How you can get your balance back with supplements and hormones.
When you think of the word “wellness,” do you think “fitness”? “Nutrition”? “Disease screening”? How about, “chemical balance”?
Of all the ‘dimensions’ in the 4D Health Process, chemical balance is the one that’s the hardest to understand, but once you are aware, it’s impossible to ignore. I am, of course, talking about chemical balance through hormone maintenance and supplements. Why is this important?
About 60% of the adult human body consists of water. The rest is primarily composed of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorous and various minerals found in the body. And it’s the chemical interactions between them that make healthy living possible.
Your body, the chemical lab.
My work is healing spinal disorders that cause back and neck pain for my patients. In both my practice in Beverly Hills, CA and at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, I’ve made chemical balance part of the effort to increase treatment outcomes. My reasoning is simple.
The human body is remarkably complex and very fragile. It just does not function very well unless it has all the chemicals it needs to achieve what biologists call “homeostasis”: an ideal state of function without which the body is more likely to fall victim to disease.
Therefore, even a slight chemical imbalance can weaken the body and make it difficult for it recover from surgical procedures like artificial disc replacement or spinal fusion. Carefully administered supplements and hormone injections may help the body heal and make the recovery process more productive. But first, I need an analysis of the chemical balance in the body. The balance of hormones, minerals, vitamins will tell me quite a lot about the body’s condition and how it may respond to surgical and nonsurgical treatment.
Most people are familiar with the hormones testosterone and estrogen. Like other hormones, they have specialized roles in regulating functions in the body.
Both males and females benefit from testosterone. It’s true that men have a lot of it, but women also benefit from the way testosterone sharpens the mind, increases muscle mass, and strengthen bones. The same goes for estrogen, evident in both males and females, and the role it plays in the management of cholesterol, protection of bones, and brain functions.
Low levels of either of these hormones can inhibit sexual performance, fertility, and can have a dramatic effect on energy levels. High levels of testosterone in men are associated with aggression and hair loss. For women, low levels can cause problems with the menstrual cycle and pregnancy while excessively high concentrations can result in cancer.
Given the essential role that hormones play, they are produced and distributed in a very tightly controlled manner. Unfortunately, other imbalances can occur, and often do drop up as we age, or as we develop poor habits.
Among the best-known hormone disorder is diabetes. There are two kinds of diabetes, appropriately named “type 1” and “type 2”. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks cells that produce insulin (a vital hormone). Controllable through regular insulin injections, type 1 is probably genetic and it cannot be prevented. However, type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthier habits, like good nutrition and sensible fitness.
A 4D Health “check up” will also reveal the health of the mighty pituitary; a gland located at the base of the brain and about the size of a pea. If you look this up on Google, you may also find that it is known as the “master gland” because it produces “key” hormones that trigger production of other hormones that regulate growth, temperature, blood pressure and pain control.
We also want to know about the health of the thyroid gland, located in the throat (produces hormones responsible for regulating metabolic processes, cardiovascular function, and calcium) and the adrenal glands (maintain blood pressure and glucose levels).
We also want to see the levels of cortisol and serotonin.
Cortisol is called the “stress hormone” because it regulates the way the body responds to stress, but it also affects everything in the body: blood sugar, metabolism, immune system, anti-inflammatory agents, blood pressure, blood vessel contractions, and activation of the nervous system. Too much cortisol may cause weight accumulation.
While not a hormone per se, serotonin is a neurotransmitter, responsible for carrying signals from the brain. Serotonin levels can be influenced by disease, drug use or even changes in the levels of other chemicals. And when serotonin levels drop, the results can be quite dramatic: changes in personality, depression and sleep disorders are all correlated with changes in serotonin levels.
Then there are the vital minerals: calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus; plus all sorts of trace minerals and vitamins. We take these “chemicals” from our diet. A shortage of one can affect a wide range of body functions – bone building, healing, immune system, metabolism – just to name a few. This is one aspect of that delicate chemical balance that can be totally hidden from us. When we are busy with our day-to-day living, we tend to ignore meals and eat too much of the wrong things.
A Little Management for Pain-Free Movement
We want the body to function as naturally as possible. But sometimes, it needs a little help. Supplements and hormone management are not long-term solutions, but they can help us toward healthier living. It’s like the other elements in the 4D Health Process: they contribute toward the treatment for pain-free movement and faster recovery should your condition require surgery.
Pain anywhere in the spine not only limits our movement but our ability to live life to the fullest. Rather than reach for a quick fix, we want to produce better long-term outcomes. That’s why your chemical balance is so important. My patients who are enrolled in the 4D Health Process are better prepared to get the most from treatments for a herniated disc or other problem. Some patients may even delay the need for surgery.
When we manage things like our body chemistry – hormones, minerals, vitamins – we can produce better outcomes across the board. Combined with nutrition, fitness, and disease screening – we give our body the resources and strength it needs to stay healthy longer. And if surgery is in your future, you’ll heal a great deal faster.