Benefits of Bioidentical Hormones :
- Restores optimal hormonal balance to the body
- May help regain vitality
- More effective for some than synthetic hormone replacement therapy
- Able to be used optimally and safely
- Absorbed through the skin slowly
- Fewer interactive problems when taking other medications
- Restorative sleep
- Less dangerous than synthetic hormone replacement therapy which is known to cause cancers
- Custom compounded: Option to have your hormones individually matched and tailored to your blood chemistry and hormones levels
- Body is able to recognize the hormones as its own and uses them as nature intended
- Slows down the aging process!
Hot Flashes – are a very common symptom for women as they enter menopause. They can be experienced during the day and/or at night. The estrogen levels produced by the ovaries decrease during this time and the surging waves of heat in the daytime cause flushed red skin. Hot flashes during the night can result in sudden rushes of heat waves causing intense sweating.Night Sweats – are usually more intense than hot flashes and women can experience symptoms ranging from severe to mild all with varied duration periods. Depending on the intensity night sweats can be accompanied by chills, nausea, headaches or an irregular heartbeat causing disruption in sleep patterns.Insomnia – is a symptom and is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep for a long enough time to feel rested and rejuvenated. Night sweats or other accompanied symptoms of menopause such as bizarre dreams, or incontinence can contribute to the insomnia.Low Libido – is the decrease in the desire to be sexually active. The drop in estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels can lead to lower energy and decreased sex drive. Arousal and orgasm are still possible, yet the hormonal imbalance that occurs during this shift into menopause can cause the vaginal wall to become dry and irritated further exacerbating the lack of desire to be sexual which can have a psychological impact as well.Fatigue – is a common symptom due to the decrease in hormone levels which affect the quality of sleep. Estrogen is responsible for the REM stage during which rapid eye movement occurs. During this stage of sleep one gains the most restoration. As the levels of estrogen decrease the time spent in REM or restorative sleep also decreases causing one to feel fatigued. Progesterone is another hormone that helps women feel sleepy and as progesterone decreases, so does the ability to fall asleep.
Vaginal Dryness – Estrogen is the hormone that helps create an environment in the vagina that is moist and the vaginal wall is thick and elastic. During menopause the level of estrogen decreases which causes thinning of the vaginal walls resulting in less lubrication and elasticity. This can increase irritation, itching and pain resulting in a decreased desire to engage in intercourse.
PMS – is a significant factor in relation to menopause due to the fact that women who experience stronger symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome such as mood swings, food cravings, irritability, bloating, tender breasts and depression, have a more difficult time during menopause.
Mood Swings – are a result of an intense imbalance of hormones greatly affecting the level of Serotonin in the brain which is responsible for the stability of emotions. Estrogen has direct influence on the amount of serotonin produced. Mood swings and depression can be experienced due to the drops in estrogen levels that are responsible for production of serotonin, the mood regulating hormone, in the brain. It causes a state of sadness, foggy thinking, fluctuation of appetite, loss of sleep and feelings that produce thoughts of suicide.
Endometriosis – when endometrial tissue forms in places other than the uterus such as surrounding the ovaries, it hardens and causes cysts and blood stagnation resulting in premenstrual pain.
Fibrosis – abnormal growth of tissue surrounding an organ or smooth muscle after an injury. It’s characterized by a rubbery, thin mass that is a pale color. Fibrosis inhibits normal function of the organ or body system and in the uterus it can cause sharp pain in the pelvic area and profuse bleeding. Fibroids in the uterus develop due to the amount of estrogen and progesterone that help prepare the uterine lining for pregnancy during a normal menstrual cycle. Most hysterectomies are given due to fibroids.
Foggy Memory – is a common symptom of menopause due to the shift in estrogen levels, which are responsible for the stimulation of neurotransmitters in the brain. This Estrogen chemical helps cells communicate as well as increasing blood flow and dilating the blood vessels resulting in greater brain function. When this chemical is low, short-term memory loss can be experienced.
Irregular Periods – occur around the age of 35 and are common in the peri-menopause stage of menopause where a woman’s body makes a transition from regular periods to the completion of ovulation entirely. This stage of transition can be characterized as a sputtering of the reproduction system as it nears the end of its flow.
Hair Loss or Thinning – (pubic or full body)- looking at factors 3 months prior to hair loss will help you detect the cause. During menopause, hair loss is caused by a sudden drop in estrogen and can be exacerbated by increased stress and thyroid problems. Estrogen controls the level of testosterone the hormone directly related to the hair loss.
Sleep Disorders – occur due to the flux in hormone levels causing symptoms such as night sweats, and insomnia. The drop in estrogen limits the amount of magnesium that is absorbed into the muscles and helps promote relaxation. A myriad of other sleep disorders can be experienced during menopause such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and snoring. All of which prevent consistent restful sleep cycles.
