Hormone Replacement Therapy HRT
Hormone imbalance is inevitable. If like many Americans you are under a lot of stress, which will lead to hormone imbalance. One of the hallmarks of getting older is a decline in hormone levels and thus imbalance of hormones. Production of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, DHEA, melatonin, and other hormones tapers off after we reach our 20s and 30s. Age-related hormonal deficiencies contribute to the signs and symptoms of aging. In women, the decline in hormone levels may be easier to notice due to hot flashes or increased premenstrual symptoms. In men, it can be more subtle and easier to dismiss as just a normal part of aging. That is why it is important to consider evaluating your hormone levels as part of your health evaluation.
Hormones are powerful chemicals that help regulate many biological functions. They work like a symphony so they need to be in balance. The imbalances that often occur due to stress, age, disease, or medications can be measured then treated to achieve healthier balance of hormones. Recent research and studies suggest that balancing hormones (using bio-identical hormones) may help slow down aging and keep you on track for long-term health and wellness.
Synthetic vs. Natural Hormone Replacement
Synthetic hormones that are often still used in conventional medicine are foreign chemicals with many serious side effects. The Women’s Health Initiative Program, a large research study on synthetic estrogen and progestins (synthetic progesterone-like) was halted three years early due to an increased risk of breast cancer and heart attacks. The obvious option is to use the same hormones that the body makes: bio-identical hormones.Bio-identical hormones are synthesized to be structurally identical to their natural counterparts. For these reasons, bio-identical hormones potentially offer the safest, most natural options for those undergoing hormone replacement therapies.
It should be noted that 90% of postmenopausal women who develop breast cancer have never had any hormone replacement. In her book, HRT: The Answers, Pam Smith,MD writes that prescription natural hormone therapy may actually decrease your risk of developing cancer.
Our Personalized Approach to Bio-identical Hormone Replacement
Each person is unique and how you respond to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is uniquely you and based on genetics, stress, and nutrition as well as health status. Assessment begins with a comprehensive history and physical and includes appropriate blood test as well as saliva test to measure your hormones. Based on history and test results, a prescription is written for the hormones indicated to be made up by a compounding pharmacist.
Conditions where Bio-identical Hormones may be helpful:
This is one of the more common conditions for which hormone replacement is considered. During menopause, ovarian function ceases, depriving the body of estrogen and progesterone, both of which are vital for helping balance many aspects of physical, mental, and sexual health. Estrogen replacement therapies are intended to alleviate many of the common symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood disturbances, and the atrophy of uterine and vaginal tissues. In addition, the supplementation of estrogen and progesterone can help ward off heart disease, osteoporosis and reduce risk of Alzheimer Disease. These treatments not only extend a woman’s life, but improve the quality of her health and well-being during the later years. Progesterone must be given along with Estrogen to maintain a healthy balance.
PMS Premenstrual Syndrome
HRT can also be quite helpful in reducing the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). As progesterone and estrogen levels fluctuate, low progesterone relative to estrogen or “estrogen dominance” presents as numerous PMS symptoms just before the menses. Common symptoms of PMS are irritability, menstrual cramps, anxiety, depression, mood swings, headache, acne, breast tenderness, and other discomforts. Many of these PMS symptoms may be relieved through nutritional modification or herbal remedies, use of progesterone can be very effective.
Testosterone for Women
Healthy women naturally produce small amounts in the ovaries. It helps control a women’s libido and also may be known to enhance the functions of estrogen. Testosterone for women is usually bio-identical, given in a cream applied to skin. Benefits include:
Enhancement of sexual drive
Relief of menopausal symptoms
Restoration of energy
Strengthening of bone
In men, levels of the hormone testosterone naturally begin to decline after age forty. Unlike with menopause in women, production of this sex hormone does continue, but some men experience noticeable changes in their more masculine traits. Beard growth, muscle tone, and libido may all become reduced. The perceived loss of virility, as well as reduction in testosterone, can lead to anxiety, self-consciousness, and other emotional symptoms. Levels of free testosterone can be measured in the blood. If needed, testosterone for men can be given as a cream or injection.
Some of the benefits of testosterone replacement in men include:
Increased libido and sexual function
Decreased body fat
Insulin is normally secreted by the pancreas to help get blood sugar into the cells. Due to increased consumption of sugar and carbs (bread, rice, pasta) many people become glucose intolerant. The high carb diet leads to insulin resistance; the insulin is there but is not effective. Insulin resistance responds well to exercise and a low carb diet. If necessary, insulin may be used to better control the blood sugars. Diabetes typically results from a lack of insulin secretion from the pancreas (Type 1) or insulin resistance (type 2) of the cell receptors. There are numerous medications to help manage elevated blood sugar, but there efficacy is limited, and there are side effects. For most diabetics, supplementation with insulin is a routine part of treating and managing their condition. The cure for diabetes is in lifestyle; low carb, low sugar diet and increased exercise to make your insulin work better.