Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in Chicago

Dr. Selma Rashid’s bioidentical hormone replacement program has been life-changing for hundreds of women in Chicago. Indeed, her scientific approach at the Anti-Aging Medical Group has made her one of the leading hormone replacement doctors in the entire Chicago area.

At the Anti-Aging Medical Group, Dr. Selma treats each woman individually, with the highest standards of treatment and care. Her initial goal is for her patients to understand what the primary causes of menopause and perimenopause are, and what choices they have. Dr. Selma understands their difficulty in finding a physician who not only understands hormone balance and the latest medical data, but also helps patients understand what they are going through. While most hormone regimens will alleviate many of the annoying symptoms of menopause, Dr. Selma uses a simple, logical approach which replaces hormones in the best possible way by using the ovarian cycle of production. By doing this, the many other hormone systems of the body also function better.

Bioidentical hormones for menopause and perimenopause

To be herself, a woman is dependent on her ovarian hormones (estrogen and progesterone). Indeed, the very essence of being a woman is dependent on a well-balanced ovarian system.

Sadly, nature has planned it so that ovarian hormones start declining about 10-15 years before menopause. At menopause, they are essentially gone. In addition to the many unpleasant symptoms, aging also accelerates after this time.

This is normal, and many women are told by their physicians to prepare to experience a multitude of physical and mental issues attributed to the aging process. It is also common to be prescribed sleep aids, antidepressants and multiple other medications to address these symptoms. Many people seek aid from alternative medicine including naturopaths, chiropractors and acupuncturists. Others just elect to age "naturally" and don't do anything.

In truth, correctly prescribed bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is the only sound way to recapture your health in a simple, biological way. The accurate replacement of estrogen and progesterone can dramatically restore your wellbeing.

What is menopause?

Menopause is an inevitable part of life. Accordingly, it is important for every woman to understand what her body will be going through and what her options are.

Menopause is an arbitrary term, and refers to when a woman reaches the end of her reproductive years and has no period for one year. The average age of menopause is 51. Women can also have premature menopause, when the menstrual cycle ends permanently much sooner than the expected time.

About 10 years prior to menopause, the ovarian hormones, estrogen (specifically estradiol) and progesterone start to decline. Commonly, levels of progesterone decline more than those of estradiol. This stage of life is called perimenopause. Some people also refer to this as estrogen dominance, although it is actually just hormone imbalance resulting from not having enough progesterone in the second half of the menstrual cycle to balance the amount of estradiol produced in the first half. Symptoms are the usual complaints of PMS.

