Progesterone is secreted by the ovaries, but ceases production at menopause. Progesterone protects against uterine and breast cancers, osteoporosis, fibrocystic disease and ovarian cysts. It dramatically decreases pre & post-menopausal symptoms. Most U.S. physicians prescribe synthetic progestins which cause such side effects as bloating, headaches, fatigue and weight gain, and most recently associated with increasing the risk of cancer.
The natural progesterone must be prescribed in place of the synthetic progestin to avoid the side effects and to protect against cancer. We emphasize the use of natural hormones and not synthetic hormones, which have been proven time and time again to cause significant side effects. Progesterone is very beneficial in treating premenstrual symptoms (PMS) such as mood swings and migraine headaches.
Decline of this hormone occurs after age 30. This hormone aids in cellular repair of the central nervous system and is the most potent memory enhancer of all the hormones.
Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland. It is a circadian rhythm hormone – thereby affecting the patterns of sleep. Research has shown that the cells of the body rejuvenate and repair during the deeper stages of sleep. It is during the deeper stages of sleep that the body produces natural killer cells or CD4 cells.
Melatonin increases the deep stage of sleep and stage IV sleep, thereby increasing and enhancing immunity. Improved sleep patterns serve to energize the body and improve mood. Melatonin has powerful antioxidant effects which accounts for disease prevention qualities. Melatonin has tremendous cancer prevention effects due to its enhancement of the immune system. Melatonin deficiency results in poor sleep, jet lag, irritability, hypersensitivity and premature aging.
Testosterone is a hormone normally associated with men, but is also found in women. Testosterone is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, testes and ovaries. It contributes to muscle mass, strength and endurance, decreased fat, increased exercise tolerance, enhancement of well being and psychological status. Testosterone protects against cardiovascular disease, hypertension, body fat and arthritis. It leads to improved lean muscle mass, increased bone density, decrease in cholesterol, improved skin tone, improved healing capacity, and increased libido and sexual performance.
Testosterone is the best hormone to increase collagen and elastin in the skin. It prolongs the quality of life by decreasing the diseases of aging, as does estrogen in the female. Testosterone is also present and extremely important in the female as well as the male, making supplementation absolutely recommended for both men and women. Testosterone is the second most important hormone for energy and well being.
The thyroid gland produces a hormone called T4. The number 4 indicates it has 4 iodine molecules. The body produces an enzyme that removes an iodine molecule and converts the T4 hormone into T3, which is the active form of the thyroid hormone. What is free and circulating in the system, available for the body to use, is the Free T3. It is the Free T3 that has the effect on energy, metabolism and all thyroid functions.
The most common thyroid measurement is the TSH or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, which stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormone. This is a gauge that is opposite of your thyroid production. If the body senses there is enough thyroid present, the TSH will be low. Conversely, if the body senses there isn’t enough thyroid, the TSH goes up, trying to stimulate the thyroid gland to make more thyroid. Here is part of the confusion. If you doctor says your thyroid is low, do they mean the TSH is low, which indicates that your actual thyroid is high? Or do they mean that your actual thyroid is low, in which case the TSH would be high?
A second point of confusion, not well understood by your physicians: If your thyroid gland is producing T4 or you are taking thyroid in the form of T4 (most commonly Synthroid or levothyroxine), the TSH will respond to the presence of T4 and most probably be low or at a number with which your physician is comfortable. HOWEVER, if the T4 is not converting into T3, the TSH will not reflect this. And if the T4 is not converting into T3, you might have all the symptoms of not having an adequate amount of thyroid since it is the T3 that is the gas in the tank. The only way to assess the Free T3 is to measure it.
Most physicians do not measure Free T3, but only measure TSH. However, as seen above, it is not a full picture of your thyroid function. Most physicians are taught to treat this TSH number and not necessarily listen to how the patient feels (most patients feel better when Free T3 is optimal).
When you supplement with Armour Thyroid or compounded desiccated thyroid, it contains both T4 and T3 in a bioidentical form. The T3 gives you the energy early in the cycle while the T4 is converting into T3 for energy mid and late cycle (the cycle is typically about 7-8 hours). If we measure your Free T3 around 4-5 hours after you take your thyroid, we see how well your body is converting the T4 into T3. It is this measurement of Free T3 that is the most reflective of your thyroid levels.
Typically, when your Free T3 is optimal – close to the high end of a normal range – we will see that the TSH will be very low. This is what concerns your physicians. However, if your Free T3 is good and you feel well, without symptoms of too much thyroid (ie: heart palpitations, nervousness), your dose is usually fine, or as we prefer to say, optimal.
HOWEVER, because this difference of opinion seems to anger some primary care physicians, when your doctors test your TSH and advise you that your thyroid dose needs lowering, and we are advised of this, we will be lowering your thyroid dose to please your physicians. Appeasing them will spare you any confusion, but might result in a return of low thyroid symptoms.
Thyroid hormone is a metabolic hormone secreted by the thyroid gland that regulates temperature, metabolism and cerebral function. It contributes to energy levels and temperature regulation and body warmth. It increases fat breakdown, resulting in weight loss as well as lower cholesterol. It protects against cardiovascular disease and improves cerebral metabolism. It helps to prevent cognitive and memory impairment. Thyroid hormone is probably the safest and most beneficial cholesterol- lowering agent, yet it is infrequently used for this! More than any other hormone, the thyroid hormone is most responsible for improvement in energy and reducing fatigue.
Estrogen is secreted by the ovaries, which cease production at menopause. Estrogen protects against heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s Disease and memory disorders. It protects against vaginal atrophy, urinary incontinence, and prevents symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes. Estrogen deficiency results in urogenital atrophy, incontinence, sagging skin in the breasts, increased skin wrinkles of the face, increased fatigue, depression, mood swings and decreased libido.
