With one guru swearing by bio-identical hormones and another saying herbs and diet are the way to go, who do you trust?
None of them.
Collecting data on yourself and seeing what works for you is ideal.
There’s a hormone called DHEA-Sulfate (Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate) – it’s made by your adrenal glands.
It’s most accurate when tested in blood.
DHEA-sulfate, aka DHEA-S, shows you the level at which your adrenal glands are functioning.
You want to know this number because your adrenal glands are in charge of making your hormones when your ovaries or testes slow down production.
This is a big deal as the transition from ovarian to adrenal production of hormones is what can contribute to peri-menopause and menopause symptoms.
The stronger your adrenal glands are at making hormones, the easier the transition into menopause and beyond…
…and the slower you’ll age.
This is why it’s key to protect your adrenal glands by getting out of fight or flight, stress mode, as much as you can!
The same concept applies to men as much as women as men.
If a man has pushed himself to the limits with stress, poor diet and not enough sleep he will deplete the function of his adrenal glands and they will not be able to take up the slack if his testes decrease production of testosterone.
Stronger adrenal glands = less need for hormone replacement therapy.
Weaker adrenal glands = more need for hormone replacement therapy.
The test to determine this = DHEA-sulfate, in the blood.
I use this as a marker to guide clients toward what will get them the most results when they are trying to choose between herbs and hormone replacement.
What level tells me someone needs hormone replacement vs herbs?
A DHEA-sulfate under 60, indicates a lowered adrenal function.
I pair this with blood, saliva or urine hormones to get the full picture.
From my experience, under 60 does seem to correlate with the need for hormone replacement to get the maximal effect.
Can you still use herbs if you want to go all natural?
You’ll just need higher dosages.
Can you mix herbs and hormone replacement therapy?
Yes, you sure can and that’s something not a lot of folks are talking about.
It’s not a hard and fast – you can only use one or the other.
Hormones, much like thyroid treatments can be a hybrid of therapies.
On Wednesday, I’ll go into how I’m helping clients customize their own hormone balancing treatments.
Till then, if you’re curious about how you’ll fare using herbs vs hormone replacement therapy…
…take an inventory of how well you manage stress.
Have you had adrenal hormone testing aka saliva cortisol testing to know how your adrenals function?
If not, it might be time.
Other clues that your adrenals might be struggling…
- difficulty regulating blood sugar
- swelling of the ankles, legs
- feeling puffy all over
- difficulty recovering from workouts, outdoor events or long days
- feeling dizzy, light headed, sweating easy
- quickly feeling overwhelmed or stressed out
- jumping at the sound of startling noises
- The good news is, you can restore your adrenal health before you head into menopause.
And if you’re in menopause and noticing you might have some adrenal issues going on, it’s worth having some testing I’ve mentioned.
The more you know about yourself, the better informed decisions you can make about your health.
I see too many women and men jumping on board at hormone replacement clinics and feeling worse than better!
I don’t want you to give up on something that could help you, if done in a way that suits your body.
Stay tuned for Wednesday where I’ll dive into what I’m doing to help clients figure out if herbs or hormone replacement are best for them.
Here’s to your health,