Episode 79: August 29, 2017
Believe it or not, a simple hormone imbalance may be causing you to burn 300 fewer calories a day, leading to weight gain and difficulty with weight loss. Hormone imbalances can make you feel moody and tired, give you brain fog, and leave you suffering from a low libido. The good news is that it’s very possible to treat these imbalances. In some cases, it’s even possible to cure them.
The brilliant Dr. Shari Caplan joins me today to talk about all of this and much, much more. She’ll go into depth about different hormones, various conditions related to them, and what sorts of treatment options are available. Dr. Caplan is the medical director and founder of VitalityMD, the first physician-run integrative medicine lifestyle center using both conventional and alternative treatment options. She has dedicated much of her career to studying hormonal issues, and she’s here to share her wisdom with you!
Episode 161: October 27th, 2016
Dr. Caplan not only assesses hormone levels, but patient’s nutritional status and stress levels: what we eat, how well we sleep, our stress, our toxic load, and our nutrient deficiencies. Hormones do not work in isolation, so all issues must be addressed. Some patients don’t want to make lifestyle changes. They can be made to feel better, but they would have much more success if they addressed all of the issues. Dr. Caplan is now able to offer the services to help patients make these lifestyle changes.
I was 44, the age my mother was when she died from breast cancer. I had been practising Medicine for about 20 years, had a thriving practice, was on staff at both Women’s College and Sunnybrook Hospital, was teaching medical students and residents, and was considered an expert in Women’s health.
I started having peri-menopausal symptoms. I was having occasional hot flashes, started gaining weight in the mid-section, my brain wasn’t working as well as it used to, and it was like a light switch turned off for my libido (irrespective of what an amazing lover my husband was – of course my husband added this part 🙂 )
A lot of my patients used to complain that once they hit 40, they had a hard time losing weight and they were developing a spare tire despite their usual tactics to avoid this. They wondered if this was due to hormones. I told them “NO”. I would tell them that they weren’t eating right or exercising enough. BUT, when it started happening to ME, I knew I was eating right and exercising right. I thought to myself….. IT MUST BE HORMONES.
The most common complaints that I get from patients today, men and women alike, are fatigue, weight gain and low libido. The causes of these symptoms can be similar which include: Stress, sleep deprivation, nutrient deficiencies, environmental exposure/toxins, medications and health problems like atherosclerosis, inflammation and depression. More importantly, hormonal decline and imbalances can have a large impact, especially on libido and the ability to orgasm. All the causes listed above can also adversely affect your hormones for a double whammy.
For men, testosterone is the major player when it comes to libido but estrogen, DHEA, oxytocin and controlling insulin and cortisol levels have a role.
For women, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone naturally decline with age. These hormones are responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle, mood, libido and sexual response. Women normally have a heightened sex drive around ovulation and just before their period. Peri and menopausal women often experience decreased libido caused by an imbalance in those hormones as well as other hormones like DHEA and Oxytocin.