Hormone imbalances like PMS and hot flashes are common, but shouldn’t be brushed off as normal. These often-ignored problems can cause a range of symptoms as well as a lot of pain and discomfort. Here are some safe and natural ways to start correcting these imbalances from the root cause and get your hormones back on track.
1:10 - Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) Symptoms
2:25 - Estrogen Dominance
5:30 - What causes Hormonal Imbalance?
8:20 - Menopause
9:50 - Physiology of Hot Flashes
13:30 - How to Help Hot Flashes
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Hormone imbalances are more common in women than you might think. These often ignored problems can cause a range of symptoms as well as a lot of pain and discomfort. Today on the Dr. Lam show, we will be going through PMS, menopause and discuss hormone imbalances, their cause and how they relate to adrenal fatigue. We will also discuss how we can alleviate your symptoms and get you back to feeling good again. In the Dr. Lam show, we empower you to take control of your health. As we talk about integrative medicine, if you enjoy the show and find it useful, please hit the like button, subscribe to get notifications. This is the best way to make this show more visible, so that other people who need the information can find it. Thank you for joining us today. I'm Dr. Carrie Lam, I specialize in family medicine and holistic health.Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:
Hi, I'm Dr. Jeremy Lam. I focus on chronic conditions and preventative health. A common complaint for most women is hormone imbalances. However, because it's a common complaint does not mean it's normal. PMS symptoms occur three to four days before the cycle begins, symptoms such as bloating, irritability, water retention, acne, and sleeping problems. Dr. Carrie why do you think PMS symptoms are not normal?Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
Many women think that it's normal to have severe cramps, acne or feel unwell right before the period. Just because it is very common, people just accept it. Hundreds of years ago, women did not have PMS symptoms, so asking why you have PMS is very important. It is often due to excess estrogen, and less of the opposing hormone, progesterone to balance it. With excess estrogen, it causes a relative seesaw hormone imbalance called estrogen dominance or you can have an anabolic hormone imbalance. Anabolic refers to excess of male hormones, and you think of built building or bodybuilding. With an imbalance in your cycles, you can feel irregular periods, feeling of bloating, acne due to more male hormone imbalance. Estrogen dominance on the other hand can cause breast tenderness, water retention and irritability. From day 1 to day 5, you would menstruate and so day 1 to day 14 is called the follicular phase. During this phase, your ovaries produce follicles, gets matured so that the eggs can be released for fertilization. Day 14 is ovulation, but it definitely depends on individuals. Day 14 to day 28 or from ovulation to the start of your next period is called the luteal phase. That's usually when, if you were to get pregnant at ovulation, your body is preparing you to be able to produce enough progesterone to be able to keep the egg. But if you don't, the progesterone level drops, and causes menstruation or period. So that's how our cycles work. However, when you have imbalance of estrogen and progesterone levels, then you can have these symptoms. Right Dr. Jeremy?Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:
Yeah, if you have estrogen dominance, or high estrogen, then that's a common cause of PMS. So depending on whether your estrogen and your progesterone ratio, and also depending on what day of the cycle that you're on, that can lead to PMS symptoms. And so it's really about having your hormones balanced, to be able to regulate your symptoms. That's the key. In today's world there are all the chemicals, toxins that can cause the hormone imbalance. Stress and adrenal fatigue, can cause the imbalance as well because they are part of the OAT axis or the ovarian adrenal thyroid axis. And so it's very important to get to the underlying root problem and not just write off PMS, because PMS is a complex issue. It's less about specific hormones that you need to balance but addressing the root problem. If you suffer from PMS, or you want more information about why your body is not feeling normal, please don't hesitate to call our office at 714-709-8000. We can help address your PMS symptoms.Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
You talked a little about PMS, the environment and the foods. How do a lot of estrogen in our bodies, actually come from chemicals, like plastics, BPA, or xenoestrogens in cleaning gents, pesticides in the food hat come from the soil. Xenoe trogens are compounds that l ok like estrogen, making the b dy more estrogenic, even t ough it's not real estrogen, i does sit on the estrogen r ceptors, However, they cause e trogen dominance that may lead t PMS symptoms. And so learning h w to balance that in the n rmal progesterone estrogen r tio, ensuring that excess e trogen is removed either via t e detox pathways, or liver, a d dealing with the adrenal b cause the ovarian adrenal t yroid (OAT) axis, a part of t e hormone circuit. So, e suring all these are taken c re of will help with PMS s mptoms. So the next topic is m nopause Dr. Jeremy, tell us a l ttle more about it.Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:
