Blood-Brain Barrier and The Endocrine System

Functional Endocrinology: Blood-Brain Barrier and The Endocrine System

Do you feel:

  • Hormone imbalances?
  • Craving sweets during the day?
  • Weight gain?
  • Overall sense of bloating?
  • Shaky, jittery, or have tremors throughout your body?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then it might be your blood-brain barrier and your endocrine system that may be imbalanced.

The brain in the human body is the primary control system that makes sure that each of the body’s system is working correctly. This includes the gastrointestinal system, the hepatic system, the neurological system, and, most importantly, the endocrine system. In the brain, however, there is a tissue known as the blood-brain barrier, it is connected to the endocrine system. It is essential to make sure that the blood-brain barrier and the endocrine system are healthy in the human body.

The Blood-Brain Barrier

The blood-brain barrier in the body separates the central nervous system from peripheral tissue. Even though the blood-brain barrier separates the nervous system, it does not prevent hormones from entering the brain. Research shows that the brain can bind and secretes any circulating substances and can be qualified as an endocrine organ. When this happens, it can be one of the largest and most metabolically active of the endocrine organs by acting as both the target and secretor of hormones.

20191001-cancer

With the blood-brain barrier, it conveys the blood vessels by transporting the blood from the heart to every tissue and organs throughout the body. It then delivers oxygen and the nutrients to all the tissues and removing the carbon dioxide and metabolic waste from the tissues. The blood vessels also convey hormonal signals to the tissues and is a mediator for interacting with the peripheral immune system with each tissue. Research shows that since the blood-brain barrier is an endocrine tissue, the substances that are being carried in the blood can emerge in a hormone-like fashion. The research stated that the blood-brain barrier could exhibit the endocrine system properties as well as being a target for hormones that can affect many of the blood-brain functions in the body.

The Endocrine System

The endocrine system is a collection of glands that secretes out and produces hormones that can regulate not only the body but makes sure that it regulates the body’s metabolism and many other functions that the body needs to function correctly. When the body’s hormone levels fluctuate, it can be very good or horrible, depending on the situation. If the body produces an abundance of hormones, it can cause a person to have hyperthyroidism, and when the body produces a low abundance of hormones, the body can have complications and cause the body to develop chronic illnesses. Stress, infections, and diabetes can influence the body’s hormone levels by making hormones either too much or too little. By making sure that the body’s hormones are at a balanced level is essential because eating right and doing daily exercises can make the body function properly and feel good as well.

Since the body can produce hormones naturally, the job of the primary hormone is to make sure that it is traveling in the bloodstream and making it to the various organs and tissues that need the hormone levels. The hormone levels can tell every organ and tissues what to do and how to function. When the hormone levels get crazy by being produced too much or too little, it causes those organs and tissues to malfunction.

For the blood-brain barrier, since it is an endocrine tissue, it can divide the hormone receptors. The research found out that the blood-brain barrier can respond to circulate the hormone substances and secrete those hormone substances into the blood circulation and the central nervous system. It can also make sure that when the hormone receptors are being divided that it goes to the central nervous tissues and the peripheral tissues. The research also found out that insulin levels can also affect the brain’s endothelial cell function through several parameters and modulating amino acids, leptin, and p-glycoprotein transporters in the body.

Surprisingly there is a unique feature that the blood-brain barrier possesses. The blood-brain relies on its cell membrane surfaces facing into the bloodstream and the interstitial fluid of the central nervous system so that way it can receive signals for the body. The research found out that the blood-brain barrier’s properties are primarily manifested within the brain’s endothelial cells. They can be induced and maintained through critical interactions with the cells that are interacting in the neurovascular unit in the brain. With these endocrine-like mechanisms that the blood-brain barrier has, it can help dampen the effects of endocrine diseases like neurodegenerative conditions and Alzheimer’s disease.

Conclusion

The blood-brain barrier is an essential tissue in the brain as it functions as an endocrine tissue and does play a role by interacting with the hormone levels that the endocrine system secreted out to the body. When the hormone levels start to malfunction by either producing an abundance or too little amount of hormones, it can cause the body to have chronic illnesses and the blood-brain barrier to dysfunction in the brain, causing degenerative neurological disorders in the brain as well. Some products can help the endocrine system by making sure the hormone levels are balanced as well as products for a healthy brain function for a healthy body.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Banks, William A. �Brain Meets Body: the Blood-Brain Barrier as an Endocrine Interface.� Endocrinology, Endocrine Society, Sept. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3423627/.

Banks, William A. �The Blood-Brain Barrier as an Endocrine Tissue.� Nature Reviews. Endocrinology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31127254.

Daneman, Richard, and Alexandre Prat. �The Blood-Brain Barrier.� Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 5 Jan. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4292164/.

Zimmermann, Kim Ann. �Endocrine System: Facts, Functions and Diseases.� LiveScience, Purch, 18 Feb. 2018, www.livescience.com/26496-endocrine-system.html.


