Sex hormones are that are involved in the regulation of sexual development and reproduction. The primary sex hormones are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Men and women have all of these, just in different amounts and ratios...
When men and women have low energy caused by an imbalance in their sex hormones, it is usually from different hormones. For men, it is usually due to a testosterone deficiency. For women, it is usually due to estrogen and/or progesterone imbalances.
The symptoms of menopause are no joke. They are incredibly uncomfortable and can change the quality of your life significantly. When a woman comes to me with menopausal symptoms, she is usually pretty desperate for relief. I use both natural and pharmaceutical therapies to get her that relief.
I am a big believer in natural medicine. It can be very powerful and work very well. I prefer to use it as long as the natural treatment is safe and strong. Unfortunately, when treating low thyroid, we usually need both the natural and the prescription treatments. In college, I learned from playing the card game euchre not to “send a boy to do a man’s job.” In medicine, this means using the treatment that you know will work. If I think a natural treatment will work, but I know that a medication will work, I should use the medication as long as there are no significant side effects. This is because I want to make sure you get results right away so that you can get your life back
Thyroid disease is one of the most common health problems we face today. The majority of people with thyroid dysfunction have hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism (“hypo” means low) is a condition where the amount of thyroid hormone in your body is less than what is needed for optimal function. According to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12 percent of the US population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetimes, and more than half will be unaware that they have a problem. Women are five to eight times as likely as men to develop thyroid problems.
Last week, I went over the recommended supplements to treat Adrenal Fatigue. This week I’ll go over adrenal recommendations as well as a plan to reduce stressors.
Treating the physical symptoms is only the first step. Once you start to feel better, it’s important to begin addressing the causes of the problem: the sources of stress that compromised your adrenals in the first place.
Last week we discussed the main symptoms as well as the causes of adrenal fatigue. This week, I will focus on testing and supplement options for treatment.
If you have most of the symptoms listed last week, you probably have adrenal fatigue. However, how do we test for adrenal dysfunction?
This week I will discuss how adrenal fatigue is a primary cause of chronic fatigue.
It's estimated that up to 80% of adults experience adrenal fatigue during their lifetimes, yet it remains one of the most under-diagnosed illnesses in the United States. Conventional medicine does not yet recognize adrenal fatigue as a distinct syndrome
Food allergies can cause almost any symptom the body can manifest, including low energy. The gastrointestinal tract maintains a delicate balance of good bacteria, specialized immune cells, and various neurological and hormonal activities. In fact, 80% of your immune system resides in your gut, so anything you put in your mouth can trigger a reaction. Once your digestive system detects what it considers a “foreign particle,” your immune system reacts, and the inflammation that follows creates pain and dysfunction.
Food is a touchy subject, especially if you’re not feeling well. We have a lot of emotional attachments to it, and it can give us joy at times when nothing else can. However, food allergies play a significant role as a cause and contributor to fatigue and, as a doctor, I have seen amazing improvements in the health of my patients when they change their food choices.
Inadequate exercise and too much sitting only add to your low energy – and to chronic disease.
I tell my patients that sitting is the new smoking! Numerous recent studies have shown excessive sitting may shorten your lifespan—even among those who faithfully go to the gym! So, if your activities are limited to walking from your cubicle to your car and then to your couch each day, you are inviting all kinds of health problems, only one of which is chronic fatigue.
The good news is that increased movement has been scientifically shown to help reduce the symptoms of low energy. In one study, 75 percent of patients with low energy who were able to engage in exercise—particularly aerobic exercise—reported increased fitness, increased energy, and improved daily functioning after a year.
Exercise elevates the mood and improves detoxification. As humans, we need to move more—whether it's dancing, sports, or just taking the stairs. What fun movement do you like to do? Every culture incorporates some form of movement because of its importance for health and mood. So – get moving!
But first… let’s make sure that you’re administering “the correct dose” of exercise. Overdoing it can impede your progress. You will know if you’re over-exercising if you feel worse afterward or the next day. If you do feel worse, then cut back, because pushing too hard can drain your adrenal glands of cortisol.
To determine how much exercise you can do without draining your adrenals, start by doing five jumping jacks each day and increase by one jumping jack a day until you feel worse after you exercise. Switch up your routine with different exercises if your body doesn’t respond well to one or the other. Consider pushups, sit-ups, burpees, squats, and plank pose.
I recommend a little exercise every day to start. If you need recovery time, go to every other day. Set a schedule, put it on your calendar, and stick to it. You can do it!
Move Move Move!
Every day, engage in a little more movement than you did the day before. Start small. For example, just ten jumping jacks or dancing around your living room every day can produce a noticeable improvement in your energy. I’ve included a few ideas below, and I’m sure you will think of others.
Walking: Don’t underestimate the benefits of walking. Find daily opportunities to increase your steps. Walk your dog, “walk” your child, park farther away, walk on your lunch hour, and take the stairs. Set the alarm on your phone to remind you to get up and walk around every hour or so.
Hoops: For you basketball fans, shoot a few hoops after work. Make it fun!
Exercise groups: Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi are powerful yet gentle forms of movement that are adaptable to any fitness level. If you take a class, you will build your social support system. Having a class to go to can also help with accountability.
If you can’t leave home or work a class into your schedule, Gaia TV offers yoga and Pilates classes online. They even have some that are only 15 minutes – perfect for a light energy boost!
Burpees: Burpees can be done in your living room or office without any equipment—all you need is your body. They involve standing, squatting, and some variation of a push up. There are many versions, and they can be adapted to just about any fitness level. YouTube “burpees for beginners.”
Rebounding: Rebounders are mini-trampolines upon which you can bounce or jog. They are small enough to place in any corner. Rebounding not only benefits your physical fitness but also your immune system, lymphatic drainage, and bone strength. Try placing a rebounder in your hallway, so you’ll be reminded to do a few bounces every time you walk through your home, or place one in front of your TV.
Track Your Progress
Fitness trackers: Fitness trackers can be helpful reminders about your daily activity—or lack thereof. Experts recommend 7,000 to 10,000 steps per day, but again, start small. Maybe you need to start with a goal of 1,000 steps or even fewer in the beginning. Make it an achievable goal, and ramp up as your health and activity tolerance improve.
Fitness apps: There are some great fitness apps available today, and many are free. Consider trying a seven-minute workout app for some interval training. Interval training is short bursts of energy with rests in between. Don’t worry about pushing the intensity. Many have demonstrated super results with 30-second pushes on the bike or treadmill followed by a long slowdown until they are fully rested.
1. Decide what type of exercise you are going to do. (i.e. jumping jacks, burpees, etc.)
2. Decide what time of day you are going to do it. (i.e. when you get home from work)
3. Decide what days of the week you are going to do it. (i.e. every day or every other day)
Set an “exercise appointment” on your phone’s calendar to remind you to exercise.
Keep track of your exercise and your energy levels as you add exercise to your life.
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