Articles, Blog

Hormone Imbalance Symptoms

November 7, 2019

Hi, I’m Susan Bratton, your trusted hot
sex adviser. I’m here with my friend Dr. Jolene Brighten and we’re talking
about hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalance really comes from looking at
the inter-operability of the five main hormones in your body. We’re gonna talk a
little bit about how synthetic birth control affects them, but first we’re
gonna talk about general hormonal imbalance of, here are the five: Estrogen,
Testosterone, Progesterone, Thyroid and Cortisol. So we’re going to take them in
order. We’re gonna start with estrogen. So what we’re gonna do is we’re going to
explain to you both, what some of the symptoms are of estrogen and all the
other imbalance, and then what are some solutions, and we’ll give you some ideas
at the end of the video as well about what your next steps are in getting
hormonal balance instead of imbalance. So let’s start with estrogen. Dr. Brighten: Yes, so as we begin this conversation, I think a really important thing to understand is never
one hormone is imbalanced on its own. In fact, I like to think of it as a symphony and they all have their own instrument, and if you ever go
to a symphony, if one instrument is off, the whole thing is off, and so they all
really interplay with one another. Now specifically with estrogen, she’s kind of
the queen in a way. We are the queens of self-care, hence the crowns, plus we just
like wearing tiaras. So the thing about estrogen is estrogen is why we are
plumped and curvy. Plumps our lips, plumps our breasts, plumps our hips, and it does a
whole lot of other things that benefit our bones, our brain, our heart. So there
is no bad hormone, I want to say that, but when estrogen is imbalanced and it’s too
high, we can find ourselves feeling cranky, feeling bloated, our periods can
be heavier, we might see more clots, we’re retaining more weight, or we’re having
difficulty losing weight, and if that’s true for you… you know, one thing that you
might want to look at is how are the bowels moving every day, because that’s
how we move estrogen out. Once your liver packages it all up, it’s to your gut to
move it out. And even one day of constipation can cause your estrogen
levels to rise. So whenever we’re talking hormones, we got to be looking at what you’re putting into your body,
what you’re saying to yourself, what’s going on with your environment and
what’s moving out of your body. I want to also mention that we have another video
that’s the Dirty Dozen side effects of taking synthetic birth control of different types, and on that list are things like leaky gut, gut dysbiosis, adrenal fatigue, things like this and so
if you’re bloated, if you’re tired, if you’re constipated, those are indications
of a hormonal imbalance, and they’re really all tied together. It’s so short-sighted to think that your gut is just your gut and that your
hormones have nothing to do with it. It’s one tube. So let’s talk about the flip
side. So what if estrogen is too low. Now when estrogen is too low, this is
when my patients come to me saying, “My breasts are drooping now. My skin is
wrinkly. It’s looking thinner.” So that can actually leave you more prone
to injury. Your periods might be two days or even less than that, or maybe you
just need a panty-liner. That might feel like a good thing. It’s not a
good thing. It’s a sign that something else is going on, and a big
reason to have too little estrogen. Now when we move into menopause, those
ovaries are gonna quit. They’ve had their time and they’re done, and they’re not
gonna make estrogen. You will get some estrogen from your adrenal glands,
but if you are nowhere near menopause and your estrogen is too low, you might
want to be looking at your dietary fat, and so I definitely had my time
with the fat-free craze, and let me tell you, as someone who has a degree in
Nutrition Science, fat is your friend and in fact it is the building blocks of your
hormones. Healthy fat. avocados, coconut oil, olive oil,
avocado oil, nuts, seeds, salmon, other fatty fish. These are the kinds of things
you want to be eating if you have low estrogen. If you’re wrinkling up, if
you’re drying up, you’re not eating enough healthy fats. Also omega-3, taking cod liver oil, or some fish oils to supplement are good
ways to get that going again. Absolutely and that will help not only your estrogen, it will help all of your hormones, but it’s also going to help your skin. Omega-3 make your skin look
amazing. I gobble them up. So should we talk about testosterone or progesterone? Let’s do testosterone Well, because estrogen and progesterone
are so… They’re besties. Let’s talk about progesterone. Okay perfect. So it’s actually not common to see elevated
progesterone, and if we see too high of progesterone, it’s oftentimes because
we’re using bioidentical replacements with that, and so what we see with a
progesterone being too high, your breasts will become tender, you’ll want to cry
all the time, you’re really groggy, especially in the
morning. So you’re feeling tired and it’s not like I wake up, I’m fine and
then tired in the afternoon. You’re groggy when you start your day and
you’re gonna feel bluesy. Bluesy is the exact word that so many of my patients
say. It’s not depressed. I just don’t feel so happy. That’s when I have too
