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What is Naturopathic Endocrinology?

bioidentical hormones holistic endocrinology holistic hormone doctor holistic hormone specialist hormone balance naturopathic endocrinology Mar 01, 2024

Over the past 20+ years that I have been in practice, my patients have become so much more savvy about understanding how their bodies work.  Natural health advertising, products, and concepts have become mainstream and so my patients and students come to me with a level of awareness about their needs that is beautiful to see.  However, on the other side of this coin is that because natural health advertising has become so ubiquitous, my patients also come to me feeling overwhelmed and confused about what is actually going on in their bodies and how to fix it.  Particularly in the realm of women’s hormone health, the landslide of information out there can be hard to wade through! This is a little introduction to Naturopathic Endocrinology and how I approach hormone health.


What is Endocrinology?

 Hormone: Biochemistry. any of various internally secreted compounds, as insulin or thyroxine, formed in endocrine glands, that affect the functions of specifically receptive organs or tissues when transported to them by the body fluids.

 In short, endocrinology is the study of hormones and the glands that produce them. Hormones are amazing because they literally govern every single thing your body does to stay alive and in balance. But let’s take a second and unpack what a hormone is in the first place.  In its most basic form, a hormone is a signal that tells some part of your body to make something happen. For example–Estrogen tells the uterus to build blood vessels so it can sustain a pregnancy.  Progesterone then tells the uterus to stabilize those blood vessels to maintain pregnancy, and then if there’s no implantation,  progesterone goes away, those vessels degrade and we have a period.  Similarly, cortisol tells your body to take glucose from storage and feed it to your brain and muscles during times of stress.  Traditionally, endocrinology is the study of these hormones and works to maintain proper levels of hormones when they get out of the normal range.


 What is Different about Naturopathic Endocrinology?

Another way of saying Naturopathic Endocrinology is that I am a holistic hormone specialist. While identifying what hormones are out of balance is absolutely valuable, Naturopathic Endocrinology goes a step further by taking a holistic view of how your hormones work together as a team.  I like to call it the “hormone symphony” because each individual player has to be in tune in order for your body to work as a system. When one hormone is out of balance, it is common to see other hormones also out of balance. For example, when our reproductive hormones have times of great shift (such as postpartum or perimenopause) this is the time when I frequently see thyroid hormones change.


I think it’s also important to take a step backwards in the system and look for how stress and mental health impact our hormones.  Our brain is the most important determinant of hormone production because the signals to make our hormones come from the brain.  The brain is the “conductor” of the hormone symphony and keeps things in balance.  However, if we are in periods of chronic stress, anxiety, or depression, our brain leans harder on the production of stress hormones, which suppresses the production of all the other hormones.  This can wreak havoc with our reproductive system, the thyroid, metabolism, sleep, immunity, and gut health.  In Naturopathic Endocrinology, we look at each hormone, how they work together, and how the different components of our daily lives contribute to the overall balance of our health. We then use natural tools to help boost the function of the endocrine system so it can work more optimally.


How do we test your hormones?

 While we utilize common blood tests (such as TSH), I also like to look deeper so we can really fine-tune our understanding of your overall endocrine health.  Here are some of the more specialized types of testing we might use to explore your hormone health:

    • Diurnal cortisol rhythm–Our bodies make cortisol in differing amounts throughout the day, which is called a circadian rhythm.  Generally, we make high levels of cortisol in the morning when we feel most awake, and that production falls throughout the day and is lowest at bedtime, when it is time to sleep.  If this rhythm is disturbed, it can cause insomnia, anxiety, weight gain and blood sugar problems.  Diurnal cortisol testing gives us an idea of your adrenal gland function and if cortisol is contributing to your symptoms.
    • Reproductive hormone testing–  I like to look at free hormone levels in the saliva because that gives us an idea of how much hormone you have available for use and how your hormones are balanced relative to one another.  We can look at Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, and DHEA through these types of panels.  If you need more in-depth looks into your hormones, or are concerned about cancer risk, we can also take a deep dive into how your body metabolizes hormones through expanded hormone testing.
    • Hormone specific nutrient testing– We can look to see if you have adequate levels of some of the nutrients that are essential for building healthy hormones.  We can also look to see if there are heavy metals or environmental chemicals present that may be inhibiting healthy hormone production.
    • If you have more questions about testing, check out my article Why Use Specialized Testing


 How do we get your hormones back in balance?

I like to take a comprehensive “ground up” approach to long-term hormone balance.  This includes making sure you are eating in a way that supports healthy hormone formation, blood sugar stability, and proper metabolism of your hormones.  We look at your lifestyle and stress to ensure your daily living is promoting hormone health.  And then we have some wonderful, effective natural therapies that help to rebuild and maintain hormone health.


Here are some of my favorite treatments to holistically support the endocrine system:

  • Nutrients–again, if we find that you are not getting adequate nutrients for making healthy hormones, we can help replace these
  • Botanicals–There are a number of botanicals that are very helpful for modifying and tonifying the function of the endocrine glands.  I often custom blend botanical formulas for my patients for short and long-term support.
  • Craniosacral therapy–this is one of my favorite ways to help reset the stress response in the brain (see my article Craniosacral Therapy for Stress Relief for more on this)
  • Bioidentical Hormones–if you are in need of replacement of hormones that are low, this is also available.


How does Dr Kaycie work with patients?

My goal is to help you in the way that works best for you.  Here are the ways you can learn and be treated for hormone imbalance:


  • Hormone Health Reset Program: If you are ready for a real reset, with all the support, accountability, and fine-tuned data about your health, this program is a good choice.  This is useful especially if you have struggled with your hormone health for a long time or you have a complex concern.  In this program, we do a deep dive into testing your hormones, microbiome, food sensitivities, and blood workup, make you an in-depth plan, and work together over the course of 8 or 12 visits. (See my Health Reset page if you would like more information)
  • One-on-one Visits: If you are working on a single concern, you can work with me individually outside of a program.  Feel free to Book a Call if you have questions or interest
  • Online Courses:  If you are in the process of information gathering or just want to learn more about your health I would love to have you join one of my online courses, Such as the Foundations of Hormone Health, Group Spring Cleanse , or Women’s Hormone Health masterclass.




Let me know how I can be of service to you!

Dr Kaycie

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