If you are going through menopause or perimenopause, you will experience either or all of these symptoms:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats - Symptoms can vary from a mild feeling of warmth to drenching sweat and extreme body heat. These can occur any time of day or night and come without much of a warning. Some women have hot flashes or night sweats for a brief period, while others can suffer for over 10 years. In either case, the body continues to age fast, as the crucial hormones of youth are lost. Although many women go through menopause without ever having hot flashes or night sweats, every woman has accelerated aging after the loss of estradiol and progesterone. Dr. Selma has stated that women who have symptoms of hot flashes or night sweats are fortunate as they are forced by their misery to look for solutions which will also benefit them in many other ways.
  • Loss of libido - Libido is a sign of good health and balance, yet it's been estimated that up to 43% of women in the USA may suffer from a loss of libido, also known as female sexual arousal disorder or FSAD. It's one of the commonest female problems, almost always due to loss of hormone balance. In short, loss of libido is an inevitable consequence of estradiol and progesterone loss. Fortunately, by replacing estradiol and progesterone in the ovarian rhythm most women can naturally regain their libido. The main hormone responsible for libido is testosterone, and Dr. Selma’s approach to hormone replacement allows the body to produce testosterone naturally from the adrenal glands in response to correct levels of estradiol and progesterone. The success of naturally regaining your libido is directly dependant on the health of the adrenal glands, which in turn depends on several factors including ovarian hormone balance.
  • Mood swings, depression and anxiety - Mostly, a woman knows when she is being irrational due to hormone imbalance but she has no control over it. Shouting and screaming at loved ones, road rage and overreacting to minor incidents are all symptoms and the guilt can be overwhelming. These symptoms are usually due to hormone imbalance, especially when their onset is accompanied by perimenopause or menopause. Both men and women become more prone to these symptoms with hormone decline. Most doctors in Chicago and beyond are still prescribing antidepressants. However, the issue can be resolved by simply restoring the correct balance of estradiol and progesterone. Dr. Selma stresses that your body will tell you when it’s not in balance, and your job then is to find a knowledgeable physician who can help you regain this balance rather than resorting to unnatural and potentially harmful quick fixes.
  • Vaginal dryness - This is a direct result of low estrogen, and the most efficient way to resolve it is to replenish the body with enough estradiol. Your body is genetically programmed to convert some of the estradiol to estriol, which will resolve vaginal dryness. Being in the correct ranges of estradiol also brings other benefits. For example, with the correct levels and rhythm of estradiol and progesterone the adrenal glands can naturally produce testosterone, thus regaining libido. Hormone replacement therapy for women at the Anti-Aging Medical Group addresses every aspect of hormone imbalance, using the most sophisticated bioidentical hormone replacement therapy available.
  • Estradiol and progesterone - the key elements of hormonal balance - At the Anti-Aging Medical Group Dr. Selma always ensures that her patients understand how correct estradiol and progesterone levels affect the balance and function of the various other hormones in their bodies, including gut, insulin, growth and thyroid hormones. She also emphasises how the natural fluctuation of estradiol and progesterone allows a greater level of overall health and well-being. At the Anti-Aging Medical Group, our greatest achievement is when patients feel they are so balanced and “normal” that they don’t need to visit us any more!
  • Decreasing levels of estradiol and progesterone affect the body in many ways:

  • Difficulty losing weight- The adrenal glands “realize” that health is not optimum when the balance of estradiol and progesterone is lost. Without adequate estradiol and progesterone, they compensate by producing unwelcome steroid hormones. These benefit survival but not weight loss. When every bite you eat seems to turn into fat, and regardless of how much you exercise not a pound or inch is shed, you can at least be assured your adrenal glands are trying to keep you alive!
  • Loss of energy - Lack of estradiol contributes to loss of energy through many different mechanisms.
  • Decline in brain function, memory loss and poor concentration - The brain cannot function to its full capacity without sufficient estradiol. Throughout life, women and men maintain a certain amount of estradiol to maintain essential brain functions. Senile dementia, “brain fog” and memory decline are all directly related to a decline in estradiol levels.
  • Muscle weakness - Muscle cells are unique and complex, so much so that they require more energy than most other cells. Lack of estradiol contributes to lack of muscle health, although by correcting the balance of this hormone and also progesterone it becomes easier to maintain muscle mass.
  • Dry skin - Dry, itchy skin is very common among women at menopause, but estradiol and progesterone can help maintain healthy skin. Indeed, women regain a youthful glow to their skin after the balance is restored.
  • Osteoporosis - Estradiol is directly involved in maintaining the integrity of bone structure. Decreasing levels may result in osteopenia and osteoporosis, degrees of bone weakness which carry an increased risk of fractures. These conditions also result in loss of height and vertebral compression. The onset of back and joint pain with aging is a normal result of bone degeneration too. Hormone balance, specifically estradiol, should be the foremost consideration when addressing osteopenia and osteoporosis, not prescription drugs.

In all these cases, the Anti-Aging Medical Group in the Chicago area uses a simple but scientific approach to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Patients are under the direct supervision of Dr. Selma, who fully appreciates the difficulties women face when trying to deal with this difficult period in their lives. She takes the time to help you understand the various aspects of bioidentical hormone replacement, as well as other available options. It means you can always make a sound, informed decision.

‘There are many ways to take hormones into your body. But your body only makes them one way.’ — Dr. Selma

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