It is of extreme importance that the estrogen prescribed be a natural estrogen and not a synthetic estrogen. The synthetic estrogens have been shown to be harmful. For optimal protection, natural estrogen supplementation should be balanced by natural progesterone supplementation. You do need estrogen! But it must be the right type of estrogen, maintained at optimal levels for maximum protection.
DHEA is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. This hormone is a precursor to other sex hormones. In addition to having its own hormone effect, it results in a shift to an anabolic or protein building state. It reduces cardiovascular risk by increasing lipolysis or breakdown of fat. It also stimulates the immune system, restores sexual vitality, improves mood, decreases cholesterol and body fat. Recent studies point to DHEA as an anti-stress hormone, reversing the effects of stress on the immune system.
Oxytocin is a nonapeptide (nine amino acids) hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary. Oxytocin produces action both peripherally and in the brain. Oxytocin is released by males and females during orgasm and is considered by many to be the hormone of desire, social recognition and bonding. Oxytocin is primarily administered by injection or nasal spray because Chymotrypsin, present in the gastrointestinal tract, destroys oxytocin, rendering oral administration ineffective. Clinically, oxytocin is used most often to induce and strengthen labor and control postpartum bleeding. Intranasal preparations of oxytocin, used to stimulate postpartum milk ejection, are no longer manufactured in the US, so a compounding pharmacy is necessary for this preparation.
Oxytocin has action on uterine contraction, milk letdown, orgasm, sexual arousal, bonding and maternal behavior. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as the “bonding hormone”. There is some evidence that oxytocin promotes ethnocentric behavior, incorporating the trust and empathy of in-groups with their suspicion and rejection of outsiders.
Although Oxytocin is implicated in a variety of “non-social” behaviors, such as learning, anxiety, feeding and pain perception, it is Oxytocin’s roles in various social behaviors that have come to the fore recently. Oxytocin is important for social memory and attachment, sexual and maternal behavior, and aggression. Recent work implicates Oxytocin in human bonding and trust as well. Human disorders characterized by aberrant social interactions, such as autism and schizophrenia, may also involve Oxytocin expression.
Oxytocin has recently received significant interest in the Autism community. Researchers have found that autistic children have lower plasma levels of oxytocin than those of other children. Oxytocin plays a role in social behavior, including but not limited to: repetitive behaviors, the desire to form social bonds, social recognition, processing social cues, regulated feeding, excessive grooming, stress response and being aloof.
One study, published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the hormone, given as an inhalant, generated increased activity in parts of the brain involved in social connection. Oxytocin facilitated social attunement, a process that makes the brain regions involved in social behavior and social cognition activate more for social stimuli (such as faces) and activate less for non-social stimuli (such as cars). This suggests not only that oxytocin can stimulate social brain areas, but also that in children with autism these brain regions are not irrevocably damaged but are plastic enough to be influenced.
Recent studies show that Oxytocin is involved in multiple signaling pathways in the central and peripheral nerve system and mainly regulates the physiology and activity of reproduction, including male reproduction and sexual behavior. The roles of Oxytocin in penile erection are bio-phasic with pro-erectile effect in the central nerve system while peripherally inhibiting erection. Oxytocin also mediates ejaculation, post-ejaculatory detumescence and the post-orgasm refractory period.
Oxytocin has also become the subject of studies in female sexual dysfunction specifically difficulty achieving orgasm. Oxytocin increases sexual receptivity and counteracts impotence. Oxytocin can be used to help treat Female Orgasmic Disorder, Female Arousal Disorder or for those women who just desire a more powerful or multiple orgasms.
Recent research has shown that oxytocin may have many other far-reaching effects particularly when it comes to relationships and emotional involvement. Oxytocin is the reason why we form all sorts of deep connections not only with our children, but with our partners, friends and even our pets and is often called the “bonding hormone”. Oxytocin also plays a huge role in the non-procreative aspects of sex.
Research has shown that for women, not only is oxytocin released during orgasm, it appears to be responsible for causing orgasms in the first place. Research indicates that oxytocin causes the nerves in the genitals to fire spontaneously, and this leads to powerful orgasms. In women, during orgasm, oxytocin levels increase significantly. During peak sexual arousal, if a woman’s brain is flooded with oxytocin, she may indeed be capable of multiple orgasms.
Sometimes called “the cuddle hormone”, oxytocin is released in response to a variety of environmental stimuli including skin-to-skin contact and cervical stimulation experienced during sex. At normal levels oxytocin encourages a mild desire to be kissed and cuddled by partners. Being touched (anywhere on the body) leads to a rise in oxytocin levels. This causes a cascade of reactions within the body, including the release of endorphins which results in both biological and psychological arousal.
Adult and adolescent males:
In adult and adolescent men with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, HCG acts like LH and stimulates testosterone production in the Leydig cells and spermatogenesis in the seminiferous tubules. Stimulation of androgen production by HCG causes development of secondary sex characteristics in males (e.g., deepening of voice, facial hair, etc.). Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) also stimulates the Leydig cells to produce estrogens; increased estrogen levels may produce gynecomastia in some males.
Once HCG is initiated, it takes at least 70—80 days for germ cells to reach the spermatozoal stage. Response to treatment is also noted by the development of masculine features and the normalization of serum testosterone levels. Induction of testicular growth and increased sperm volumes may help to restore fertility in these men after many months to years of treatment, which is then sometimes combined with the use of either menotropins or follitropin.
*Results may vary person to person