The Top 5 Questions About HRT Answered

hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Traditional HRT uses synthetic hormones, while BHRT replenishes the body’s hormone levels using natural hormones derived rom plants that have chemical structures identical to those produced by the body.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) was once routinely prescribed for treating menopausal symptoms and to lessen the risks of osteoporosis and heart disease. Research in 2002 raised a loud debate over the benefits and risks of this treatment.

The good news is the availablility of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). While both HRT and BHRT have similar goals, they differ in the types of the hormones used and how these hormones are produced.

Here are the answers to five of the biggest questions women have about hormone replacement therapy:

 

1. Why is hormone replacement therapy necessary?

When women experience menopause, the amounts of estrogen and progesterone the body produces are sharply diminished. That can cause unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and disturbed sleep. Menopause can also lead to bone loss and osteoporosis.

2. How does HRT work?

Traditional HRT uses synthetic hormones, while BHRT replenishes the body’s hormone levels using natural hormones derived from plants that have chemical structures identical to those produced by the body, thus increasing the likelihood of successful treatment.

3. How long does the treatment last?

Treatment can begin as soon as menopausal symptoms arise. It should be prescribed at a minimal dose for a minimal amount of time. However, some cases may require treatment for several years. Duration of the treatments can be reduced with a comprehensive plan which includes lifestyle changes.

4. How is hormone replacement therapy administered?

BHRT dosage is measured for each individual’s hormonal needs and is monitored on a regular basis. It is offered in various forms including pills, suppositories, or as a cream.

5. How soon will I feel positive effects from the treatment?

Predicting exactly how long it will take to recover from a hormone imbalance is difficult. You may feel better within a few days, however, the absorption rate of the hormones will determine healing time. Combining BHRT with supplements and healthy lifestyle choices can improve symptoms and lead to faster healing.

 

For more information about menopause and BHRT options that may work for you, please contact me.

Debunking The Myth That BHRT Alone Is The Answer To Balancing Hormones

The myth that BHRT alone is the answer to balancing hormones
Our bodies have a wonderful ability to heal themselves.

More and more women are turning to bioidentical hormonal replacement therapy (BHRT) as a way to rebalance their hormones and increase their quality of life. As a safer and more natural alternative to oestrogen and progestogen compounds distributed by pharmaceutical companies, plant-derived BHRT is enhancing women’s sex drives, slowing the natural aging process, and even preventing cancer with no known risks or side effects.

For some women, it sounds like too much of a good thing. The myth that BHRT alone is the answer to balancing hormones is not so dangerous as it is misleading. For women who are suffering menopause or hormonal imbalances, BHRT may be life changing. But the source of true and lasting health begins with a holistic approach that heals and empowers the mind, the body, and the spirit.

The Holistic Approach

Our bodies have a wonderful ability to heal themselves. The system laid out by mother nature may be the most effective medicine, and it is certainly the most natural. While BHRT may help many women suffering from symptoms of menopause and hormone imbalance, an inner approach to balancing your hormones provides your body with what it needs to repair itself naturally.

The proper diet, the necessary exercise, and refreshing sleep will support your endocrine system to heal, restore, and balance itself, allowing the body to naturally replace hormones and fix imbalances.

Stress And Sleep

This inner approach to health requires us to approach stress and sleep in a new way. Both play significant roles in our health and general well-being. Sleep, for example, is a necessary and essential component to health. Sleep does more than recharge your body. It revitalizes, and acts as the best antidote to fatigue and stress. But the quality of sleep is just as important as the quantity. As our volume of stress increases, our sleep is disturbed and our body loses balance.

This one vital component, when not provided sufficiently, can exacerbate a number of issues including hormonal imbalance. It also increases our stress levels, which deplete the body of critical energy needed to repair itself. As a result, many processes in the body become out of sync and hormone imbalances can occur. These imbalances then produce negative symptoms that affect our entire well-being and outlook on life.

Prevention As The Best Cure

Understanding the role of nutritional food, fitness, and proper sleep as a way to rebalance your hormones naturally and from the inside out is an important step towards improving your health and enriching your life.