much progesterone? Too high. You may want to check your prescription
but it also could be you need to evaluate all of your hormones which
we’re gonna be talking more about. Now with progesterone being too low which is
actually very common. So how do you get progesterone? I should explain that first. So when you ovulate, you release an
egg. What’s left behind is a structure called the corpus luteum, and that corpus
luteum is going to secrete progesterone. It’s
going to do it in hopes that that egg will be fertile and if it’s not then
those progesterone-estrogen levels are going to drop. That is normal. So that’s
your luteal phase? That’s your luteal phase. So your
progesterone is high in your luteal phase and then it drops off when the egg
isn’t fertilized. Yes, and so and I should say that estrogen,
she’s predominant in the follicular phase which is roughly days 1 through 14. We have the ovulatory day so you ovulate, and then the luteal phase follows. There
is estrogen there as well which is where we can get into trouble. So if you don’t
ovulate, you can still have a period but at the same time if that corpus luteum
isn’t really equipped to put out that progesterone or maybe you’re stressed
out and your brain is saying shut down any possible way that we can get
pregnant because that’s what your brain does it keeps you very safe. Your whole
body just wants you to survive. And if you’re totally stressed out and your
body thinks the environment is unsafe, the last thing you want to do is get
pregnant because you can’t run from a tiger when you’re pregnant. That’s a bad
idea. So with that you’ll see those
progesterone levels can fall. Why I said the estrogen and progesterone are
besties is because if you don’t have adequate progesterone during the luteal
phase, that’s where we can get estrogen dominance. So you could back it up and go
over those elevated estrogen symptoms. So if progesterone is low though we’re
gonna find also you can be gaining weight again and you’ll have
that fluid retention, your breasts will swell, but how is this different from
high progesterone? You’re not feeling bluesy. No, in fact you’re feeling anxious
and you probably have insomnia and that’s because progesterone is
stimulating the GABA receptor in your brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter
that puts the stop brake on those let’s- freak-out neurotransmitters in your
brain and so without progesterone we want to freak out, we can’t sleep, we’re
worrying about things and that’s how you know if your progesterone is too low.
You also may be having something more like 21 day cycles instead of 28. I
just want to say you can have a 26, you can have a 32-day cycle as long as
they are regular. That’s totally fine. There is no right and wrong here but if you’re
finding they’re getting shorter and shorter, that could be a sign that your
progesterone is too low. And one big thing that we respond really well to with progesterone… so of course when you’re hearing this,
you’re like ‘oh, reduce stress,’ but hanging out with our girlfriends helps bump your
progesterone. That’s interesting. It’s all about community. You feel
safe. You feel like ‘oh, I got people to take care of me,’ and so that’s one way
that you can start to influence your progesterone. I’d also add including things like vitamin C which can raise progesterone, and starting to
take a look at how all of these sex hormones are working in your body. So the
third is testosterone. And you know testosterone is always the one that
women are like ‘I don’t want testosterone. It’ll give me a mustache, acne or facial hair. But you need it. So if it is too high, that’s where we’ll see cystic acne coming up. So it starts with
oily skin, acne follows and then it can become cystic. You can also see back-ne,
neck-ne, as some of my patients call it. So acne can be a sign of too much
testosterone. We’ll also see abnormal hair growth, and this is where it’s a real
bummer. Us ladies lose the hair on our head and unlike men it spares no
follicle. So men have male pattern hair iron loss, but us ladies can lose all of
the hair on our head. So that’s just not cool, and then you start growing hair on
your face, on your chest, on your abdomen. So you think the places that I like my man to have hair. So the places I like my man to have hair,
I don’t want to have hair there and that can be a sign you have too much
testosterone going on, and you might feel enraged too. So if you’re having some
road rage or you’re feeling really aggravated, it could be a sign of your
testosterone and it affects your menstrual cycles. So you could be having
35-plus day menstrual cycles or not being able to ovulate. Something that’s really common is that if you are experiencing high
testosterone is to get yourself checked for polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS.
Now this is where it gets tricky. You may have true PCOS which
means the day you started your periods, they were always in regular or you may
have it coming off of birth control which is called pill-induced PCOS. It’s
not true PCOS. You can get your testosterone levels in check, you can get
your period back. It’s just what the pill did to your body that has disrupted the
whole system. So let’s talk about low testosterone because that’s imbalance. You don’t want any hormone imbalance but that is one that so many doctors miss
