Why it is important to get your hormones checked

Our hormones control everything from the way we feel, look, or appetite, weight, pms, muscle tone, mood and much more.
A simple blood test can help get to the bottom of what’s going on for you. Let’s talk about some of the most important hormones in the body.

OESTROGEN:

➕ Makes your skin look lush, blemish free and hydrated
➕nourishes our bones
➕important for fertility and regulating our menstrual cycle
➕it’s a mood booster

If there is too much oestrogen circulating around the body it can lead to some pretty unpleasant symptoms such as:

➖heavy periods
➖migraines
➖breast tenderness
➖endometriosis and fibroids
➖weight gain
➖acne

Equally is the hormone progesterone which can make is feel amazing when it is in abundance. It’s kind of like the yogi of the hormone. It loves to relax and shine.

In abundance

➕gives you thick and shiny hair ( which is why pregnant women always have such glowy luscious tresses)
➕puts you in a zen headspace and helps you sleep like a baby at night
➕important for fertility and pregnancy, it is released after ovulation and your body produces more when you are pregnant to keep the uterine wall nice and thick for the placenta to attach and feed the baby

When it’s lacking

➖ it can cause hair loss
➖anxiety and sleeplessness
➖fertility and pregnancy issues

Last but not least drumroll please for….: Testosterone
Men and women need this hormone and it has different actions for either.

In Men

➕increases muscle tone and growth
➕boosts libido
➕influences hair growth on the body as well as the scalp
➕boosts mood and confidence

In women it also influences libido and mood as well as the decisionmaking process.

There are many more hormones whichare important and can be tested on an individual basis. These include stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin, thyroid hormone a\which affect our metabolism and weight.

If you are interested in getting your hormones checked, we offer a hormone testing package here at natology and this is how it works:

1. Book in for a phone consult to tell us what’s going on so we can choose the right tests for you

2. You will get a personalized blood test form sent out to get a test done at a standard pathology lab – takes 10minutes

3. We will receive your test results back within 2 days and will make an appointment to discuss your results and create a treatment plan for you.

The cost is $250 which includes both consults and your tests.

Book in for a free chat to discuss what’s best for you or book in for your personalized hormone testing package here.

POST-PILL ACNE?

Click here to find out what you can do to prevent post-pill acne

Certain types of oral contraceptive pills are designed to suppress the oil glands in your skin and when you stop the pill your hormones surge again which increases the oil production again. This generally lasts fo 6 months, which can be really annoying when you are trying to flaunt your beautiful blemish free skin on a selfie.

Here’s what you can do to prevent the post pill-acne blues:

1. Make sure you don’t just come off the pill and hope for the best. Prevention is best and you should really start treating the underlying cause a couple of cycles before you stop the pill.

2. Treat stress and sleep issues as they may have been causing stress levels to push a hormone called Androgen up. This hormone causes our skin to break out mainly around the chin area and the back. Androgen also throws your menstrual cycle out of balance and can cause long cycles and might mean you are not ovulating (anything longer than 35 days is considered too long).

3. Avoid cow’s milk – it contains hormones which mimic oestrogen (cow’s milk is for feeding baby cows, so they can grow big and strong). So that means hello almond milk lattes and goodbye cheese, yoghurt and ice cream. While you are at it, also avoid sugar as it spikes insulin which makes acne worse as it affects how your ovaries respond to hormones.
That means no sugary fruit, juices, chocolates, lollies or sweet alcoholic drinks – yes, wine and champagne are sweet alcoholic drinks too.

4. Get your hormones checked 3 months post coming off the pill – anything earlier will give you a false reading as your body will still be affected by the hormones in the pill. A good test is the DUTCH – hormone test as it assesses all hormone levels including Androgens and Adrenal hormones which hugely affect your skin.

5. Make sure your digestion works and you stay clear of food allergens – any bloating or skin flare ups after food should be noted and checked out. You can get your food allergies tested via a simple blood test with us at Natology.
Take bitter herbs and zinc to get your stomach acid levels up – this usually gets rid of any bloating after meals.

Want to find out more on how to keep your skin looking fresh even off the pill? Book in for a free chat to a Natology Naturopath here.

THYROID AND FAT LOSS

Most of us know that a good diet and lots of exercise should get you looking like Elle McPherson in no time if we only do it for long enough and not slip off the wagon…
What about those of us who have done it all, shakes, the Atkins diet, Paleo, vegan, intermittent fasting, you name it… and haven’t seen the results you were looking for?
Have you ever wondered if there might be more to calories in and out when it comes to weight loss?
The answer is yes, there is a lot more to it than most of us think. One very important little gland called the Thyroid gland might be holding the key to the answer you have been looking for all this time.

Think of the Thyroid gland as the key guardian for all your cells. We need those keys to unlock cells to get energy production happening and to regulate our temperature.
In a nutshell – The Thyroid controls your metabolism.

To give you a few examples of what I often hear Thyroid patients say in my clinic:

• Feeling cold, can’t get warm even when others feel hot or can’t cool down even when they stand in the freezer section of the supermarket;

• Their hair is falling out and they see strands come out in the shower and wonder how they still have hair left on their head;

• Eyebrow hair is coming off and they need to make an extra effort pencilling in the gaps in the morning;
• Weight has come on suddenly with no change in diet or exercise and they are very, very frustrated about that;
• They exercise daily and tried every diet under the sun and can barely keep their weight stable, or worse keep putting it on;

• Their Nails and skin feel dry and brittle and hairstyles don’t last more than an hour;
• They feel tired and often sad for no reason;
• Constipation has been more noticeable;
• A swollen neck or croaky voice has been there on and off;

So, I guess most of you would say, well my GP checked it in my last blood test and there was no issue, so I’m sure everything is fine.
Hold up, not so fast! Which marker was tested and what range was it in?

Did you know that in most cases the Thyroid is not checked unless you ask AND if it is checked only 20% of all Thyroid markers are checked if you do ask? If it is not functioning properly but not yet necessary to be medicated, you won’t be notified.

Be sure to always check for the following:

TSH – This is generally tested as the only marker and shows how fast the gland works – like an employee in your little key making business

T4 – indicates how much metal is on the shelf to make keys – no metal – no keys

T3 – this marker tells us how many perfectly shaped keys you actually have to unlock cells

Reverse T3 – This checks for blunt keys, pretty much blocking your cells up and stopping energy production = tiredness and weight gain

Sometimes we need to check for immune conditions affecting the Thyroid but I will go into that more in my next post.

You can see how important all of this is and how we need to assess all markers rather than one.
If you want to have your levels checked, we can perform a Thyroid blood spot in the clinic for you or you can have a test kit sent to your home, this is a good option for those of you who fear needles. The blood spot is only a small finger prick and you can either do it at home or come into our Brisbane or Sydney clinic to have it done.