Modern Integrative Wellness- Esse Quam Videri

The University offers a wide variety of medical professions for functional and integrative medicine. Their goal is to inform individuals who want to make a difference in the functional medical fields with knowledgeable information that they can provide.

 

 

 

Functional Endocrinology: Andropause

Functional Endocrinology: Andropause

Do you feel:

  • A decreased libido?
  • Difficulty urinating or dribbling
  • Spells of mental fatigue?
  • Decreased fullness of erection?
  • Inability to concentrate?

If you are feeling or experiencing any of these situations, then you might be experiencing male menopause or andropause.

When men and women are heading to their 50s, their bodies start to change. For women, they start to develop hot flashes, and their hormones start to change as well. Since it is normal for hormones to change naturally when a person is aging, it affects women more than men. Studies have shown that sex hormones in males occur gradually as they age. There is a term called “male menopause,” and it is defined when males have a decreased level of testosterone that is related to aging. Many healthcare professionals have another name for “male menopause,” and that is andropause.

Andropause

Andropause and menopause are entirely different since menopause causes a woman’s ovulation and hormones to plummet for a short period. With andropause, it causes a male’s testosterone production and their other hormones to decline for many years. Since testosterone levels in males are vastly different, older men tend to have lower levels than younger men, and testosterone levels can gradually decline throughout adult life.

andropause.jpg

Studies found that when a person ages, their aging process can affect the body�s systems, including the endocrine system. When a person is aging, their adrenal glands will go through morphological changes, and those changes can alter their cortex endocrine functions. Another study showed that since andropause is age-related, there is a partial insufficiency in the adrenal cortex in the endocrine system, and there are low levels of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) and DHEA sulfate that can affect the cortisol levels.

DHEA and DHEA Sulfate

With DHEA and DHEA sulfate, research has found that these two are steroids that are produced abundantly by the adrenal glands in the endocrine system.� With these two components, they provide beneficial properties and effects that have anti-aging properties to stimulate the immune system and the endocrine system. When males are going through the changes as they get older, their hormones will naturally decrease in their bodies.

Since andropause is age-related and has partial insufficiency on the adrenal cortex and it is characterized by low blood levels of DHEA and DHEA sulfate when it is under the presence of cortisol levels in the body. With andropause and its characteristics, it shows how males have low DHEA levels, and it can cause them to have a higher risk of erectile dysfunction in their bodies. It is essential to know that the endocrine system initiates the aging process.

Andropause Factors

Some studies show how there are changes in the endocrine pathways and are being accompanied by healthy aging. The changes can be from growth hormones to sex hormones in the male�s bodies. The results show a clinical significance of these changes and have the results morphologically and functionally. Surprisingly there have been many age-associated diseases like epithelial skin cancer and neurodegenerative diseases that can attack the body due to the lack of hormones that are being produced. Hence hormone replacement therapies are conducted for older individuals.

When it comes to andropause and low testosterone in males, there are recognizable signs and symptoms that healthcare professionals and male individuals should look for. They can be:

  • Sexual function: Low testosterone level can reduce sexual desire, causes erectile dysfunction and infertility, to name a few. Even male’s testes might be smaller as well.
  • Sleep patterns: Sleep disturbances like insomnia or feeling more tired is due to low testosterone in the body.
  • Physical changes: For males who have low testosterone, various physical changes can happen to their bodies. They can either have increased body fat, reduced muscle bulk, and decrease bone density. Sometimes the male body can develop gynecomastia (swollen breast) and body hair loss.
  • Emotional changes: With low testosterone levels, they can make males have a decrease in motivation or self-confidence.

It is essential to know that when males have low testosterone, they can go for testosterone therapy to help dampen the signs and symptoms that they might experience.

Conclusion

Andropause is when males have low testosterone levels in their bodies. Naturally, hormone levels can decrease when males get older, and it is essential to know that there is testosterone therapy for males who have low levels of this hormone. It is ok to be on a healthy lifestyle and eating natural foods that can help boost up hormone levels in the body to make sure that it is functioning correctly. Some products are here to help the endocrine system and support the metabolic system as well. They even help the adrenal glands and support the gastrointestinal system to make sure the body is functioning correctly for a healthy new year.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Makrantonaki, Evgenia, et al. �Skin and Brain Age Together: The Role of Hormones in the Ageing Process.� Experimental Gerontology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20719245.

Nawata, Hajime, et al. �Adrenopause.� Hormone Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2004, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15539809.

Papierska, Lucyna. �Adrenopause – Does It Really Exist?� Przeglad Menopauzalny = Menopause Review, Termedia Publishing House, June 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5509973/.

R�mmler, Alexander. �Adrenopause and Dehydroepiandrosterone: Pharmacological Therapy versus Replacement Therapy.� Gynakologisch-Geburtshilfliche Rundschau, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2003, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12649580.

