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Hormones Matter is a community publication dedicated to improving hormone health through better research and diagnostic tools. Become part of the community and tell us why hormones matter to you. Share a few sentences about the importance of understanding hormones and disease. Tell us what research you’d like to see. Tell us what diseases matter to you. We’d like to hear from you.

Please be aware that your comments will be made public. Although you can respond anonymously, we encourage you to provide a name – We want to emphasize that real women are pushing for change in hormone research and medicine.

 

 

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18 Comments

  1. The first step in dealing with this problem is that there has to be a phase shift in the model used to explain and diagnose these two debilitating disorders of oestrogen metabolism. There seems to be a mind set amongst Gynaecologists that refuses to accept the major role sex hormones play in the body’s metabolism outside of the uterus.

    The first step must be the development of a “safe” range of estradiol within the current lab range which is just representative of 80% of the range of values seen in that lab. We know with blood cholesterol levels that the ideal range is only a tiny window inside that 80% range seen in the lab. and billions of dollars are spent trying to achieve that “safe” level. But ask any Gyno what the “normal” blood levels of oestradiol at day 21 is, then you will be told that it is anywhere in the 80% range, which of course it is not!

    The second step is to concede the role that natural progesterone (and also realise that artificial progestogens have a completely different biochemical reaction in the body) has in the regulation of estradiol levels. And then to recoginise its use as a valid theraputic agent.

    The third step is to realise that estradiol is very much like thyroxine and that while its total body blood levels are important, it is its metabolites that are the active molecules that actually produce the physiological effect. It is the hydroxylated metabolites of E2 that produce the physiological effect in the body, ie 2 alpha, 4 alpha and 16 alpha hydroxy estrone. Disturbances in the ratio of these 3 metabolites will be a non invasive way of diagnosing the above 2 conditions.
    But there are a lot of rigid minds out there!

  2. We are polluting our water and food systems that are damaging our natural state of hormone levels and not just in women but men and children. Hormones matter more than we realize and we need to start educating ourselves so we can make more informed decisions with our health care.

  3. With more women now in Congress, will anything change in women’s health or healthcare policy or reproductive health and rights?

  4. Absoutely. However, I believe saliva testing is far more accurate than blood testing for reproductve and adrenal hormones.

  5. Of course hormones matter. However, the distinction between HRT and BHRT should be fully known. Although both are usually are sythetics, BHRTs are made in the exact chemical structure of our natural hormones (producing less side effects) while hormones used in HRT are not. It is the Cinderella and the glass slipper analogy. A drug or medication of any form that “kind” of fits the receptor may work in it’s one way only.

    BCPs were/are usually of the sythetic types, prone to all the reported side effects.

    Another key point is balance. This means balancing all the hormone systems of the body. These systems include the thyroid, insuling, glucagon, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. There are others too. As we get older we produce less and less of these hormones and become more and more stress and sick. Unless those hormones are replaced, the body ages and disease processes emerge (obesity, hypertension gallbladder and the list goes on.

    I truly believe that the body wants to heal itself and stay healthy. What we need to do is give the body the tools that it needs to repair itself, increasing longevity.

    1. Great video, would be fantastic in a dozen 5 minute clips.

      Best phrase “American diet- a fertilizer for cancer”

      Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hormones matter because so few people are aware of their impact on our entire body and how their proper interaction is so crucial in order for us to function. In view of the pollution, stress and chemicals in today’s society, as well as all the crap in our foods, hormone imbalances are rife, particularly among women.
    Unfortunately, too many doctors prefer to prescribe medications with potentially damaging side effects rather than do the right testing and get to the root cause of the problem. Women are practically indoctrinated into taking birth control pills as a matter of convenience, although nothing is said about what they really truly do to the body and how they can potentially cause long-term damage.
    Most people have never even heard of a thyroid and yet thyroid disease is rampant. What hurts the most is the number of people who make fun of women’s hormone imbalances and refuse to take them seriously. When you’re already suffering, you don’t need someone to kick you when you’re down! It is for this reason that I, as a writer, feel compelled to raise awareness, to speak up and help others to find their voice.

