Watch Naturopath Kimballe’s video below as he explains the hormone system and the underlying cause of hormone imbalance.
Hi, I’m naturopath Kimballe Robyzen. Today I will explain how to identify what is causing your hormone imbalance. To start with, I’ll provide a little bit of context.
Our Hormone System
Our hormone system is actually called the Endocrine System and it includes our reproductive organs, adrenals (just above our kidneys here), thyroid and our pancreas. It operates like a circulating loop of signals that provides constant feedback to our pituitary gland in our brain to modulate the function of each gland and in turn regulate how much of each hormone is released into circulation. This whole orchestra of constant adjustment is supervised by our hypothalamus, and it sits just above the pituitary. The hypothalamus is our master gland … responsible for our body’s overall balance, known as homeostasis. So it’s like a diamond shaped circuit, starting from the hypothalamus and pituitary, running the show at the top and connected to each organ in our hormone system.
Ok, so now we understand the framework and here is where it becomes specifically important …
Our hormone system is predominantly operated by the Parasympathetic Nervous System. In holistic medicine, we affectionately refer to it as the ‘Rest & Digest’ state. We give it that label because it is also responsible for all our housekeeping functions like digestion, detoxification, healing and in particular … both immune and hormone balance. The takeaway message here is … The rest & digest state must be active for hormone balance to be effective!
So, adversely … We have the Sympathetic Nervous System. We call this the ‘Fight or Flight’ state. It is our instinctual survival mechanism that responds to any form of stress or life threatening signal. It activates our primal genes by stimulating our adrenals, which raises blood glucose & activates our motor functions to give us more energy and strength to defend ourselves. Our bodies literally cannot differentiate between a bank mortgage and running from a saber tooth tiger. For some of us it probably feels quite similar sometimes. It is exactly the same as having fire alarm bells going off in our bodies and it has an over-riding effect on our hormone system.
When someone is triggered into the fight or flight state too often and for extended periods then all of their housekeeping functions, which includes hormone balance will struggle to self-regulate because the wrong operating system is on. Think of it like trying to use a Windows program on an Apple computer. There’s nothing wrong with the program, it’s just not compatible with that system.
There are so many triggers in our modern life that will activate this fight or flight state. You might be surprised just how common these triggers are. For example:
- Pushing yourself when you are tired is actually enough to switch on the adrenals to get you the rest off the day
- Simply driving in traffic – we under-estimate just how taxing this daily activity is
- Over-exposure to electro-magnetic frequency of phones and wifi modems
- Doing any task with a sense of urgency or chasing those familiar deadlines
- Exposure to substances that you don’t tolerate well will also alert the body to a threatening signal
- Emotional traumas are included here as cellular memory of past events are activated by associated triggers
Emotions are deeply impactful on the nervous system and often have a lasting effect. This will also include:
- Any kind of negative thought pattern, involving any form of fear or concern
- Taking on too much of a workload
- Staying in a toxic relationship is a huge burden on the nervous system – this is often not acknowledged due to keeping appearances or fear of the consequences
- Over multi-tasking is another common one these days
- And let’s not forget that bank balance that’s often nipping at our heels
So we can see, it’s quite impossible to avoid many of these sources of stress on any given day. Therefore, we are frequently switching on our alarm bells every time we need to jump through the next hoop, in order to keep up with this modern life.
That’s quite a realisation isn’t it?
These very common elements of our daily life are directly interfering with our body’s ability to balance itself and our hormones. And if that wasn’t enough, there is often also hidden stress factors we need to consider.
They are described as forms of metabolic stress. When present, they will sabotage many patients best efforts considerably due to over-activating their nervous system. The most common of these metabolic pathways are known as methylation and pyroluria. They compromise the body’s ability to supply enough neurotransmitters for your brain chemistry to feel balanced. In essence, keeping you stuck in the fight or flight state, despite how much meditation you may do on the beach.
So we can begin to appreciate the injustice of blaming our organs for what’s going wrong just because they are the areas of the body presenting with uncomfortable symptoms.
When we look deeper, we will usually find a combination of stress patterns that are particular to the individual that are interfering with the function of the gland and the symptoms are simply an indication that it is struggling to defend itself from the impact of the stress.
This applies to many conditions especially thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue and any variety of reproductive hormone symptomology.
Unfortunately, it is not as common as it should be, but a woman’s normal menstrual cycle should be completely symptom free. In fact, this should also apply menopause.
Typically, the accumulation over many years of any of the factors I’ve mentioned that interfere with hormone regulation are what are behind menopausal hot flushes and night sweats. It is not necessary to depend on hormone therapy, in fact doing so will only cause the underlying stress pattern to surface in another more extreme way later.
The good news is, all of these factors contributing to hormonal imbalance can be improved considerably, if not completely reversed by identifying and addressing your individual metabolic needs. Remember those metabolic stress pathways, I mentioned earlier … such as methylation & pyroluria. They require very specific nutrients to regulate their cycle and correct anomalies present within them that are particular for each individual.
It is very much like filling in the pot holes in your metabolic pathway to give you a smooth ride, and each person seems to have their own unique cluster of holes to fill.
This largely undiagnosed biochemical story has proven to be such an intrinsic underlying factor to hormonal imbalance in clinical practice. That it’s discovery inspired me to go to great lengths to thoroughly research this whole topic, receive mentoring from Australia’s leading practitioner of extemporaneous compounding and establish a compounding dispensary dedicated to producing personalised nutritional formulas designed to address them.
You could say … I’m very passionate about it.
What has been even more encouraging, are the positive patient outcomes. I have been so impressed with the measurable results, produced by personalised nutritional formulas that they have become a foundational feature of successful cases regaining natural hormone balance.
Which of course includes all the positive side effects that comes with it.
So there you have it, I hope that has provided you some insight into how to identify what is causing your hormone imbalance.
Please feel free to reach out to me with any queries you may have or to find out how to obtain your very own personalised formula tailored to your specific metabolic needs.
Until then … Wishing you empowered health and an inspired life filled with purpose.