Staff, Mayo Clinic. �Understanding Aging and Testosterone.� Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 18 May 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/male-menopause/art-20048056.


Modern Integrative and Functional Medicine- Esse Quam Videri

By informing individuals about how the National University of Health Sciences provides knowledge for future generations who want to make a difference in the world. The University offers a wide variety of medical professions for functional and integrative medicine.

 

Functional Endocrinology: The Mind-Body Connection and Stress Part 1

Functional Endocrinology: The Mind-Body Connection and Stress Part 1

Do you feel:

  • Stressed out after a long day?
  • Irritable if meals are missed?
  • Shaky, jittery, or have tremors?
  • Agitated, easily upset, or nervous?
  • Hormone imbalance?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then your mind-body connection might be unbalanced.

Throughout history, there have been studies and theories that the mind and body are separate. This theory has been accepted by many; however, there is so much evidence showing the mind, and the body having a bidirectional relationship in the body like the gut system that sends signals to the brain and vise versa. Since each organ sends its signals to the brain, the endocrine system sends out signals to the brain in the form of hormones, which can alter the person’s perception of the world through their eyes.

With that in mind, neuroplasticity has shown people that when they are in their environment, it can be altered the physical make up of the environment. Many modern scientists have acquired very sophisticated tools that can monitor the body’s brainwaves, the microbes, and many other factors that can change the body’s mind. Since stress is a full-body response, it can be both a good thing and a bad thing for the body. Good stress in the body gives the “fight or flight” response while the bad stress can become chronic and can lead the body to be dysfunctional. So the idea of having the mind and the body being a separate function seems to be a bit outdated but also informational.

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By exploring the science and psychology of the mind-body disconnect, researchers can see how a person�s hormones can affect their perception of the world. By diving into the body, researchers can also see how stress can produce any visible changes in the brain as well.

How Experiences Alters the Mind

Many experiences can alter the mind. Whether it be good experiences that can be used in the work atmosphere or it can be bad experiences like being traumatized from horrible events. Studies show that trauma can alter the mind and depend on the situation. Even though the damage that is caused by trauma can be healed if it is minor. In some cases, it can scar a person even though the physical damage is healed. The mental damage is affected as a person can relive the traumatic experience that they encountered.

With good experience, they can be useful to a person if the damage has minored. If a person accidentally hurt themselves from any activities, they know not to do that again. Although if a person practices on specific activities and get better at it with time, it becomes a skill they can use. Sometimes a person can have a set of specific skills that are beneficial when they are working in the job they are in. So depending on the experiences that a person is dealing with, it can be either good or bad, but their brains will remember it.

The Difference Between Dualism and Monism

There has always been a philosophical debate on the mind and body. There are different ways to look at the mind-body connection, as many researchers have debated whether the mind is part of the body or that the body is part of the mind. Thus the difference between Dualism and Monism has different views on the mind-body connection.

Dualism is defined as being born out of the body as a physical object, and the mind or the consciousness is being constructed. The origins of dualism started with the Cartesian ways of thinking, where people started to argue that there was a two-way relationship between the mental and physical substances in the body. Surprisingly, the belief of the physical and mental systems are compartmentalized and not inter-related like what some people think.

French philosopher Ren� Descartes stated that the mind interacts with the body through the pineal glands and that the mind controls the body. He also summed his thoughts with one of his famous statements: �I think therefore I am.� With this statement, it tells researchers that the mind is a nonphysical and non-spatial substance that is being identified with consciousness and self-awareness in the body.

With monism, it is defined as a material point of view and that all humans are just merely complex physiological organisms. There is another type of monism known as phenomenalism. It also goes by subject idealism, and the concept of this monism is that the mind and the body are two separate entities. With each type of monism, the concepts always seem to be the same, which shows that each type of monism seems to ignore either the mind or the body. It is always one or the other, never together at the same time.

How Stress Hormones Influences the Brain

When it comes to stress and hormones, there has been a lot of scientific advancements on how the stress hormone affects the brain in the body. Since hormones have been found to alter the hippocampal neurons with stress hormones, they can give the body the burst of energy that it needs. Although, if there is a long-term activation of the stress hormone can wear the brain down and kill the brain’s cells. If someone has any psychological disorders that cause prolonged stress, it can impair cognitive function, and the results can be enhanced emotionally.

Conclusion

With the mind-body connection, they can send signals to each other and make sure that the human body is functioning correctly. When there is prolonged stress in the body, it can disrupt the signals and cause the body to dysfunction. The next article will be discussing how stress can rewire the brain in the body. Some products can help the body by supporting the endocrine system as well as helping the body to relieve temporary stress.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Perry, Bruce D., et al. �Childhood Trauma, the Neurobiology of Adaptation, and �Use?Dependent� Development of the Brain: How �States� Become �Traits.�� Semantic Scholar, 1 Jan. 1995, www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Childhood-trauma%2C-the-neurobiology-of-adaptation%2C-Perry-Pollard/1d6ef0f4601a9f437910deaabc09fd2ce2e2d31e.