because they’re not even checking testosterone in women or if they
are, they’re like well there’s this huge range that men have and you’re somewhere
in that range so you’re fine. As ladies have to check the free
testosterone because that’s what we’re actually using, and if our testosterone
is too low, sure, we have no libido, no interest in sex, but we learn
ourselves either. We have no drive, no joy, no motivation, and our brain, our bones and our heart are also aging because both testosterone and estrogen are necessary
for keeping your cells youthful, and operating at full capacity. Keeping your hippocampus plump. Yes. So very important, and so if testosterone
is too low, this is something you definitely want to get lab work and you
want to start investigating, but other things that you can try is adaptogenic
herbs. So things like rhodiola or ginseng, and rhodiola is in the ginseng family,
those have been shown to be beneficial in helping with testosterone levels and
they’ve got the benefit of loving up your adrenal glands as well. So I know we
still want to talk about the thyroid and cortisol because you can’t
deal with hormonal imbalance unless you look at all of these hormones, and at the
end of this we’re also going to tell you a little bit more about how you can get
your hormones tested and the right and wrong kinds of tests to get. So stick
with us and let’s move on. So we’re gonna do cortisol now, and this
is something that I think so many of us women you have heard of, when it comes to
‘I’ve got the muffin top, I can’t lose the belly fat,’ it’s high cortisol, and so you can start storing some of that belly fat there, but you can also find
yourself feeling wired and tired. So your body is exhausted, but your brain is
still going. You can also find that you whether it’s low or high, you’re
more susceptible to infections and that’s because cortisol has a big role
to play with your immune system. And if your cortisol is high, you can
feel like you are on the edge at all points, and then any little thing is
just gonna tip you right off, and you’re gonna topple right over feeling just
bananas-stressed-out really, and so with the cortisol being too
high and that’s something that adaptogenic herbs can help with, but also
B vitamins are very important. Your birth control or your
synthetic hormonal birth control, whatever you’re using,
that’s suppressing your B vitamin intake so that’s why you also get hair loss and
things like that. And it’s pushing them all off and out as well and so
all hormones need B vitamins but your adrenal glands
especially love B5. So B5 and vitamin C. So you’ve seen a pattern here. There’s
several things that you can use that actually help affect this entire
symphony so that they get in tune and they play a better song for your body.
Now with low cortisol, that’s where women know they wake up and they do not wake
feeling rested. So maybe they did have a full night’s sleep but they can’t get
out of bed in the morning. Again, you can be susceptible to infection as well and
we see that afternoon slump. So if you’re guzzling coffee around lunchtime or
come 3 pm then maybe your cortisol levels are too low. Cortisol
should spike in the morning when we wake up and then slowly decline throughout
the day. Sometimes we get a little second wind in the afternoon. That’s okay and
then it should be at its lowest at night. But if you’re having dysregulation in
your cortisol, you’re going to have dysregulation in all of your hormones. So
when we’re looking at low cortisol, we want to be looking at you definitely
have to be getting adequate sleep, you’ve got to dial back stress, and not stress in
that just stop stressing so much as look at your exercise routine. If you have a
stressed-out life, if your work is stressful and your exercise routine
is stressful, then you’ve got nothing but stress and exercise is a good stress for
your body, but if your cortisol is too low, you want to start dialing it back. Do
things like yin yoga and pilates. Take more time to meditate and really nourish
your system overall. We are not dressed up as the queens of
self-care for nothing. And thyroid, I found that to be the most
confusing of all of the hormones. So explain the high and the low thyroid, and
also know that once again synthetic birth controls are really affecting your
thyroid production. Absolutely and so the other thing about that why it gets so
confusing is because the most common form of thyroid disease is
hypothyroidism and the number one cause of hypo to little thyroid hormone is
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It’s an autoimmune thyroid disease and when it’s
ramping up and the immune system’s getting all busy on your thyroid, you can
have symptoms of hyper and then fluctuate into hypo which leaves your
doctor saying ‘I don’t know maybe you need an anti-anxiety med or an antidepressant med. Both anxiety and depression go
hand-in-hand with hypothyroidism which is too little thyroid hormones. Other
things that we see is it’s very common to hear that your
energy will be low, that you can be infertile, your periods can become
irregular, that you’re constipated, you’re cold, dry skin, hair loss, but other things
is that if your voice is gravelly in the morning and your voice is starting to
