Reverse Hormone Imbalances

Do client hormonal problems baffle you? Do you have a hard time visualizing how all of the many hormones interact in the body? The odds are pretty high that your clients are currently receiving or acting on horrible hormonal advice that may just be undermining all of your hard work with them.

How do you tell if your client is actually suffering from hormone issues or not? With the odds being pretty high that your clients are currently looking for and possibly acting on questionable hormonal advice, as a coach you need to be able to quickly address their underlying issues before someone else dos and you lose that client. Learn how to do so on theis page!

Table of Contents

Start Here!

When deciding as to the best route when it comes to helping clients in dealing with their hormonal imbalances, the first area that needs to be addressed is a person’s symptoms and their root cause triggers. That is the premise behind this page and the reason as to why each hormonal imbalance section starts with a potential root cause trigger list so that you can use that list to help clients identify where a potential problem may be originating from. Then once a trigger/s are identified they should be appropriately dealt with and if possible eliminated.

 

Following that the potential use of hormonal testing and or any of the treatment protocols listed on this page should be discussed with the client and or the client’s doctor before going forward. However, it is still advised to please keep your recommendations to clients about addressing any of their hormonal issues within your scope of practice as a health coach and or a health practitioner.

 

The following list of options on this page is only a list of possible suggestions to entertain based on which hormone imbalances a person may have or may be showing signs of and or producing any negative symptoms that will need addressing.

Core Questions To Ask Clients Prior to Evaluating Sex/Stress Hormone Function

  1. Have you sat down and clearly identified the client’s main complaints and their symptoms of any potential hormone imbalances? If so are the two directly connected? 

 

  1. Have you played the health detective role and considered what else could possibly be causing the client’s main complaints and or symptoms that may not be a hormonal problem or what you initially suspected? (Ex: depression, liver dysfunction,  toxicity, low neurotransmitter production, mitochondrial dysfunction) (1,2,3)

 

  1. Does your client have any type of labs that show if an imbalance does  exist or not or if an imbalance previously existed? If they do not it definitely doesn’t mean that an potential imbalance does not exist but if labs do exist and they show an imbalance do the clients symptoms line up with what their labs show?
  1. What type of treatments are the clients open to or what have they tried before with or without success? 

 

  1. Does your client want to correct a possible problem only through the use of diet and lifestyle or are they open to supplementation and/or potential forms of hormone replacement therapies (HRT)?

Estrogen and Progesterone Imbalances in Females

Potential Root Causes of  Estrogen and Progesterone Imbalances 

 Causes Behind Low  Progesterone

  • Being overweight or suffering from obesity
  • Entering the perimenopausal years (surges of estrogen)
  • High exposures to environmental estrogens (Ex: plastics, phthalates)
  • The lack of healthy ovulation.
  • Improper development of follicles and the corpus luteum.
  • The chronic use of NSAIDs. Their use can suppress ovulation.
  • IUD types of birth control can also suppress ovulation.
  • Unregulated inflammation
  • Diabetes
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Poor liver health

Causes Behind High Estrogen

  • Being overweight or suffering from obesity
  • Entering the perimenopausal years (surges of estrogen)
  • Microbiome imbalances
  • High exposures to environmental estrogens (Ex: plastics, phthalates)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • History or existence of ovarian cysts
  • Unregulated inflammation
  • Diabetes
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Estrogen supplementation either prescription or supplemental
  • Poor liver health

   Causes Behind Low Estrogen and Progesterone

 

  • Ensure that any hormone collection times were performed at the proper times (Ex: both estrogen and progesterone are low during the first half of the menstrual cycle and peak around day 21 of a 28 day cycle)
  • Recent surgeries (can decrease blood flow to ovaries)
  • Smoking cigarettes (will decrease blood flow to ovaries) (18)
  • Perimenopause and or menopause 
  • History of an irregular menstrual cycle or no menstrual cycle at all
  • Lack of ovulation or anovulation
  • Birth control usage in the past (pills, patches, rings, implant, injections)
  • Bulimia or anorexia (6)
  • Hysterectomy with the ovaries removed
  • Anorexia
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Overtraining syndrome or extreme exercise 
  • Extreme stress resulting in skipped menses
  • Low body fat levels or low body weight
  • Failure of the ovaries termed Hypogonadism in females
  • Pituitary not communicating with the ovaries, low LH/FSH hormones
  • High prolactin levels
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Elevated Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA)
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • The use of fertility medications, currently or in the past
  • Recent use of prescription pain medications or within the past year

Not Sure How to Help Clients With Their Hormonal Issues? Read More Here!