Even if medicine can make miracles happen, it will never underestimate the value and need of a preventive and holistic approach. Support is always available to you. Please contact me for help in living well and for holistic, natural treatment options.

Natural Hormone-Balance Methods Can Help PCOS Symptoms

natural hormone balance
Reducing caffeine consumption and getting sufficient sleep each night are good ways to help your body better self-regulate its hormones, and get an energy boost.

If you suffer from PCOS, you already know that your hormones don’t function optimally. You may feel powerless, like there’s not much you can do about it. If you are experiencing hormone issues, does that mean it’s beyond your control?

Not necessarily. Natural hormone-balance methods can have a positive effect on your body, including the symptoms of PCOS. It will take some effort, but you can start making a difference in the way your body functions today. These are my top recommendations for naturally managing PCOS symptoms.

Limit your caffeine consumption. Caffeine is a stimulant chemical, and many people consume too much of it in an effort to keep themselves functioning at what they believe to be an optimal level. Unfortunately, at the same time, it’s wreaking havoc on your entire body. You don’t have to cut out caffeine entirely, and if you’re in the habit of consuming large amounts of it, you don’t want to cut it out all at once. Instead, cut down gradually: try herbal teas,  limit yourself to a couple of cups of coffee a day, and do your best to gradually decrease the amount of caffeine you’re consuming until you’re down to little or none.

Stick to a diet low in refined carbohydrates. A diet that is low in refined carbohydrates will regulate your blood sugar levels. This will lead to overall improved hormone regulation, as well as mood and energy-level lifts. You won’t experience quite as many highs and lows throughout the day, either, which means that going without that caffeine fix will be easier than you thought.

Exercise. It can be hard to fit thirty minutes of exercise into your day every day, but it doesn’t have to be all at once! Try fitting in smaller segments throughout the day: ten minutes before breakfast, fifteen minutes at lunch, and a little bit of exercise or a quick walk around the block before dinner. Try making exercise a fun part of your routine that you don’t want to miss: take a walk with your spouse or a friend every evening, go to the park, or take a class that you love. Exercise helps to regulate your insulin levels and keep weight off. Losing excess weight can cause your hormones to regulate more normally on their own, as well.

Get enough sleep each night. You may need between six and eight hours nightly according to your individual needs, so you have to learn what “enough sleep” means for you. If you need eight hours of sleep a night, make sure that you’re getting it! If you’re not getting enough sleep, everything about your body will be functioning at less than optimal levels, including your hormones. Sleeping more won’t automatically cure everything that ails you, but it will make your life a lot easier.

Natural methods won’t always cure all of your PCOS symptoms. Attempting to regulate your hormones naturally can make a great difference in the way you feel every day. If you would like to discuss natural treatments and hormone-balance therapies for your PCOS, please contact me.

Proper Thyroid Function Is Important For Hormonal Balance During Menopause

Thyroid problems are common during menopause. Over 20 percent of women experiencing menopause are diagnosed with thyroid issues. There appears to be a causal relationship between low thyroid levels (hypothyroidism) and oestrogen dominance. Regulation of thyroid hormones is important to balance sex hormones in menopause.

thyroid hormones to balance sex hormones in menopause
Maca is a tuber which stimulates the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, encouraging the production of hormones.

The thyroid regulates the metabolic systems which control many essential processes in the body, especially in terms of the production of sex hormones. Prior to menopause, oestrogen is counterbalanced with progesterone. However, after menopause, while oestrogen levels fluctuate and eventually decline, progesterone levels stop completely.

An excess of oestrogen, also called oestrogen dominance, prevents the body from metabolizing thyroid hormones sufficiently. Thus, even when the thyroid produces a normal amount of oestrogen, it is ineffectively processed by the body, which can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and hair loss.

Often women are given hormone replacement for decreased oestrogen levels, which can compound some thyroid problems. In turn, these women are given thyroid medicine –whether synthetic or natural — to counteract symptoms from disrupted thyroid function. However, this fails to correct oestrogen dominance. While alleviation of symptoms often occur initially, regulation of both hormones is often difficult because of fluctuations in oestrogen production.