    1. Sarah, you and your partners at ThyroidChange.org are doing great work to change the conversation and move women’s hormone health to the forefront. We are so lucky to have connected.

      You are absolutely correct, hormones are not given the attention they deserve. Every woman knows Hormones Matter- it’s time the rest of the population, including the medical establishment recognize that Hormones Matter!

  7. A couple of things regarding hormones concern me:

    1. I’m concerned with how my hormones are affecting my ability to get pregnant – in my case, probably some type of stress hormone.

    2. I was also wondering if there are certain foods that we can eat or exercises to do that can help influence the hormones that control healthy body functioning.

  8. Hormones are something that I take into very serious consideration. I spent all of my later teens and early twenties on birth control, more or less under the assumption that’s what all women did regardless or not of sexual activity. My doctor at the time advised me that was the best way to keep things regulated and routine. In my mid-twenties something clicked and I realized that’s really not a totally “normal” way of doing things. I remember after the first full month off birth control feeling more clear headed than I’d felt in ages. With the help of herbal supplements (chaste tea berry and raspberry leaf vitamins) I realized I could maintain the same regularity without the fog and disruption of artificial hormones (and way cheaper). Now into my last 20-something year I am grateful for having recognized the importance of balancing and finding alternative means to staying balanced, feeling good and preventing pregnancy. While I’m sure hormones are the best solution to a multitude of concerns, I think that its also an easy way to “solve” problems that maybe are there to signal something else (irregularity, mood, etc.).

    I would like to see research conducted on how healthy living (diet, exercise, positive sense of being) can regulate hormones enough to mimic what the artificial ones do for those who take them primarily for mood and regularity.

    1. We would too. Healthy living is a core mission of hormones matter. One of our writers, Lisbeth (Libby) Prifogle has done several articles on natural alternatives. Take a look. We also have a thorough article by a Dr. Mark Hyman.

      Welcome to our new blog. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Honestly? I’m concerned about hormonal contraceptives’ side effects that may not be “major” to doctors and the medical community, but are MAJOR to my quality of life.
    2 areas:
    1. Higher statistics of infection in women taking hormonal birth control, especially yeast infection and recurring/resistant yeast infections.
    2. Complete loss of libido due to HBC, defeating the primary purpose of taking synthetic hormones.

    1. Hi,
      Great comments. We’re looking for research on the connection between infection and birth control. We’ll keep you posted. Sign up for email updates; we’ll post it there.

      Regarding the loss of libido- found this article http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1987870,00.html

      We’ll look into it to it further. One of my students did a study on this and other topics related to birth control years ago, I’ll have her post the results in a blog.
      Thanks for sharing.

      1. Hi there, I am that med student:

        My study was funky, since the participants were young college-aged women. Technically, my hypothesis for this finding that the increased usage of oral contraceptives (OC’s) in these women was due to participation bias. Basically, they knew they wanted to have sex so they got on the pill. As to the mechanism of action, it’s entirely true that some studies have shown decreased libido (although not complete obliteration), due to some pill formulations having anti-androgenic effects. However, a recent review article has shown that most women’s libidos are unaffected (http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02848.x). Thus, doctors and patients are encouraged to discuss important side effects such as these on a case by case basis.

        With regard to the increased incidence of infection among women who use contraceptives, I feel like I have heard that, but this is not necessarily true. Funny thing, this makes me think about how antibiotic use can actually decrease the efficacy of OC’s, so maybe part of this belief is that women are not fully using the antibiotics they are prescribed because they still want to use the pill.

        After further research, I have found evidence to support the contrary that OC’s do not have an effect on women’s immune response (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0010-7824(84)80013-X). That said, women who use intrauterine devices (IUD’s) do show an increased risk of reproductive tract infections (i.e. yeasts), due to the ability of bacteria to adhere and grow more easily on the device itself (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gine.2009.05.004).

        I hope that helps clear things up (pun intended).

        1. Edit:

          First sentence should read – Technically, my hypothesis for this finding that the increased **libido in the oral contraceptive (OC) users** was due to participation bias.

          Also, for the libido study, some women actually showed an increased sex drive.

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