Team, Biotics Education. �Stress – The Mind-Body Connection Part 1.� Biotics Research Blog, 9 Dec. 2019, blog.bioticsresearch.com/stress-the-mind-body-connection-part-1.

Woolley, C S, and P A Schwartzkroin. �Hormonal Effects on the Brain.� Epilepsia, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1998, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9915614.


Modern Integrative Medicine

Functional Endocrinology: The Hippocampus and Stress

Functional Endocrinology: The Hippocampus and Stress

Do you feel:

  • Stressed out?
  • Have uncontrollable weight gain?
  • Can you not remember specific stuff?
  • Agitated, jittery, anxious?
  • Inflammation?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then your hippocampus might be lowered than usual.

The Hippocampus

In the brain, there is an S-shaped structured located in the inner folds in the temporal lobe called the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a complex brain structure that has a layer of densely packed neurons, and its primary function involves how humans learn and how their memory works. The hippocampus is part of the limbic system as well since it works the feeling and reacting function in the body. The limbic system is situated at the edge of the cortex and includes the hypothalamus and the amygdala.

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These structures help controls the body�s different functions like the endocrine system and the �fight or flight� reaction response. With the hippocampus helping humans process what information they are learning, this structure can retrieve two kinds of memories that are important; they are declarative memories and spatial relationship memories.

  • Declarative memories: These are memories that are related to facts and events a person experience. It includes examples like how to memorize speeches or line in a play that a person is doing.
  • Spatial relationship memories: These memories involve pathways or routes that a person must learn. An example of this is transportation drivers like cab drivers, bus drivers, and truckers who have to learn the routes in the places they are going to. So they use spatial memory and practice their routes many times until they have it in their memories. The spatial relationship memories are stored on the right side of the hippocampus.

Sadly though, the hippocampus can be damaged by neurological diseases like Alzheimer�s disease and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). When it is damaged, a variety of conditions can affect the hippocampus�s ability to do its job for the brain, thus making the individual suffer from retaining information.

Hippocampus Conditions

Several conditions can cause problems to the body when the hippocampus is damaged. This is known as hippocampus atrophy, where the neurons and neuronal volume in the hippocampal that is a loss.

Alzheimer�s Disease

Alzheimer�s disease is when an individual begins to lose their memory. When the hippocampus is damaged, it can cause a dissociation between the cortexes and leads to information registration failure. Studies show that when Alzheimer�s disease is progressing, the hippocampus will lose its volume, and it will become harder for an individual to function in their daily lives.

Epilepsy

When a person has epilepsy, it might be due to a damaged hippocampus. Research shows that around 50 to 75% of patients with this disease may have hippocampal sclerosis, and in case they have died, they have medial temporal lobe epilepsy. More research states that the mechanics of hippocampal sclerosis in epilepsy can be related to the development of inflammation on the uncontrolled local hippocampus and blood-brain barrier damage.

Hypertension

When the hippocampus is damaged, hypertension can happen to a person. Hypertension is another name for high blood pressure, and it can lead to severe health complications to the body. Even though the causes of hypertension are still unknown, the risk factors from hypertension can include:

  • Environmental factors like stress or a lack of exercise
  • Hormone activity
  • Blood plasma

Studies show that hypertension and other risk factors are being increasingly viewed as a putative factor that is leading to hippocampal atrophy.

Cushing�s Disease

Cushing�s disease or Cushing syndrome is when the body is exposed to high levels of cortisol for a long time. Studies show that when there is a loss of cellular volume to the corticosteroid�s levels in the body and it could be responsible. When there is too much cortisol being produced in the body, it is one of the signs of Cushing syndrome. Some of the other signs include:

  • Weight gain
  • Fatty tissue deposits around the midsection, face, upper back and between the shoulders
  • Pink or purple stretch marks
  • Thinning, fragile skin that bruises easily
  • Slow healing cuts, insect bites and infections
  • Acne
  • Muscle weakness
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Loss of emotional control

Since stress does play a role in the endocrine system and the neurological system, there are nearly 80 years of research on how much focus has been on the various levels of the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis and the hormones it produces. It shows that glucocorticoids as the mediators for the stress effects on the hippocampus and being the contributing factor for stress-associated psychopathologies.

Conclusion

The hippocampus is located in the temporal lobe of the brain. This S-shaped structure can be easily damaged due to stress and other neurological factors that can affect the entire body and its systems. When harmful factors affect the hippocampus, it can lead the hormones that are producing to become imbalanced and cause dysfunction. Some products are here to make sure that the endocrine system is functioning properly and supporting the metabolic system, the gastrointestinal system, as well as making sure the hormones are balanced.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Anand, Kuljeet Singh, and Vikas Dhikav. �Hippocampus in Health and Disease: An Overview.� Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, Oct. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3548359/.