The Health Coaches Guide Helping Clients Balance Their Hormones

Female: Potential Treatments and Lifestyle Factors for Consideration with Estrogen and Progesterone Imbalances

Very Low Estrogen with Low Progesterone

If the Client Has No Symptoms. But Testing Shows Low Hormones Levels Then Consider the Following:

 

  • If Estradiol/E2 results is within or below the menopausal range it may imply premature ovarian failure. Test Luteinizing Hormone (LH) + Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) in the blood. 
  • Test Prolactin, if high, it can suppress sex hormone production (19) 
  • Test Thyroid health, look for hypothyroidism

 

If Symptoms are Present then Consider: 

 

  • Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex)
  • Vitamin B6 (P5P)
  • Vitamin E
  • Carotenoids
  • Consider phytoestrogens from food sources. (Ex: flax, organic soy, lignans)
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). (Educate clients on the topic as its use comes with potential benefits and complications).

 

Testing Options

 

  • Evaluate cortisol. Stress can cause both hormones to drop. (7)
  • Consider a Cycle Mapping test to see how both Estradiol and Progesterone fluctuates throughout the menstrual cycle. (8)

 

 

Very Low Estrogen with Normal Progesterone 

If Symptoms are Present then First Consider:

 

  • Consider all of the treatments listed above. 
  • Identify the underlying root cause. Start with the list above.

 

Testing Options

 

  • Evaluate cortisol. Stress can cause both hormones to drop. (7)
  • Consider a Cycle Mapping test to see how both Estradiol and Progesterone fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle. Normal and in range Progesterone levels indicate that ovulation did occur which does require healthy amounts of Estradiol. (8)

 

If Very Low Estrogen is Present with Suspected Liver Issues then:

Support phase 2 detoxification of the liver by potentially adding in:

 

  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
  • Amino Acids (Methionine, Cysteine & Taurine)
  • Sulforaphane supplement or broccoli sprouts
  • Supplemental magnesium
  • Liposomal glutathione. 
  • Eat carrots 
  • Add in foods high in rosmarinic acid-like rosemary, holy basil, lemon balm or use them in essential oil form. 

 

*Supporting phase 1 detoxification when there are no symptoms with either DIM or Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) is not advised as it will likely lower Estradiol/Estrogens even further. (9)

Moderately Low Estradiol with Low Progesterone

If Symptoms are Present Consider the Following:

 

  • Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex)
  • Vitamin B6 (P5P)
  • Vitamin E
  • Consider phytoestrogens from food sources. (Ex: flax, organic soy, lignans)
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Educate clients on the topic. 

 

If A Person is Presenting with Heavy Symptoms: 

 

  • All of the options listed above as well as… 
  • Address Endocrine System Disruptors (Ex: Hygiene Products, Pesticides, Tap Water and Pesticides in Foods)
  • Consider Progesterone Hormone Replacement. (Educate clients on the topic as its use comes with potential benefits and some complications).
  • Support the Liver’s Detox Pathways, both Phase 1 and 2. Items listed above is a good start.
  • Increase fiber intake. 

