If you're suffering from
hormonal imbalance, your symptoms can be confusing, overwhelming —
even scary at times. You would probably be glad to have a doctor who understands
and can fix everything.
Unfortunately, many women still tell us how difficult it is to find a physician
who understands women's hormonal issues —
before, during and after menopause.
When it comes to feeling better and taking control of your health, you — and
your doctor — should feel hopeful rather than helpless. To help you sort through
your options, it's important to understand what you can and can't expect from conventional
healthcare providers when it comes to your hormonal health.
Why the conventional approach is ill-suited to hormonal imbalance
Just as every woman is unique, so is her hormonal balance. Understanding and effectively
treating hormonal imbalances requires a whole-body approach, rather than looking
at your health as a set of independent issues. This is especially true with hormones,
which are all interrelated. As a result, an imbalance in one can lead to a series
of other problems, including weight gain, irritability, lack of libido and more
serious health issues.
The holistic approach we have advocated for so many years is very different from
what you'll see in today's medical system, which at times can seem hopelessly out
of touch with the care that real women need. Here are just a few examples:
- Medical practitioners may still regard menopause as a disease that they need to
treat, manage, or "fix." This perspective can make it difficult to discuss concerns
about menopause, which is much more complicated than simply resolving one issue.
- Managed care and financial considerations have forced some practices to rely on
yes/no lab tests and 6-minute office visits, rather than allow the holistic approach
to tests and diagnosis that is necessary to
understand the complexity of hormonal imbalance. We still hear the myth
that because women's hormones fluctuate unpredictably, even wildly, they can't be
understood or diagnosed. This is probably left over from the past (hopefully!),
when anything considered a "female complaint" was dismissed out of hand.
- Conventional doctors may have limited or out-of-date training in endocrinology (unless
this is their chosen field), and are unlikely to have kept up to date on the latest
science on hormonal balance.
The impact on you
For one or many of the reasons above, your practitioner may not have the time, interest
or ability to guide you through the complexities of your individual situation. In
fact, many conventional practitioners focus on your estrogen levels. But fluctuations
in progesterone and testosterone also cause
symptoms of hormonal imbalance, as do unusual ratios between all of your
sex hormones. Finally, insulin levels, thyroid function and your adrenal health
are related to your sex hormones too.
No wonder the "one size fits all approach" such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
or antidepressants usually isn't your best option to resolve symptoms of hormonal
imbalance! We believe that starting with the least invasive method makes the most
sense for almost all women. Our philosophy is that you are the expert when it comes
to your body, and that with our approach you can naturally guide your body back
into balance so you'll experience relief from all your symptoms – along with many
other health benefits!
If you don't feel like you're getting the care you want from your doctor, don't
be afraid to look for a new one who takes a more open approach to holistic solutions
to hormonal imbalance. Having a trusted medical partner will make all the difference
in finding the solutions that are right for you.