Episode 129: Why Do We Need Hormones?

We are excited to bring you this encore presentation of our very first episode.

Dr. Deb speaks on the importance of hormones, the role they play in our everyday lives, thyroid dysfunction, the endocrine system and the body’s cravings for healthy hormone levels.

Do not miss these highlights:

[3:25] Hormones play a critical role in the chemistry between our body cells and our organs. They actually trigger different functions within different organs

[4:19] Dr. Deb’s misdiagnosis of fibromyalgia and how it impacted her life

[7:29] Conversations with her ‘wacky’ friends led her down to discover more through nutrition and integrative health

[10:49] A look at the thyroid when talking about hormonal imbalances

[12:30] Normal vs optimal: a look at the importance of your vitamin d levels

[14:18] The effect aging has on our hormones and how it affects the body

[16:55] The impact that having high or low levels of cortisol can have

[18:46] When your hormones are off-balance your body just does not feel the way it should and it impacts all parts of your life and your relationships

Resources Mentioned

Serenity U – Gain access to a searchable library of health tips and strategies with Dr. Deb – https://debra-s-school-1b7e.thinkific.com/courses/serenity-u 

Transcription for Episode #129:

Welcome to Let’s talk wellness. Now, I’m your host, Dr. Deb. This is where we talk about everything wellness, and learn to defy aging, and live our lives on our own terms.

I’m Dr. Deb, founder of Serenity Health Care Center, I want to thank you for joining our let’s talk wellness now podcast, it has been such a pleasure to share our knowledge. With so many people, we are averaging about 25,000 downloads an episode. And that is amazing because it’s showing us how much people want to learn about health and wellness. Outside of the health care center, we have had the pleasure of changing lives for over 8500 clients, both men, women and their children. As a result of this, I have created serenity you and university Learning Center where you can access all of my knowledge that I have developed over 25 years of practice at your fingertips in an easy to find the index library, you will have access to this dashboard 24 seven, it will be like having your own personal natural path at your beck and call. Anytime a day. I’d like to encourage you to check it out at Serenity view.com.

So today’s podcast is 01. And we’re going to talk about why do we need hormones. It is really important for me to share the message of how important hormones are to our bodies. You know, hormones are made up from our endocrine system. And they’re basically the body’s chemical messengers. As part of that endocrine system, these hormones, you know, they travel throughout the bloodstream, they go into the tissues, they go into our organs, and literally every cell in the body is in dire need of hormones. And if the hormones are thrown off for whatever reason, we start to become symptomatic. And so it’s really important for us to understand a how important hormones are, what do they do in the body? Why are they important? Where do they come from? How am I going to feel if I don’t have hormones? Or if my hormones are off balance? What’s going on with them? And then secondarily, what do we do about that?

And can I do something about it. So, you know, the endocrine system is responsible for what regulates our heart rate, our metabolism, our energy, foods that we eat our appetite, mood, sexual function, growth, development, sleep cycles, and just so much more. The endocrine system is just such an amazing system in our body. And it’s so important for us to have access to healthy sources to feed that endocrine system. You know, the hormones play a critical role in our chemistry between our body cells and our organs, they actually trigger different functions within different organs. And every hormone has a function in a different organ to for instance, our thyroid gland is a master hormone In my opinion, you know, it controls our metabolism, it controls controls our brain function, it controls our appetite, it controls so much of who we are our body temperature, regulation, all of that. And many times it’s just kind of pushed to the wayside. Like it’s not that important, or people really don’t have a big problem with it, and that women are just looking for thyroid to lose weight. And that’s so not true. You know, I I remember when I was a younger woman, I was about 28 years old and just really feeling rundown and burnt out and just not feeling like myself at all. And I was cold all the time and I was tired and my brain didn’t want to work and I was irritable and had no sex drive and just felt like crap honestly. And I was a nurse practitioner at that time and I had done a lot of research and I had narrowed it down to two things that I thought I had Fibromyalgia or Ms. Never once dawned on me that thyroid could have been a problem back then. But I had researched all my symptoms. And I was for certain that I had one of these two problems. And I remember going to my family doctor at the time and giving him all my symptoms and telling him what was going on. And I walked into the doctor’s office, and the medical assistant took me back. And it was, it was a 90 degree day in August in the Midwest, it was pretty warm out. I had a sweater on, and they took my temperature. And the guy looked at me very perplexed and said, Gosh, this, this thermometer must be broken because your temperatures 95. And, and there’s no way that could be possible. And he said, I’ll be right back, I’m gonna go grab another thermometer. And he came back with another thermometer and took my temperature again and 95.2. And he said, so something’s not right. This is two thermometers, I don’t think it’s you. Don’t worry about it, the doctor will bring it up if something’s wrong. And I really didn’t think much else of it after that, because I was there for you know, Ms or Fibromyalgia back then. And I was very conventionally minded back then I didn’t have an integrative approach to anything. And so the doctor came in and examined me and of course, never made mention at all about my temperature being 95 degrees. And I left with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, and two prescriptions, one for Prozac and one for narcotics. And he looked at me and said, Be prepared to be disabled in four years, this is what you have, it’s a debilitating condition. And we don’t really know what to do about it. And I remember feeling so devastated and so broken and, and thinking, gosh, I’m 28 years old, I just started my career as a nurse practitioner, and I have two children at home that are young, and what am I going to do, I walked out to my car and just sobbed just just broke down sobbing and I felt so lost and so alone. But luckily, I had back then some really wacky friends that I called them. And thank goodness, they’re still my friends today, even though I thought they were wacky back then, you know.

