I know I’ve talked about hormone balance in previous blogs and newsletters but I continue to ponder what is missing in conventional and even functional medicine!
I continue to preach about “foundational health” or “foundational medicine” because the longer I’m in practice the more I realize how most of “healthcare” gets it WRONG! It’s “sick care”!
Just think of how conventional medicine works – you go to your primary practitioner with symptoms and they might not be able to help you so they refer you to a specialist – say a Gastroenterologist, Gynecologist or Endocrinologist. Those specialists now focus on one small, narrow view of your health.
It drives me BONKERS thinking about this. NO wonder people don’t feel well!! You are NOT a thyroid, you are NOT a uterus or a prostate, you are NOT just a gut!
When the Endocrinologist diagnoses hypothyroidism have they consulted with the patient’s OBGYN to inquire about estrogen levels? Have they looked at diurnal cortisol levels – more than 1 single, useless blood draw? Have they talked to their Gastroenterologist about the microbiome?
Of course not! And this right here is a MAJOR problem!
When did this happen? When did doctors start to specialize so narrowly that they can no longer see a WHOLE PERSON any longer? Now, I’m not saying there is no place for specialization – surgical specialization is pretty important! But in general healthcare I believe it’s hurting us more than helping!
We have become a set of symptoms.
I see this EVERY DAY! How many clients do I see that have both Gut and Hormone symptoms? About 80% of my practice. How many have seen both a Gastroenterologist and OBGYN or Endocrinologist? Maybe less than 1%.
I can see why I get the phone calls that I do. Because total health needs are not being addressed. You CANNOT balance hormones without addressing the gut and way too many opt for bioidenticals when in fact that’s the last thing they need.
Bioidenticals are handed out as candy as though EVERY middle-aged man or peri- and post-menopausal woman NEEDS them. I hear this daily in the “Functional health” world. Just because a woman or man has results that SEEM low but are in range for their age doesn’t mean they need to be jacked up on hormones (to reproductive-age or young levels). This happens all too often for men and women – they are rarely balanced but just get increased levels – and there is a HUGE difference in the two! They may feel better in the short-term but unless you know the full picture of how they are breaking down those hormones you put them in harm’s way and they start to suffer long-term!
One of the most common problems I see in both men and women is the poor detoxification of hormones. It’s not always a simple deficiency in hormones but an imbalance in how the body handles them downstream. There are 3 phases of detoxification of estrogen alone and Phase 3 happens in the gut – the Estrobolome (estrogen microbiome). How cool is that?!
Middle-aged men often times will over-convert their testosterone to estrogen but without testing down stream metabolites this is usually missed and leaves him feeling, swollen, inflamed, weak, big-bellied and with ED or libido issues. But more testosterone is usually prescribed. Oy!
Remember, you are a WHOLE person and should approach your health from that standpoint otherwise you will continue to chase symptoms your whole life.
WHAT YOU EAT MATTERS!
HOW YOU DETOX MATTERS!
HOW WELL YOUR HORMONES ARE CREATED AND CLEARED BY THE BODY MATTERS!
HOW WELL YOUR GUT FUNCTIONS MATTERS!
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