Dresden, Danielle. �Hippocampus: Function, Size, and Problems.� Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 7 Dec. 2017, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313295.php.

Felman, Adam. �Hypertension: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments.� Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 22 July 2019, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150109.php.

Kim, Eun Joo, et al. �Stress Effects on the Hippocampus: a Critical Review.� Learning & Memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 18 Aug. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4561403/.

Team, Mayo Clinic. �Cushing Syndrome.� Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 30 May 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cushing-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20351310.

 

 

Glycine: Astounding Role for Hormones and Sleep

Glycine: Astounding Role for Hormones and Sleep

Do you feel:

  • Inflammation?
  • Hormone imbalances?
  • Weight gain?
  • Brain fog?
  • Stomach pain, burning, or aching 1-4 hours after eating?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might be experiencing low glycine levels in your body.

Glycine

Glycine

Glycine is a vital amino acid that is beneficial to the body. It helps support the gastrointestinal system, the neurological system, the musculoskeletal system, and the body�s metabolism from harmful factors that can cause the human body to malfunction. Glycine is even a neurotransmitter and can help increase glutathione in the brain by providing anti-inflammatory effects. Glycine provides a sweet taste when it is consumed in the body. Even though glycine has a crucial role in the human body, the amino acid has received little to no attention until recently.

The fantastic thing about glycine is that it is a “non-essential” amino acid. What this means is that the body can make glycine by itself and distribute it to the necessary systems that need glycine. This is different from the “essential” amino acids since some nutrients and vitamins must come from the food diet themselves. When there is a mild deficiency of glycine, it is not harmful to the body; however, when there is a severe shortage of glycine, it can lead to immune response failure, slow body growth, and abnormal nutrient metabolism.

Glycine for The Brain

Since glycine is a neurotransmitter for the brain, it composes both excitatory and inhibitory capacities. For the excitatory capacity function, glycine serves as the antagonist for NMDA receptors for the brain. For inhibitory capacities, glycine helps increase the neurotransmitter serotonin. Studies show that serotonin is the ancestor of melatonin. When the levels are increased due to glycine supplements, the beneficial factors it causes can help reduce insomnia and provide better sleep quality.

Glycine on Sleep

Despite being a massive impact on serotonin, glycine has been known to be used as a therapeutic option for individuals to improve their sleep quality as a novel and safe approach.� Studies show that glycine can increase the blood flow to extremities by reducing the body�s core temperature, which is an important signal to initiate sleep. When this happens, glycine can increase a person�s time when they are in REM sleep, providing the person to have a good night’s sleep. Further research shows that glycine can inhibit the stimulatory orexin neurons that are responsible for arousal and energy homeostasis, which is critical and can induce non-REM sleep or even night waking.

Glycine�s Cognitive Effects

There are many beneficial cognitive effects that glycine has to offer. Research shows that the beneficial effect of glycine can help improve episodic memory in young and middle-aged adults. This can be beneficial for patients who have schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. Additional research also shows that patients who have Alzheimer’s disease use glycine as energy production for their brains.

Glycine Osteoprotective Effects

There is even more information on glycine supplementation, providing estrogen-like osteoprotective effects for menopausal women. The research shows that glycine helps decreased weight gain and providing an increase in vaginal weight gain caused by ovariectomy. Many healthcare providers recommend their female patients that have menopause to use glycine in their diet.

More Glycine Effects

Since glycine is a non-essential amino acid and a neurotransmitter for the central nervous system, this supplement can help supple muscle, bone, and connective tissue with collagen. Glycine has a small R group, which forms a triple helix structure that makes up of tropocollagen. In the body, 33% of all collagen is composed of glycine. Collagen levels in the body can decrease naturally due to anyone getting old. When this happens, inflammatory symptoms like arthritis occur. Researchers hypothesize that supplemental doses of glycine can strengthen joints and prevent reactive arthritis by blunting cytokine release by increasing chloride influx in the body.

Glycine is one of the three amino acids that can help aid the production of glutathione for the human body. Since this amino acid is a scavenger antioxidant, it will oppose proinflammatory signals from hydrogen peroxide. Studies show that glycine supplementation plays a vital role in balancing the redox reactions caused by metabolic syndrome in the human body and protecting patients from oxidative damage. There is even more research as a study stated that glycine has a vital role in the metabolism and nutrition of mammals and humans. Since glycine protects from inflammation and has fantastic health benefits for the body, when there are decreased levels of glycine in the body, it can be linked to metabolism-related disorders like type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease.

