Last week was a week of learning more about human hormones and the environmental factors that play into either their optimization or inhibition. The IWW crew traveled to Dallas for further training on Bioidentical Hormone Therapy. We are excited to be the first in the Valley (and the first MD clinic in the State!) to offer this specific Bioidentical Hormone Therapy.
As you may have seen, we have had a series of lectures on balancing hormones...optimizing hormones to feel better and function better. Aging is a part of life, therefore cellular degeneration, slowing processes, and declining hormones are a natural part of life to be expected. But with longer lifespans comes more potential time in an unbalanced or decreased state. Why live life feeling as a decreased version of yourself, or worse- experiencing symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, decreased libido, and fatigue- when something can be done about it? As I talk about in my hormone presentations, thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and vitamin D (yes, Vitamin D is actually a hormone) all play a role in that balance.
But aging isn't the only reason for hormone imbalance. We are often times creating that imbalance by the choices we make in our everyday life. If you've heard me talk, you'll know I talk about iodine...a lot. Iodine is an essential trace mineral which makes thyroid hormone, but it is critical for MUCH more than thyroid health (breast health and hormone production, to name a couple). Unfortunately, the typical American diet is severely lacking, if not entirely lacking in Iodine (Think sea vegetables, oganic yogurt, organic cheese, organic strawberies). As you might know if you are familiar with the periodic table of elements, iodine is a halogen, along with bromine, fluorine, and chlorine. I found it interesting that I overheard a conversation my wife was having with someone, and the topic happened to be fluoride. While the person spoke about the benefits of fluoride in toothpaste, I myself was wondering why we are continuing to use fluoride ANYWHERE? It is scientifically known that fluoride actively blocks the iodine receptor, which therefore can adversely affect the thyroid. Fluoride is also a known neurotoxin. We should be actively trying to AVOID fluoride, but yet it is touted as a must for tooth decay prevention, and even added to our water supply.
Fluoride isn't the only bad actor in the group though. Bromine, another halogen, is often in bread flour and many other foods, and was once in some soft drinks. Bromine also affects iodine absorption and of course thyroid function! Ingesting foods with these iodine-mocking chemicals is causing thyroid conditions.
We need to step back and look at the root of the problem, find it, fix it, get our hormones balanced, and get us back to feeling energetic and full of life. The answer, in short, is decreasing chemical exposure, eating appropriately for the needs of our bodies, supplementing where we lack, and optimizing hormones when needed.
-Dr. Glen Elrod