Hormone Therapy

Your Path to Hormonal Balance

Millions of women suffer from  hormonal imbalance; whether it is perimenopause or menopause, weight gain, adrenal fatigue, or premenstrual syndrome (PMS).  In fact, perimenopause, menopause, and PMS are some of the most common conditions that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is used to treat. Menopause can be uneventful and asymptomatic for some, but for others this transition can be very dramatic and accompanied by unpleasant symptoms.  In many cases, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is the solution to not only ease uncomfortable symptoms, but to decrease health risks associated with declining hormones.  Hormonal imbalances contribute to increased risk of heart disease, blood-sugar disorders, forgetfulness, weak bones, lack of energy, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and under active thyroid gland.

Declines in hormones are not limited to women, as males experience what is known as male menopause or andropause, which is a lowering of testosterone levels.  Symptoms include fatigue, loss of motivation, irritability, depression, loss of muscle, and loss of interest in sex.

 

How to Tell If Your Hormones are Imbalanced?

Some of the more obvious signs of hormonal imbalance may include hot flashes, irregular or lack of menstrual cycle, low energy, insomnia, mental fogginess, pain with sexual intercourse, irritability, and weight gain. More subtle changes may go unnoticed or underappreciated such as low libido, depression, loss of motivation, bone loss, urinary incontinence, vaginal dryness, inability to manage stress and fibrocystic breast changes.  These presentations are well treated with BHRT.

 

What is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Bioidentical hormones are modified from wild yam or soy to become biologically identical to human hormones.  This means that their molecular structure is  identical to the hormones made in the body.  Conventional hormones like Premarin and Prempro are not identical in structure to human hormones and are made from a blend of hormones from the urine of pregnant horses.

 

Benefits of BHRT

Since there are hormone receptors on most tissues of the body, bio-identical hormones can help a wide range of symptoms. Some of the benefits include regulating the menstrual cycle, improving breast and bone health, improving libido, cognition, sleep and even mood. Some other benefits include increasing muscle strength, skin elasticity, protecting and supporting cardiovascular health, bone density and overall well-being.  Bioidentical hormone replacement therapies are customized to each individual and may include:

Estrogens– Appropriate combinations of Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2), and Estriol (E3) to help relieve common menopausal symptoms such as mood, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and osteoporosis.

Testosterone– Usually prescribed with natural estrogen and progesterone to improve energy, mood, and to improve sexual desire and bone health.

Progesterone– Most often used in combination with natural estrogen to help resolve symptoms of menopause such as night sweats and insomnia.

Dehydroepiandroesterone (DHEA)– This precursor hormone declines in many age-related conditions and autoimmunity. It helps improve memory, increases relaxation and the ability to handle stress.

Cortisol– Most important hormone for combating chronic stress, fatigue and inflammation.

Hormones can be administered as a cream, capsule, troche, lozenge, gel, suppository or sublingual tablet and depend on your needs and the best delivery method of the hormone.  

 

What Hormones will I be Prescribed?

Your bioidentical hormone prescription is based on your symptom picture, and when necessary, laboratory findings.  To determine your hormonal needs, symptoms are reviewed during a detailed medical history and examination.  We will then initiate a comprehensive hormone support strategy that may include BHRT.  An appropriate low dose is started and then safely titrated up as needed.  

 

How to make the most of Hormonal Therapy?

For the best results, bioidentical hormones are supported with nutrition, botanical medicines, and supplementation.   A comprehensive, Naturopathic approach addresses the underlying hormone imbalances to resolve symptoms faster and encourage results with lower, safer dosages.  In some cases, the proper use of botanicals, nutrition, and supplementation can even restore balance without hormones.  For the best results, hormone imbalances should not be addressed with hormone replacement alone.  

 

What about Hormone Testing?

Initiating hormone therapy to post-menopausal women can be safely done without hormone testing.  However, testing may be valuable for perimenopausal or menstruating women.  For monitoring purposes, symptom tracking alone may be all that’s needed when using safe and standard dosing ranges.  When necessary, diagnostic testing with saliva, urine, or blood may be used to determine your hormone levels and need for further adjustments.  Internet acquired testing kits can give inaccurate results due to collection limitations and questionable scientific methods. This may bring undue stress and may encourage self-medicating. 

 

Optimizing Hormone Success 

Follow-up visits to track symptoms, and when appropriate, testing to confirm optimal balance of hormones can help insure symptom control and the best outcome. 

If you find yourself with unexplained mood changes, are tired, averse to intimacy, lack motivation to participate in once enjoyable activities; you may have hormonal imbalances.  If you’re suffering from mental fogginess, have difficulty sleeping, aren’t feeling comfortable in your own skin, have weight gain or vaginal dryness, you maybe be suffering from undiagnosed hormonal imbalance.  With an in-depth history and comprehensive laboratory testing, you can discover if bioidentical hormones are part of your solution to getting you healthy, happy, and poised to prevent future disease.  Call us at 909-981-9200 to be on your way to a renewed and improved you.