And I called some of them up and said, Gosh, this is this is what’s going on. And I don’t know what to do. But I know one of you has to know somebody that can help me. And so one of my very dear friends Gail took me to her friend that was a nutritionist. And she got me on the path to eating healthy and taught me about nutrition and the importance of a healthy diet and got me off sugar. And talk to me about thyroid function. And again, I still really didn’t think anything of the temperature issue. For for several months after that, until one of my other friends took me to see someone else that was an integrative practitioner. And they said to me, are you sure you don’t have a thyroid issue? And I said, No, there’s no way I don’t have a thyroid issue and, and they said, Well, did they test your thyroid? And that was an aha moment because of course, they never tested my thyroid. And I started going home doing some research on thyroid and realized that Wait a minute, this could all be thyroid. My sister had a thyroid issue. My grandmother had a thyroid issue. My other grandmother had a thyroid issue. And I thought, wow, could this all be thyroid? And it wasn’t until a few years later that I actually started treating for fibroid because I couldn’t find a practitioner that would treat me back then. Nobody would draw my blood. Nobody would treat me I looked perfect. There was no way I could have underactive thyroid, I was then I didn’t have all of the signs and symptoms of a classic thyroid person. And so they ignored me. And that was really my first introduction to integrative medicine to hormonal health from a different perspective. I’ve always been a woman’s health nurse practitioner, I worked in fertility, I understood it all. I understood hormones, thyroid Everything inside and out. Except what came to me. When it came to me, I didn’t understand it like I should have understood it. But I learned, I learned very quickly. And I decided at that moment that no one under my watch as a practitioner is ever going to suffer from a thyroid condition. Because I was too lazy to check, or I was too. Too convinced, I guess is the word that somebody doesn’t have a thyroid problem, because they don’t fit the picture. And so from that point forward, I always looked at thyroid in every patient that complained about typical hormonal imbalances. And, and that’s, you know, the important piece of it. If your thyroid is off balance, the rest of your hormones can’t work. You can’t make estrogen. You can’t make progesterone, you can’t make thta, cortisol, all of it, none of it works properly, if the fiber is not working properly, nothing can communicate together if things aren’t doing that. So when we look at other hormones, other hormones are just as important as thyroid you know, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, da ga, cortisol, and believe it or not vitamin D, vitamin D is a hormone, it is not a vitamin, despite what everybody tells you out there. It is a pro hormone that the sub that the body needs to convert into other hormones. in the Midwest, we’re extremely deficient of vitamin D. for a couple of reasons, a, we don’t get the sun like the people in the south do. We have our soils depleted of everything here in the Midwest, and we we need it, we need it desperately. And when your doctor says your vitamin D level is fine, I would challenge you to ask them, What is the number? What do you mean by fine.

