Hormones and neurotransmitters are two of the main chemical messengers in the body and they affect one another. Interestingly, many people find that once they optimize their neurotransmitter function using amino acid therapy, they can reduce and even eliminate medications (and supplements) used to treat hormone imbalances.
Differentiating between the symptoms due to imbalances in hormones and/or neurotransmitters is nearly impossible, as there is a lot of overlap in the structure and function of these two important classes of chemical messengers. However, it is not uncommon for a person to require less and less support for hormone imbalances once their neurotransmitter function has been optimized using amino acid therapy.
The Hormone-Neurotransmitter Connection
We generally find that symptoms of chronic sex hormone imbalances – like PMS, menopausal complaints, low libido, irritability, fatigue and erectile dysfunction – often dramatically improve or resolve altogether with targeted amino acid therapy. In addition, adrenal fatigue – which can be characterized by a large number of symptoms, including fatigue, anxiety, memory issues, poor focus and concentration and sleep issues – is often exacerbated by neurotransmitter imbalance. Improve neurotransmitter function, and the symptoms of these hormone imbalances improve; but why?
As it turns out, L-dopa (which is the active ingredient in mucuna pruriens) is synthesized in the body into dopamine without biochemical feedback inhibition, which means that the more L-dopa you give someone, the more dopamine they produce. Dopamine is then freely converted into norepinephrine without biochemical feedback inhibition. Thus, we can improve (i.e., increase) both dopamine and norepinephrine levels using targeted amino acid therapy.
Norepinephrine causes an increase in a hormone called corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) which then increases the production of cortisol, estrogen and progesterone. This can have the effect of resolving symptoms relating to imbalances in these hormones. If someone is taking bioidentical hormones, synthetic hormones and/or botanical support for hormone balance, they may first experience signs of hormone overdose as their body’s natural hormone production is restored to normal. The correct course of action at this point is to work with their health provider to reduce the (now unnecessary) hormonal support.