Transcript EP 286 – Dr. Taz’s Take: 7 Hormones Every Woman Should Know About
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Dr. Taz: Welcome back, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Super Woman Wellness, where we are determined to bring you back to your superpower itself. Now, one of our superpowers as women, and honestly, even as men, is to really get our hormones balanced. Have any of you ever experienced what it’s like to lose your estrogen, lose progesterone, have a sluggish thyroid, or even be insulin resistant with a ton of blood sugar instability? None of it feels very good. And it can literally make you feel like you’re not even inside your body. Well, I don’t want that for you. I’ve certainly experienced it myself. You guys know my story back in my twenties, lots of hormone imbalances. Everything from thyroid to high androgens, insulin dysregulation. And it took a lot of hard work and sweat to get that corrected. But, boy, when you do get things corrected, when your chemistry lines up, you feel amazing and you find energy and you find the resources within yourself to do the things you want to do.
Dr. Taz: That’s really what the show is all about. How do we make you be the best version of you? So today, you just get me again. And I want to talk about the seven hormones you need to know, which means these are the seven hormones you should be asking about in the exam room and understanding where they are. Now, this is true if you’re 13 and listing, although most of you probably aren’t, or if you’re all the way up to 65 or 70. This information matters. And there’s a method to this madness, and there’s definitely a reason why. Hormones impact every single function of the body. They impact our brain health, they impact our gut health, they’ll impact our skin and hair, our ability to focus and concentrate, the amount of inflammation we have in our body. They’ll impact whether we have joint pain, joint swelling, muscle fatigue, and so much more.
Dr. Taz: They’ll also play a role in waking up sleeping genetics, the genetics of heart disease, breast cancer, stroke, diabetes, and so many other chronic diseases that I find in my exam rooms at CentreSpring MD after someone has had a hormone shift. So, understanding where you are helps you understand the shifts. But how can you understand the shifts or what’s optimal for you if we’re not even checking our hormones? It really gets on my nerves, under my skin. When I hear patients say that they were told that, oh, you don’t need to check your hormones. You have a cycle. They’re going to change all the time. Yes, that is true. However, there are metabolites of hormones that stay stagnant that don’t change that dramatically. And even with that shifting, we shouldn’t be shifting so far. Your estrogen should never be super high, and your progesterone should never be super low.
Dr. Taz: So all of these things are things we’re trying to probe and dig at and understand so that we can make sure we’re living in our power in our completeness, rather than constantly medicating or even supplementing for symptoms that ultimately are hormonally based. All right, enough pontificating. I want you to walk away from today’s episode knowing seven hormones, seven hormones you should be checking at least once a year, maybe even twice a year, and understanding where they are. All right, so let’s break it down. Let’s start with the obvious one, estrogen. We know estrogen’s a female hormone. Levels go up in the first half of the cycle. They start to go down in the second half of your menstrual cycles. We know estrogen is responsible for so many amazing things, a healthy brain, the ability to focus, good hair, good skin, even a healthy gut to a certain extent. And of course, minimizing the effects of inflammation.
Dr. Taz: But, when estrogen gets too high, then we have a problem. We start to develop the condition of estrogen dominance. But that’s not only when circulating estrogen gets too high, it’s when we start to store even the low levels of estrogen that our body might have at any given moment. And then we get migraines and headaches, bloating, breast tenderness, autoimmune stuff like inflammatory symptoms, joint pain, and so much more. We may gain weight. We may feel foggy. We may simply not be able to function at our highest levels and with our optimal energy. So estrogen, like all the hormones we’re going to talk about today, definitely has a sweet spot. Low estrogen, if we want to flip it, low estrogen on the other hand, dry skin, dry hair, really feeling off, getting depressed, having vaginal dryness, libido disappearing, and again, inflammation and autoimmunity and immune issues along with an abundance of candida or high androgens.
Dr. Taz: The androgens, remember, can cause acne and facial hairs and so much more. So estrogen’s a big one, one we’ve got to keep in mind, one I encourage you guys to check. And all of these hormones, I mean, I could talk here probably for another hour. And I know you don’t want me to do that, but all of these hormones and what you should and should not check are in my hormone guide that’s on my website. If you go to doctortaz.com, you guys can download that hormone guide. And that does, it’s almost like a cheat sheet of what to check and what not to check. So keep that in mind. All right, moving on, progesterone. Progesterone’s an important hormone as well. Progesterone helps in the second half of the cycle. And we know that progesterone is an anti-inflammatory, so it’s actually a hormone that helps to keep inflammation down, and in turn, often prevents the expression of many different autoimmune diseases.
Dr. Taz: It’s also an anti-anxiety, helping to calm our nervous system down. That’s why so many women in that second half of the cycle start to feel more anxious or report sort of that heart racing or skipping a beat that they often feel, so progesterone’s super important for that. It helps us get a good night’s sleep. It can also help with sort of muscle recovery because it has the anti-inflammatory piece to it. And it definitely influences the gut. So if your progesterone is too low, then you’re more prone to things like candida or microbial shifts. When progesterone is high, we feel pregnant. That’s right, we feel foggy. We’re walking around. Our legs feel like mush or jelly. So understanding where progesterone is, is a hormone that definitely you need to know.
Dr. Taz: All right, superwomen, how many of you have had your own skin story? If you have issues with acne or eczema, blemishes that just did not make you feel like yourself. Now, I know this one personally. I suffered from acne for years, and the search to find the right products that were non-toxic and non-drying would always seem to be just a really big challenge. Well, that’s why I’m so excited to introduce you guys to Gladskin. Gladskin is a company, it’s just really pioneering a new category of skin blemish treatments that work differently from any other plant-based or drug-based treatment that you have tried before, because it’s really based on the nature of healthy skin.