In an optimal state, vitamin D should be between 60 and 80. But the normal range is 30 to 100. So if you’re 31, guess what you’re normal. But you’re not normal, because you’re not optimal, that vitamin D needs to be high enough so that your body can fight the immune system can function properly, we can build bone, it’s so important for vitamin D. And did you know there’s a genetic mutation called the vdr gene, that if mutated, you cannot absorb vitamin D from your sources, whether it be the sun or your food. So you have to supplement with vitamin D, and you have to supplement for effort with vitamin D. Um, I have that video mutation. And I remember checking my vitamin D level, and it was like 26.4. And I thought, Oh, this is terrible. And then I did a 23andme and found out why it was so low. And I have a double mutation of them of the vdr gene. And so now I supplement with a lot of vitamin D, I supplement with about 20,000 units a day minimum in the summertime, just to try to keep my vitamin D level at a decent range. Because with that genetic mutation, it’s very challenging to keep that level where you need it to be. So typically are going to need double the amount of vitamin D compared to the average person. So that’s super important for people to know about as well. You know, as we age, we also lose hormones that affect our ability to sleep. And for many women, not so much men, but more so for women, sleep is really a challenge for us as we become menopausal. And in part that’s because of the loss of estrogen and progesterone. Melatonin can get thrown off as well. But estrogen and progesterone are really your biggest culprits in that problem. So it’s important for us to know what our levels are. Watch them, monitor them, identify them know what each hormone does. When the hormones get out of control, we really become somebody that we don’t really like very much about ourselves. You know, a lot of people can get irritable and crabby and forgetful. When our hormones begin to fall, we can start to have weight gain, we lose our stamina, we leave lose our motivation, our creativity, our drive, all of our zest for life can just kind of peter out a little bit without hormones. Both men and women will lose sex drive when their hormones fall. Now, interestingly enough, everyone thinks that the loss of testosterone is the reason that people lose sex drive, and, and it is for men, that is very true for men that is their main hormone and they will lose their sex drive with that. But for women, it’s more estrogen and progesterone that are the problem that cause sex drive issues, not not so much testosterone, believe it or not,

both men and women, when they lose their hormonal function are going to lose their stamina, their strength, their ability to sculpt their bodies, the way they did when they were 20 or 30. And you know, it gets harder and harder, and it takes more and more effort to maintain that weight. Everybody knows the kind of frumpy dumpy grandmas that we see out there. And a lot of that has to do with the loss of hormones, because we can’t produce those hormones to create the metabolism the way we want to. Um, cortisol is another big hormone that we have some issues with, you know, cortisol can either rise or fall and actually all these hormones can rise and fall in at various times of our life cycle. You know, Pregnancy versus not pregnancy, these hormones are going to go up and down. But cortisol is the main stress hormone. And, you know, I see a lot of advertisements on TV about high cortisol, and that’s the problem to everybody’s waking. You know, it’s really not, it’s just not there, I don’t see it that much clinically, out of 7500 patients, and we probably have looked at 5000 quarters over the years. Um, I could tell you, I’ve maybe half a dozen to two dozen people that actually have high cortisol levels, than the rest of them have low cortisol. But low cortisol can cause weight gain too. And I think we forget to talk about that. When cortisol is low and the thyroid function is off, we’re going to have some metabolism issues that really don’t mesh well for, for our body and for, for what’s going on and how we’re feeling. And it certainly if cortisol is high, you’re going to feel wired and, and jacked up and you’re feel like you’ve had too much caffeine. But if cortisol is low, you’re going to feel like the tortoise, you know, you’re going to feel like you’re climbing through mud and you just can’t move, you can’t get it going. And when that cortisol is low, you’re gonna have low metabolism, which is going to make you gain more weight again, your brains gonna slow down, your body’s going to slow down. So there’s a common theme here to all of this, I hope you guys are catching. And that’s, you know, when all of these hormones are off balance, we feel like shit, basically, you know, our bodies just don’t feel like they should, we can’t do what we should. We can’t do what we want to do. And so all of that being thrown off, causes a lot of problems for us, you know, it can cause problems in our marriage, because we don’t want to go out and do things anymore. And we don’t want to have sex and disappointing for us. We can’t reach orgasm. So why would we want to have sex if you can’t reach orgasm, you don’t want to pleasure your partner, either. You know, the other problems, your work. Most of us don’t have the energy or the gumption to get up and go to work every day and produce 110% of work and be excited about it and want to do new things and want to learn new things. And when hormones are off, we just we don’t have a lot of that gumption to be able to do that. Which then creates problems for us at our work and can risk us losing our jobs because we can’t be there all the time. We want to stay in bed we become depressed or we become irritable and cranky, and we’re snapping at our co worker and we’re snapping at them. Our customers or we just don’t care. And, and that’s a really dark place for us to be in. And I’m not saying that all the time when we feel like that it’s hormonal. That’s not the case. But I think when you feel that way, and you can’t pinpoint a reason, there’s not a significant event, like a death in the family, or a loss of some kind child moving away, or a divorce or something like that, that that gives us good reason to feel like this. That’s where we need to look at whether or not hormones are a contributing role in how we’re feeling. Because if they are, then we need to, we need to deal with that. We need to look at options to fix that and find out how can we get better? How can we be happier? How can we be stronger? What can I do to bring that vibrance, that resilience, that love and drive back into my life

