The Truth About Hormones and Why You Need to Care

This week’s intereview is with Dr. Pamela Wartian Smith.  She is the director of the Center for Healthy Living and Longevity, the founder and director of the Fellowship on Metabolic Anti-Aging and Functional Medicine, and the author of a number of books on health-related topics including What You Must Known About Women’s Hormones and What You Must Known About Memory Loss.

It was a wide-ranging conversation that uncovered the impact of hormones– for both men and women–on our well-being.  One of the shocking things she revealed in our conversation for women in particular, is how many physical ailments are actually caused by hormonal imbalances related to menopause.  We’ve all heard of common ones like hot flashes and night sweats, but there are many more unusual ones like achy ankles, anxiety, migraines and weird dreams.

Another interesting point that’s relevant for all of us– men included– no matter our age, is that hormones are literally a symphony that all have to play in tune, and cortisol, our stress hormone, is a key player in that symphony.

When we’re initially stressed cortisol spikes, but then it’s supposed to come right back down. If we stay stressed and cortisol remains at an abnormal level we can experience a constellation of symptoms: weight gain, thyroid trouble, elevated cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure, and a compromised immune system. Dr. Smith shared a number of strategies that can help us maintain healthy cortisol levels; here are just a few highlights:

One: The body requires nutrients for cortisol to be made, so most everybody needs a good multi-vitamin.

Two:  Believe it or not, studies have shown that crying also is great– it lowers cortisol and prevents heart disease.

Three:  Adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha, ginseng, rhodiola help maintain optimal levels of cortisol. (Fun fact: ashwagandha also helps with memory, so you get a two for one when you take it!)

What Dr. Smith shares with us is that a lot of what we call aging in both men and women is actually related to how we eat, the nutrients we get, how much we exercise (or not), and our hormones levels. If we balance all those things, we can make 60 the beginning of middle age!

JOIN THE CONVERSATION:  Have you experienced any of these symptoms related to hormones?  Share your experiences with us in the comments below!

Read the Transcript

There’s lots more useful information in this episode! Click here to download a complete transcript.

Get the Resources

Here’s the site where you can find a list of doctors that specialize in metabolic medicine in your area.
Hormone list coming soon!

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