Dr. Melinda Silva has been a board certified family physician for 16 years. She’s done a two-year fellowship in functional medicine with an endocrinology focus and is now a regenerative medicine specialist.
When we hit a certain age, be it 35 or 40, our hormone levels can get depleted. Whether that is from having children, a busy career, a series of stressful relationships or events, or all of the above, the repercussions dramatically affect our lives.
We begin to have lower quality sleep, our energy is not what it used to be, motivation seems hard to come by, and stamina and libido are no longer present. We may feel a little depressed and perhaps also anxious, and we wonder to ourselves, is this what life will be like going forward?
While many primary care doctors might answer this call with Prozac and sleeping pills, a much better, more holistic solution is to get your hormones balanced with a little help from bio-identical plant-based hormones that are customized precisely to your needs.
Dr. Melinda Silva talks about the major hormone fluctuations that begin to happen between the ages of 35 and 40 and the ones that continue to progress after age 40.
She explains why weight and metabolism change, why we get more cellulite, and how we can troubleshoot both by balancing our four key hormones: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid hormone.
Here are other fascinating things we discuss that you should know about before you start interviewing endocrinologists or functional medicine doctors to help you balance your hormones.
I love how Dr. Silva explains in simple terms that we need to use plant-based hormones because they are chemically identical to what our body makes whereas synthetics don’t look anything like the hormones our body makes and have been shown to increase a person’s risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
It’s important to educate yourself on things like this so you don’t end up going to a doctor that doesn’t the know the difference between synthetic vs. bio-identical (plant-based) hormones or a doctor who cannot highly personalize the bio-identicals.
Dr. Silva also advises us to be aware of the ever present and growing environmental influences that cause estrogen dominance. This is why we need to be quite careful about the personal care products that go on our body as well as putting only organic, high-quality food in our bodies – and increasing our consumption of plants.
She explains the role of low progesterone in sleep problems as well as anxiety. Low progesterone can also make someone quick to anger and make cellulite more prominent.
Thyroid hormones control so much from our weight to our temperature to the pace of our bowel movements. It is so important to understand and balance your thyroid several times annually.
We spend a lot of time talking about testosterone because so many women are low in it, yet they don’t get help to balance it. When our testosterone is low, we lack motivation for life, our drive and creativity simply aren’t there, and our sex drive goes out the window.
Often years of taking birth control can deplete testosterone, as can stressful life events. When our testosterone is low, we don't have the drive to exercise or do the things that keep us feeling healthy and connected. Another motivation to check and replenish your testosterone is to keep your brain sharp and healthy. We have testosterone receptors in our brain so having enough can help prevent dementia.
Dr. Silva recommends getting tested twice a year to adjust your dosage because hormones are so dynamic and levels can change based on life factors.
Just as hormone replacement therapy is a seed that can help us grow good health, we are tasked with the responsibility to create fertile soil for that seed to flourish. Building healthy soil is having a foundation of good exercise, good nutrition, and good sleep.
Please tell us about your hormonal journey in the comments below. What symptoms do you struggle with? How did you overcome them?