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Fatigue, Depression & Emotional Fluctuations: A Roller Coaster!

We have all, directly if not indirectly experienced the emotional rollercoaster associated with the various seasons of life; from the turbulent pubescent teenager to the tired and grumpy old man; from the depressed post-partum mother to the agitated peri-menopausal woman; and of course PMS (humorous translations include “Pass My Shotgun”, “Perpetual Munching Spree”, “Puffy Mid-Section”, “Pimples May Surface”, “Provide Me with Sweets”, “People Make me Sick”, “Pardon My Sobbing, “Pack My Stuff”, and “Potential Murder Suspect” to name a few).

What do all of these have in common? Fluctuating hormones!

Hormonal shifts often catapult men and women onto wild emotional roller coaster rides. Depression is all too frequent. Changes in body composition and reduced sexual pleasure, compounded with lifestyle factors – such as changing family roles, shifting social networks and an “empty nest” – can push depression into overdrive.

New studies show low testosterone correlates with chronic symptoms of depression and other psychological disorders. The rise in availability and use of antidepressants and antianxiety drug which increases exponentially from the mid-thirties onward only compounds the problem. Using medication, though temporarily helpful, is simply a bandage, masking the issue. It doesn’t address the basic concern, which is restoring balance, energy and self-esteem.

Nor does using prescription antidepressants come without a cost. Reduced libido and flattening or emotions in general creates a sense of loss and reduces quality of life. More frustration and depression can set in, producing a downward spiral. And if antidepressant drugs are discontinued (with hopes of having a somewhat normal sex life), individuals are left with their original problems … the ongoing battle with depression. It becomes a lose-lose situation.

MASRI MEDICAL has a path around this slippery slope, discovering a much better way of life. Hormone optimization can stabilize hormone levels and stimulate natural coping mechanisms.

Testosterone levels in both sexes naturally decline with age; in men the decline begins around age forty and in women this slow decrease begins in the twenties and continues into the forties and menopause. Testosterone supplementation, a foundation of our personalized program, often enhances libido and restoring vital energy. At least one study revealed patients with major depression experienced an improvement equal to that achieved with standard antidepressant drugs, when given testosterone.

Progesterone deficiency in younger women, and subsequent estrogen dominance, is the frequent cause of migraines, heavy menstrual bleeding, fibrocystic breasts, and PMS. As the first hormone whose levels fall beginning in the 30’s, women may begin experiencing “peri-menopausal” symptoms many years before they actually stop menstruating.

Bio-identical progesterone stimulates GABA receptors in the brain (like Xanax and other antianxiety medications), correcting deficiency quickly restores normal sleep, prevents anxiety, panic attacks, and PMS, and induces a sense of calmness. When dosed appropriately, it will dramatically reduce the severity and frequency of headaches, if not cure them entirely.

Cortisol, the stress response hormone, is often on overdrive in our fast paced culture. In women, this further increases estrogen dominance and may be part of the explanation for the increase in adverse conditions confronting modern Western women including, early menstruation, fibrocystic breast disease, and cancer.

Lifestyle changes to reduce stress are difficult to initiate, but are worth the effort in the long run. Adequate sleep and specific relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing have powerful physiologic benefits as well.

Thyroid hormone is the most fundamental controller of your body’s metabolic rate. It helps us rise in the morning and keeps us energetic throughout the day. It has direct effects on weight management, the condition of our hair, skin and nails, bowel function and our nervous system. A deficiency in thyroid hormone produces, fatigue, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, hair loss, poor concentration and decreased reflexes, all of which worsen depression.

Thyroid levels drop naturally beginning in the 40’s. Estrogen dominance during these years further reduces thyroid hormone function by stimulating the production of binding proteins that takes thyroid hormone out of circulation. Cortisol levels that are too high, as in a stressed individual, or too low, as in an exhausted individual, can both lower thyroid levels.

Thyroid evaluation and replacement is another important part of our care plans at MASRI MEDICAL. We routinely combine two forms of thyroid hormone, T3 and T4, in order to increase your metabolism back to optimal levels in order to restore vitality, and a sense of well-being.