One alternative solution that addresses the complex relationship between oestrogen and thyroid hormones is taking maca. It is a type of tuber which, when ingested in the form of a powder, stimulates the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to create hormones which affect the whole endocrine system. Maca encourages the body’s production of hormones rather than simply replacing them. This allows for better regulation and consistent relief from troublesome symptoms.

If you would like to learn more about how to maintain a proper hormonal balance, please contact me.

Questions About BHRT

You’ve decided that BHRT (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy) might be the right route for you, but you still have many questions about BHRT and its effect on your body. Below, find the answers to some of the most common questions:

What is the focus of BHRT?

The focus of a bioidentical hormone replacement therapy program is to restore the quality of life that a patient enjoyed prior to the onset of menopause. During menopause, a woman may experience a host of problems that range from uncomfortable to highly distressing. She may find herself moodier than usual, experiencing hot and cold flashes, dealing with night sweats and disturbed sleep, and struggling with vaginal dryness and uncomfortable intercourse. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy aims at balancing the levels of hormones within a woman’s body to help decrease those issues, so that she may return to living life the way she always has.

How do I take those hormones?

bhrt questions
The hormones found in BHRT are chemically identical to those produced by your body, so it’s a much more natural treatment than traditional HRT.

There are several methods you can use to take hormone therapy, and your doctor will work with you to choose the method that will work best for you. Replacement hormones can be delivered through creams, gels, tablets, skin patches, and sprays. Most often, hormone replacement therapy is delivered orally once per day. With a wide variety of choices, you’ll be able to find the method that will best fit into your lifestyle. The most important component of any bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is that the dosage and regimen are prescribed according to each individual patient’s specifics. Often, blood tests or saliva tests are performed to ensure that an optimal regimen is put in place.

How do I know this is safe?

While bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is still awaiting clinical trials that will help prove its safety, thus far, the evidence has pointed to the fact that it is safe. The hormones found in bioidentical hormone replacement therapies are chemically identical to those produced by your body, so it’s a much more natural treatment than traditional hormone replacement therapies.

How does it work?

As a woman enters menopause, whether naturally or surgically due to a hysterectomy, oestrogen production in the body slows. Hormone replacement therapy balances those hormones again so that the symptoms associated with menopause will be reduced or eliminated. The ultimate goal of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is to improve a woman’s quality of life.

Ready to get started? Do you still have questions? Please contact me to decide if BHRT is the right option for you.

What’s The Difference Between HRT And BHRT?

If you’re entering menopause or have experienced surgical menopause due to a hysterectomy, your doctor may have mentioned hormone replacement therapy (HRT). As a result, you have plenty of questions about HRT — and one of those questions is most likely about the differences between HRT (standard hormone replacement therapy) and BHRT (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy).

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy has three main attributes:

  • All the hormones used in the therapy are chemically identical to human hormones
  • Patients receive a dosage that has been selected individually, according to their specific needs
  • The goal is to achieve hormonal balance that will ultimately lead to improved quality of life for the patient
bhrt hrt
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) aims to improve the quality of life for women experiencing menopause.

The key facts here are that the hormones are identical to human hormones. There is no standard dose that is given to every woman. The goal is balance. Instead of aiming to replace hormone production, the aim is to improve a woman’s overall quality of life. The primary goal of traditional HRT, however, is simply the prevention of disease, with a potential side effect that the overall quality of life is improved (and the side effects in that case might not be worth the gain).

As oestrogen production in the body decreases, it creates a number of difficulties for women. Oestrogen in the body doesn’t just cause the lining of the uterus to thicken each month. It also aids the body in processing calcium and helps maintain vaginal health. The abrupt drop of oestrogen in the body with the onset of menopause can lead to hot or cold flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood changes, and sleep problems. For many years, HRT was seen as the obvious answer to these problems.

Then research came out that indicated that HRT was causing more problems than it solved. HRT dramatically increased the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, and blood clots. Immediately, many women decided that it wasn’t worth the risk.

Thankfully, BHRT is still a safe option. With bioidentical hormones, you aren’t putting anything in your body that wouldn’t be found there naturally. There’s some evidence that BHRT may even work to prevent several types of cancers and osteoporosis. Currently, however, there simply isn’t enough clinical research on the subject to be sure. That’s why BHRT isn’t marketed toward disease prevention: it aims to improve the quality of life for women experiencing menopause.

