*Female Hormone Replacement & Optimization
What are the Female Hormones?
The word hormone comes from the Greek word Hormaein – meaning to excite. Hormones are potent chemicals produced from endocrine glands which secrete the hormones into your bloodstream. The hormones serve as messengers from your brain, telling your internal organs how to function.
Hormones are a liquid chemical that are produced by glands, and, much like sweat secreting from our pores, the hormones secrete from the glands. They drip, if you will, into the bloodstream, where they travel to the distant tissues and organs, where they then bind to the tissues’ and organs’ specific cell sites called receptors.
- DHEA or (Dehydroepiandrosterone) – Is considered the mother hormone. Because it can convert readily to most other hormones, such as estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and corticosterone, it can help balance energy levels, enhance immune system, improve libido, and benefit muscle function. When taken orally, DHEA can convert into testosterone, but also estradiol by way of an aromatase enzyme.
- Estrogen – Is characteristically referred to as the female hormone, but both men and woman produce it. It is involved in the female reproductive cycle, controls the growth of the uterine lining, and regulates bone development. Not just a single hormone, estrogen represents a class of related hormones with varying properties. The most important hormones that makeup this group are estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3).
- Progesterone – In addition to being an important factor in the balancing of estrogen, this hormone carries anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. Considered the feel good hormone, progesterone helps menopause symptoms, stress reduction, prevents osteoporosis, and excessive weight gain.
- Cortisol – Often times referred to as the stress hormone. Due to constant stress in a person’s life (fight or flight), this hormone can cause adrenal exhaustion and fatigue. Since hormones work together in synchronization, it’s important to evaluate all matters concerning hormone production.
- Testosterone – Again, both men and women create this important hormone. In men, testosterone is an important hormone for male sexual health (erectile function, libido, sperm count, and muscle). In woman, testosterone is produced in the ovaries. Muscle tone, skin elasticity, and bone integrity are all associated with healthy levels of this hormone.
- Luteinizing Hormone (LH) – Considered a gonadotropin, LH stimulates the secretion of sex steroids in both sexes. In females, LH is responsible for healthy ovulation.
- Follicle-stimulating Hormone (FSH) – In men, FSH helps support sperm cell maturation. With females, FSH is important for the development of ovarian follicles. In order for natural reproduction to take place, it’s vital to have a regular pattern of gonadotropin secretion.
- Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) – Mostly controlled and released in the liver by androgens, SHBG has the ability to bind up free testosterone. If left uncontrolled, SHBG can lead to a substantial decrease in androgen production. As we age, SHBG has the ability to even increase, however, a routine blood test can find out if your free testosterone is low. Some common medications that increase SHBG include birth control pills, sedatives, tranquilizers, and various forms of alcohol.
- Pregnenolone – An important supplement for healthy testosterone production, pregnenolone has been shown to improve memory function. Pregnenolone not only converts to DHEA, but can also convert into progesterone and other much needed hormones.
Sex Hormones – Women have three different sex hormones in their body, Progesterone, Testosterone and three types of Estrogen. All of these hormones are important to female’s well-being.
Estrogens – Estrogen is primarily formed in the ovaries (although it is also produced by the adrenals and fat cells). It is a combination of three compounds: Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2), and Estriol (E3). The strongest and most influential of the three estrogen hormones is Estradiol. (E2), next in strength is Estrone (E1).
Estriol (E3), the third major type of estrogen, is the more “benign” compound. It contributes to healthy and youthful skin, keeps the vagina moist and lubricated, prevents hot flashes and night sweats, and probably has a major anticancer role. It exerts a protective and counterbalancing effect against estrone and estradiol, its more powerful sister compounds. In some women increased estriol levels improve mental clarity. But estriol does not appear to benefit the bones or cardiovascular system the way estradiol and estrone do.
Generally speaking, estrone and estradiol are the most influential estrogens in creating the qualities of femininity, the qualities that turn a girl into a woman and affect and protect the mind, the bones and the cardiovascular system. Estradiol prevents the loss of old bone tissue. Estrone is thought to perhaps promote the growth of new bone tissue.
