6

votes

Optimizing Your Hormones

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 27, 2011 at 5:02 PM

A few of the recent answers regarding the Calorie in vs. Calorie out debate have touched on the role of properly functioning hormones being a crucial piece to the weight-gain/loss/maintenance puzzle.

Based on the responses mentioned above, it seems to me that a good sign your hormones are functioning properly would be effortless weight maintenance, independent of calories. My question has a few pieces to it.

  1. Does effortless weight maintenance regarldless of calories signal that one's hormones are functioning properly?

  2. Are there other signals that prove your hormones are functioning properly?

  3. Are there specific labs one can request to get hard data on how one's hormones are functioning?

Bonus Section: I'm fully aware that I could be missing some crucial info here, and would welcome any information that would help me "put it all together"

Thanks a bunch :)

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on March 23, 2012
at 10:02 AM

how do you play with your hormones with drugs?

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on March 23, 2012
at 10:01 AM

how do you balance your hormones? Do you take synthetic hormones releasers?

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on April 28, 2011
at 05:00 AM

That's free testosterone I listed not total.

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on April 28, 2011
at 01:13 AM

Dr. K, if you didnt use bioidentical hormones can you share a bit what helped besides the Paleo diet? Nutraceuticals, meditation, nutrient deficiencies, different sleep patterns? I had testpsterone in the 100 range even though Im only 30 (male) & lift weights but have brought it up to 400 range with adrenal support and meditation (I have an anxiety disorder, lots of stress all the time). Would love to boost it up further. Working with a Naturopath but she's kind of a ditz and I dont totally trust her but also dont have the several thousand dollars for a place like Cenegenics.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:37 AM

Pufa's are far more damaging.....but HFCs is the cause of the obesity epidemic in then below 50 cohort. Especially kids. The NHANES curve has shifted far right since 1980. This is where lustig is spot on.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:35 AM

Kellie all suzanne sommers books have docs linked in them. Great resources. Ammg is an organization loaded with these type of docs. Look them up on the Internet. A4m is another and then there is Cenegenics. All good but some quite costly because of the expertise and time spent fixing complex issues

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:33 AM

Plus one. With aging that will change!

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:32 AM

No Geoff but if I needed them I have zero issue taking them. My wife is on them. And she is glad she married me more now than ever. It changes everything for a woman.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:31 AM

I am part of both of those networks mentioned by Dexter.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:31 AM

I think you can do it on your own if your problems are not complex. Otherwise get a doc who has patients who it works for. Most of my patients come word of mouth.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:30 AM

Cortisol is very important but nothing comes close to leptin in importance and complete misunderstanding. My biggest issue with Taubes is his favoritism of insulin. I mention this in my upcoming podcast with Jimmy Moore on may 26th

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:25 AM

We still had fat people before HFCs. Obesity is an inflammatory disease that destroys hormonal signal ing to cause metabolic damage and eventual genomic damage. You know that genomic damage as heart disease alzheimer's and cancer.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on April 27, 2011
at 09:43 PM

Awesome, thanks for the info, Grace. I will look into your reference :)

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on April 27, 2011
at 08:41 PM

I'm lucky that fat really fills me, I cannot consciously overeat it. I suspect there are many people out there who cannot consciously overeat at all. This is probably the optimal state and the rest of us are damaged in some, even if slight, way.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:57 PM

I can only eat a lot of fat if I'm doing a ton of cardio which takes too much time! You are probably estrogen dominant like most of the world. Ori Hofmekler has a great book as well (he wrote the Warrior Diet and apparently was a columnist (for health) at both Playboy and Penthouse *haaaa* Once he served in the Special Forces in Israel which found somewhat impressive I dunno why...

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:54 PM

FYI... Check out Natasha Turner ND in Canada -- she has a list of labs, norm ranges, diet (but ignore the gluten stuff) and hormone/fat maps. Her book is wonderful, 'The Hormone Diet' which I highly recommend for its ease in readability and comprehensiveness and humor. If you can produce your own endogenous hormones that is best -- sometimes some practitioners 'overdo' the biohrt route without giving the body a chance first.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:51 PM

Todd, consult an integrative practitioner who knows about salivary hormone testing and 'paleo'... I've had the same inadequate responses with mainstream medicine (including my parents who are physicians). Good luck.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:49 PM