so that I can be me again, so I can find me again, sometimes we get lost, and we don’t know who we are anymore. And, you know, I been doing this a long time I’ve been doing this over 20 years, and I’ve been watching this for 20 years, as women enter into menopause and they turn 50 there’s a change in who they are there. They’re not the same women guys don’t ever expect them to be they’re not going to be they’re going to be different. I think there’s a freedom that comes with being 50. I think there’s a reality check that comes with being 50. And so we change a little bit. I’m, I’m 52. And I didn’t notice it at 50. But I have noticed it the last year, I’ve really taken hold of my life and looking at, okay, I’ve got 20 good years left in my life. How do I want them to be? What do I want to do? How do I want them to look? Who do I want to be what’s important to me? I can honestly tell you what was important to me 10 years ago, I don’t think is important to me today. And here’s an interesting tidbit for you. So I’m taking this class called speak and inspire. And one of the questions was, what is your voice? What do you want to be known for? What do you stand for? What don’t you stand for? What don’t you tolerate? And, gosh, 10 years ago, I would have answered that in a split second on a spot with no conviction of who I am and what I am and what I stand for and what I don’t stand for. And this one, I This one took me back a little bit and I had to sit back and say, Hmm, what do I stand for? What don’t I stand for?

Who am I today? What do I want to be known for? What do I want people to remember me for? What do I want people to know that is important to me. And I actually had to sit with that probably a good 10 hours before I could craft my little 92nd video for my class on what I stood for. And that shocked me a little bit. And I don’t know if it’s because I’m over 50 I don’t know if it’s just because I’m in a place in my life. I don’t know if it’s hormonal, it could be who knows, guys, you know, you just never know, hormones do a lot of things to you. But these are some of the changes that take place in our bodies and in our in our being when hormones start to become disrupted. And so I want all you guys to just be conscious that these things happen. And sometimes when you’re younger, you know when you’re 20 or 30, those hormones will ebb and flow. But after 35 they don’t so much Evan flow anymore. They really start to kind of dwindle down after about 35. For women, estrogen will stay very consistent until they’re in their mid 40s. For men testosterone should stay very consistent until they’re well into their 50s. However, I will tell you that doesn’t always happen. I see 20 and 30 year olds with not enough testosterone. There’s a lot of things going on that’s disrupting our hormones and we’ll talk about that in another podcast called endocrine disruptors. For women, progesterone starts to fall a little bit and we become a little bit more irritable. We have more problems with sleep. We don’t think is clearly without estrogen when that starts to fall, if men start to have testosterone fall, but their estrogen rise as we call that aromatization of testosterone, they’re going to start to see a lot of body changes, they’re going to start to see breast development and flabbiness. And without testosterone, they become very irritable and crabby and much more sensitive, they’ll cry more easily, they’ll, they’ll be hurt more easily by things that didn’t used to bother them. So I think those are really important things to realize about hormones and how to key us in that something’s going on. Now, DHT a, that’s another hormone so that one peaks at age 20, and gradually falls from there. And that’s the one that gives you drive and motivation, and creativity. And it makes you want to go out and conquer the world and do all these exciting, fabulous things and see all these exciting, fabulous places and take you on a journey in your world. And so when that one starts to fall, and I’ve seen it fall in a 30 year old, to the place where they should have been at with a da ta that level, it really disrupts the life, and the body and our being. So it’s super important to look at the importance of all these different hormones and what they do and how they affect our lives and how they affect who we are. And you can get more information on hormones from our website, serenity, healthcare center, calm, there’s some places in there that describe them, there’s even a little quiz that you can take about hormones, so you can have an idea of which hormones are depleted based on your symptoms. And, and I would really encourage all of you to, to start looking at these hormones, talk about them, figure out which ones you might be deficient in. And then let’s do some real testing some great testing to figure out where you’re at and what’s going on. And that’s going to be our next podcast is testing methods and what do we test? How do we test and how what do we do with that information once we have it? Um, scooch on over to our website, serenity Health Care Center, calm and take that quiz and see where you end up on your hormone levels. Alright, you guys, I hope you all have a fantastic evening, and I will see you here for our next podcast. Hey, it has been really great sharing this time with you guys on the let’s talk wellness now podcast. If this episode has helped you or you feel as though this episode would help someone else we’d love for you to leave us a review, share this podcast and if you don’t want to miss the most exciting episodes we have coming. We’d love for you to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Until next time, live every day to the fullest

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