Difficulty Concentrating & Mental Confusion– absence of clear thinking and presence of disorganized thoughts. Again this can be from a combination of related factors that compound upon one another, all of which can be traced to the change in hormone levels during menopause. Every symptom from night sweats to hot flashes, to depression and insomnia, all add to feeling less rested and more irritable. One can have a harder time concentrating on daily tasks when sleep cycles and hormones are out of balance.
Disorientation – can feel like one is out of touch with their surroundings. Often this symptom is directly related to feeling dizzy and light headed. Some experience vertigo which is a constant spinning sensation, or light headedness when one stands up too fast.
Dizziness, Light Headedness, Vertigo – feeling like one is going to fall down, unclear visual focus and perceptions. The culprit being hormone changes that affect the blood vessels and nervous system during menopause. Dizziness can feel like the room is spinning around you and is associated with loss of balance.
Weight Gain – The years leading up to menopause can be influential in weight gain around the belly due to a decrease in estrogen levels causing cortisol levels to rise. This transition period is called peri-menopause. There are a number of related factors that contribute to increased abdominal fat and menopause is just one of them. Genetics, lifestyle, diet and level of fitness also determine ones experience of weight gain. As one ages, if lean muscle mass isn’t maintained the body’s fat percentage will increase, contributing to the hormonal changes during menopause.
Incontinence – is the inability to keep urine in the bladder during sneezing, laughing or coughing. Estrogen is the hormone that helps with the strength of the bladder muscles. As estrogen decreases during menopause, so does control of the bladder. Incontinence includes feelings of a constant need to urinate due to an overactive or oversensitive bladder. Another form of incontinence is a bladder that doesn’t empty completely and dribbling occurs.
Bloating – sudden bouts of bloating cause distention, expansion or swelling in the abdominal area. Estrogen helps production of bile, which helps line the intestines with lubrication and assists in the ease of passing a bowel movement. When estrogen decreases, the stool dries out and stagnates creating blockages, gas and bloating. Certain foods can add to the symptoms of bloating.
Increased Allergies – abnormal reaction to a substance that usually causes some type of itching, sneezing, or watery eyes, wheezing or rashes. As one ventures through the rollercoaster of menopause the hormonal change is great. Hormones affect the bodies’ immune system resulting in a change in how it views substances as either friendly or as invaders. The body notices an invader and stimulates histamines to protect it.
Changes in Fingernail condition: brittle, soft, hang nails – Decreasing levels of estrogen affect the amount of water or moisture in the body. When the moisture levels decrease, the strength and elasticity of the nail bed becomes brittle or in a sense dehydrated.
Changes in Body Odor – The hypothalamus in the brain controls body temperature. Estrogen controls the function of the hypothalamus. When the estrogen levels of women fluctuate during menopause, so does the body’s temperature. This can produce unpleasant odors that are normally uncommon to the individual.
Rapid Heartbeat – feeling ones heart pound, race or skip beats is commonly associated with heart palpations. The flux in hormone levels of the body during this time cause the blood vessels to constrict and dilate and is known as a vasomotor response regulated by the autonomic nervous system. Estrogen has a significant effect on heart health ranging from the smooth muscles of the arterial walls to the cholesterol levels in the blood. Maintaining balanced levels of estrogen during menopause is very important.
Anxiety – a state of being worried, fearful, on edge, uneasy, worried, or having a sense of urgency that is often out of proportion to the event that initiates the response. Estrogen levels affect the brain chemistry directly related to mood and emotions.
Panic Disorder – recurrent inappropriate reactions to situations that create a fearful response resulting in panic attacks. A woman would feel a sudden fight or flight response, which is characterized by increase in heart rate, sweating, and surges of emotions and energy through the body. Shaking of the hands might also occur. Estrogen usually helps reduce the effect of cortisol, which is a stress response hormone. When estrogen drops below normal levels, blood pressure rises as well as blood sugar providing an environment prone to panic attacks. Progesterone is a calming hormone for the brain and when the levels drop, the feelings of peace go with it.
Breast Pain – tenderness, soreness, tightness and aching symptoms occur due to the drop in estrogen and progesterone during the transition from regular menstrual flow to menopause.
Headaches – are directly related to fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone during menopause. Estrogen dilates the blood vessels while progesterone constricts them. As the rollercoaster of hormones dips high and low, headaches can occur. It helps to be aware of the onset and duration of your headaches to know if they are hormone related. If your headaches come on under stress and use of sugar or caffeine, the adrenals may need to be addressed. If you have never had headaches and they are starting all of a sudden, it is most likely due to hormonal changes. For symptoms of chronic migraines or head pain, the thyroid may be out of balance.
Aching muscles, tendons, joints – Estrogen can have an anti-inflammatory response to the joints. During menopause, the estrogen levels drop and greater inflammation is experienced in the joints.
Burning tongue, bad taste in mouth – is similar to that of burning one’s tongue on a hot beverage, but the sensation is continual. The burning occurs due to the decreasing amounts of estrogen. Estrogen plays a role in saliva production and the bitter taste buds.