 

Testing Options

 

  • Rule out high inflammation as the cause (use a questionnaire and look at the serum hs-CRP marker)
  • Evaluate cortisol. Stress can cause both hormones to drop. (7)
  • Consider a Cycle Mapping test to see how both Estradiol and Progesterone fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle. (8)

 

 

Elevated Estradiol with Very Low Progesterone

If the Client Has No Symptoms. But Testing Shows Low Hormones Levels Then Consider the Following: 

 

  • Look into possible endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs),
  • Consider if aromatization is taking place at high rates. If so, consider the use of anti-estrogens.
  • Chaste tree berry (Vitex)
  • Vitamin B6 (P5P)
  • Liver support both phase 1 & 2 
  • Calcium-D-glucarate
  • Increased dietary fiber intake. 
  • Consider progesterone Hormone Replacement Therapy. (Educate clients on the topic as its use comes with potential benefits and complications).

 

If Symptoms are Present then Consider all of the Above as Well as: 

  • Increase cruciferous vegetable intake.
  • Use DIM (3,3′-Diindolylmethane).
  • I3C (Indole-3-Carbinol).
  • Sulforaphane in supplement form or in broccoli sprouts.
  • Support Methylation – See Below.
  • Liposomal glutathione support.

 

Testing Options
  • Evaluate Salivary/Urinary Cortisol. Stress can easily cause sex hormone imbalances. (7)
  • Consider a Cycle Mapping test to see both Estradiol and Progesterone fluctuations throughout the Menstrual Cycle. (8)

The Health Coaches Guide Helping Clients Balance Their Hormones

Do Estrogen Imbalances Confuse You? Click Here to Read More About How to Balance Them.

 

Additional Suggestions for Progesterone and Estrogen Imbalances

  1. If Low Progesterone is suspected it is going to be important that a female collect either her blood or urine samples in the middle of her luteal phase which most commonly will be during days 20-22 of a 28-30 days cycle. If progesterone is sampled during days 1-14 then it will naturally come back as very low.

 

  1. High estrogen levels in a person may be helped by using the following supplements to help reduce higher levels of inflammation in the body:
    •  N-Acetyl Cysteine
    •  Turmeric
    •  Resveratrol
    •  Mangosteen
    • Pomegranate
    • Omega 3 fish oils 
    • Many others do exist. (10)

 

  1. The use of aromatase Inhibitors may help in the reduction of the conversion of androgens into estrogen by reducing the aromatase enzyme. There are some natural supplement based aromatase inhibitors that include:

 

    •  Chrysin
    •  Damiana
    •  EGCG 

 

     And there are also certain prescription medications such as:

 

    •  Arimidex with the chemical name of anastrozole,
    •  Aromasin with the chemical name of exemestane 
    •  Femara with the chemical name of letrozole. 

 

  1. Some quality non-food based phytoestrogen based supplements that can be used to bring up and or balance out estrogen dysfunctions include: 

 

    • Dong Quai
    • Hops
    • Isoflavones such as daidzein, genistein, red clover and kudzu
    • Pueraria Mirifica
    • Fennel
    • Anise seed 
    • Black cohosh.

 

  1. Phase 2 liver detoxification support, specifically the Methylation pathway of which is the process that excretes excess estrogens from the body can be supported through the consumption of:

 

    • Cruciferous vegetables
    • Magnesium
    • Methylated, methylated B-Vitamins such as B6 & B12
    • Trimethylglycine (TMG)
    • Choline
    • SAMe
    • Methionine
    • Methyl folate or vitamin B9. (11)

 

  1. Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals also known as EDCs are everywhere in the environment today and can often lead to increased estrogenic effects in the body and can also increase Estradiol levels on serum lab panels but not always.

Testosterone Imbalances in Females

Testosterone: Potential Root Causes of Imbalanced Levels in Females

  Potential Low Testosterone Causes

  • High Sex Hormone Bind Globulin Levels (SHBG).
  • Pharmaceutical Medication use (Ex: glucocorticosteroids, opioids, Accutane).
  • Zinc deficiency.
  • Poor ovarian and adrenal output.
  • Low quantities of precursors or raw materials (Ex: DHEA, androstenedione)
  • Brain communication problems between the hypothalamus and the pituitary. (low GnRH)
  • Surgical removal of the ovaries (hysterectomy)
  • Aging. (Testosterone naturally declines with age).
  • Reduced blood flow to the glands.
  • Diabetes and or blood sugar dysregulation.
  • Chronic stress.
  • Environmental toxins (EDCs)

