Are your hormones dragging, sagging, and nagging?
Why do I start with that sentence? Because it makes people laugh . . . at first glance. Then they realize there’s actually more truth to it than they want to admit. Because they identify with everything in that title. Let me explain.
You’re tired. You’re worn out. You sometimes have to force yourself through the entire day. You wish you could sleep in until 9 o’clock every morning, but you still need a nap around 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Fatigue is just part of your life, and it’s been this way so long you don’t remember what it’s like to have good energy. Exercise makes you even more tired, so you become a closet sugar junkie just to give you energy for an hour. You can’t wait to go to bed. That’s “draggin’.”
You feel old, even though you’re really not. Your skin is starting to sag and look like leather. You hold your arm out and your triceps muscle waves in the wind. You’ve lost most of your muscle tone all over your body. You have bags under your eyes, your chest is sagging, and age is most assuredly taking its toll. All that and you haven’t even gotten out of bed yet.
Yes, yes. I know. Your hormones can make you the Wicked Witch of the West the week before your menstrual period starts. That’s PMS stuff. But sometimes it seems like you are just plain irritable all the time. And the anxiety. And why do you talk that way to the ones you love the most? Pretty soon you’re naggin’ everyone, including yourself. But then you say, “Well, I’m depressed, so shouldn’t I have the right to jump on everyone?” Or: “Heck, I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in months. It’s 3:07 a.m. and here I am staring at the ceiling trying to get my mind to turn off, but it won’t. Of course I’m irritated. I’ve got one nerve left, and everyone is standing on it!”
Any of that sound familiar? If it does, it may be that your hormones are indeed driving you crazy, because all of the above problems can be directly related to low hormone levels. Yes, HORMONES! Those little chemical messengers that travel throughout your body and tell it what to do. But often the messages get messed up because something is interfering with your hormone levels. They’ve dropped, and so have you.
You probably know already that men and woman are living longer today than they have before. It is interesting to note that if you live past your 50th birthday, you can probably expect to live well into your 80s. That is going to mean for you women that you are going to spend nearly half of your life either heading into menopause, going through menopause, or being post menopausal. We have to remember that living a long life is not all that there is to life. If the last 30 years are spent in a rest home, that’s not much quality of life.
What we at Utah Wellness Institute attempt to do is get our patients to start thinking outside the box as far as health goes. In health care here in the United States, we have too many old paradigms. Too many of us have gotten a little bit lazy about not only our health, but about just accepting what our doctor tells us to do when deep down inside we know that taking drug after drug after drug is probably not the way to achieve maximum health. Now don’t get me wrong. There are times when medications can save lives, but the amount of medication that we see being taken by men and women is sometimes, to say the least, appalling.
Eighty percent of the patients we see in our clinics for hormone therapy are women. The men we see generally come in after they have seen marvelous changes in their wives. Women come in for a variety of reasons, but probably the number one reason is they are constantly tired. They are also on antidepressants. They have food cravings, they are bloated, and they have mood swings and anxiety. They can’t lose weight despite dieting and heavy exercise programs. Those are the common reasons we see woman and even some men. But most of these women know intuitively that there is something wrong with their hormones.
Case in point: I had a woman in my office not long ago that has been experiencing debilitating headaches for over 10 years. I asked her if there was any pattern to her headaches and she said, “Not that I know of.” She got them about every two weeks, so I asked, “Do you get them right before you’re menstrual period begins?” She kind of had a startled look on her face and she said, “Yes, as a matter of fact I do.” All of the sudden it hit her. “Could my hormones have something to do with my headaches?” “Absolutely they do. If those migraines are periodic around the menstrual period then yes there is a HUGE hormonally related basis for those headaches.” After we got her hormonally balanced, she had far fewer headaches with much less intensity. I love to listen to women talk about their health problems because, generally speaking, they know what’s wrong with them. They just do not know what to do about it.
Ladies, you need to get your hormones analyzed if you are having almost any type of health problems. From fatigue to stubborn belly fat, from depression to anxiety and PMS, you need to be evaluated to see if you are out of balance! The standard blood tests that your primary care doctor does will not show what’s wrong with your hormones.
Dr. Robert Jones is the Clinic Director at the Utah Wellness Institute (www.utahwellnessinstitute.com) and the Center for Hormone Therapy. 801-576-1155