Dr. Orbeck Discusses Hormones with HealthLinks Magazine, Part 1: Introduction to Hormone Functions and Symptoms of Imbalance

Dr. Kenneth Orbeck is a bioidentical hormones expert who specializes in treating the underlying causes of aging-related symptoms. Dr. Orbeck recently shared some of his expertise in a Q&A session with HealthLinks Magazine. The following information has been edited for clarity, and additional information has been included for more context. The Q&A session has been broken into two parts: 

Part 1- Introduction to Hormone Functions and Symptoms of Imbalance

Part 2- How Hormones are Impacted by Lifestyle Choices & Experiences

What is estrogen and what is its role?

Estrogen is a sex hormone that plays a critical role in memory and cognition. It has also been shown to alter the neural chemistry of the brain which is related to memory, learning, and mood. There are different types of estrogen: estrone, estradiol, and estriol. Both men and women produce estradiol, and the imbalance of this hormone can result in various symptoms and conditions. 

How can an imbalance of estrogen impact individuals?

Too much estrogen impacts men and women in different ways. Below is a list of symptoms that can arise from high estrogen levels.

In women:

  • Weight gain
  • Irregular cycle
  • Fatigue
  • Fibroids

In men:

Low estrogen levels can also cause health issues. The following symptoms may indicate low estrogen. 

In women: 

  • Headaches
  • Decreased bone density
  • Moodiness
  • Difficulty concentration

In men: 

  • Excess fat in the midsection
  • Bone loss 
  • Osteoporosis
  • Decreased sex drive

What is testosterone and what is its role?

Testosterone is a sex hormone that has a very important role in energy and vitality. Testosterone imbalance impacts men and women in various ways. 

How can an imbalance of testosterone impact individuals?

High testosterone levels may result in the following symptoms.

In women: 

  • Balding
  • Acne
  • Excess body hair (specifically on the face) 
  • Decreased sex drive

In men: 

  • Heart muscle damage
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Low sperm count
  • Liver disease

The following symptoms may indicate low levels of testosterone.

In women:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Decreased energy levels
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Vaginal dryness

In men: 

  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Reduced body/facial hair
  • Fatigue
  • Low sex drive

What is Progesterone and what is its role?

Progesterone is a sex hormone that has a calming effect on the brain. It regulates bodily functions in men and women, and it can aid in lowering anxiety and mood swings. 

How can an imbalance of estrogen impact individuals?

High progesterone levels can include the following symptoms.

In women: 

  • Weight fluctuation
  • Water retention/bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased sex drive

In men: 

  • Increased body fat
  • Changes in body odor
  • Depression
  • Fatigue

The following symptoms have been associated with low levels of progesterone.

In women: 

  • Irregular cycle
  • Fertility issues
  • Obesity
  • Headaches

In men: 

  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Depression

The symptoms of hormonal imbalance tend to overlap, so it is important to analyze and identify which hormones need attention. At Regenerative Medical Institute, Dr. Orbeck examines the interaction between genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that impact individuals’ hormones. He and the RMI team develop individualized treatment plans for patients. They look at all hormones and hormonal metabolites (messengers associated with various processes in the body). They assess exactly which hormones would benefit an individual’s overall health through a full hormonal and metabolic analysis with recommendations. Hormonal optimization can be evaluated and supplemented through bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).

If you are experiencing any of the listed symptoms and think you may have a hormonal imbalance, schedule a free consultation through our website to find out if bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is right for you.