Yeah, I think constant fructose intake interferes with leptin/ghrelin/insulin enough that a person will overeat no matter what the composition of the rest of their diet is. Removing fructose will return a person to normal satiety levels, but once there particular foods will offer more or less satiety per unit of energy. For me, lean meat provides the greatest amount of satiety per unit of energy.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:56 PM

I completely agree with you in that, to a certain degree, calories do matter. I have also eating excess fat and put on weight because of it, and taken excess fat out and lost weight. But it seems that a sign that hormones are functioning properly is that your satiety meter is in tact, therefore not allowing one to completely over or under eat (without really trying) which should = weight maintenance.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:50 PM

For Kellie, Jimmy Moore has a low carb/paleo friendly listing of physicians listed by state. http://lowcarbdoctors.blogspot.com/ And Robb Wolf has a short one: http://paleophysiciansnetwork.com/

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:49 PM

I'm getting that feeling. I have been to 4-5 different specialists in the last year and nobody can figure out what is wrong with me. I'm trying to compile a list of tests I want ran, questions I want answered, etc before I go back next Monday. I'm almost done with this group of MD's, but don't know where else to go, or what to do.

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:42 PM

Dr K are you taking bio identical hormones?

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:35 PM

I feel better since going Paleo as well. But that does not = optimally functioning hormones. I'm looking for specifics, rather than "the feeling". How are you SURE that your hormones are, in fact, balanced?

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:32 PM

Exactly. In the words of KGH "tolerated is not optimal"

D4d74d74b083e1b5f1327f058c5a395e

(0)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:22 PM

i did keto last summer for 6+ weeks and after weeks of tiredness i realized i needed to try to fix what was going on w diet. carbed up and felt way better. i've experimented, and i know it's not how i feel my best in the long term. perhaps if my hormones were balanced it'd be a different story.

D4d74d74b083e1b5f1327f058c5a395e

(0)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:20 PM

Thanks for your input Dr. K. Do you think it's a matter then of finding the right docs, or are there things we can do on our own? can you recommend some of the better resources you came across in your research bender? or tips on finding the right doc? i wish there was some listing or way to find really good doctors!

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:19 PM

Not to push too hard on keto eating, but for many people it seems more than a couple of weeks are needed to "keto-adapt" (that wasn't true for me, so I got a pass there, I guess). As usual for LC nutritional issues, studies are sparse, but a guy named Stephen Phinney has done a decent amount of research on keteogenic diets and athletic performance, and in one of his papers he writes that adapting takes longer than a week; more likely 3-4 weeks. Paper here: http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/pdf/1743-7075-1-2.pdf

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:04 PM

You don't have to settle for just ok

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:04 PM

I did it myself. 350 to 190 ripped up. My wife did, my kids do now and most of my family and friends. The interesting part? I had to fire three docs who were my buds before I found the right person who got it. And when I did I went on the biggest research bender you can imagine to figure out why I was not taught this in med school. Today it requires a lot of extra knowledge and training because MDs are not taught this in school. Go read breakthrough by suzanne sommers and see what she had to go thru to get the right docs. It's crazy. This got me to open my own eyes.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on April 27, 2011
at 05:49 PM

Excellent question, Todd. I know I am "broken" but I'm not really sure what is broken or if there is any way to fix it!

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5 Answers

2
05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on April 27, 2011
at 09:50 PM

personally i think hormone control is the cutting edge. it's difficult because its so complex and specific, not just a matter of "taking a multivitamin". its all about finding exactly what you need and when you need it to get where you want to be. timing & dosage. ex: a person can have lots of free test, but something wrong with the reception of it, as there are multiple mechanisms that can be dysfunctional. to start i would do full labs, both blood serum and 24 hour saliva on all the facets of thyroid, cortisol, and sex hormones and do the tests at the same time. i also think bio-identical hormones are a last resort for some people, and we can tweak hormones with nutriceuticals and herbs first, but for some they may need bio-ident due to severity/duration of their issue.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:30 AM

Cortisol is very important but nothing comes close to leptin in importance and complete misunderstanding. My biggest issue with Taubes is his favoritism of insulin. I mention this in my upcoming podcast with Jimmy Moore on may 26th

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on March 23, 2012
at 10:02 AM

how do you play with your hormones with drugs?