Electric Shock sensation under the skin and in the head – Fluctuating levels of hormones have a direct effect on the nervous system as the hormones cause the blood vessels to dilate and constrict. The neurons begin to misfire and cause electrical shock sensations under the scalp, and under the skin of the shoulders and arms. Hot flashes correlate with this symptom as the hypothalamus is responsible for controlling body temperature.
Digestive Problems, Indigestion, Flatulence, Gas Pain, Nausea – Estrogen and cortisol hormones have a polar relationship. When estrogen decreases, cortisol increases. Cortisol is a stress hormone and it helps to conserve the body’s energy during “flight or fight” responses, thus slowing down digestion so one can run away from danger.
Gum Problems – bleeding, irritation, inflammation and gum and jaw pain are associated with changing levels of hormones during menopause. The hormone estrogen plays a role in saliva production as well as taste buds and bone formation. It is important to see a dentist to follow up and make sure more serious oral care is not needed.
Increased tension in muscles – Cortisol and estrogen are hormones that have a direct correlation to muscle tension. As the estrogen drops the cortisol levels increase thus increasing blood sugar and blood pressure. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is a “fight or flight” response and isn’t a chemical that aids in muscle relaxation. Progesterone on the other hand is responsible for greater levels of relaxation of the body and the mind. During menopause estrogen and progesterone levels decrease and tension is experienced mostly in the upper back, neck and shoulders.
Itchy, crawly skin – occurs during menopause and is due to the decreased levels of estrogen, which are responsible for the production of collagen providing strength, elasticity and moisture in the skin. Pin pricks are described as one of the sensations of the symptoms. Avoiding hot showers and baths is advised to avoid further drying of the skin. Drinking water and eating nuts and eggs as well as using a natural moisturizer helps reduce this symptom.
Tingling Extremities – affects the arms, legs, feet and hands. The fluctuating level of hormones disrupts the nervous system and can cause tingling due to the vasodilatation of the arteries. When the areas close to joints pinch upon the veins and nerves due to increased muscle tension reducing circulation, it causes tingling of extremities.
Osteoporosis – is common in women during menopause because of the decrease in estrogen, which is associated with bone density. Symptoms include bone pain and tenderness, fractures, neck and back pain, tooth loss, brittle fingernails and spinal deformities. Estrogen helps prevent bone break-down and aids in the absorption of calcium allowing the bone density to continually replenish itself. When estrogen decreases, the bones become porous and brittle making one more susceptible to fractures. To support bone density is it best to do weight-bearing exercises, limit alcohol and smoking as well as eat a proper diet of calcium-rich foods including varieties that are non-dairy, and maintain a healthy weight.
Irregular Heartbeat – any guess what hormone is responsible for the symptoms of an irregular heart beat? You got it; Estrogen. Estrogen levels fluctuate and have correlation to the cholesterol levels in the blood, as well as the fluctuation of blood pressure affecting the vasodilatation of the arteries and affecting the autonomous nervous system that regulates the heartbeat.
Tinnitus/ ringing in ears – a constant buzzing noise that is not caused by an outside stimulus. What is considered to be the best description for the cause of tinnitus would be the change in hormones affecting the blood pressure in the inner ear. There are a number of other factors not directly related to the condition of menopause, which can be medications, heredity, hearing loss, infections and more.
Heavy Bleeding – can be caused by the imbalance of estrogen and progesterone as well as the formation of fibroids. Every woman’s body is different and may or may not experience this symptom.
High Blood Pressure – during menopause, high blood pressure has a correlation to the shift in hormones as the blood sugar becomes more sensitive to the amount of salt in the diet and rises. As the hormones shift, weight gain often occurs, which only exacerbates the blood sugar levels. Maintaining a healthy weight before and during menopause can help with this symptom.
Asthma – it is shown that increased levels of estrogen help those who suffer from asthma. If a woman already has asthma and is going through menopause, dropping estrogen levels can increase the severity of the asthma.
Food Cravings; Sweets or Carbs – When ovulation stops, the balance of estrogen and progesterone is interrupted. No progesterone is released and the levels of estrogen cause increased blood pressure and low blood sugar. Low blood sugar causes the desire for sweets and carbohydrates in an attempt to balance the blood sugar. Chocolate is a usual craving to self-medicate the hormone imbalance. Normally, progesterone uses body fat for energy. When no more progesterone is produced, the body more readily accumulates fat.
Because bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is considered cutting edge medicine, only a select group of doctors are experienced in BHRT and have experience through proven results using bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
Bioidentical hormone doctors can provide you with all of the safety information, answer all your questions, clear up all of your doubts, inform you about symptoms, hormone testing and provide the general guidance you need. You need to be fully informed before making the final decision.
A qualified doctor can provide the possibility of enjoying an active, happy and healthy life, by fighting all of the uncomfortable effects of menopause and hormone imbalance.