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Dr. Taz: All right, moving on, thyroid. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism, the health of our hair, our skin, even our nails, our energy, our weight, and so much more. And even more importantly, thyroid directly impacts what your adrenals are going to do, and even what your insulin or blood sugar levels are going to do, and even what your estrogen is going to do. There’s so many patterns that I get to see in practice. It’s almost like triangles that keep coming up over and over again, where someone will have a sluggish thyroid, high insulin, and estrogen dominance. Or we can flip it and someone will have a sluggish thyroid, low progesterone and crazy insulin. Or they can have a sluggish thyroid, high androgens and estrogen dominance. Again, all of that to tell you, I hope your head’s not spinning, but all of that to tell you that these hormones are related. They all play with each other in the sandbox and they’re all communicating all of the time.
Dr. Taz: All right, thyroid has so many metabolites. There’s so many variations. There’s Hashimotos, which is an autoimmune thyroiditis. You have to check the antibodies to find that. There’s hypothyroidism, there’s hyperthyroidism, there’s having thyroid nodules, there’s having a goiter. All of that is in the family of thyroid issues and thyroid illnesses. So definitely something to take a look at and stay on top of with lab work and also with the thyroid ultrasound. All right, I mentioned insulin a couple of times. Insulin’s the blood sugar hormone. It is the hormone that regulates not only our blood sugar, but our weight and our inflammation. And it influences every other hormone that we have. So if our insulin levels are running too high, then, again, we’re going to be prone to having high estrogen and estrogen dominance, or high androgens. That’s THT and testosterone derivatives that cause hair loss and acne, facial hairs, hair on the body.
Dr. Taz: So paying attention to where insulin is, is critical for really all body function. We know that blood sugar stability and insulin stability may be the issue, the modern day issue for women, because so many factors wear it down. The environment with its toxins, our stressful lifestyle. You guys are all superwomen. All of that is influencing what insulin is ultimately doing. Burning the candle at both ends? You’re impacting insulin. And soon enough, you too can be insulin resistant and see the domino effect of all the different hormones. All right, we’ve talked about estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, insulin. Just a couple more. I want to talk to you about cortisol, the stress hormone. Now, the show, remember, is called Super woman Wellness. And there’s a reason for the show. And it’s because women today never carry just one role. They often have multiple roles and are exhausted by the process of caring and nurturing others, but at the same time, trying to play out their dreams, desires, and ambitions in the career world.
Dr. Taz: Sometimes, women will give something up, right? We’ll give up a career or will give up the family. But are we really satisfied with those sacrifices? Oftentimes, the answer is no, but you can have it all. And I want you to have it all, but we’ve got to stay on top of hormones, particularly our stress hormones. When cortisol gets out of whack, we’re up all night, we’re tired all day. When cortisol gets out of whack, that’s the 2:00 to 4:00 AM counting sheep and staring at the ceiling. When cortisol is out of whack, you crave sugar and salt and chocolate and caffeine. None of that is good for the waistline. And then what happens? You feel bad about yourself. So understanding in the juggle, which I always say is real, and often the struggle, we have to maintain steady cortisol balance.
Dr. Taz: When we tax cortisol or we tax the adrenals, which produce cortisol too much, insulin goes off, the androgens go up, thyroid gets drained. And of course, we have hormonal chaos. We don’t want that. We don’t need that. We got a lot to do. So I want you guys to be thinking about, “Well, how do I manage cortisol? What can I do?” You can check it. You can do a first blood draw early in the morning, or you can do saliva levels, which help you to kind of tease through and understand where those levels might need to be. There are many ways to balance cortisol. Again, that’s probably its own complete episode, but balancing cortisol can be as simple as getting a good night’s sleep or doing 10 minutes of meditation a couple times a day. And then really checking out for a few hours, maybe once a week, where your nervous system can just calm down.
Dr. Taz: So pay attention to cortisol. Let’s talk about testosterone and then the next hormone, DHEA. These are both androgens. I’ve used that word, androgens, a couple of times. I think it’s important to understand that androgens are derivatives of male hormones that are triggering the symptoms that are common to PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis. Androgens, testosterone, and DHEA, when in the wrong place, arrived at the wrong station, can cause hair loss, scalp hair loss, facial hair, definitely acne, often some inflammation. I even think they cause maybe a mental health component too, with a lot of anxiety and sort of inflammatory brain kind of issues there as well. So androgens are definitely something to measure and be aware of. And remember, we can see shifts in those numbers, testosterone and DHEA, throughout the decades.
Dr. Taz: My daughter’s DHEA is already high. I already know she’s got PCOS. It runs in the family. But testosterone, you need some, right? So we never want it to bottom out. And when it bottoms out, sometimes we see hair loss with that too. And we also know that very low testosterone makes it difficult to build muscle, makes it difficult to have a libido, makes it difficult to be energetic, not depressed, and so much more. So testosterone is one to know and DHEA is one to know too, because if we’re trying to balance cortisol, DHEA will often help us balance cortisol so that we can manage stress better, while testosterone can help get the other hormones back in check. All right, that is such a mouthful. And I am so sorry, but those are the seven key hormones that you need to know. Now, there are more hormones, but we’re not going to bore you to tears with all of that today.
Dr. Taz: Each of these hormones has metabolites, and metabolites that I often encourage are checked because then you get a full hormone assessment. If you’re not sure where to start, check out my hormone guide, even find your hormone type. If you go to doctortaz.com, you can take the quiz, you can find your hormone type, get the guide, and begin your journey to hormone wellness. And ultimately, finding your superpowers and being the most powerful version of you. All right. Thank you guys for watching and listening to this episode of Super Woman Wellness. Don’t forget to rate and review it and share it with your friends. I will see you guys next time.