As women age, common complaints often begin to pop up about fatigue, mood swings, food cravings, weight struggles and other issues that are affected by hormonal changes. This can happen as early as 25 years old. Many of us simply accept this as an unfortunate part of aging, but it’s important for all women to know that these issues should really only be on the milder side, and should not be disruptive to your life.
In traditional medicine, patients often get put on birth control pills (synthetic hormones that shut down your natural hormone production) to even out irregular periods and bad PMS. Many women of also get put on antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications to deal with these issues as well. This does not get at the root cause of the symptoms. Dr. Brocchini is trained to get at the root cause and provide you with a holistic approach to treating your symptoms and getting you on the road to wellness.
PMS should last only a couple of days just before your period, and its symptoms should not be severe. If you are experiencing dramatic changes in mood and persistent physical troubles related to your cycle, I recommend getting your hormones checked right away as you are probably experiencing an imbalance. Unfortunately, hormonal disruptions can produce a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms and can even lead to severe health problems down the road.
The Trouble with Hormones
Hormone imbalances can affect a whole host of issues including fertility, digestion, exercise tolerance, menstrual cycle irregularities, dysmenorrhea (painful and heavy periods), migraine headaches, cystic ovarian disease, and even early osteoporosis. Note that a troublesome cycle may not just be PMS, it may mean your hormones are out of whack and need rebalancing.
Don’t put up with a life of irritability, pain, and daily or monthly struggles. Listen to your body when it comes to fatigue and cravings. If these things trouble you, you owe it to yourself to get tested. You do not have to have three weeks of PMS and only one week of feeling good each month! Dr. Brocchini can help you.
Which Tests Should I Do?
Here’s where the experts come in. Dr. Brocchini may ask for a full panel of female hormonal tests to find out where all your levels come in. A full panel should include adrenal and thyroid function tests, too. Vitamin D, and blood tests for vitamin deficiencies are also highly recommended to get a full picture of your health and establish a baseline. When the results come back your Dr. Brocchini will interpret them against a range of healthy levels, and often this full picture is eye opening, showing us where your hormone levels are off and where they are within normal range. Many times this will explain symptoms you chalked up to just “getting older”and most times these symptoms can be alleviated to some degree if not completely eliminated.
You may be surprised to find your Vitamin D levels are lacking, or you are not getting enough calcium from your diet (even if you thought you were eating plenty of leafy greens and healthy dairy.) Minor adjustments can make a huge difference in your health, so take charge of your own wellness!
Next Steps, Moving Towards Your Best Health
If you are experiencing very disruptive hormonal issues, don’t give up on feeling better, even if your tests seem to paint a grim picture. Persistent fatigue and severe cramps could be treated and reduced as there are many ways we can work with hormonal imbalances these days. Beyond any adjustments to diet and the strategic use of supplements as recommended by Dr. Brocchini, she will also likely recommend increased exercise, stress reduction programs, or may even prescribe bioidentical hormonal replacement therapy (BHRT).
If you are hesitant to take hormones, consider that if your levels remain unbalanced you’re setting yourself up to be more susceptible to ovarian disease, fertility troubles, and early osteoporosis. Bottom line? Get the whole story on your health with hormone testing so you can live a long, healthy and happy life and make informed decisions before you have a health crisis.