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The Mystery of "Messed-up Hormones"

Dr. Robert Jones - August 01, 2011


When hormones are messed up, the key is to re-balance them.

Meet Mia. Mia is a delightful young married woman, 23 years old. She came to our clinic with her mother seeking help for what she called “raging hormones.” I asked her to explain.

“Ever since I was about 15 my hormones have been messed up. I had terrible menstrual cramping. If I loaded up on ibuprofen I could go to school. Otherwise I’d have to stay in bed for 3 days. I was always grouchy just before my periods.”

Her mother added that nobody could stand her during that week before her period would start. Ever since then she was the “PMS Queen.”

I inquired as to whether there were any other health problems in her teen years. “Well, not really, except for the acne.”

As it turns out, she had bad acne since she started her periods when she was 13. After two years of different acne prescriptions from the dermatologist, the family doctor decided to put Mia on birth control pills. At 15. This was fairly helpful in controlling her acne. But soon thereafter the PMS set in, and she started the cramping during her periods. Her dark side started showing up.

“Ever had any of those things before you started on the Pill?” I asked.

“No,” was the simple answer.

I then asked, “I don’t suppose you gained any weight after that?”

They both almost gasped. That happened to be when she started putting on all the fat around her waist. 

It took us about 6 months to get Mia’s hormones regulated again. Taking the birth control pills had totally upset her hormonal applecart. At 23, she was what we call “estrogen dominant.” Way too much estrogen (from the Pill) and not nearly enough progesterone. Too much estrogen can make women “The Wicked Witch of the West.” Just ask her husband, although she would have been the first one to admit it. The estrogen kept her on edge all the time. 

“In case your doctor didn’t tell you when you went on the Pill, it’s very lipogenic for about 70% of the girls that go on it. That means, Mia, that it will cause you to gain fat on your body.”

So what did we do for Mia? Progesterone. Twice daily in a topical cream. Almost immediately she calmed down. Her moods were much better, and her periods normalized in about 3 months. I also suggested she change from the Pill to a regular IUD (one with no hormones in it!) and she did fine after that. The blood tests also revealed that she was somewhat low in thyroid. We put her on a little natural thyroid (never Synthroid!). Her energy levels went up which meant that her metabolism had kicked in. That extra 15 pounds she could never get rid of? Gone.

Hormone balancing is the key here. Birth control of any kind involving hormones will unbalance a woman in less than 3 months. Too much estrogen or synthetic progesterone will suppress thyroid function, which is why so many women who start birth control will: 1) gain weight, 2) often get acne, and 3) go into an emotion tailspin (great way for newlyweds to start a marriage!).

Here’s the problem: I see many patients who come into our clinic taking one hormone. For example, many are taking just thyroid, which should not be taken alone if your adrenal glands are weak. And a woman should never be taking any type of estrogen alone. Progesterone must always be given with it (a fact that many doctors don’t pay attention to). Taking one isolated hormone to fix a problem can often cause more problems, so it needs to be done carefully. All the hormones in a woman’s body work together and rely on each other for proper function. If one is low, it can affect all the others.

Imagine sitting at a piano keyboard and playing the same one note over and over again, when there is a full keyboard in front of you. One note does not a pretty song make! So it is with hormones: using one without all the others working will not a happy woman make.

What to do? Go to your doctor and discuss getting all your hormones tested. If the doctor hesitates, he or she may not be the one that could help. If you think you may have some hormonal issues, try going to and take the online hormone wellness test. It’s a quick way of assessing your hormone levels. If you score high on several of the tests, you need to have further testing done. It will be worth it, especially if you don’t want to spend the rest of your life wondering why life so easily and quickly passed you by.

Dr. Robert Jones is the Clinic Director at the Utah Wellness Institute in Draper, Utah. (801.576.1155)

Comments 7 comments

kjbinstl said...

11:23 AM
on Aug 10, 2011

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It's interesting--but worrisome--to hear someone without a medical license recommending medical tests and pills. I don't see why LDS Living gives him a platform. Please post his qualifications with each article, and state whether LDS Living is endorsing his opinions.

opr said...

