Dr. Nicole Sundene
Hormones actually picked me many years ago! Did you know I was serendipitously selected by life to become a Holistic Hormone Doctor 23 years ago? Be it God, kismet, fate or dumb Luck, my old neighbor in Issaquah, Washington chased me down one rainy morning when she saw I worked at our neighborhood medical clinic and offered me a job working for her Hormone Doctor. She said there was an immediate opening, better pay and it sounded much less stressful than the busy Family Medicine and Dermatology clinic I worked at for 20 Docs rooming 100 + patients per day. Of course I took the job!
Little did I know this would be the #1 experience that would shape my future career as a Women’s Health Doctor and I was put in very special training with a genius Female Hormone Specialist that was a Pharmacologist and Internist. Working for the Hormone Doctor every day was a wonderland of fun for me! I left the office giddy with joy every day! The biochemistry nerd in me really enjoyed the hormone and hormone lab lessons on her specialties of Menopause, Perimenopause, Osteoporosis and Chronic Pain. She also taught me everything I know about autoimmune testing and hormones.
The Female Hormone Specialist also taught me a lot about chronic pain testing for women with Fibromyalgia. It is difficult to find a doctor to take you seriously when you are in severe pain, or struggling with bizarre autoimmune disease symptoms… but she did this with tremendous compassion, kindness and brilliant detective work. Fibro patients need a multitude of proper tests conducted to determine the cause of the pain which requires multiple specialists working together or someone with enough knowledge in Rheumatology, Endocrinology, Neurology, Nutrition and Infectious Disease such as Dr. Panitch.
Thankfully Dr. Panitch taught me a great deal about Menopause, Perimenopause and Osteoporosis, at the same time I also worked for 3 Dermatologists. While I loved helping them with their skin surgeries we would often see patients with chronic skin problems such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and MRSA struggle to get better. When I asked the Hormone Doctor about these patients she explained how a lot of chronic disease skin issues are actually hormone problems in disguise. Which makes a lot of sense when we see women get dry skin with menopause or thyroid disease, and oily skin with PCOS, Perimenopause and PMS. “Until we treat the cause of the Hormone Imbalance topical agents will continue to fail” is the take home message from my acne rant that prefaces the latest Natural Medicine research for Acne on my latest blog about “Hormonal Acne."
The #1 clue a symptom is related to hormone imbalance is fluctuation. Women who have fluctuating symptoms throughout the month or that begin with menopause, pregnancy or postpartum should be aware of how hormones can adversely impact their skin. There is way more to acne than just testosterone. Estrogen and progesterone are often to blame as well as many other hormones.
To properly balance hormones we need to use natural medicine to treat the root cause of the hormone imbalance. While we sometimes need bioidentical hormones or thyroid hormones, oftentimes from a Functional Medicine standpoint the cause of the hormone imbalance is something we address with herbs. Patients that like to drink tea, take herbal capsules, tinctures or supplements and improve their nutrition are perfect candidates for Naturopathy.
Patients that do not like those above things should stick with their MD's as it is difficult for me to help them as a Naturopath when they can't take herbs or make nutritional changes specific to what their body needs. Women are very unique as I discuss further in my Snowflake blog.
Today I wanted to share a picture of my favorite room, the "Herb Room" and remind you to drink more iced herbal tea to stay hydrated in the heat.
Teas are perfect for those of us in the Arizona heat that need to be taking in more water. I love to use ginger, mint and licorice which all contain powerful antioxidants and can help mask the flavor of herbs used for medicine. Patients can enjoy their herbal medicine tea iced for a refreshing change. Simply make your tea as normal, refrigerate and serve over ice!
If you need my help testing and balancing your hormones, or have not been feeling good and want to get to the "Root Cause," simply pop over to my SCHEDULE page to treat yourself to a Naturopathic visit!
Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD
Dr. Sundene is a Naturopathic Doctor in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is considered a Female Hormone Specialist in Women's Health and Bioidentical Hormones. She specializes in Holistic Women's Health for Menopause, Thyroid, Hashimotos, PMS, Perimenopause, Autoimmune, Postpartum, Chronic Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety, Food Allergies, Digestion, Dermatology , Acne, Psoriasis, Eczema and Adrenal Hormonal Conditions. In 1999 she began working for a Hormone Doctor prior to starting Naturopathic Medical School. With over 22 years of experience in both Prescription and Natural women's health and hormones she presents to women the best integrated health solutions for their Chronic Disease. She has been an Herbalist for over 27 years and enjoys teaching women how to use herbs to balance their hormones, nutrition and optimize their health. Dr. Sundene relies on blood testing for her hormone metrics. The hormone testing is covered per the patient's insurance plan and conducted at certain points in the woman's menstrual cycle. To learn more about Hormone Testing for Women Visit: Bioidentical Hormones. Follow Dr. Sundene on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for more tips on Women's Health, Female Hormones and Naturopathy!