3 Reasons Hormones Need Help – By Dr. Alan Christianson:
Hey there. Welcome to Reset Me With Dr. C. and this is a really cool topic. I am excited to go through this with you all. There is a pretty clear understanding that hormones and there state of balance makes or breaks our health and when things are right we have got good metabolism. Good energy. Good moods. Good libido. Good exercise recovery. Lots of really cool things. When they are not right, well lots of things do not work well. When we have our hormones off we have higher rates of body fat and growth. Greater rates of all the chronic diseases. More cancer risks. More fatigue. More mood symptoms. So it is a huge huge factor.
There is a lot of talk that you hear about on you know how to correct them but there is not a lot of discussion about why they really need correction and what are the big issues with that and most importantly how there is completely different things that disrupt our hormones. There are very separate causes and based upon the cause, the process and the treatment is completely different. What would help one cause may be counter productive for another. You guys will soon become experts on this and it is a real simple thing. So the three things that destruct our hormones that are completely different are 3 D’s here so three dimensional. So we have got death, disease and dysfunction.
So death let me explain that one. We thought for a lot of years that people could have amazingly long life spans if there was only some way that we could help our genes it would allow us to live longer. As some of the geneticists got deeper into the Human genome and how aging works it was pretty wild stuff but they have realized that our genes intentionally kill us. So there is a lot of ways in which our genes help us survive because we are able to reproduce and be effective at living but there is a point at which they actually want us gone.
So here is a concept. Our genes are tools that make copies of themselves and the better they are at copying themselves the more that those genes survive. Now it would seem logical that the things that help us and the things that make us healthier would also make us better at copying genes and that is totally true. If we were not interested in reproducing or if we did not keep ourselves safe or fed we would not be very good gene transmitters but there comes a point in our age where we are not likely to have babies. You know we are no longer active in reproduction and after that point the genes are actually better off having fewer animals, fewer monkeys and fewer humans competing for the same amount of food. You know once we have made our contributions and once we pass the age of having children our genes are incentivize for us to now get out of the way. So there is a hard wired planned obsolescence or kill switches built into our genes and some of those involve changes in our hormones.
You know many geneticists and researches have shown that the parallel drop off of our reproductive hormones, testosterone and estrogen, for both genders, the drop off of that really correlates with the onset of a lot of these genetic kill switches and this happens some where around our mid forties and mid fifties and many of the effects on our health are because of that. This is a funny thing as we always think about how we can work within the plan of nature and how our bodies are naturally inclined to be healthy and they really are but there is a point where are genes do work against us and they are programmed to cause death. So one of the ways in which our hormones, especially our reproductive hormones, testosterone and estrogen, one of the ways they come down is tied to something that is not an accident and not a function of an error in our health. So that is a bit about the death one.
So the other causes would be disease and dysfunction. So now death is intentional. You know our genes are intentionally sort of cheating us or short changing us so to speak on these reparative hormones at a certain point. So now disease, what happens with disease. Well this is something that is fairly unintentional. The main version of a disease that changes hormones would be Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Thyroid disease. What happens is there is an auto immune process. There is a mistake made by the immune system that attacks the Thyroid and breaks it down and leaves it unable to make hormones. So there are diseases that act on other hormones to. They are more rare. We have things like Addison’s disease that can diminish hormonal output from the adrenal glands. We also have diseases of the pituitary right, the thalamus and those can cause changes across the board anywhere in the hormonal output. They can change how much we are making of the ovarian hormones and the testicular hormones but they are not particularly common. So those are ones that are not relevant for most people.
The consideration with dysfunction is primarily about the stress response and adrenal hormones. So what happens there is that there are a lot ways in which we have events that keep us on a good daily rhythm and that keep us on a circadian cycle. We have bright sunlight in the morning. Dark at night. There is this temperature variation throughout the day and part of this control of circadian rhythm also controls our stress response. Our flight or fight response and that is kind of hard wired to have major catastrophic stresses every now and then but not very frequently.
So what happens is that if we get large stresses on occasion like every few weeks we fight for our lives and then we are bored the rest of the time and the stresses are calm so the circadian rhythms stay healthy and stay pretty aligned. There is a large number of factors relevant to modern life that makes it to where it does not work like this. You know we do not have the cues of light and darkness through sunlight that we had in the past. This is in regards to the fact that artificial light and computer screens do not give us that same re-set to our rhythms. We are also learning that environmental chemicals can directly change this timing and put our bodies out of good rhythm. Another big difference is that in nature our modern stresses our so different. You know our stresses are ongoing and they are not physical. In the past our stresses were occasional and they were physical. Every few weeks we ran for our lives but the rest of time we were pretty bored. Now we have mental and emotional stresses that are very real and very powerful but they are things that we do not respond to physical and they are things that tend to occur more continually. It is often that there are any number of things at a given time that we can think about that we could put in the stress closet. So this generates dysfunction in the rhythm of the adrenal gland output. Now these things are all different.
We have genes that are there to kill us. You know we have got death. We have got disease processes and we have dysfunction. Now I bring this up because people often think about these causes not being distinct. So people think that anything that happens to any of the hormones, the adrenal, the thyroid and the reproductive hormones is the cause of the problems for all of them.
For example many very well educated health experts will talk about lifestyle change to help reproductive hormones and it is true for sure that if you are in a good state of health you have a slightly different amount of testosterone then not but overall the change in those hormones is not a matter of poor health or dysfunction. It is really programmed into the genetic code and it is very intentional by the body, so lifestyle changes do have less of an impact upon that.
The other consideration here is that there are disease processes. There are times where the body’s factory for making hormones is just shot and biggest example again here is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis disease. A difficulty of thinking about that purely as dysfunction or purely as a function of lifestyle is that one would think that just by eating differently you could reverse it and it is true of course that lifestyle helps and has a big effect on it but there are many times in which it does also take just making up for these essential hormones that are not there because the body lacks the capacity to make them.
The other point I would make is that there are many practitioners or other doctors that kind of treat all of these things as if they were a disease. So that brings up a lot relative to adrenal health. The adrenal glands they make cortisol and they have got this cortisol rhythm. A morning spike and a nighttime shot and it is quit common that things do get fed up. You know that stresses in our life create adrenal dysfunction and that is big part of our symptoms.
Now there is a big difference in the body not making cortisol and not being able to make cortisol. A really big difference. So a disease state like Addison’s disease, which is real but more rare, is the inability to make cortisol. So even though your body is begging your adrenal glands to work and make cortisol they can not respond, they can not reproduce it. In those cases it does take giving cortisol or versions of it as supplements and we do have to compensate for whats not coming out but that is the exception.
In other cases of adrenal dysfunction it is not a disease. The body is strategically changing the cortisol to make the best out its state of dysfunction. It is a matter of cues and rhythms and cycles. It is not a lack of capacity to generate cortisol. So when that is treated as if it were a disease and one is just simply giving cortisol for the wrong reasons there is a large rate of side effects and there is a large rate of dependency on it that can happen. So that is a state that can correct when the elements that give you dysfunction are identified and taken care of. The big ones would be the pollutants we are exposed to, the processed foods and the pressures of life and those things can be made sense out of and managed and the adrenal glands can get healthier.
So we have got a pre-programmed decline. You know we got death. We have got this drop off in hormones from just aging. Then we got disease states. Then we have got dysfunction and they are all totally different and the way you go about helping one of those is not the way you would go about helping the others. So just wanted to give you an orientation to the concepts.
As always I love your feedback and comments and let me know what else you would like to hear about along these lines and I will be back with you really soon. Bye bye.