change, that can be a sign that your thyroid hormones are too low. It’s because
when thyroid hormone gets low, we actually deposit sugars on our vocal
cords and you sound like a like sexy call girl on the phone
center but some women have said to me that it sounds like I’ve smoked a pack of
cigarettes and I haven’t. That’s a subtle way it can show up because thyroid
hormones affects every cell in your body. The other thing that’s really
subtle is women will get up in the morning and their feet touch the floor
and they’re in pain and they’re like ‘oh, my feet hurt.’ Their feet hurt and their
hands hurt. Is it a joint issue or what
is it? So what it is is that well if you think about it what muscles
are you using the most every day? Your hands and your feet. And you need the thyroid hormone while you’re sleeping to repair all those tissues. So you’re
getting up in the morning and you haven’t repaired those tissues, and so this is
something where women will say ‘I just asked my partner to rub my feet
all the time and it seems like… I’m going to the podiatrist, I’m changing my shoes. Well, let’s check your thyroid and see if
that’s what’s going on there. So there’s a lot of subtle ways that
thyroid disease can show up, and what I would say is at any point, now hear
me on this, you live in your body every day. You’re the only one who knows what’s
normal. This is good advice. And if at any point you’re like ‘This is not normal for
me.’ that warrants investigation and a doctor who will listen. And if your
doctor won’t listen, you need to find one who who will because there is only so
much that lab tests and a physical exam can tell us. The data you walk around
with every day in your body is priceless. So write it down and track it and help
doctors like me be able to find the root cause of your symptoms sooner than later
so we can make you feel better sooner than later. So let’s talk about hyperthyroidism. Now if you have hyperthyroidism, too
much thyroid hormone, that is Grave’s disease. So that’s the only thing that we
really see causing this and that’s an autoimmune disease. Now in Hashimoto’s
hypothyroid, you destroy the thyroid gland. In Grave’s disease you actually
dock antibodies. These antibodies grow unto the receptors of the thyroid and
they stimulate it to go into overdrive and to work overtime and now you’re
making all of this thyroid hormone. Now with that you may get a goitre.
It may be that we see an enlargement of your thyroid, but most of the time what
we see is now you’re not sleeping, you’re sweating all the time and you feel super
super hot. You have diarrhea and you have anxiety, and in fact I see I’ve seen so
many women come in with hormone imbalances being given mood-altering
prescription when there’s a root cause. So before you pop a pill, whatever that
pill is, ask your doctor ‘Is there something deeper going on?’ Because with
this simple blood test, you can get answers to this and understand what’s
happening and so I should give some tips of how to help these things. One is if
you have Grave’s disease, you need a doctor. Your heart will be racing and you
will feel like you’re going to have a heart attack. It’s not likely
that you will but it is very uncomfortable and with high
thyroid, and this is true of high cortisone, you can be losing your bone
rapidly and so nobody wants any of that business. So you definitely have to get
checked out and and look into that and it’s not something that you can go it
alone on with hyperthyroid. Now with hypothyroid, you may require medication.
If you do you, the thing I would say I have found so many times women do best on natural desiccated thyroid hormone. Are you saying natural desiccated? Are you saying that it’s the thyroid from
a pig or a cow? It’s gonna come from a pig. The
interesting thing about it so that’s a combination of T4 and T3. T4 is the inactive thyroid hormone. They take the thyroid from the animal and they dry it out and
you take that as a supplement. Yes, so it’s not a synthetic. It’s bio-identical. It’s approximating because this animal is closer to the
human than the synthetic chemical is to what the human can produce. Yeah, but the other thing with it is that so it’s got t4 and it’s got t3. So t4 inactive, t3 that’s
the good stuff is active. What else has t1 and t2? And right now we have no idea
what t1 and t2 do, but we know we make it and I will tell you something. I
know about the human body. It doesn’t isolate. It doesn’t
do anything it doesn’t need to do and so some experts hypothesize that might be
part of it, but the other thing as well is that and I think it’s perfect I have
Cinderella right here. So the thyroid hormone is much like the glass slipper in that story. It’s not one size fits all. You have to find the shoe that fits for you, and so while I
say that most women, and you’ll hear a lot of experts say this. Most women do
better on a natural desiccated thyroid hormone so like Armor or Naturethroid or WP Thyroid Well, most do better. That may not be true
for you and all we care about is what is true for you and so you might have
to do some looking. Now the other thing that can be really
helpful in case of Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism is taking selenium, and
research has shown that 200 micrograms can actually help put the antibodies
