Aldosterone is an adrenal hormone that regulates re-absorption of sodium
from the kidneys and controls blood pressure when you stand up or stoop
over. It also energizes and stimulates you to help you handle stressful
situations. It fights drowsiness and helps maintain alertness.
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Cortisol (also known as Hydrocortisone or Adrenal Cortisol) is produced by the adrenal glands. It is released with adrenaline during times of stress. Cortisol raises blood sugar levels, promotes the metabolism of proteins and the breakdown of fats to provide strength and energy, makes your heart beat faster and increases your blood pressure. A deficiency will cause you to feel unable to cope with stress, wiped out and lightheaded, mentally dull and depressed, anxious, pessimistic and defeated, confused and distracted, or paralyzed by stress.
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DHEA(De-hydro-epi-androsterone) is the most abundant steroid in the body. It is produced by the adrenal glands and is converted by the body into Progesterone, Testosterone, and the Estrogens, Estradiol and Estrone. Adequate DHEA levels give the body the building blocks necessary to produce all of these hormones. It strengthens muscles, keeps mucous membranes soft and moist, stimulates immunity, boosts energy levels, reduces anxiety and depression, improves mood, increases libido in women, enhances memory, and helps the body fight cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
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Estrogen makes a woman feminine. It creates the soft contours of a woman's breasts, hips and pelvis that prepare her for childbirth. Estrogen keeps the skin smooth and free of wrinkles. It prevents excess hair growth on the face, and keeps the vaginal membranes moist. It enhances sexual desire, increases physical endurance, prevents osteoporosis and promotes a happy enthusiastic mood. As a woman ages, however, her ovarian function begins to decline, leading to a decline in the production of the estrogens. A deficiency of estrogen will cause the thinning of your skin due to a decreased production of collagen, which will lead to wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. With decreased estrogen your breasts will shrink and sag, you'll lose some of your feminine shape and your vaginal mucous membranes will become thin and dry. A deficiency of estrogen can also cause you to lose muscle and make you feel tired, irritable and depressed all day long. And last but not least, the declining hormones lead to vasomotor instability that cause the hot flashes, disrupted sleep, irritability and depression associated with menopause.
Synthetic Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Drug manufacturers have been making synthetic estrogen drugs for more than 50 years to combat these changes. However, in July 2002, researchers at the National Institutes of Health abruptly halted the nation's largest study on HRT, because the study found that the long-term use of synthetic estrogen and synthetic progesterone drugs increase a women's risk of breast cancer by 26%, her risk of a heart attack by 29%, her risk of stroke by 41% and her risk of blood clots by 113%. (Source: JAMA. 2002;288:321-333).
In spite of this study, many women are still getting conflicting information about their alternatives and many women who have forgotten about the abruptly halted study have gone back to taking the drugs since they are still being prescribed by their doctors.
The ovaries produce three different Estrogens: Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2) and Estriol (E3). The two most concentrated and most potent estrogens are Estrone (E1) and Estradiol (E2). They are the hormones that stimulate cell growth of the uterine lining and breast tissue associated with preparation for pregnancy. Because they stimulate cell growth they can also stimulate cancer cell growth. Both Estrone and Estradiol are now classified as carcinogens.
Estriol has also been shown to not cause the excessive build up of uterine lining that is associated with uterine cancer. In fact, research indicates that low levels of Estriol place you at an increased risk for developing cancer. You should check all of your Estrogen levels periodically to make sure that they are in a healthy balance approximately equal to a ratio of 8:1:1, Estriol to Estrone to Estradiol, respectively.
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Growth hormone (GH) is secreted by the pituitary gland. It is a very small protein substance that is chemically similar to insulin. It is secreted in short pulses during the first few hours of sleep and after exercise. GH promotes growth of bones, muscles, organs and all other cells throughout life. Production of GH peaks during adolescence and falls after the age of 21 by about 14% per decade. By age 60 GH production is reduced by one-half. Individuals with higher levels of GH appear more youthful and report greater vitality and stamina.
Growth Hormone is necessary throughout your life to keep your muscles toned and firm, your bone density high and your joints flexible and strong. It protects your kidneys, heart and other organs, as well as your digestive system. It keeps your arteries clear and your mind sharp and calm. It supports the immune system and helps to prevent weight gain in your hip and thighs.
