Hormones

Understanding Thyroid Disease
Finding an Anti-Aging and Functional Medicine Doctor to Help Your Thyroid Function
There are many different health issues that can contribute to early signs of aging. One of those issues is becoming more known today. Thyroid problems seem to push the pedal and speed up the process of aging.  However, if you’re aware that you have thyroid disease, you can take control of the problem with some anti-aging medicine before aging takes its toll.

Defining What and How Your Thyroid Works

In starting this conversation, it would be beneficial for readers to know exactly what thyroid disease is. First, people should be aware that there are two types of thyroid disease:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hyperthyroidism

These two types of thyroid conditions, in which someone can get, depends on how the thyroid gland is working in the body. The thyroid is a part of the endocrine system and is the butterfly-shaped organ right below Adam’s apple in the neck area. And for this organ to function in a normal way, it needs to release two main hormones. 

  • Triiodothyronine (T3)
  • Thyroxine (T4)

Now, for the thyroid gland to produce these two hormones, it is important to eat foods with iodine in order to do so. However, this is where the disease affects a person. If your thyroid, for whatever reason, stops working correctly, then somehow it is not getting enough of one or both hormones it needs, or it is getting too much of one or more of the hormones. 

Visible Signs of a Thyroid Problem

Although there is a deeper discussion to be had on your thyroid gland and how it needs to function, for this article, I want to concentrate on how it can affect the way we look. More specifically, how fast we age. Some of the ways it shows in our outer appearance are with:

  • Itchy Dry Skin
  • Brittle Nails
  • Dry Hair
  • Hair loss
  • Jaundice
  • Dark Circles Under the Eyes

Whenever you see these signs, the thyroid is not working well and is either lacking hormonal function or has too much function. Fatigue, bowel problems, and irregular periods are some of the internal issues that cause the outer appearance to look older than a person really is. 

If you show signs of any of these symptoms, it will be time to go and see your doctor to request thyroid determining tests. If it is discovered you have the disease, make sure you are seeing a doctor who is an expert in the field of anti-aging and functional medicine for these types of complex issues. 

Take Control of Your Thyroid by Visiting an Anti-Aging and Functional Medicine Professional

Finally, take these tips and know that you can find a way back to normalcy. Although it may seem like a real burden to have this disease, it does not have to be. It will help you if you take a little time to do some research and find your anti-aging and functional medicine doctor. Go ahead, take the initiative and find your solution.

Fatigue

Fatigue is one of the most common complaints we hear from our new patients.  It affects all aspects of our lives’ sex, work, and play.  The underlying cause of fatigue, if left untreated, it can increase the chance of cancer, diabetes, heart attack, strokes, suicide, depression, and accidents just to name a few.

When one is chronically fatigued, cholesterol increases, blood pressure increases, fat increases (especially belly fat), triglyceride increases, and systemic inflammation, atherosclerosis, and premature aging.  It’s frequently noted that American presidents age  rapidly while in office.  Being chronically fatigued can and does result in premature aging.

We have advanced testing that can help us define the cause and aid with a treatment protocol to address chronic fatigue.  From these results combined with a doctor willing to listen and understand your issues we can often help.  Contact us today to start your individualized treatment plan to help turn things around.

Cortisol Hormone Therapy

Cortisol Hormone

Cortisol is a very important hormone produced by the adrenal gland. It is produced in response to physical or mental stress.  For example, sleep deprivation is very stressful on the human brain and body.  To deal with this stress, the adrenal glands increase production of cortisol.  Elevated levels makes us more alert and awake, which is helpful in stressful situations but to much can also hurt us over time.

Chronic elevation in cortisol can result in:

  • Increase belly fat
  • Inability to lose weight
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Diabetes
  • Difficulty falling and/or staying asleep.

