Clinical Pearls in Functional Endocrinology
Sep 28, 2016 03:42PM
By Douglas J. Pucci, D.C.
You are likely aware that hormone imbalances can contribute to many health complications. The logical next step is to have your hormone levels checked, and then get them balanced if needed. Although it may sound easy, it might not be so. Many people have gone to doctors and naturopaths who have attempted to normalize their hormone levels, only to find it is a hit-or-miss game at best.
If you have tried balancing your hormones and found it to be an impossible task, the chances are that something significant is being overlooked. From hormone delivery methods to testing procedures and supplemental nutritional support, all aspects of hormone adjustments can be tweaked for maximum success.
Here are six pearls of clinical wisdom to help guide you down the challenging path towards optimal hormonal balance.
1. Hormone Delivery
Typically, effective hormone supplementation—especially progesterone and testosterone—are delivered either topically with creams or sublingually with an oil or alcohol-based liquid solution placed under the tongue. One potential drawback of the creams—particularly for menopausal women—is that chronic use of hormone creams can lead to tissue saturation, thereby rendering them ineffective.
2. Repeat Testing
It is all too common to hear of doctors prescribing hormone creams or capsules, but then failing to run repeat tests soon enough or not at all to monitor the effectiveness of a particular course of treatment. Regular follow-ups are essential since testing will show that the regimen is balancing hormones in the right direction. Clinical success depends on monitoring the results and taking action every eight to 12 weeks in the beginning.
3. Testing Methods
Many doctors will run blood tests to measure reproductive hormone levels; however, this is not necessarily the best approach. A better approach is salivary hormone testing that measures the free fractionated forms of each hormone so that it is possible to tell what amount of hormones is not just in the bloodstream, but actually available to cells and used.
4. Root Cause Investigation
What is functional endocrinology? While it is important to achieve hormonal balance in order to feel well, only a functional endocrinologist will inquire about the root cause of any imbalances present.
Supplementing hormones involves taking a comprehensive look at everything going on and following up when changes are made. There is a reason why a hormone imbalance is present in the first place; you want to understand what this is. Culprits can include compromised adrenal function, blood sugar regulation, hormone receptor saturation, inflammation and brain-body communication issues. Administering hormones without addressing these root cause issues won’t work.
5. Supplement Overload
There are articles and advertisements all over the media touting the health benefits of new supplements and the latest products. However, consumers are mostly in the dark regarding what supplementation each individual person’s body needs. Add to this are potential problems with product authenticity, harmful fillers and potency. It is imperative to have a doctor prescribe high quality, all-natural, pre-screened products on a regiment tailored to your needs.
6. Hormone Clearance
An often overlooked but potent aspect to hormone balance is bile synthesis and clearance of excess saturation from the body. The liver must be supported to aid the body in pushing out excess hormones. Sometimes it is not only adding in hormones, but often pushing excess hormones out that can be key.
Douglas J. Pucci, DC, FAAIM, offers science and clinical data on neurotoxic illnesses, hormone disruptions and chronic disease at his seminars. He provides nutrition, testing for health biomarkers, and brain and body care to his patients. Connect at GetWell-Now.com or 201-261-5430.