Female Hormone Imbalances: Adrenal Gland Dysfunction

– Hi folks Dr. Ed Beyer, today we’re discussing
female hormone imbalances and we’re gonna be
discussing a very common one that I see in the 30 years
I’ve been in practice and that is adrenal gland dysfunction. So now the typical patient that I’ve seen over the hundreds of young females or females in their 30s, 40s,
early 50s that have come to me complaining of weight
gain, of mood swings, PMS, hair loss, you know
gaining hair on the face, infertility, polycystic ovarian
syndrome, endometriosis, weight and fatigue, acne,
all these different symptoms that we see when the female
cycle gets dysregulated. And so many of them go
through traditional medicine and they end up being put
on synthetic hormones. So that’s not what we’re all about, I practice functional medicine
and I’m more interested in why a female would have
a hormone problem, okay? The underlying causes. And this stuff that I’m sharing with you really is just endocrinology 101. And it’s all in the scientific literature. So today I’m going to be
sharing a very common one. And that is the adrenal gland
not doing what it should do. Now the adrenal glands
are these little glands that sit on top of our
kidneys and they become more important to a female because as a female gets about 30, 32, the levels of progesterone
start to drop, okay. A female starts to make less progesterone at the age, from their
ovaries, in their early 30s. So by the time they hit menopause, which the average age
is 51, they’re making about 70% less progesterone at menopause than they are in their early 30s, okay. So what happens is, is the adrenal glands become a backup gland for progesterone. And if you’ve been watchin’ my videos and if you’ve been looking at this at all, we know that the levels of
progesterone over estrogen, that ratio, is extremely important for proper hormone balance in a female. So the adrenals become
more important in young 30s to 50 and beyond for progesterone. Now some of the symptoms that we see when the adrenals start to poop out on us. And the adrenals are our stress glands so they really get overworked
when we’re under stress whether that’s stress be,
a death in the family, a divorce or an anemia or, you know, inflammation or an infection. So they can’t fall or stay asleep. Fatigue especially in the
morning and late afternoon. Dizzy when they stand up too quickly. They perspire too easily. Headache with exertion, weak nails, they wake up feeling tired
even though they’re sleeping. Swelling in the hands and especially down at the ankles. Frequent urination is a common one. Poor muscle endurance, muscle cramps, they can’t hold their
breath very long, anxiety. And so these are some, and
there’s others, adrenal symptoms. Now the adrenal glands, the
cortex or the outer part of the adrenal glands,
produce six hormones. Cortisol, which is a steroid hormone that regulates blood sugar
when we need it to go up. It also regulates metabolism
and our immune system and reduces inflammation
and it’s very important for memory function. DHEA, it’s a acronym for a very long name, it’s a precursor hormone from which menstruating women make mostly estrogen and a little bit of testosterone. It’s the opposite in males. Aldosterone which helps manage
our minerals in our body. And then progesterone, okay,
comes from the adrenal glands early on in the young 30s and
it becomes more important. This source of progesterone
becomes more important as a female starts to hit mid 30s, early 40s and beyond, okay? Now, here’s what happens,
here’s how the adrenal glands make these six hormones. Guess what it all comes from? Cholesterol. Yes, that evil, evil
villain that everyone hates is actually extremely
important for our health. So cholesterol gets taken
into the adrenal glands, and also into the ovaries. And it’s converted into
something called pregnenolone which is known as the mother hormone because from pregnenolone
we make progesterone, cortisol and DHEA. And then from progesterone
we make aldosterone. And from DHEA a female makes more estrogen and less testosterone and
the opposite in males. So I want you to remember this. Pregnenolone gets made into
these three hormones, alright? Now, what happens is a phenomenon called pregnenolone steal. When the body is under acute stress, whatever that stress is,
whether it be psychological or physiological, the
body is gonna need to make more of cortisol to handle that stress. And so what happens in the female body, is more of the pregnenolone
is being made into cortisol and less into progesterone
and less into DHEA. So this female, they’re
able to produce cortisol but at the expense of
progesterone and DHEA. And that creates a
hormone imbalance, okay? Also this high cortisol
impacts thyroid function in a negative way. So if this is what stress
does to our adrenal glands and how it impacts female hormones. So what would stress the adrenal glands? Well taking hormones
like birth control pills or whatever, patches, IUDs,
lack of sleep, anemias, poor blood sugar is extremely stressful, sugar, alcohol, caffeine,
smoking, food sensitivities and inflammatory foods. All toxins, all stress our adrenal glands. Autoimmune disease, systemic inflammation, statin drugs, birth control
pills, we mentioned that one. And any digestive dysfunction
stresses the adrenal glands, then they make more cortisol
to handle the stress but less progesterone,
less DHEA, less estrogen. That’s how that can cause an imbalance. So the key point is the
adrenal gland function takes on an additional
role from early 30s on in the female body. Anything stressing the adrenal glands will impair the adrenal gland’s ability to make progesterone, DHEA, and estrogen. These stressors must be
identified and managed and removed to be able to
balance female hormones. 50% of female hormone
imbalances can be fixed by addressing the adrenal glands. That’s what’s in the literature and that’s what I’ve seen clinically in the 30 years I’ve been in practice. We have to test to be able to see what the status of the adrenal glands is. It’s usually done through saliva. I’m Dr. Beyer, I hope that
helps, have a great day.

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