Estrogen decrease over our lifetime is a natural process of aging as we approach peri-menopause and enter menopause. Although a natural process, decreasing levels of estrogen can have less than desirable side effects, most importantly its effects on cardiovascular disease. Low estrogen in menopause leads to:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Muscle Weakness/Fatigue
- Insomnia/Foggy Thinking
- Weight Gain
- Decreased collagen/skin thickness
- Decreased libido/vaginal dryness
CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN WOMEN. It is important to have a comprehensive health workup when considering hormone replacement therapy. Creating complete health and balance in your life by fully evaluating cardiovascular health and risks, thyroid and adrenal function, breast/ovarian related cancers as well as dietary and lifestyle influences will ensure safe use of BHRT and the full benefit of anti-aging therapies. BHRT is most beneficial for women entering perimenopause and early menopause as the cardiovascular risks will be most reduced at this phase of life. Starting BHRT after the age of 65-70 years old is not recommended on the basis of increasing risk of stroke.
What is Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Bioidentical hormones are made from natural soy or yam components that are synthesized to be identical to the hormones that are made in your body. Bioidentical hormone therapy is specifically created by a compounding pharmacy for your individual needs determined from thorough hormone testing. Proper estrogen and progesterone ratios can then be reestablished as well as uncovering testosterone, cortisol, and DHEA imbalances. Bioidentical hormones are used together with naturopathic therapeutics, exercise and nutritional therapies to increase health and vitality.
Who Needs BHRT?
Pre-menopausal women that are regularly cycling may have symptoms indicating hormone imbalance. Symptoms may include:
· PMS(mood changes, acne, breast tenderness, painful cycles and irregular menses)
Peri-menopausal woman will start to have changes in their menstrual cycle commonly skipping monthly cycles as the hormone levels start to decrease. Women with chronic illness, depletion, adrenal fatigue and long term use of oral contraceptives tend to notice peri-menopausal changes earlier than other women. The average woman enters perimenopause at 45 years old. Symptoms may include those above as well as:
- Hot flashes
- Short term memory loss
- Heart palpitations
- Decreased sex drive
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
Woman that have entered menopause have not had a single menstrual cycle for an entire year. This symbolizes a drop in hormones that has consistently remained low over time unable to stimulate a menstrual cycle. Symptoms generally include the above mentioned as well as increased RISK FOR:
· Cardiovascular disease
· Collagen changes and increased infection
Naturopathic Treatment Plan and Assessment includes:
- Salivary hormone testing to determine the actual hormone levels
- fasting blood work to assess nutrient levels, thyroid and adrenal function
- hormone balancing with customized herbal formulas specific to your condition
- medical nutrition assessment
- exercise protocols
- homeopathic medicine
- intramuscular vitamin injections
- natural hormone replacement if necessary