Endocrinology is the study of the endocrine system of the body. These are the glands that secrete hormones and communicate and co-regulate through feedback systems. The adrenals, pancreas, ovaries, gonads, thyroid, pituitary, and hypothalamus are endocrine glands. When one of these glands is overworked, it starts to effect all the others.
Functional endocrinology systematically addresses this core regulatory system and helps restore its balanced regulation naturally using nutritional and herbal support as much as possible.
Currently bio-identical hormones are in popular use as practitioners attempt to regulate imbalances that pervade the population due to adrenal overload and fatigue occurring from years of unremitting stress. One danger of bio-identical hormone use is that by providing hormones to the body, it fails to recognize a need to produce them and the glands are encouraged to shut down and ultimately atrophy. An example of this is Addison's syndrome, the complete shut down of the adrenal glands due to excessive steroid use, as John F. Kennedy developed from the administration of steroids for back pain. Because the glands involved respond as a negative feedback loop, adding hormones to the system may appear to balance the system initially, but ultimately lead to overload and further shut down the system down the road.
Functional endocrinology utilizes the principles of nutrition and Chinese medicine as well as highly sophisticated modern diagnostics, such as hair analysis and saliva tests, to determine exactly what is going on in a person's endocrine system, how the entire system is compromised and where to intervene. The body is encouraged to reset without supplying hormones unless absolutely necessary, and if so, closely monitored to wean off as possible.