Stay Young, Improve Your Mood, and Be Vibrant
Menopause is defined as a stage in life when a woman stops having her monthly period for more than one year. Menopause typically occurs in a woman’s late 40s to early 50s. This can also occur in women who have their ovaries surgically removed or lack sufficient reproductive hormones due to an underlying medical condition. Just as andropause is a hormone-deficient states cause by testosterone dropping to subnormal levels in males, the same standard of care should be applied to the treatment of menopause in females.
The menopausal stage in a woman’s life puts her body in flux in various ways due to hormone imbalances. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is an effective solution for alleviating perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms with minimal adverse effects. The benefits of optimizing your hormones are well researched and known.
Many women have been apprehensive to use bioidentical hormones by the results of studies done using synthetic hormones from pregnant horse urine. Because of the results of a large scale study (the Women’s Health Initiative) that looked only at synthetic hormones, many women will never receive the benefits of bioidentical hormones. Although some risks may be in involved in the use of bioidentical hormones, there is definite known risk involved if you do not balance your hormones. When using the right delivery methods at the right dose, bioidentical hormones are not only safe; it is beneficial in many ways.
Baseline hormone levels are ordered at your initial visit. You will then be given an individualized prescription of BHRT based on your symptoms and test results. Symptom resolution is not immediate. It can take anywhere from 3-9 months until patients feel like they have the perfect fit. There are many different preparations of BHRT (topical creams, vaginal inserts, and pills). Some women respond to one form better than another.
Perimenopause and menopause can be a sensitive time for many women, and it becomes particularly important to build up a good self-care practice to get you through times that are emotionally difficult. Do things that you enjoy such as hobbies that nurture your creative side, long walks in nature, and spending time with good friends. And always make sure to seek out professional help if you need it. At Alpha Hormones, we individualize BHRT to every women’s needs.
Loss of estrogen in menopause causes many symptoms and metabolic changes. Estradiol has about 400 functions that are important to maintaining good health. It helps bones and teeth, and increases serotonin levels, improving mood. It maintains collagen in the skin, decrease itchy skin, dry hair, wrinkles, and tooth loss. It decreases risk of Alzheimer’s, improves blood flow, reduces blood pressure, and lowers inflammation. Topical bioidentical estrogen (Bi-Est) consists of two estrogens: estradiol and estriol. It’s derived from plant substrates. BiEst is available in different strengths and can be customized by the compounding pharmacist under the direction of the ordering physician. It is used to relieve menopausal symptoms and prevent osteoporosis.
Like estrogen, progesterone levels decline as we age. Progesterone helps balance estrogen. It protects against breast cancer, builds strong bones, decreases fluid retention, helps maintain normal blood sugar levels, assists in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and promotes sleep. It’s usually taken with topical estrogen as an oral or topical form.
Women have testosterone too. It helps with libido tremendously. All testosterone delivery systems are bioidentical. That means the molecule is exactly the same as the the one your body makes. For example, injectable testosterone has an ester attached, usually cypionate. This ester hydrolyzes in the serums to become bioidentical testosterone with a longer duration of action. Unlike men, testosterone is produced by the ovaries in women. Like estrogen, testosterone levels are lower in women going through menopause. Symptoms of low testosterone levels in women include fatigue, low muscle tone, weight gain, decrease libido, and loss of mental focus.
Your doctor may check your DHEA-S to measure your DHEA level. DHEA is made by the adrenal glands with a small amount being made by the brain and skin. . DHEA makes estrogen and testosterone. DHEA production also declines with age starting in the late twenties. By the age of 70, the body only makes about one-fourth of the mount it made earlier. Furthermore, DHEA levels change if the patient is stressed long-term. When the patient is first stressed, DHEA levels increased. Overtime, if the patient remains stressed, DHEA levels become low.
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