The major players in the sex hormone arena are estradiol, progesterone and testosterone. The main adrenal hormones are DHEA and cortisol. These five hormones will provide crucial information about your deficiencies, excesses and daily patterns, which then results in a treatment approach specifically tailored for you and one far more beneficial than the old “shotgun” approach.
Below is a brief description of each of these five hormones and what each one does and how they interact.
there are three forms made by the body – estrone, estradiol and estriol. The form used in past hormone replacement therapies is estradiol, often in the form of concentrated pregnant mare’s urine (Premarin). It is a proliferative hormone that grows the lining of the uterus. It is also a known cancer-causing hormone – breast and endometrial (uterine) in women and prostate gland in men.
Oestrogens are important for maintaining the health of the reproductive tissues, breasts, skin and brain. Excessive oestrogens can cause symptoms such as fluid retention, weight gain, migraines, and over stimulation of the breasts, ovaries and uterus, leading to cancer. Insufficient oestrogen levels can lead to hot flushes, vaginal dryness, rapid skin aging, urinary problems, excessive bone loss and possible acceleration of dementia.
is called the anti-estrogen because it balances estradiol’s proliferative effects. It is considered preventative for breast and prostate cancers as well as osteoporosis. In addition too little progesterone promotes depression, irritability, increased inflammation, irregular menses, breast tenderness, urinary frequency and prostate gland enlargement (BPH). Progesterone enhances the beneficial effect of estrogens while preventing symptoms associated with oestrogen excess, thereby having a balancing effect.
is an anabolic hormone (builds tissue) that is essential for men and women.. The proper level of testosterone is necessary for bone health density, muscle strength, stamina, lean body mass, libido, cardiovascular health, skin elasticity. Testosterone helps maintenance of lean body mass, bone density, skin elasticity, libido and cardiovascular health in both sexes. Women have smaller amounts of testosterone compared to men.
is an important adrenal gland hormone, which is essential for energy production and blood sugar balance. DHEA is a precursor to other hormones, mainly testosterone. DHEA levels decline with age and research suggests that DHEA may help restore energy, improve immune status and mental function. DHEA is the principal androgen in both men and women.
is your waking day hormone (highest in the morning and lowest at night). It is necessary for energy production, blood sugar metabolism, anti-inflammatory effects and stress response. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands in response to stressors such as emotional, mental and physical stress. Cortisol mobilises the body’s immune response against viral and/or bacterial infections and inflammation in body. Chronic elevated cortisol levels will suppress the action of the immune system leaving the individual more susceptible to infections.
Another important hormone, Melatonin, is predominantly produced by the pineal gland, with smaller amounts in the retina and gastrointestinal tract. Melatonin is secreted with a distinct circadian rhythm – stimulated by darkness, inhibited by light and independent of sleep. The phase of the diurnal rhythm is influenced by day length (increasing in amplitude in the winter and decreasing in spring or artificial light).