Bioidentical Hormones for Menopause and Perimenopause
Menopause – Generally occurs between age 40-55 after the ceasing of mentstrual cycles.
Peri-menopause – The years preceding menopause when hormone levels decline.
Peri-menopause and Menopause
During peri-menopause there is a decline in the estrogens, progesterone, and testosterone. Declining levels of thyroid hormone and DHEA also have significant effects on the aging of women. Hormonal changes can begin as early as the mid to late thirties such as the following:
Decline in the hormone progesterone – This can lead to migraine headaches, water retention, insomnia, weight gain, and depression. This leaves a woman with estrogen dominance and places her at an increased risk for female cancers.
Decline in the hormone estradiol – leads to menopause symptoms, such as night sweats, hot flashes, memory lapses, thinning skin and hair, reduced sex drive, and an increased risk for heart disease and bone loss occurs.
Menopause also leads to a decline in a woman’s testosterone, which causes a decrease in lean body mass and libido. Testosterone levels should also be measured and replacement testosterone given, if indicated.
Women listen to your bodies and gain knowledge to “understand what you hear”. Then partner with your physician in making informed decisions on your health. For example, the decision to use bio-identical hormones (identical in molecular structure to those produced in the human body) rather than the patented synthetics from non-humans such as Premarin and Provera.
Remember — Progesterone is only called progesterone. Synthetic preparations such as Provera, progestins, medroxyprogesterone, etc. are not the same. Evidence shows that progestins are harmful to women and should be avoided. They can lead to increase risk of heart attack and stroke.
The Importance of Hormonal Supplementation – YOUR MEMORY! Once a woman is fully in menopause, she may no longer experience the symptoms, but the absence of the proper hormonal levels will continue to age the body at a faster rate. One important reason for hormonal supplementation is to protect a woman’s memory. There is a much higher incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease and senile dementia in those women who do not receive hormonal therapy.
The Estrogen Family
There are three different estrogens produced in the human body: Estradiol, Estriol, and Estrone.
Estradiol: The strongest; often cited as contributing to breast and uterine cancer. Produced by the ovaries, declines at menopause.
Estriol: The weakest estrogen; called the “forgotten estrogen”; felt to protect a woman from female cancers; rises to high levels during pregnancy and is a wonderful anti-inflammatory.
Estrone: The only estrogen that continues to be produced after menopause; produced in the body fat; felt to be associated with breast and uterine cancer, since there is a high associated between body fat and breast cancer and because the risk increases after menopause.
Bio-Identical Hormone replacement is usually with estriol (80%) and estradiol (20%) and NO ESTRONE.
Benefits of Bioidentical Hormones in Women:
- Helps restore optimal hormonal balance to the body
- Menopause symptoms may go away
- Helps restore bone density and reduces the risk of Osteoporosis
- Reduces vaginal dryness
- Helps eliminate hot flashes
- May help improve sleep patterns
- May help reduce the risk of heart disease
- Supports muscle strength and maintenance
- May help improve memory and concentration
- May help slow down the aging process overall
- May help improve healthy cholesterol levels
- May help enhance sex drive and libido
- Can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s
- Helps reduce night sweats
- Helps restore normal sleep patterns
- Provides balanced state for healthy fat-burning due to increased lean muscle mass
- May increases stamina, energy and endurance
- May help protect against Fibrocystic Breasts
- May help reduce endometrial and breast cancer
- May help with Depression
- Helps improve blood flow
- May help decrease inflammation and joint pain
- May help improve skin elasticity
- May help normalize blood sugar levels
- Supports immune function
- May help increase productivity and creativity in personal life