Are hot flashes normal during menopause? The answer is no, it's not. Women of the previous generations, went through menopause pretty gracefully, without significant symptoms. And yet now, many women experiencing menopause develop hot flashes, temporarily, but s ill affects their life and t eir ability to work. So the qu stion is, why do they get hot fl shes when it's not normal? ow, hot flashes represent a v somotor instability, mean ng that your blood ves els are dilating or is unstabl . So your body's self reg lation has lost its bala ce to control this vasomotor i stability and this happens bec use of hormonal imbalance. Just like hormonal balance and PMS, the hot flashes are also due to this imbalance. Dr. Car ie, do you want to elabora e on that?Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
Hot flash happens because the blood vessels dilate. So it gets bigger, and more blood goes through it which means, more oxygen is supplied and it feels warm and therefore called a hot flash. It's also about the estrogen level, but it's hard to say if it is due to estrogen dominance or deficiency causing the flashes, In menopause, your ovaries die out and stop producing estrogen so, you would think it's probably an estrogen deficiency problem and get a hot flash, But, we need to consider the estrogen to progesterone ratio. If your estrogen drops more, relative to progesterone, then you would have more hot flashes, despite high estrogen, making you estrogen dominant. Women with abdominal obesity, tend to release more estrogen making them estrogen dominant, and they experience hot flashes. On the other side, a skinny woman can also gets estrogen dominance from an actual estrogen depletion due to not having a lot of estrogen. And so being able to differentiate the difference is very important because on one hand you don't want to give someone who's estrogen dominant, more estrogen, and on the other hand, if someone who's actually estrogen deficient, you can give more estrogenic support, and they get relief from hot flashes. It takes skilled provider to see which side of the estrogen and progesterone you're on, but also the the right type of labs that you can order, whether it's their saliva or blood, to know where your body is, in terms of your menopause and your hormone levels.Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:
As Dr Carrie says, make sure that you check the ratios, and interpret those ratios appropriately. Whether it's a combination of saliva test, plus taking a history to understand not only the body, but from a hormonal perspective, the body's response to stress, including the liver. So taking an overall approach to figure out the problem and ways to address hormone imbalances. And therefore, hot flashes during menopause are not normal. If you're suffering from hot flashes, get expert help and guidance. You don't have to live with those symptoms. Call us at 714-709-8000. So Dr. Carrie, do you have any tips for our listeners and how they can help with hot flashes?Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
The first one is to find the root cause, looking at the imbalances and solving it. Lifestyle tips are important. If you get hot flashes at night, keep a fan by you and wear lighter clothing, or use wet towels to soothe the physical symptoms. You can try supplements for resolving PMS or hot flashes during menopause. The key is knowing where the estrogen and progesterone are and which supplements or foods are more estrogenic. For example, evening primrose oil has estrogenic properties if you tend to be more estrogen deficient. Chasteberry or vitex have been used for progesterone effects, if you need that type of balancing. A conventional doctor might prescribe medications like SSRIs, to reduce symptoms. There are many ways to deal with it symptomatically but still you should identify the root cause, with the help of a good provider who understands where levels are and how to deal with it. A hormone replacement therapy, where you are giving your body the estrogen and the progesterone can help as well, using bioidentical, meaning the compounds look exactly the same as the ones that you make in your own body, is another option. But usually this is not first line, you want to make sure your adrenals. thyroid are working well before taking hormones. So like I said, make sure you do all of this with doctor's guidance. So those are just some little ways that you can help deal with symptoms of PMS and hot flashes.Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:
So getting your hormones back into balance may seem impossible. But remember that there are some safe and easy things that you can try to help reduce your hormonal imbalances and associated symptoms. Call our office at 714-709-8000 to understand specific strategies on how to deal with adrenal fatigue, PMS and hot flashes. We hope that this was helpful and that you learn more about hormonal imbalances and how to correct them safely, naturally and without causing additional stress for your body. Thank you for listening, and again if you would like help with your hormones, just give us a call. We're here to empower you to take control of your health.Unknown:
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