Weight gain, PMS, PMDD, PCOS, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, irritability: what do they all have in common? They are all due to hormonal imbalances. At any time between puberty and menopause, hormonal imbalances and fluctuations can occur and can cause the symptoms listed above.
Usually, levels of estradiol (estrogen) and progesterone change in a predictable way throughout the menstrual cycle. When anything goes wrong with this, symptoms can occur. Symptoms can be due to increased estrogen levels (“estrogen dominance”), low estrogen levels, low progesterone levels, or a combination of low estrogen and low progesterone levels. Hormone testing is necessary to determine the cause of symptoms as well as the appropriate treatment. For instance, hot flashes and night sweats in perimenopausal women are usually attributed to low estrogen levels, but very often these same symptoms are due to low progesterone levels instead! Sometimes low testosterone levels can cause decreased libido, but there are many other factors that can also lead to decreased sexual desire.
Dr. Clark uses blood testing to determine the nature of the hormonal imbalance. The timing of lab testing relative to the menstrual cycle is critical for this. Some physicians use saliva testing, but Dr. Clark has found that saliva test results correlate poorly with symptoms and for this reason does not use saliva testing to determine diagnosis or management of hormone imbalances.
Dr. Clark has been successfully treating women of all ages with hormone imbalances for years. She can help you determine what type of hormone imbalance you have, and then assist you in finding the most effective treatment.