New Year’s Resolutions from a Functional Medicine Physician
Happy New Year!
If you follow the Western tradition of making a New Year’s resolution, you may have chosen one related to health, such as weight loss, taking better care of your skin, managing stress better, or getting more sleep. If so, were you aware hormone imbalance could prevent you from attaining these goals? As a functional medicine physician, I would like to be your partner to help you succeed in your health related New Year’s resolution. We would identify biochemical causes that could be preventing you from reaching your goals. I will be your support, coach, and guide to help you maintain your enthusiasm throughout the year, to ensure you succeed. We will develop a personalized program that suits your lifestyle and needs.
Should you be concerned about a hormone imbalance? If you are experiencing the following symptoms in any of these areas below, you may benefit from a functional medicine evaluation to determine if a hormone imbalance is preventing you from living life to the fullest. Learn more about how my Functional Medicine services could help you live well.
An undetected hormone imbalance can be the hidden culprit sabotaging your best efforts to maintain a healthy weight. Signs of hormone imbalance are:
- Difficulty losing weight despite dieting and exercising
- Weight gain with belly fat
- Weight gain in the hips and thighs
- High Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Loss of lean muscle
- Increased appetite
Some examples of hormone imbalance effecting your skin include: overproduction of androgens (testosterone and DHEA) causing acne, oily skin, excess facial or body hair; high cortisol stress hormone producing rashes and breakouts; accelerated hormone loss causing one to appear older than their biological age.
If you experience two or more of the symptoms listed below, consider further investigation into whether you have a hormone imbalance.
- Increased wrinkles
- Decreased skin elasticity
- Acne/oily skin
- Melasma (dark patches)
- Hirsutism (excessive hair)
- Male pattern baldness
- Puffy eyes/face; dry, thinning skin/hair/eyebrows; brittle nails
- Skin rashes/eczema
- Sleep deprivation
Prolonged stress affects the production of adrenal hormones, causing adrenal imbalance, triggering blood sugar and insulin imbalances, food cravings, weight gain and sleep disturbances. Adrenal glands under pressure create imbalances of other hormones: stealing progesterone away from its reproductive duties to make extra cortisol, or by inhibiting thyroid function and metabolism.
Red flags of Adrenal stress are:
- Sleeping less than 6 hours a night
- Waking up tired but too “wired” to fall asleep at night
- “Have to have my coffee”
- Need alcohol or recreational drugs to wind down
- Vacations, what’s that?
- Exercise, what’s that?
- Healthy meals, what’s that?
If you two or more of these scenarios describe your current lifestyle, you are at risk for adrenal stress and hormone imbalance.
Chronic Sleep Loss is defined as 6 or less hours per night and can cause depression, obesity, diabetes, and disruption of cortisol and sleep hormone melatonin balance. Chronic sleep loss is displayed by two or more of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Frequent or early waking
- Morning or evening fatigue
- Feeling “tired but wired”
- High stress
- Irritability/impaired performance
- Hunger/sugar cravings
- Weight gain