Zandra was fighting a fierce battle that many of us have faced…brain fog. Sometimes she felt that she just couldn’t think straight, couldn’t find words and was increasingly forgetful.
Her cognitive decline began when she was in her mid-40s, now she was early 50s, and it troubled her greatly. In fact, she felt anxious much of the time worrying about whether she had Alzheimer’s or some other type of dementia.
That anxiety led to a vicious cycle of depression and more anxiety.
After visiting a ‘slew of doctors’, Zandra wasn’t finding any answers or relief from the psychiatric medications that were recommended. It seemed that anti-depressants and anxiety meds were the only route she was offered for brain fog.
Let me tell you, it’s hard to be your own health advocate when you can’t think straight!
Getting to the Bottom of it with Mind Blowing Wellness
Zandra found us online. She appreciated the guided self-help that Mind Blowing Wellness offers.
Most of our clients need improvement with at least one of the basic foundations (Digestion, Blood Sugar Handling, Mineral Balance, Fatty Acid Balance or Hydration), but in Zandra’s case, there were very few changes to be made with her foundations and nutrient intake.
After an Initial Assessment, review of her Nutri-Q results, and Food Journal, we dove into her previous lab results.
Fortunately, many of her doctors had conducted basic lab tests allowing us to do a functional analysis using optimal health reference ranges.
One of her doctors had checked her sex hormones and discovered that she was making very little progesterone, testosterone or estrogen. Sadly, he did nothing about it.
Our Nutri-Q questionnaire pointed us to her Adrenal health as well as her Sex Hormones.
We recommended an Adrenal Stress Index test which is a saliva test that tests cortisol (and DHEA) throughout the day.
Why Adrenal Health affects your Hormones
We know that women’s ovaries are responsible for making our sex hormones during our reproductive years.
But as we move into menopause that job transitions over to the adrenal glands.
If our adrenal glands are not up to the job because of constant stress (commonly known as Adrenal Fatigue or HPA Axis dysregulation), then they won’t do a very good job of making the proper amounts of our sex hormones either.
Estrogen has over 400 functions in a woman’s body.
It protects the skin and keeps you looking young. It protects the nerves in the brain, reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. It is also necessary to shed unwanted belly fat. Estrogen is also very important in properly remodeling your bones and avoiding osteoporosis.
Deficiency in estrogen can result in vaginal atrophy, incontinence, increased facial wrinkles, decreased collagen, fatigue, depression, hot flashes, mood swings and decreased sex drive.
Testosterone is one of the most important hormones in both men and women.
Women with low testosterone have increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, osteoporosis and fractures, diabetes and metabolic syndrome and possible increased risk for breast cancer.
A deficiency in testosterone can result in loss of energy, loss of mental clarity, loss of muscle mass, weight gain, difficulty losing weight even while exercising and eating appropriately, decreased exercise tolerance, anxiety, irritability, depression, bone loss, and decreased sex drive.
Progesterone has beneficial effects on the heart including reducing atherosclerosis and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of uterine cancer, reducing the risk of breast cancer and improving cognitive function.
One really great bonus is that progesterone can help you sleep at night. As well, progesterone improves mood swings.
If you want to learn more about how Chronic Stress Leads to Hormone Imbalance, read Dr. Sarah Ballantyne’s excellent article on the subject.
Adrenal glands need support when chronic stress (whether physical or emotional) depletes their ability to produce our hormones.
In the meantime, providing the body with appropriate amounts of bio-identical hormones can get things back on track for most women (and men!).
Bio-identical means that the hormone is an exact molecular match of your depleted human hormone. Bio-identical hormones come in many forms; creams, gels, pills, lozenges (troches) and even pellets. They are typically only available from a compounding pharmacy via a doctor’s prescription.
Big Pharma is not involved. They cannot patent a natural bio-identical substance so there is no profit in it for them.
Only you and your doctor can decide if BHRT (Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy) is right for you.
To learn more about bio-identical hormones, visit the Tahoma Clinic site to hear about them from the grandfather of bio-identical hormones, Dr. Jonathan Wright.
While there are many excellent herbs to support menopause symptoms such as Black Cohosh and Chaste Tree, they confer no bone, brain or heart protection, reports Dr. Gary Donovitz.
Back to the Doctor, Zandra Went
Zandra’s Adrenal Stress Index test confirmed that her adrenal glands were not functioning well. Her cortisol and DHEA output were low all day long.
Together, Zandra and I put together a natural protocol to support her adrenal health involving basic vitamins and minerals as well as adaptogens to support her adrenal glands.
Next, we located an Integrative Medicine doctor who happened to be on her insurance plan to consult with her about bio-identical hormones and other alternatives.
After a little tweaking with compounded bio-identical hormones, Zandra reported back to me on a follow-up call that her symptoms had improved dramatically!
Lots of things had improved. She said that she didn’t know how badly she had felt until she felt better.
Her cognition improved, bye bye brain fog! She slept better, had more energy and even more sex drive.
While we still had some work to go to improve Zandra’s adrenal health so that her body would produce its own sex hormones, she knew that she was on the right path, finally.
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Joli Tripp and Mind Blowing Wellness are not medical doctors nor licensed medical professionals. No comment or recommendation should be construed as being a medical diagnosis. If you suffer from a medical or pathological condition, you should consult an appropriate healthcare provider.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
Mind Blowing Wellness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Mind Blowing Wellness is also an affiliate for Thrive Market receiving a small commission for new memberships.
Age Healthier, Live Happier, Gary Donovitz, MD, 2015