Why Stress Matters for Hormone Concerns

Today’s world is stressful. An estimated 34% of Americans report feeling more stress this year than last year.1 More Americans are reporting that they are under “extreme” stress.1 Recognizing the ways in which stress impacts the health of your patients and providing treatments that can reduce the impact of stress can help patients with many chronic conditions regain their health. Even patients who are the picture of perfect health may be facing stress-related hormonal dysfunctions in their future.

The steroid hormone pathways are particularly prone to disruption by stress, including the cortisol steal (also called the pregnenolone steal). Because the precursor of many sex hormones is also the precursor to cortisol, stress lowers the availability of sex hormone precursors, and complex hormone-related symptoms may result.

Learn to navigate the steroidogenic pathways and help your patients with stress-related chronic diseases. IFM’s Hormone Advanced Practice Module (APM) solidifies your knowledge of hormone synthesis across the hypothalamic, pituitary, adrenal, gonadal, and thyroid (HPAGT) axis. Expert clinician educators will connect the dots so that you can help the many patients for whom stress contributes to the emergence or progression of chronic illness.

In this video, IFM Educator Patrick Hanaway, MD, describes why and how he evaluates stress for patients with hormonal concerns:

Patrick Hanaway, MD, describes his approach to assessing psychosocial factors and understanding how they impact hormonal balance.

Understanding the biochemistry of hormone synthesis can guide you in knowing when to test for hormone deficiencies and what treatments are best to help patients deal with hormone-related dysfunction.

Register for the Hormone APM


  1. American Psychological Association. Stress in America: the impact of discrimination. Stress in America Survey. Published March 10, 2016. Accessed January 24, 2017.

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