How Stress Can Contribute to Reproductive Hormone Imbalances

How Stress Can Contribute to Reproductive Hormone Imbalances Below are diagrams of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) and Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal (HPG) axes responsible for the production of cortisol and reproductive hormones. These hormone axes involve multiple organs and stimulating hormones. In this post, we will discuss some of the ways that chronic stress (whether that be physical or…

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PCOS

PCOS What is PCOS? Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a leading cause of oligomenorrhea (infrequent menses) and amenorrhea (lack of menses) in women. It is a complex condition consisting of metabolic, hypothalamic, pituitary, ovarian and adrenal interactions with both environmental and genetic factors playing a role in its development. It is characterized by anovulation, excess…

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Functional Hypothalamic Amenorrhea

Functional Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (FHA) is one of the most common causes of secondary amenorrhea, accounting for 20-35% of cases according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. The loss of menstrual periods in FHA is due to disturbances in the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, typically in response to stress, caloric restriction, weight loss and/or…

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Female Menstrual Cycle

Female Menstrual Cycle During women’s reproductive years, our hormones should be fluctuating throughout the month. These hormonal fluctuations are orchestrated between glands in the brain and the ovaries called the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis (HPG axis). Their purpose is to release eggs for possible fertilization and prepares the uterus for possible implantation. As we dive into some…

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Menstrual Irregularities: Dysmenorrhea

Menstrual Irregularities: Dysmenorrhea What is Dysmenorrhea? Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for painful menstrual periods. Dysmenorrhea is common, and in about 20% of women it can be severe enough to interfere with daily functioning. Dysmenorrhea is not only associated with cramping, but also with other symptoms like low back and leg pain, bloating, nausea, diarrhea,…

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What is SIBO?

What is SIBO? So far in our discussions about comprehensive stool analyses, we have discussed a few different imbalances we can see in the gastrointestinal microbiome – growth of unwanted microbes/infectious organisms, lack of beneficial bacteria, and potentially pathogenic overgrowth of expected/commensal bacteria. Today we will be introducing a new imbalance: growth of normal/expected bacteria…

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Why Invest in a Stool Analysis?

Why Invest in a Stool Analysis? Symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort and bloating are often placed under the umbrella term of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is a diagnosis often given after other pathologies have been ruled out. However, there are underlying causes of IBS that can go undetected in traditional testing such as…

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Flu Shot or Not?

Flu Shot or Not? Every year around this time I get the question from my patients about the flu shot. Let’s talk a little bit about the flu shot and some pros and cons. The flu shot was first developed as a live-attenuated (weakened live form of the virus) vaccine in the 1930’s. It then…

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