Do you have questions about BHRT? Please contact me for answers and individualized strategies.

The Truth About Hormone Imbalances

Say the word hormones and people are likely to imagine menopausal women. But the truth is that everyone is affected by hormones whether they realize it or not. Unfortunately, women affected by hormone imbalances suffer more personally than the people around them realize. A hormone imbalance often manifests serious symptoms that include fatigue, weight gain, insomnia, PMS, and even depression.

Why the negative connotation?

hormone imbalances
Hormonal imbalances can affect women of all ages.

For most women, pronounced changes in their hormones start in their 40s and 50s. However, many women show symptoms earlier in life, sometimes on account of lifestyle choices and diets, as well as from daily exposure to toxins, pollutions, and xenoestrogens.

The stereotypical portrayal of women with hormonal imbalances serves to encourage misunderstanding about an affliction which affects many different, yet important processes in the body.

What are hormones, then?

Hormones are the body’s natural chemical messengers. Hormones made in special groups of cells called endocrine glands, which are found throughout the body.

The pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, and adrenal glands, as well as the pancreas, produce hormones which travel through the bloodstream to tissues and organs, affecting:

  • Growth and development
  • Sexual function and reproduction
  • Metabolism
  • Livelihood and mood

Hormones hold very real power over our bodies. In fact, studies show how using certain hormone reactions helps heal brain trauma. As important as they are, hormones do have a natural enemy: toxins.

Mutant Oestrogen

Healthy fat and cholesterol produce hormones. Any lack or absence of these important dietary building blocks can create significant hormonal imbalances, when the body doesn’t have the necessary foundation on which to function.

Another problem is that some toxins contain chemicals that mimic these building blocks or hormones themselves. When the body uses the unnatural building blocks to produce hormones, mutations can occur. Some mutations have possibly been linked to breast cancer.

Hormone imbalances cause serious health problems that negatively impact those who suffer from them. Fortunately, there’s much we can do about it. If you would like help balancing your hormones naturally, please contact me for assistance.

The Bioidentical-Hormone Progesterone Can Treat Menopausal Symptoms

bioidentical hormone progesterone
Sixty percent of women using the bioidentical-hormone progesterone reported a decrease in symptoms of depression.

While hormone replacement therapy has received some publicity lately due to some of its side effects, the benefits of  the bioidentical hormone progesterone have become increasingly apparent. For women suffering from menopausal symptoms, bioidentical progesterone could be a solution, not only because of its proven efficacy, but also because of its safety.

What most people do not realize is that progesterone itself is a highly protective hormone. Throughout a woman’s lifetime, it protects brain cells and optimizes neurological health, helps regulate glandular function, decreases cortisol production, and helps the body cope with stress.

When progesterone levels naturally decrease as a side effect of aging, symptoms such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue, hot flashes, weight gain, and damage to bones and skin may occur.

Whereas in the past, an oestrogen deficiency was commonly blamed for these symptoms, studies have shown that a progesterone decrease, which causes a hormone imbalance, is the most likely culprit. However, since artificial progestogen (the chemical found in pharmaceutical HRT) replacement does have some side effects, a more suitable remedy is bioidenticalprogesterone.

A recent study has demonstrated remarkable statistics for the benefits of bioidentical progesterone. In women taking it:

  • Thirty percent reported a decrease in sleep difficulties
  • Fifty percent reported a decrease in anxiety symptoms
  • Sixty percent reported a decrease in symptoms of depression
  • Forty percent reported improved cognitive functioning
  • Thirty percent reported an improvement in sexual function

Bioidentical progesterone has also been shown to improve metabolism, bone density, and skin health. In addition, the bioidentical hormone progesterone replacement has no proven side effects except for sleepiness. This, of course, makes nightly dosing an optimal choice!

If you suffer from menopausal symptoms, bioidentical hormone replacement could be the answer. Your practitioner can test your hormone levels through a saliva sample to determine exactly which dose is right for you. Often, a balance of oestrogen and progesterone is needed for the best result, as well as lifestyle and dietary changes to optimize your treatment program.

