I watch a bit of television now and again, and repeatedly see a commercial for a birth control pill. It looks quite glamorous to be taking it. Granted, at the tail end of the commercial it states many of the bad things contraceptive pills are widely recognized to cause. But the real impact of what birth control pills do to female bodies is never discussed and what is discussed is completely…

Tags: Hormone Balance, Estrogen


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Why I’m One OB/GYN Who Is Not Prescribing the Birth Control Pill

The hypothalamus is directly innervated by neuronal systems that produce neurotransmitters, such as serotonin (5-HT), dopamine and norepinephrine (NE), that are involved in mood regulation and play various other roles in cognitive health. During the acute stress crisis, the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward system is stimulated to help maintain morale. However, during chronic stress or depression, the reward system is down-regulated by stress mediators, resulting in anhedonia.…

Tags: HPA Axis, Hormone Balance, Stress, Neurotransmitters, Depression


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Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress - Part 3

Glutamate (L-glutamic acid) and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) are, respectively, the principal excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in the CNS and play a significant role in HPA axis function and mood. These two amino acid-based neurotransmitters account for over 50% of the synapses in the brain, while the monoamines (serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine) account for only about 5%.…

Tags: HPA Axis, Hormone Balance, Stress, Neurotransmitters, Depression


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Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress - Part 2

When we talk about “stress,” or allostatic load, in terms of the perception of an event, we must realize that these “events” must first be translated into neurochemical signals before they trigger the HPA axis. Therefore, the sensitivity and outcome of translating these events (whether they are ongoing events, memories of past events, or stressful anticipation of unrealized events), is highly dependent upon signaling from other neurotransmitters.…

Tags: HPA Axis, Hormone Balance, Stress, Neurotransmitters, Depression


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Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress

As we step into 2018, ready to deepen our understanding of the critical balance of hormones and neurotransmitters, as well as the role of elements in optimal health, we wanted to take a brief moment to reflect on the top stories of the past year. Following is a round-up of 2017's most popular posts for practitioners.…

Tags: Hormone Balance, Cancer, DHEA, Adrenal and Cortisol, ADD and ADHD


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Looking Back: Popular Articles for Providers in 2017

One of the primary objectives of the Women's Health Initiative was to see if postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) improved long-term risk of coronary heart disease, among other chronic diseases. However, the combined estrogen/progestin (Prempro) arm was halted in 2002, citing that the participants’ risk of cardiovascular disease outweighed any potential benefit of HRT in the prevention…

Tags: Hormone Balance, Menopause, BHRT, Research


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Research Updates – Trials of HRT Started in Early Menopause

You might ask what Brussels sprouts and estrogens are doing in the same sentence, but I am here to tell you that there is a connection. Brussels sprouts are the cruciferous connection to healthy hormone metabolism. These age-old options –including cabbage, broccoli, bok choy and cauliflower – have gained new acclaim today as dietary super foods. These plants, cultivated for centuries and originally…

Tags: Hormone Balance, Estrogen Metabolism, Estrogen, Xenoestrogens


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Brussels Sprouts & Healthy Estrogen Metabolism

When clinicians measure salivary cortisol and DHEA (DHEA-S) to assess stress and HPA axis function, it is common to find DHEA levels below the reference range in a number of individuals. A common explanation for the depletion of DHEA and other hormones (e.g., progesterone, testosterone) due to chronic stress is the phenomenon known as "pregnenolone steal." The pregnenolone steal notion states that…

Tags: HPA Axis, Hormone Balance, Stress, Pregnenolone Steal, Adrenal and Cortisol


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Re-assessing the Notion of "Pregnenolone Steal"

Sometimes, when we endeavor to understand and describe complicated medical topics, there is a temptation to find a simple explanation to cut through the complexity. These explanations can help bridge the knowledge gap for a while, but as our knowledge grows, they lose some of their original usefulness (e.g., the notion of “good” and “bad” cholesterol). In some cases, those over-simplified…

Tags: Stress, HPA Axis, Hormone Balance, Adrenal and Cortisol


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Is It Adrenal Fatigue? Reassessing the Nomenclature of HPA Axis Dysfunction.

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