There are many of us out there that might be struggling with our hormones and not even know it. I’m among them. Until last year I did not suspect that I had any issues with my hormones. My chiropractor’s office was offering macronutrient testing so on a lark I decided to have it done. I figured since I’m a woman in my . . .ahem, [cough] mid forties it might be a good time to be proactive. I never expected to get back the results I did.
I had never heard of macronutrient testing before so I was curious what it would reveal. I completed the intake form and checked the boxes to test for nutrient deficiencies and to run a hormone panel. The process is similar to any testing you would normally have done. You go to a lab, they draw blood, and a few weeks later you get your results at your physician or naturpath’s office. Despite feeling generally healthy, the lab results revealed a hormone imbalance (my estrogen levels were way high) and nutrient deficiencies of Vitamins B and D, I exercise regularly, I eat healthy, and have a ton of energy. I feel pretty in tune with my body — I did not anticipate those results!
Hormone imbalances can play a big factor in weight gain and your body’s inability to lose weight. Hormones are in control of a LOT of what goes on in your body. Because I’m slim it never occurred to me that I could have a hormone imbalance. A friend who is a trainer had even previously suggested to me that my estrogen levels might be too high because I tend to hold on to my body fat in traditional places where women gain weight (triceps, upper back above the bra line, and around the waist, hips, and butt) despite my diet and exercise regimen. And you know what — he was 100 percent right. The macronutrient testing revealed that my estrogen levels were well above the highest level they should be at any point in your menstrual cycle.
How do you know if you have a hormone imbalance? I would recommend seeing a naturopath. A naturopath will run different types of tests (blood and saliva) to get some insight into what your hormones are doing. I’ve done some research since being diagnosed and I can say a lot of the symptoms listed are very similar to symptoms that go along with other things any busy mom would feel on a regular basis during the winter (fatigue, dry skin, etc.). Plus, I wasn’t necessarily experiencing weight gain, it was just that my body fat was centered in certain areas. Another thing to note: your thyroid, adrenal glands, and sex hormones are all linked so if you have issues with one you likely have issues with all three.
So you might be wondering what the fix is for these types of issues. I’m sure it’s different for everyone and this is purely my own experience. My chiropractor suggested a regimen of medical grade vitamins to correct the estrogen and vitamin imbalances. These are not the gummy vitamins you buy at Target! I also use a progesterone cream that I apply to my skin to decrease my estrogen levels during the second half of my menstrual cycle. Now I’m routinely seeing a naturopath and she recently gave me Vitamin B and D shots to boost my levels (and the vitamins work to keep me in a healthy range). Finally, I’ve learned that eating lots of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, celery etc.) can help keep your estrogen levels in check so I’m making sure to incorporate them in my diet.
Please be aware that this post is not intended to replace any information that you have received from a doctor or medical professional. Seek professional advice if you have any health issues. Dr. Craig John of Analgesic Spine Institute is my chiropractor. He serves the Northern Virginia area and specializes in lower back, spine, and joint pain relief. His office also offers macronutrient testing.
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