Your quality of life does not have to diminish with the onset of menopause. For the natural and holistic ways to restore your natural health, please contact me.

Oprah Touts The Benefits Of Oestrogen And Bioidentical Hormones

A new advocate of oestrogen and bioidentical hormones has stepped forward. Oprah Winfrey recently wrote that she had “suffered from an out-of-kilter feeling for two years” before consulting a specialist and being prescribed bioidentical hormone replacements. The 55-year-old media mogul claims, cure “After one day on bioidentical oestrogen, decease I felt the veil lift.”

Benefits Of Oestrogen And Bioidentical Hormones
Bioidentical oestrogen is an excellent recourse for women beginning to experience menopause.

Unlike oestrogen derived from animal sources, drugs bioidentical oestrogen is primarily from plant sources, and has not been linked to the same side effects as animal-derived oestrogen. However, even bioidentical hormone replacements are not appropriate for every woman.

Who, exactly, would benefit from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?

First and foremost, women who have undergone surgical menopause may benefit from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Precipitous drops in hormone levels have been known to cause severe side effects, and bioidentical oestrogen is an excellent recourse for these individuals.

Second, women who suffer from menopausal symptoms can benefit from bioidentical hormones. Using BHRT to treat symptoms on a limited basis, as opposed to using it to prevent disease, is highly beneficial. Bioidentical oestrogen is especially helpful in treating hot flashes and other menopausal difficulties caused by abnormal hormone levels.

Of course, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy optimization requires tailoring to meet individual needs. Women should have their saliva tested to determine which levels are appropriate for treatment, and exactly which combination of BHRT is best, especially since hormonal symptoms are sometimes due to an excess of oestrogen. A qualified practitioner will determine the exact compound of bioidentical hormones that will provide the most relief, as well as the correct length of time for its use.

Your practitioner will also provide suggestions to augment your prescribed BHRT, including dietary modifications and exercise routines. These can help your body eliminate other causes of abnormal hormone levels.

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, when prescribed by a qualified practitioner, can safely eliminate your most detrimental menopausal symptoms, without exposing your body to the risks of traditional hormone treatment. For more information on the best remedy for your menopausal symptoms, please contact me.

Managing PCOS And Insulin Resistance Through Diet And Exercise

pcos and insulin resistance
Regular exercise is an effective way to control insulin resistance naturally.

As if the myriad problems caused by PCOS weren’t difficult enough, insulin resistance is another PCOS-related issue that causes health problems for many women. Not only does insulin resistance contribute to the risk of developing diabetes later in life, but it can also cause increased body hair, irregular or reduced periods, and acne. Luckily, there are lifestyle changes that can help lessen the effects of insulin resistance caused by PCOS.  Through proper diet and exercise, insulin resistance can be managed efficiently and effectively, overall health and energy can be improved, and future health problems can be avoided.

Insulin resistance can be improved greatly with a carefully regulated diet that might well help set your body back on the right course.

  • Reduce sugar consumption. Excessive consumption of white sugars can exacerbate many health problems. Instead, moderate the amount of sugar that you’re consuming, and try healthier alternatives, like honey and stevia.
  • Reduce or eliminate white flour. In some cases, many of the symptoms of PCOS or insulin resistance may be lessened by removing gluten from your diet entirely — which might be worth a shot. If that’s not a viable option for you, then try at least removing white flour from your diet for a little while. Eat whole grains instead. It will take a little while for your taste buds to adapt, but once they do, you might even discover that you don’t miss white flour!
  • Exercise regularly. Thirty to sixty minutes a day is a good standard recommendation, but if that feels overwhelming, start small! A thirty minute walk three days a week is easy to fit into your busy schedule, but will have a big impact on your overall health and wellness. Having trouble fitting in a thirty minute block of exercise? Try ten-minute sessions, three times a day: before work, after work, and at lunch time. Exercise is known to reduce insulin resistance, so it’s well worth the effort.
  • Add in foods that are high in fiber. This will help regulate insulin resistance in your body.

Ready to get started? Need a little extra help?Please contact me to design a whole-body approach to managing your PCOS and insulin resistance.