by Dr. Eric Berg
(Dr. Berg’s Educational Content is Not Meant or Intended for Medical Advice or Treatment)
One of the questions people keep on asking me is “Why do my hormone levels on blood tests keep showing as normal despite me having hormonal symptoms?”
When you are dealing with the endocrine system, the body will do ANYTHING it can to KEEP THE BLOOD CHEMISTRY NORMAL, no matter what! This is a survival mechanism because the blood is the medium where the tissues can receive instant communication. BUT, what you don’t see behind the scenes are the failing glands.
Check out the following reference:
“Adrenal cortical [outer portion] deficiency does not become clinically manifested [obvious or clear] until nine-tenths [90 percent] of the cortical [outer portion] tissue have been rendered unresponsive [not working]. The patient may live through a prolonged period of less apparent hormonal deficiency—a period where secretion is adequate for everyday requirements, inadequate only when special stresses, such as operation, trauma, or infection, lead to crisis.” —Frank H. Netter, The CIBA Collection of Medical Illustrations, Volume 4, page 101.
What does this mean?
It means that a hormone deficiency takes years to show up, and the body will compensate, until 90 percent of the adrenal glands stops working. Your hormones will function for normal activities but will not be adequate for many of the extra stresses of life. You’ll be okay if you are on a remote tropical island, away from the stresses of life, but if you have to keep pace with a hectic lifestyle, as many of us do, your hormones will not be adequate enough to cope.
Here’s another example—your liver. You can have advanced scar tissue of the liver yet your blood tests will be NORMAL. See the reference below:
“… cirrhotic patients may have minimally abnormal or even normal LFTs [liver function tests].” —Bacon and Di Bisceglie, Liver Disease: Diagnosis and Management, page 24.
And by the way, cirrhosis is a chronic liver disease in which scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue, leading to the loss of liver function. This condition doesn’t happen just by being an alcoholic; it can result from an old infection that keeps the liver in a state of low-grade inflammation.
So, look at the whole picture or you will also miss the real cause of what ails you. For example, let’s say you do have low thyroid hormones. This could be caused by high estrogen levels. And let’s say your liver hormones are low. This could be from high adrenal hormones. The relationship between these hormones is not well-known. Without evaluating the whole scene, you would get only half of the picture and could end up treating the wrong gland.
My point regarding this tip is to not wait until you are diagnosed with a hormonal deficiency; because even if it does show up as a true problem, what would be the solution? I would personally want to know the case.
So, don’t miss the forest for the trees.
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