Glycine provides cytoprotective effects on the liver and gastrointestinal tract by conjugating bile acids. This is crucial because glycine plays a role in helping lipids to be digested and lipid-soluble vitamins to be absorbed in the body. In alcohol-induced hyperlipidemia, studies have shown that glycine can reduce alcohol levels in the bloodstream while also retaining the membrane integrity by reducing lipid levels. Glycine can even protect the stomach and intestines from damages caused by gastrointestinal disorders. Since glycine can maintain enterocyte integrity and prevent apoptosis, its anti-inflammatory effects can fight oxidative stress. They can provide the requirements to the intestines and the gut in the body.

Conclusion

Glycine is a vital amino acid that provides anti-inflammatory properties for not only the body’s metabolism but also helps the gastrointestinal system. With more and upcoming research about glycine, it is essential for this amino acid to continue to provide outstanding effects to the human body and to make sure that it functions properly. When harmful factors start entering the body, or there is a glycine deficiency, it can cause the body to malfunction. So incorporating glycine-rich foods in the daily diet can help alleviate the symptoms gradually. Some products are beneficial for the body since they help support the immune system and make sure the body is functioning.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Bannai, Makoto, et al. �Oral Administration of Glycine Increases Extracellular Serotonin but Not Dopamine in the Prefrontal Cortex of Rats.� Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (10.1111), 17 Mar. 2011, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1440-1819.2010.02181.x.

D�az-Flores, Margarita, et al. �Oral Supplementation with Glycine Reduces Oxidative Stress in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome, Improving Their Systolic Blood Pressure.� Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24144057.

File, S E, et al. �Beneficial Effects of Glycine (Bioglycin) on Memory and Attention in Young and Middle-Aged Adults.� Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 1999, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10587285.

Griffin, Jeddidiah WD, and Patrick C Bradshaw. “Amino Acid Catabolism in Alzheimer’s Disease Brain: Friend or Foe?” Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5316456/.

Kawai, Nobuhiro, et al. �The Sleep-Promoting and Hypothermic Effects of Glycine Are Mediated by NMDA Receptors in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus.� Neuropsychopharmacology: Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Nature Publishing Group, May 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4397399/.

Kim, Min-Ho, et al. “Estrogen-like Osteoprotective Effects of Glycine in Vitro and in Vivo Models of Menopause.” Amino Acids, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mar. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26563333.

Li, X et al. “Dietary Glycine Prevents Peptidoglycan Polysaccharide-Induced Reactive Arthritis in the Rat: Role for Glycine-Gated Chloride Channel.” Infection and Immunity, American Society for Microbiology, Sept. 2001, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC98707/.

McCarty, Mark F, et al. �Dietary Glycine Is Rate-Limiting for Glutathione Synthesis and May Have Broad Potential for Health Protection.� The Ochsner Journal, The Academic Division of Ochsner Clinic Foundation, 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5855430/.

Razak, Meerza Abdul, et al. �Multifarious Beneficial Effect of Nonessential Amino Acid, Glycine: A Review.� Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, Hindawi, 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5350494/.

Ross, Krista Anderson. �Glycine: Another Tool for the Hormone and Sleep Balancing Kit.� Doctor’s Data Specialty Testing Clinical Laboratory, 3 Dec. 2019, www.doctorsdata.com/resources/uploads/newsletters/Glycine’s-Role-in-Sleep-and-Hormone-Balancing.html.

 

Functional Endocrinology: Normalizing the Gut

Functional Endocrinology: Normalizing the Gut

Microbes have multicellular hosts and can have many effects on the host�s health and well-being. Researchers have stated that microbes influence metabolism, immunity, and behavior on the human body. One of the most important but understudied mechanisms that microbes have is that they can involve hormones. In the presence of gut microbiota, specific changes in hormone levels can correlate in the gut. The gut microbiota can produce and secrete hormones, respond to the host hormones, and regulate their expression levels. There is also a link between the endocrine system and the gut microbiota as more information is still being researched.

The Gut to Hormone Connection

Since the human microbiome contains a vast array of microbes and genes that shows a higher complexity. Unlike other organs in the body, the gut microbiota’s function is not fully understood yet but can be disrupted easily by antibiotics, diet, or surgery. The best-characterized function is how the gut microbiota interacts with the endocrine system in the body.

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Emerging research has indicated that the gut microbiome plays a central role in regulating estrogen levels within the body. When the estrogen hormone levels are too high or too low, it can lead to the risk of developing estrogen-related diseases like endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, breast cancer, and prostate cancer to males and females.

The gut to hormone connection is essential since the gut is one of the producers to create hormones that travel through the entire body system. With the endocrine system is being involved, it is the first network to produce and transport hormones to the organs that need the hormones to function. When there is an imbalance of hormones in the human body, it can disrupt all the other hormones.

The gut microbiota influences nearly every hormone that the endocrine system creates, including:

  • The thyroid hormones
  • Estrogen hormones
  • Stress hormones

Thyroid Hormones

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If the gut has inflammation, then the hormones in the body will create an excessive or low quantity in the body. If the endocrine glands like thyroid, are producing a low quantity of hormones and the gut can be imbalanced and lead to hypothyroidism. When there is low microbial diversity in the gut, studies have shown that the low microbial diversity is linked to high TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) levels. The excessive quantity of thyroid hormones can lead to hyperthyroidism. Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can cause symptoms like irritability, anxiety, poor memory, and many symptoms that can affect the body.

