Menopause - As We Women Age
As you get older, and especially when you approach menopause or even perimenopause, symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats become more common. You may also find you have trouble getting a good night’s sleep, and become prone to putting on weight. This is because with menopause and perimenopause, you start making less estrogen, and even less progesterone. Your adrenal glands then try to compensate. Your hormone profile is changed, as is the individual you used to be. This also sets the stage for the diseases to which you may be genetically predisposed to, as well as many other chronic and serious health problems.
Menopause and the natural degeneration of health is an inevitable part of life. The good news is that correctly administered BHRT can restore your health to levels enjoyed decades earlier. You can beat the consequences of hormone imbalance and allow your body to function in harmony. You may be told it’s not normal to retain your health and function, in the later decades of life. The same sources will acknowledge that it is normal to be taking multiple prescription medications, and will happily prescribe them!
Women dread the thought of Menopause. Not only are they afraid of the distressing symptoms that accompany Menopause, the thought of becoming frumpy and senile is a huge threat to self-esteem. It is exciting how finally all of this can be safely bypassed by correct BHRT. After working hard for decades, it’s time to truly celebrate your age.
BHRT reduces the chance of becoming pregnant just the way birth control pills do, but without the harmful risks. Many women report that their libido is restored with BHRT. Balanced Estrogen restores vaginal tissue integrity, while balanced Progesterone does the rest.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can help dramatically in countless ways. The treatment uses the exact same hormones as your body used to make, so your hormone balance is restored. Estradiol should only be replaced topically. Estradiol taken by mouth has been shown to increase the risk of blood clots; this is due to how the liver responds to certain medication taken my mouth. Estradiol applied on the skin does not have the same risk of blood clots as it does if taken by mouth. It is preferable that Progesterone be applied on the skin. If taken by mouth, it can convert to many other steroid hormones before actually reaching the blood. Applying Estradiol and Progesterone topically allows greater control in reproducing the natural female cycle of hormone production.
Every hormone exists in nature in some mixture. For example, Estradiol exists in soy along with numerous other chemicals. Therefore taking soy is definitely not the same as taking Estradiol, which has been carefully purified in FDA regulated facilities, meeting USP standards of quality control. It is important that the final purified hormone is chemically pure meeting USP standards.
"There are many ways to take hormones into your body. But your body only makes them one way." — Dr. Selma
What is Menopause?
Officially, it's the time when a woman has had no period for about one year. It usually occurs around the age of 51, although it can actually be many years before or after this. What's happening in your body is that it is producing fewer fertility hormones — Estrogen and Progesterone. This is the root cause of the symptoms and changes that accompany the onset of Menopause. Perimenopause starts about ten years before menopause. During Perimenopause a woman usually has regular periods, but changes are already taking place.
- Hot flashes - These can occur any time of day, and come without much of a warning. Sometimes it can be very embarrassing, even though those around you can't really tell, you are happy to stand out in sub zero temperature or find relief in a freezer.
- Night sweats - Excess sweating at night, with night cloths and bed covers drenching in sweat, and intervals of feeling appropriately cold. Sleep partners witness the throwing off of bed covers, restlessness and abnormally low thermostat settings. It is the number one cause of poor sleep and waking up tired.
- Loss of libido - 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. In fact, it's one of the commonest female problems, almost always due to loss of hormone balance.
- Mood swings - Every woman knows when she is irrational from hormone imbalance. She has no control over it. Shouting and screaming at loved ones, road rage, overreacting to minor incidences, and the guilt can be overwhelming. It’s purely hormonal and completely resolved with correct hormone balance.
- Depression and anxiety - Without an obvious cause, these symptoms are usually due to hormone imbalance, especially when the onset is at Perimenopause or Menopause. Men and Women both become more prone to these symptoms with hormone decline. The obvious step is to evaluate hormone imbalance, not a trial of antidepressants.
- Vaginal dryness is directly related to a decline in Estrogen. This problem can easily be resolved with correct hormone replacement.
- Loss of energy - Estradiol and Progesterone interact with every other hormone in the body, including key hormones such as Insulin, Thyroid hormone and the steroid hormones of the Adrenal glands. Decreasing levels of Estradiol and Progesterone affect the body in many ways, which contribute to loss of energy. Many women report regaining the energy to exercise once hormone balance is restored.
- Difficulty losing weight - Weight maintenance becomes challenging at Perimenopause. Women have to exercise more and eat less to stay the same size. At menopause the challenge intensifies. Restoring Estradiol and Progesterone balance helps lose and maintain weight with a healthy diet and exercise regimen.
- Insomnia - Lack of deep, restful sleep is very common in late Perimenopause and Menopause. The symptoms intensify with declining hormone levels and also vary among women. Lack of proper sleep has detrimental long-term effects on health. In the short term too, lack of proper sleep interferes with mood, energy, productivity and mental health.
- Uterine dysfunction - Estrogen and Progesterone balance is critical for uterine heath. Many women have dysfunctional uterine function since their teens and 20’s, with progressive debilitating symptoms requiring a hysterectomy. Uterine dysfunction stems from the ovaries not producing Estradiol and Progesterone in the correct balance.
- Decline in memory - Estradiol has a critical and powerful effect on maintenance of brain function. Neurons, which are cells of the nervous system and brain, depend on Estradiol for optimal function. Senile dementia, “foggy brain” and memory decline are directly related to a decline in Estradiol.
- Muscle weakness - Muscle cells are unique and have a complex mechanism; they require more energy than most other cells. Lack of Estradiol contributes to lack of muscle health. By correcting the balance of Estradiol and Progesterone, maintaining muscle mass becomes easier.
- Dry skin - Estradiol and Progesterone help maintain proper skin integrity. Dry, itchy skin is very common amongst women at Menopause. Estradiol and Progesterone balance contributes to healthy skin. Women regain a youthful glow to their skin after Estradiol and Progesterone balance is restored.
- Poor concentration - This is directly related to diminishing brain function. As we age, the brain starts to loose volume. Estradiol and Progesterone balance critically contribute to maintaining healthy brain function and concentration.
- Irritability - Irritability is damaging to the self and those around you. Every woman is aware of when she is irritable. She may not want to acknowledge it, and usually doesn’t until it starts to interfere with interpersonal relationships. By far the most common cause of irritability in women is hormone imbalance. Irritability can be easily resolved by correctly balancing hormones.
- Anxiety - In certain situations some level of anxiety is natural and positive. However, excessive anxiety without a justifiable cause is mentally consuming and debilitating. Anxiety is a common occurrence with hormone imbalance. Although many factors contribute to anxiety, hormone imbalance should definitely not be ruled out, as this is the easiest and safest one to treat.
- Osteoporosis - Estradiol is directly involved in maintaining the integrity of bone structure. Decreasing Estradiol levels results in Osteopenia and Osteoporosis, which are degrees of bone weakness and result in an increased risk of fractures. There are about 1.5 million fractures every year in the US. Osteopenia and Osteoporosis result in loss of height and vertebral compression. Back and joint pain with aging is a normal result of bone degeneration. When addressing Osteopenia and Osteoporosis, hormone balance, specifically Estradiol should be the foremost consideration, not prescription drugs.