2
Medium avatar

on April 27, 2011
at 06:31 PM

I think this idea of effortless weight maintenance no matter how many calories you eat is a myth. The primary metabolic deranging force for nearly all people is fructose intake, so if you remove that from the equation, it's possible that obesity is highly unlikely. However, if you sneak a stick or two of butter into all of your meals, you will be fatter than if you don't. I've tested this, it works. It's not that you'll become obese from eating tons of calories in the form of fat, but you may very well become fatter than you'd choose to be. If you think about it, humans likely wouldn't have gotten this far had we no ability to store fat as fat; it's a highly efficient method of energy storage.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:37 AM

Pufa's are far more damaging.....but HFCs is the cause of the obesity epidemic in then below 50 cohort. Especially kids. The NHANES curve has shifted far right since 1980. This is where lustig is spot on.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:57 PM

I can only eat a lot of fat if I'm doing a ton of cardio which takes too much time! You are probably estrogen dominant like most of the world. Ori Hofmekler has a great book as well (he wrote the Warrior Diet and apparently was a columnist (for health) at both Playboy and Penthouse *haaaa* Once he served in the Special Forces in Israel which found somewhat impressive I dunno why...

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on April 27, 2011
at 08:41 PM

I'm lucky that fat really fills me, I cannot consciously overeat it. I suspect there are many people out there who cannot consciously overeat at all. This is probably the optimal state and the rest of us are damaged in some, even if slight, way.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:56 PM

I completely agree with you in that, to a certain degree, calories do matter. I have also eating excess fat and put on weight because of it, and taken excess fat out and lost weight. But it seems that a sign that hormones are functioning properly is that your satiety meter is in tact, therefore not allowing one to completely over or under eat (without really trying) which should = weight maintenance.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:49 PM

Yeah, I think constant fructose intake interferes with leptin/ghrelin/insulin enough that a person will overeat no matter what the composition of the rest of their diet is. Removing fructose will return a person to normal satiety levels, but once there particular foods will offer more or less satiety per unit of energy. For me, lean meat provides the greatest amount of satiety per unit of energy.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:25 AM

We still had fat people before HFCs. Obesity is an inflammatory disease that destroys hormonal signal ing to cause metabolic damage and eventual genomic damage. You know that genomic damage as heart disease alzheimer's and cancer.

2
D5ef6397b5e2fd6fe5f093da5e3d403b

(742)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:00 PM

When my hormones are out of whack, I break out, feel bloated, have terrible periods and feel bitchy. When my hormones are in balance, I feel amazing. This is the only way for me to gauge where I'm at. 20 different doctors and specialists couldn't tell me what to do or what was wrong, even after running every test they had. Going Paleo was the only way for me to balance my hormones.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:33 AM

Plus one. With aging that will change!

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:35 PM

I feel better since going Paleo as well. But that does not = optimally functioning hormones. I'm looking for specifics, rather than "the feeling". How are you SURE that your hormones are, in fact, balanced?

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on March 23, 2012
at 10:01 AM

how do you balance your hormones? Do you take synthetic hormones releasers?

1
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 27, 2011
at 05:38 PM

This is why those who struggle needs docs who understand the complexity of it. It's a lot of work. Most docs have not a clue. You ask and they hand you a booklet and rx for phenteramine.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:51 PM

Todd, consult an integrative practitioner who knows about salivary hormone testing and 'paleo'... I've had the same inadequate responses with mainstream medicine (including my parents who are physicians). Good luck.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on April 27, 2011
at 09:43 PM

Awesome, thanks for the info, Grace. I will look into your reference :)

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:49 PM

I'm getting that feeling. I have been to 4-5 different specialists in the last year and nobody can figure out what is wrong with me. I'm trying to compile a list of tests I want ran, questions I want answered, etc before I go back next Monday. I'm almost done with this group of MD's, but don't know where else to go, or what to do.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:54 PM

FYI... Check out Natasha Turner ND in Canada -- she has a list of labs, norm ranges, diet (but ignore the gluten stuff) and hormone/fat maps. Her book is wonderful, 'The Hormone Diet' which I highly recommend for its ease in readability and comprehensiveness and humor. If you can produce your own endogenous hormones that is best -- sometimes some practitioners 'overdo' the biohrt route without giving the body a chance first.