“If you are experiencing excessive belching, burping, bloating, difficult bowel movements difficulty digesting proteins and meats; undigested food found in stools, digestive problems subside with rest and relaxation or any symptoms. Then this article will give you a better understand what is happening with the gut and how hormones can affect the gut system.”

Estrogen Hormones

The gut and an individual’s hormones are meant to be in communication with each other. They not only support each other, but they also work together to make sure the body is running smoothly. Studies have found out that the gut’s intestinal cells have special receptors for hormones that allow them to detect any hormonal shifts that affect the body.

Since estrogen is typically associated with women, it is common that men need the right amount of estrogen levels to function. The gut microbiota is the key regulator of leveling and circulating estrogen in the body. The microbes produce an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase, which then converts the estrogen hormone to its active form.

The gut microbiome can regulate estrogen levels by functioning a specific bacteria in the microbiome called estrobolome. Estrobolome is the aggregates of enteric bacterial genes that are capable of metabolizing estrogen. It might affect women’s risk of developing postmenopausal estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. The estrobolome is highly essential to keep estrogen levels in the body at a stable state.

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In the gut microbiota, both the estrogen and progesterone hormones can impact the guts’ motility and peristalsis ( The rhythmic movement of the intestines that move food through the stomach and out of the body) by playing opposing roles in the guts� motility. Progesterone helps slow down the gut�s motility by relaxing the smooth and slowing transit the time the food is moving out of the body. Estrogen helps increase the contraction of the smooth muscles in the intestines. When the estrogen hormones are leveled right, it can help keep the gut moving smoothly and help increase the diversity of the body�s microbiomes, which is a good thing for the immune system.

Stress Hormones

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Stress hormones or cortisol plays a massive part in the gut microbiota. Since cortisol hormones connect to the brain, it sends the signals to the gut and vice versa. If it is a short stressor like getting ready for a presentation or a job interview, the person will feel “butterflies” in their gut. The longer stressors, for example, like having a highly stressful job or feeling anxious consistently, can lead to chronic illnesses in the gut like inflammation or leaky gut. Since the hormone and gut connection is in sync with the gut and brain connection, it is crucial to lowering the cortisol levels to a stable state for a healthy functional body.

Conclusion

The gut and hormone connections are profoundly meaningful since they are linked closely together. When there is a disruption on the gut, it can cause hormones to be imbalanced, causing many disruptions like inflammation and leaky gut. When there is a disruption in the hormones, it can disrupt the gut as well by negatively shifting the gut’s microbiome. So to ensure that the gut is functioning correctly, it is crucial to eat food that contains probiotics and is fermented to keep the gut flora healthy. Some products can help counter the metabolic effects of temporary stress and supporting estrogen metabolism by incorporating other essential nutrients and cofactors to support the endocrine system.

October is Chiropractic Health Month. To learn more about it, check out Governor Abbott�s declaration on our website to get full details on this historic moment.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal and nervous health issues as well as functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or chronic disorders of the musculoskeletal system. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .


References:

Author, Guest. �How Your Gut Microbiome Influences Your Hormones.� Bulletproof, 21 Aug. 2019, www.bulletproof.com/gut-health/gut-microbiome-hormones/.

Evans, James M, et al. �The Gut Microbiome: the Role of a Virtual Organ in the Endocrinology of the Host.� The Journal of Endocrinology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 28 Aug. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23833275.

Kresser, Chris. �The Gut�Hormone Connection: How Gut Microbes Influence Estrogen Levels.� Kresser Institute, Kresserinstitute.com, 10 Oct. 2019, kresserinstitute.com/gut-hormone-connection-gut-microbes-influence-estrogen-levels/.

Kwa, Maryann, et al. �The Intestinal Microbiome and Estrogen Receptor-Positive Female Breast Cancer.� Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Oxford University Press, 22 Apr. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5017946/.

Neuman, Hadar, et al. �Microbial Endocrinology: the Interplay between the Microbiota and the Endocrine System.� OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 20 Feb. 2015, academic.oup.com/femsre/article/39/4/509/2467625.

Publishing, Harvard Health. �The Gut-Brain Connection.� Harvard Health, 2018, www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-gut-brain-connection.

Szkudlinski, Mariusz W, et al. �Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone and Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone Receptor Structure-Function Relationships.� Physiological Reviews, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2002, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11917095.

Wieselman, Brie. �Why Your Gut Health and Microbiome Make-or-Break Your Hormone Balance.� Brie Wieselman, 28 Sept. 2018, briewieselman.com/why-your-gut-health-and-microbiome-make-or-break-your-hormone-balance/.

