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Hormone Balance - The Key to Quality of Life
By Susan Merenstein

You've probably heard more about hormones and hormonal imbalances recently - as researchers have become more aware of evidence showing this may be the root cause of many chronic health issues you could be experiencing.

Your hormones should exist in harmony with each other. When levels of each hormone are in the right proportions, body systems are stable. When balance is lost, hormone deficiencies and excesses can cause chronic symptoms and disorders, and raise risks for disease.

A whole host of symptoms may signify an imbalance:

  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Infertility
  • Irritability
  • Loss of libido (sex drive)
  • Mood swings
  • Weight Gain

One of the most important tools in helping woman and men achieve hormonal balance is salivary/blood spot testing. It is consistently helpful in ("tuning in") to a client in a quantitative way. Saliva testing is easy to perform in the privacy and convenience of your own home, non-invasive, and scientifically based. A study by Newman, et al, showed a dose-dependent relationship between salivary Estradiol levels with topical and oral Estradiol supplementation proving that hormone levels in saliva reflect dosages of hormone replacement therapy.

It is crucial to address the endocrine triad of adrenals, thyroid and sex steroids together to ensure quality of life and health.

In one neat test kit we can test Estradiol, Estrone, Estriol, Progesterone, Testosterone, DHEA-S, and four circadian cortisol levels throughout the day to determine adrenal reserve. The best part is that it also includes the complete thyroid profile FREE T3, FREE T4, TSH, and TPO. This shows a complete picture of a client's foundation of health and will give us a good starting point for their individualized suggested protocol to share with their doctor/practitioner.

I have used the combo kit for several patients with vague symptoms and "normal" blood testing only to find that, not only were they adrenally fatigued but had low thyroid function as well. We must teach patients that their symptoms are real and that a biochemical reason exists for their lack of energy, sluggishness, inability to lose weight no matter how hard they try, brain fog, sugar cravings, hot flashes, low libido and more. As health care practitioners, let's help guide them toward total health by addressing lifestyle and diet change, stress reduction and hormone balance!

My motto for health is "Be aware of your symptoms, become educated, and take a proactive role in your health".

Start your journey to good health today! Go to MAAPgh.com and click on "Services".

Susan Merenstein, a Holistic Compounding Pharmacist and owner of Murray Avenue Apothecary, has been practicing pharmacy for 32 years. Her specialties are Gentle Hormone Restoration, One-on-One Patient Consultation and Physician/Patient Education. For more information, she can be reached at (412) 421-4996 or visit MAAPgh.com.

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