0
D4d74d74b083e1b5f1327f058c5a395e

on April 27, 2011
at 05:56 PM

this is a question of great interest to me. when my boyfriend and i went paleo January 2010, he lost 25 lbs effortlessly (6'4" down from 245 to 220 lbs), and i lost 3 (5'5" 160-ish) :-( i had hormonal testing a few months later (saliva, then blood a few months after that). saliva tests (which MDs scoff at) indicated high testosterone, which i realized later did not correspond AT ALL to body fat distribution ('pear' type distribution more indicative of high estrogen - body fat concentrated on hips, thighs and butt), nor do i have masculine body hair patterns, etc, and when my naturopath put me on some supplements for this it made me feel pretty effed - anxious, depressed etc.

Blood hormone tests all came back within the "normal" range which i don't find particularly meaningful as i'm interested in what is optimal, not statistically average.

anyways, it seems i can't really loose weight w/o going keto, and i realize that after a week or two doing keto i'm just completely exhausted. I don't think it's the optimal diet for me. i'd done atkins 10+ years ago for a couple months and maybe it totally screwed up my system. or maybe it was the summer of doughnuts and iced capuccinos from tim hortons (hello, HFCS!). not sure. anyways, my diet is generally pretty great, tho i could definitely exercise more. but i would love to learn more about how to rebalance my hormones because i think they are a bit out of whack (PMS, moodiness, fat distribution).

i'd love to hear more from people who have successfully and naturally balanced their hormones.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:04 PM

You don't have to settle for just ok

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:42 PM

Dr K are you taking bio identical hormones?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:31 AM

I think you can do it on your own if your problems are not complex. Otherwise get a doc who has patients who it works for. Most of my patients come word of mouth.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:19 PM

Not to push too hard on keto eating, but for many people it seems more than a couple of weeks are needed to "keto-adapt" (that wasn't true for me, so I got a pass there, I guess). As usual for LC nutritional issues, studies are sparse, but a guy named Stephen Phinney has done a decent amount of research on keteogenic diets and athletic performance, and in one of his papers he writes that adapting takes longer than a week; more likely 3-4 weeks. Paper here: http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/pdf/1743-7075-1-2.pdf

D4d74d74b083e1b5f1327f058c5a395e

(0)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:20 PM

Thanks for your input Dr. K. Do you think it's a matter then of finding the right docs, or are there things we can do on our own? can you recommend some of the better resources you came across in your research bender? or tips on finding the right doc? i wish there was some listing or way to find really good doctors!

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:32 AM

No Geoff but if I needed them I have zero issue taking them. My wife is on them. And she is glad she married me more now than ever. It changes everything for a woman.

D4d74d74b083e1b5f1327f058c5a395e

(0)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:22 PM

i did keto last summer for 6+ weeks and after weeks of tiredness i realized i needed to try to fix what was going on w diet. carbed up and felt way better. i've experimented, and i know it's not how i feel my best in the long term. perhaps if my hormones were balanced it'd be a different story.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:50 PM

For Kellie, Jimmy Moore has a low carb/paleo friendly listing of physicians listed by state. http://lowcarbdoctors.blogspot.com/ And Robb Wolf has a short one: http://paleophysiciansnetwork.com/

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:35 AM

Kellie all suzanne sommers books have docs linked in them. Great resources. Ammg is an organization loaded with these type of docs. Look them up on the Internet. A4m is another and then there is Cenegenics. All good but some quite costly because of the expertise and time spent fixing complex issues

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on April 28, 2011
at 01:13 AM

Dr. K, if you didnt use bioidentical hormones can you share a bit what helped besides the Paleo diet? Nutraceuticals, meditation, nutrient deficiencies, different sleep patterns? I had testpsterone in the 100 range even though Im only 30 (male) & lift weights but have brought it up to 400 range with adrenal support and meditation (I have an anxiety disorder, lots of stress all the time). Would love to boost it up further. Working with a Naturopath but she's kind of a ditz and I dont totally trust her but also dont have the several thousand dollars for a place like Cenegenics.

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on April 28, 2011
at 05:00 AM

That's free testosterone I listed not total.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 27, 2011
at 06:04 PM

I did it myself. 350 to 190 ripped up. My wife did, my kids do now and most of my family and friends. The interesting part? I had to fire three docs who were my buds before I found the right person who got it. And when I did I went on the biggest research bender you can imagine to figure out why I was not taught this in med school. Today it requires a lot of extra knowledge and training because MDs are not taught this in school. Go read breakthrough by suzanne sommers and see what she had to go thru to get the right docs. It's crazy. This got me to open my own eyes.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:31 AM

I am part of both of those networks mentioned by Dexter.

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