This is what sets up a vicious cycle.  Chronic elevation in cortisol (such as chronic sleep deprivation or untreated sleep apnea or stressful relationships at home/work) can result in adrenal fatigue.  Worked too long and too hard, the adrenal glands get burned out and then starts producing too little cortisol, resulting in adrenal fatigue symptoms; fatigue, sleepiness, lack of stamina, decreased libido, ED, hair loss, mood swings, cravings, etc.

Some ways to correct Cortisol levels are by:

  • Reduce Stress
  • Improve Sleep
  • Lower Sugar Intake
  • Certain Supplementation

KEY POINT:

Please note that blood level testing is not designed to pick up small fluctuations in Cortisol level and is only calibrated to pick up severe Cortisol fluctuation seen in Cushing’s Disease (very high) and Addison’s Disease (very low).

Dr.Zacco checks both blood and saliva levels because saliva testing picks up small changes in Cortisol.  Also, saliva testing can be done 24/7 at home. This approach shows your levels as they occur through out the day and give a better indication of how your hormone is optimized.

Growth Hormone

GROWTH HORMONE (GH OR HGH)

Many consider growth hormone to be one of the most important hormones of the human body. Most of us are familiar with the effects of growth hormone on children, it makes them grow. If a deficiency is left untreated, it can result in short stature adults. Many times, those same adults have growth hormone deficiencies that are life long.

Unfortunately, too frequently once a growth hormone deficient child reaches adulthood, growth hormone is stopped. Sometimes children with normal levels of hormone reach adulthood and then develop adult onset growth hormone deficiency that if left undiagnosed and untreated can be very detrimental and produce; diabetes, fatigue, depression, obesity, muscle wasting, poor exercise tolerance, poor motivation, hypertension, etc.

Dr. Arthur Zacco performs testing to determine if you indeed have a growth hormone deficiency. Hormone treatment is administered by daily injections just under the skin using very small needles.

Progesterone therapy

Progesterone Therapy

Progesterone deficiency will cause insomnia and superficial sleep, resulting in repeated awakenings, anxiety, and mood swings. This is why post menopausal women frequently have superficial sleep and anxiety disorders.

Progesterone therapy treatment resulting in adequate levels will many times, resolve these issues. Almost every cell in the human body has progesterone receptors, yet after a hysterectomy, women are usually NOT prescribed progesterone so sleep and anxiety disorders frequently follow. Progesterone is a calming hormone.

Taking cholesterol lowering meds and/or menopause can have an impact on lowering progesterone levels. Progesterone therapy can be taken orally at night to aid in sleep or by gels/creams.

Estrogen

ESTROGENS: Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2), Estriol (E3), 16 OH Estrone, 4 OH Estrone, 2 OH Estrone

Estrogen is responsible for keeping the female and male healthy in too many ways to mention here. However, most notably, it maintains bones and muscle mass, keeps the skin and vaginal mucosa healthy, and minimizes breast sagging.

If a woman or man has a family or personal history of breast cancer, their estrogen metabolism should be evaluated and addressed if needed (16 OH Estrone). If you are having hot flashes and you are over 30 years old, chances are good that you have estrogen deficiency and you could be peri-menopausal (early menopause). Not all women have hot flashes with low estrogen.

For hormone replacement therapy, we prefer bio identical hormones BHRT over non-bio identical hormones. Be careful, plant estrogens, or phytoestrogens, and other hormones derived from plants may be considered “natural” estrogens but are NOT bio-identical. Phytoestrogens are natural but are not the same as human estrogens, so they are NOT bio-identical and should not be used for hormonal replacement.

Estrogen like Testosterone is a hormone made of cholesterol. For women and men taking cholesterol lowering medication, it should be noted that they could have an important impact on lowering estrogen levels. Estrogens should NOT be taken orally as this can result in lowering Growth Hormone (GH) among other problems.

Estrogen can be administered by daily creams and gels or by pellets inserted under the skin that last about 4 months. These pellets are inserted only by Dr. Arthur Zacco in our office in about 15-20 minutes.