  Potential High Testosterone Causes

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Low levels of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (Results in high free T)
  • Over supplementing (Testosterone, Clomid, HCG)
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy creams/gels being transferred to others.
  • Overexpression of the adrenals
  • Insulin resistance
  • Non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia

Female: Potential Treatments and Lifestyle Factors for Consideration with Testosterone Imbalances

Low Testosterone. If No Symptoms Are Present: 

 

  • Check DHEA levels, if they are normal/optimal, then the amount of cellular testosterone in a woman may be sufficient even though their testosterone levels may fall outside of the reference range. (12)
  • Evaluate adrenal and ovarian function (LH/FSH)
 
Low Testosterone. Symptoms are Present: Supplementally Consider:

 

  • Tribulus, Maca, Shatavari, zinc, fenugreek, Eurycoma longifolia, DHEA, and aromatase inhibition if Estrone (E1) or if Estradiol (E2) come back high.
  • Testosterone replacement therapy (Educate clients on the topic as its use comes with potential benefits and complications).

Low Testosterone with High 5a-Reductase

(5a-Reductase is what is usually responsible for high androgen symptoms)

 
If No Symptoms are Present: 
  • Investigate potential insulin resistance/dysregulation.
  • Investigate if higher rates of inflammation are present.
   If Symptoms Are Present: 
  • Blocking 5a-Reductase through medications may worsen a person’s low Testosterone symptoms. 
  • It is the enzyme 5-alpha reductase that converts testosterone to a substance called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). 
  • DHT has been found to be 2.5 to 10 times more potent than testosterone when expressed at the tissue level. (13) In the skin, 5α-reductase is expressed primarily in the sebaceous glands, sweat glands, epidermal cells, and hair follicles. It is DHT that causes many of the high androgen symptoms in both men and women. Symptoms of high rates of 5a-Reductase conversion to DHT include:
  • Increased rates of aggression.
  • Sleep apnea.
  • Hair loss on the top of the scalp, crown and the temples.
  • Oily skin/acne.
  • Hirsutism, the increased body, and facial hair.
  • Increased levels of sweating.
  • Increased red blood cell count (RBC).
  • Increased risk of hypertension.

Low Testosterone and Low DHEA With or Without Symptoms:

  • Evaluate Adrenal and Ovarian Function. (Salivary Cortisol, DUTCH testing, LH/FSH in the serum)
  • Assess Sleep Quality
  • Assess Stress Levels
  • Depending on the patient, they may require lower androgen levels in the body compared to the reference ranges. 
  • Consider DHEA supplementation or HRT. (Educate clients on the topic as both come with potential benefits and complications).

 

Low Testosterone and Elevated DHEA With No Symptoms: 
  • When DHEA is elevated, a person’s cellular Testosterone may be sufficient even though serum/urine testosterone may come back low. 
  • Evaluate cortisol and stress

 

If Symptoms are Present: 
  • With low Testosterone symptoms and higher DHEA in the blood. bringing down DHEA may be advised. (14)
  • Check for any supplements containing DHEA.
  • Evaluate glucose/insulin and cortisol. 
  • Tribulus, Maca, Shatavari, zinc, fenugreek, Eurycoma longifolia, DHEA, and aromatase inhibition if Estrone (E1) or if Estradiol (E2) come back high.

READ MORE ABOUT HOW TO SPOT LOW TESTOSTERONE IN CLIENTS.

 

The Health Coaches Guide Helping Clients Balance Their Hormones

Do Client Hormonal Problems Confuse You?

The Health Coaches Guide to Helping Client’s Balance Their Hormones May Be the Answer!

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Reverse Hormone Imbalances (Part Two)

NEXT - Female: Potential Treatment and Lifestyle Factors for Consideration with High Testosterone Imbalances.

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