09:43 PM
on Aug 12, 2011

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Google the phrase, Foods That Kill. About three quarters of the way through, a major root cause of hormonal imbalance and PMS is discussed. The entire presentation is very, very interesting. The presentation is by a very knowledgable and honest M.D. The information is excellent and well documented. This is information that Big Pharma and associates do not want you to hear. The doctor sharing the information is to be commended for sharing the information.

kennyray said...

08:03 AM
on Aug 13, 2011

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medical tests and pills is often the proper course of action. The Good Lord gave as a brain to use and has inspired countless people in the field of medicine for us to benefit from. To neglect, or not take advantage of what the Lord has provided is unwise. There is no need to get the endorsement from LDS Living, would that give their opinion more credibility? Frankly no, but at least is a knowledgeable and well-informed opinion. It happens that women in my immediate and extended family historically have problems with PMS so I was very pleased to see the subject discussed in an open and straight-forward manor. Well done.

rainforest said...

10:15 AM
on Aug 13, 2011

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Years ago about 8 months after my third child was born I went to the doctor complaining of a very light period that had gone on for two weeks. I was placed on birth control to fix the problem. The doctor also knew I was nursing. At night a few days later I woke up to use the restroom. I was so weak I could barely call my husband for help. I was bleeding out so fast it sounded like I was urinating. I went back to the doctor and he switched me to a different BP. My body went numb and I began to feel like I could not move. I landed in the hospital. I was kept on the same brand but a lower dose. This time I was fishing for straws and asked my OBGYN if I needed a D&C and was told no. I bled heavily for 3 months, nonstop. I was working the entire time and could barely stand up, I remember holding on to shopping carts trying to do my job. Every time I tried to go off the BP the heavy bleeding would turn to hemorrhaging so I was told to take them non-stop. It was a waking nightmare for me. I was also experiencing cramping that was the same as birthing pain. Having exhausted the doctor’s medical knowledge and their apparent lack of ability to help me, I turned to God. I felt compelled to go to an herbal store. I explained my ongoing condition, and was given two recommendations. I bought one of them and it just did not feel right, I went back and purchased the other one. I started taking Don Qui and went off the BP's at the same time. This time I did not hemorrhage, I did bleed heavily for two weeks and then miracle of miracles I finally stopped. I took Don Qui for about a month. Even now I get tears in my eyes. I was beginning to think I would have to ask for a hysterectomy. I have since had two more children. I think that doctors are important, but I have come to realize they do not know everything. I felt like such a guinea pig. I'll never forget how helpless I felt. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for healing me. If you asked me if I would ever take BP's again you would see me shudder and say emphatically no way. I find this article to be extremely informative and helpful. I had no idea that a hormone test existed. Thank you.

grandmab said...

10:27 AM
on Aug 13, 2011

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I have stayed drug free for many years. It frightens me what the pill can do to women. I agree with rainforest take it to the Lord for inspiration. Also, listen to your own body--it will tell you what you need. I don't think a young 15 year old should be given birth control pills for acne.

kjbinstl said...

06:01 PM
on Aug 13, 2011

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Oh brother. I didn't think everyone would agree, but had hoped that someone would have actually read what I wrote. opr: Jones is not an M.D. kennyray: I wasn't asking them to endorse him; I was asking them to stop and think seriously whether they want to continue to appear to endorse him by letting him post stuff and by calling him "Dr." without clarifying that he is not, in fact, a physician. Whatever.

noblesse said...

10:21 PM
on Aug 13, 2011

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@kjbinstl- With all due respect, you must be an M.D to be so worried that this person is according to you is giving incorrect information. Not just M.Ds are doctors, there are D.O, D.C, DDS, ND, PhD. This article is very well written and I applaud him for giving hope to a lot of women out there who have hormones imbalances where the allopathic community is not able to attack the root of the problem instead they are just putting a bandaid on it for a temporary fix. The answer for most health problems from most medical doctors is a drug. Is our body deficient in drugs? Probably not but it can be deficient in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, cofactors, proteins that the reactions on a cellular level are not able to completeitself. Think about it! "The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease." - Thomas Edison
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