that are part of the whole attack system on your thyroid into remission. Now while
many women and there are doctors out there say ‘oh you’re hypothyroid. That
must be an iodine deficiency. Go take that in the United States.’ That does not
tend to be true. In fact, it’s not true in terms of the research and many multiple
studies have shown if you take iodine and you have a selenium deficiency, by
the way birth control depletes your selenium, then you’re at risk of flaring
that autoimmune disease worse, and in fact there’s been countries that test their population. Then they introduced
iodized salt and they found higher incidences of Hashimoto’s and
hypothyroidism just by increasing that iodine. It’s not that iodine is bad. It’s
that you must have adequate selenium. So I always start patients with selenium first. We bring on iodine second and it’s important to recognize
you only need about 150 micrograms of iodine. This is important
because I’ve had patients come to me on 65 milligrams because they think it’s
going to help, but in fact in Grave’s disease, we use iodine to suppress
thyroid function. So it actually can make your symptoms worse. So that was my
cautionary tale there of hypothyroidism.
There’s so much to unpack here that we want to leave you at least with some
more steps that you can take to get to the next level and you’re watching this
video because you probably think you have a hormonal imbalance and now you
see ‘oh my gosh, it could be that I have too much. It
could be that I have too little.’ Now I know it’s an orchestra and it’s
going to be a combination of things and so I really need some help to understand
what to do. So there are a couple of next steps that we have for you.
Number one. Get tested and get the right tests. Get the good tests. You’re going to
need your thyroid tested. You’re gonna need your hormones tested, and most
doctors that you go to, they will do a blood test and look at the hormones that
are free in your blood in one moment that you had that blood draw. And that’s not helpful because you are a cyclical woman, both
through the month and through the day and so what we recommend instead is
something called a four-point dried urine test and I’m putting a link to
another video I did where I actually show you what the test looked like. I get
the box out. You can do this at home because you have to pee, all
your pee, and dip these little strips in and hang them up. So I show you exactly
how it works. So you know when you go to your doctor what to ask them to order
for you because just like Dr. Brighten said,
‘You are your own queen of self-care, you’re your health advocate. And you are, by watching this video, arming yourself with the beginnings of
the information to get yourself back in balance, and so I’ll put a link to the
video about which hormone tests to take along with this video in the show notes
below. I’m also going to put something that Dr. Brighten… she was talking
to you about when to take iodine and
different supplements in selenium and do this and do that. She actually has
something called the Birth Control Hormone reset program. So if you’ve been
taking synthetic birth control of any kind and you think that might be
contributing to your hormone in that. If you have been taking birth control
synthetic, it is contributing to your hormonal imbalance, and even if you’ve
been on it decades before. If you have ever done anything to repair your
body, you’re going to have to do that work on yourself. Really practice
that self-care so that you can have amazing hormones. Yes, so the birth
control hormone reset program is linked in the show notes below as well. I’ve put
a link to something I call my women’s sexual empowerment list and that’s a
place where you can subscribe to an email newsletter of mine where I talk
all the time about everything from… it’s really about sexual longevity, sexual
health. I talked about anatomy. I talked about everything from vaginal
rejuvenation to the things that you might need for your husband or boyfriend.
Everything your doctor won’t talk to you about When I don’t know I bring the doctor in.
Plus bedroom communication skills and lovemaking techniques and orgasm skills
and all kinds of things. So both of those are in the links below as well as the
video about the hormone test and if you have some questions and of course we
couldn’t cover everything here but if you have some questions we’ll definitely
answer them in the comments below and if you’ve had some good success share your
story down there too. While you’re down there, why not give
the Queen’s of self-care a couple of thumbs up and we’ll see you on the other


  • Reply Alan Meade November 16, 2018 at 2:43 am


  • Reply S R November 16, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Time stamps please

  • Reply S R November 16, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Does your test apply for a 55 yr old woman not on birth control

  • Reply Sukhdev Singh Sidhu November 18, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Nyc ji

  • Reply Gabriela pizarro November 18, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Such a good info and so good explained ,,thank you

  • Reply Lee Jacobs October 19, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Fantastic information. Learned a lot. Thank you!

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