Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents an insightful overview of how hormonal dysfunction can affect the body, increase cortisol levels, and be associated with PTSD in this 3-part series. This presentation provides important information to many individuals dealing with hormonal dysfunction associated with PTSD. The presentation also offers different treatment options to reduce the effects of hormonal dysfunction and PTSD through functional medicine. Part 1 looks at the overview of hormonal dysfunction. Part 2 will look at how various hormones in the body contribute to body functionality and how overproduction or underproduction can cause drastic effects on a person’s health. We refer patients to certified providers that incorporate various hormone treatments to ensure optimal health and wellness for the patient. We appreciate each patient by referring them to associated medical providers based on their diagnosis when it is appropriate to have a better understanding. We understand that education is an excellent and inquisitive way to ask our providers various intricated questions at the patient’s request and knowledge. Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., utilizes this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
A Look Into Hormonal Dysfunction
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Now, looking into the exciting didactic here, we will discuss something rare but important to understand when looking at these steroid pathways. And this is something called congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Now, congenital adrenal hyperplasia can occur in the body through an inherited enzyme defect or 21 hydroxylases that can cause a severe decrease in the adrenal production of glucocorticoids. When the body is suffering from congenital adrenal hyperplasia, it can cause an increase in ACTH to make more cortisol.
So when the ACTH increases to make more cortisol in the body, it could lead to muscle and joint pain if it is not treated immediately. We also often think cortisol is bad, but you must have some congenital adrenal hyperplasia when you have the 21 hydroxide deficiency. To that point, your body is not making enough glucocorticoids, causing you to have a high level of ACTH. When there is hormone dysfunction from various environmental triggers, it can cause the hormones in the body to overproduce unnecessary hormones. For example, if you have too much progesterone, it can’t go down to the pathway to make cortisol due to those missing enzymes. It can be converted into androstenedione, causing people to become virilized.
What Happens When The Body Doesn’t Create Enough Hormones?
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: So when patients become virilized, they’re not making any cortisol; it is important to do hormonal therapy to decrease the ACTH stimulation to get the hormone levels back to normal When this happens, it diminishes the stress inside the body system to make more androgens. In the female body, however, progesterone has no peripheral conversion of steroids to be produced except during pregnancy. Progesterone comes from the ovaries and doesn’t get to be produced in the adrenal glands. Progesterone is excreted mostly in urine as many different breakdown products tend to be higher than normal due to that 21 hydroxide deficiency.
So now, let’s talk about androgens in premenopausal women. So the major androgens come from the ovary, the DHEA, androstenedione, and testosterone. At the same time, the adrenal cortex produces glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, and sex steroids to make some testosterone and about half of the DHEA hormone. The body also has peripheral conversion responsible for DHEA and testosterone production to normalizing hormone levels. This is due to all the different tissues that have these enzymes to make these various hormones in different concentrations. Premenopausal women are most likely to lose more estrogen after removing their ovaries. This causes them to lose DHEA, androstenedione, and testosterone production in their bodies.
PTSD & Hormonal Dysfunction
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Now testosterone is carried by SHBG just like estrogen, and many factors that change SHBG are important to testosterone and estrogen. Interestingly, testosterone can decrease SHBG in small amounts to allow the body to have free testosterone, which causes a physiological effect. When it comes to testing for testosterone levels, many people don’t release that when their testosterone levels are elevated, it could be due to low SHBG. By measuring total testosterone in the body, many doctors can determine if their patients are producing too much androgen, which is causing excessive hair growth in their bodies, or they may have low SHBG levels due to hypothyroidism associated with obesity or elevated insulin.
Now when it comes to PTSD, how does it correlate to hormonal dysfunction and affect the body? PTSD is a common disorder many individuals suffer from when they have been through a traumatic experience. When traumatic forces begin to affect the individual, it can cause the cortisol levels to rise and cause the body to be in a state of tension. PTSD symptoms can vary for many individuals; thankfully, various therapies can help lower the symptoms while bringing the hormone levels back to normal. Many healthcare professionals will develop a treatment plan that can help reduce the symptoms of PTSD and help hormone levels function in the body properly.
Treatments To Regulate Hormone
Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., presents: Stress in the body can affect the musculoskeletal system by causing the muscle to lock up, leading to issues in the hips, legs, shoulders, neck, and back. Various treatments like meditation and yoga can help lower the cortisol levels from fluctuating higher, causing the body to deal with muscle tension that could overlap with joint pain. Another way to reduce stress in the body is by working out with an exercise regime. Exercising or participating in an exercise class can help loosen up the stiff muscles in the body, and keeping a workout routine can exert any pent-up energy to relieve stress. However, treatments to balance out hormones associated with PTSD can only go so far for many individuals. Eating nutritional, whole foods with vitamins and minerals can help regulate hormone production and provide energy to the body. Dark leafy greens, fruits, whole grains, and proteins can not only help with regulating hormone production. Eating these nutritional foods can also lower inflammatory cytokines that are causing more harm to vital organs like the gut.
Incorporating a healthy diet, an exercise routine, and getting treatment can help many individuals dealing with hormonal dysfunction associated with PTSD. Each person is different, and the symptoms overlap with hormonal dysfunction associated with PTSD and vary from person to person. When doctors work with associated medical providers, it allows them to develop a treatment plan catered to the individual and enables them to regulate their hormone production. Once the hormone production in their bodies is regulated, the symptoms causing the person pain will get better slowly but surely. This will allow the individual to continue on their wellness journey.
The information herein on "Dr. Alex Jimenez Presents: Treatments For Hormonal Dysfunction & PTSD" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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