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Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone Deficiency Score:
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Oxytocin Deficiency Deficiency Score:
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Pregnenolone is known as the “Mother Hormone” because it is manufactured in the brain and the adrenal glands from cholesterol and then converted in the liver to DHEA and Progesterone (and ultimately other hormones such as Cortisol, Estrogen, and Testosterone). By the age of 75, however, the body’s production of this valuable hormone has declined by as much as 60%. Pregnenolone enhances memory by stimulating concentration and clarifying thinking. It reduces fatigue, fights depression and protects the joints from inflammation and arthritis.
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Progesterone is also produced by the ovaries. It has its own unique hormonal functions, but a certain amount is also converted into Testosterone, then into Estrogen. Progesterone increases uterine secretions and stimulates building of new bone. It also helps regulate salt, control blood sugar, modulates nerve function, has a calming effect and promotes a healthy thymus gland, which is part of the immune system. Supplementing natural Progesterone extracted from the wild yam can help maintain these healthful benefits. Provera (the synthetic version of natural progesterone) has some progesterone-like effects, but causes an additional 30 negative side effects that are listed in the Physician's Desk Reference.
Dr. Hansen's RxIn my practice, I recommend a combination of Estriol and Progesterone, extracted from natural sources. The Estriol is extracted from Soybeans and the Progesterone is extracted from the Wild Yam. Estriol is 1000 times less stimulating to breast tissue than is Estradiol. Estriol can prevent the typical symptoms of menopause without increasing the risk of cancer. Taking natural Progesterone can actually increase Bone Mineral Density (BMD). In 1990, Dr. John Lee, M.D., reported a study entitled: Osteoporosis Reversal, The Role of Pregesterone, Clinical Nutrition Review, 1990, 10:384-391. The study showed that postmenopausal women who took natural progesterone increase their BMD by 10-15% within 6 months and 20-25% in 3 years.
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Testosterone is not just for men. Women have it and need it as well. A deficiency of Testosterone in a woman leads to fatigue, muscle wasting, low sex drive, decreased sexual stimulation, and diminished sense of well-being. Testosterone protects the heart and reduces plaque build up in the arteries. It prevents joint pain and osteoporosis. It builds muscle and reduces fat and cellulite. Testosterone tightens the skin and prevents wrinkles. When a woman's ovarian function declines in the years before and during natural menopause, so does the amount of Testosterone she produces. Between a woman's 20s and 40s the amount of Testosterone circulating in her blood declines about 50%. If a woman starts Estrogen Replacement Therapy at menopause, her blood levels of Testosterone drop even further due to a biochemical reaction. Women should test their Testosterone levels beginning at about age 35.
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The Thyroid gland, located in the base of the neck, secretes Thyroxine (T4) when promted to do so by Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) released from the Pituitary Gland in the brain. Triiodothryronine (T3) is made from T4. T3 is the active Thyroid hormone that does most of the actual work. It is three to five times more active than T4.
Thyroid hormones speed up metabolism and regulate body temperature. They control weight, thinning the face, torso, and calves in particular. They boost blood circulation, thereby increasing the supply of nutrients, oxygen, water, and other hormones to cells all over the body. They keep the skin soft and flexible. Thyroid hormones prevent dry skin and hair, hair loss and thinning hair, puffiness of the face and swelling of the eyelids. They prevent sluggishness of memory and concentration and they are important in keeping you looking and feeling young and alive.
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Vitamin D is a steroid hormone that is made from sunlight by the skin, liver and kidneys. Vitamin D3, known as Cholecalciferol, is the form of Vitamin D that is generated in the skin of animals when light is absorbed. Additionally, we get some Vitamin D, known as Ergocalciferol, or Vitamn D2, from egg yolk, fish oil and a number of plants. The major biologic function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. It aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones. It promotes bone mineralization in concert with a number of other vitamins, minerals, and hormones.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased susceptibility to colds and flus, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, cancer of the breast, prostate, colon and skin, periodontal disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, depression, peripheral artery disease, Parkinson's and several autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes.
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