 

 

Functional Endocrinology: Endocrine Disruptors

Functional Endocrinology: Endocrine Disruptors

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in humans. It can be pesticides, plasticizers, antimicrobials, and flame retardants that can be EDCs. EDCs (endocrine-disrupting chemicals) can disrupt the hormonal balance and can result in developmental and reproductive abnormalities in the body.

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There are four points about endocrine disruption:

  • Low dose matters
  • Wide range of health benefits
  • Persistence of biological effects
  • Ubiquitous exposure

EDC can cause significant risks to humans by targeting different organs and systems in the body. The interactions and the mechanisms of toxicity created by EDC and environmental factors can be concerning a person’s general health problems. Including endocrine disturbances in the body since many factors can cause endocrine disruptors, one of the disruptors in the food contaminated with PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl esters) in fish meat and dairy.

Researchers also pointed out that once the contaminated foods eliminated from a person’s diet, then the endocrine disruptors decline, and the body began to heal properly. When a person eliminates the food that is causing discomfort to their bodies, they are more aware of reading the food labels to prevent discomfort anymore to the body systems.

Obesogen

Obesogen is a subclass of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC) that might predispose individuals to the development of obesity. Their structure is mainly lipophilic, and they can increase fat deposition. Since the fat cell’s primary role is to store and release energy, researchers have found that different obesogenic compounds may have different mechanisms of action.

Some of these actions can affect the number of fat cells that are producing, while others affect the size of the fat cells, and some obesogenic compounds can affect the hormones. These compounds will affect the appetite, satiety, food preferences, and energy metabolism when the endocrine system plays a fundamental role in the body to regulate the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Any alternations in the body can result in an imbalance in the metabolism and causing endocrine disorders.

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Studies even stated that exposure to obesogens could be found either before birth on utero or in the neonatal period. Obesogens can even cause a decrease in male fertility. When this disruption happens to the male body, environmental compounds can cause a predispose to weight gain, and obesogens can appoint as one of the contributors because of their actions as endocrine disruptors. Obesogens can even change the functioning of the male reproductive axis and testicular physiology. The metabolism in the male human body can be pivotal for spermatogenesis due to these changes.

Endocrine Disruptors and Obesity

Some endocrine disruptors that can affect the body can be through pharmaceutical drugs that can cause weight gain. A variety of prescription drugs can have an adverse effect that can result in weight gain since the chemicals found in prescription drugs have similar structures, and modes of action might have a role in obesity. Prescription medicine can stimulate the gut to consume more food, thus involving the body to gain weight.

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Another endocrine disruptor is PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). These are a family of environmental chemicals that occur in oil, coal, and tar deposits. They produce as by-products of fuel-burning like fossil fuel, biomass, cigarette smoke, and diesel exhaust. PAHs can either be manufactured to be used as medicines and pesticides or be released naturally from forest fires and volcanoes.

There are standard ways a person can be exposed to PAHs. One is through eating grilled, charred, or charcoal-broiled meats that a person eats. The other is through inhalation of smoke from cigarettes, vehicle exhaust, or emissions from fossil fuels that can irritate the eyes and breathing passageways in the body.

Coping with EDC Exposure

Even though obesity can adversely affect the body in a variety of health outcomes, there are ways to cope and minimize the exposure of EDC. Research shows that a person can minimize EDC exposure by consuming organic fruits, vegetables, and grain products insofar as possible. This includes an increasing number of fungicides routinely applied to fruits and vegetables that are being identified as obesogens and metabolic disruptors in the body.

Xenoestrogen vs. Phytoestrogen

When a person has an endocrine disorder, it might be due to the food they are consuming. Phytoestrogens are plant-derived compounds that are in a wide variety of food, mostly in soy. They are presented in numerous dietary supplements and widely marketed as a natural alternative to estrogen replacement therapy.

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There is a health impact on phytoestrogen, and the plant-derived compound can either mimic, modulate, or disrupt the actions of endogenous estrogen. Xenoestrogen�are synthetically derived chemical agents from certain drugs, pesticides, and industrial by-products that mimic endogenous hormones or can interfere with endocrine disruptors. These chemical compounds can cause an effect on several developmental anomalies to humans. It can also interfere with the production and metabolism of ovarian estrogen in females.

Conclusion

Endocrine disruptors can interfere with the body’s endocrine system causing a health risk to an individual. EDC (endocrine-disrupting chemicals) can target many different organs and systems of the body by various factors that the human body is being exposed to. One of the EDC factors is obesogen, and it can cause a person to gain weight and be obese. Another factor is the exposure of PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) through environmental factors like smoke inhalation or consuming charcoal-broiled meats. There are ways to cope with EDC exposure, and one is eating organic foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables. Another is products that target the endocrine system and helps support the liver, intestines, body metabolism, and estrogen metabolism to ensure not only a healthy endocrine system but also a healthy body to function correctly.

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