Progesterone – Progesterone plays a major role in the body and has many functions in both males and females of all ages. Progesterone is responsible for regulating blood sugar, developing intelligence, building bones, brain activity and many more. Additionally, progesterone plays an important role in converting fat into energy, regulating thyroid hormone production, and helping to reboot libido. It is also a natural antidepressant, aids in normalizing blood clotting, helps to initiate sleep and is a natural diuretic along with many other vital functions.
Progesterone has a calming effect by activating the GABA receptor sites. GABA is our most calming, inhibitory neurotransmitter and effective against some forms of epilepsy. Progesterone also boosts the immune system. Our bodies make it all the time.
Testosterone – There is a misconception that testosterone is only a male hormone. This is untrue; testosterone is also produced in women by the ovary. Although the level of testosterone in the women is only 10% of the level in men, it rapidly declines during menopause along with estrogen and progesterone.
Although progesterone and estrogen are the two dominant hormones that women produce, it is important to remember that women also produce small doses of testosterone. For women, the production of testosterone peaks at ovulation in order to stimulate a woman’s desire for sexual relations.
- Relieves panic or anxiety attacks
- Gives a sense of well being
- Decreases body fat and cholesterol
- Increases and enhances libido
- Increases muscle tone (bladder, heart, etc.) and bone mass
- Enhances cognitive thinking and math ability
- Converts inactive thyroid (T4) to active thyroid (T3)
What is Hormonal Imbalance?
Hormones play a vital role in every woman’s health and well-being. Very often when women are in a bad mood, you will find that they, or their partners, blame it on their hormones. When hormone levels fluctuate, this can affect your mood, sexual desire, fertility and ovulation. In other words, the imbalance of hormones may impact negatively on how your reproductive system responds.
Every month, the female hormones estrogen and progesterone are produced. When estrogen and progesterone levels do not balance, this may have a dramatic effect on your health.
The imbalance of estrogen hormones can also cause menopause and all the symptoms associated with it. These hormones are influenced by certain factors such as nutrition, diet, lifestyle, exercise, stress, emotions, age and ovulation.
Why Do Hormonal Imbalances Occur in Women?
Hormone imbalance is caused by the primary hormones becoming out of balance. This imbalance usually comes from changes in the reproductive cycle in women (such as menopause or perimenopause) but it isn’t the only cause of imbalance in hormone levels – lifestyle, medication, pregnancy, thyroid issues and even diabetes can also throw off your body’s hormone levels at any age. No matter the cause of your hormone imbalance, the symptoms are often related and severe.
Two female hormones (Estrogen and Progesterone) exist in a delicate balance. Variations in that balance can have a dramatic effect on your health, resulting in the symptoms of female hormone imbalance (such as hot flashes, night sweats, and weight gain just to name a few). The amounts of these hormones that the body produces from month to month can vary, depending on factors such as stress, nutrition, exercise, and most importantly – ovulation or the LACK of ovulation.
The ovaries produce many hormones. Chief among them are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The ovarian hormones estrogen and progesterone interact to coordinate a woman’s menstrual cycle during her reproductive years. The brain produces follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) which trigger sex hormone production from the ovaries. When any of the hormones coming from the brain or the ovaries are imbalanced, symptoms may occur. This usually happens during puberty and menopause, but imbalances can happen at any age. Several conditions are well known to be associated with hormonal imbalance including: polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, breast disease, and menstrual irregularities.
In a normal 28-day menstrual cycle, only estrogen is produced for the first 10-12 days (the follicular phase); it peaks around day 12 and begins to fall. Ovulation then occurs around day 14 or 15 and tells the female body to produce progesterone (the luteal phase), which peaks around day 18 and begins to fall. In this scenario, everything is in balance and there are no symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Progesterone sustains the endometrium, so it can receive a fertilized egg if pregnancy occurs. If there’s no pregnancy, menstruation occurs.
Let’s say you have NO ovulation one month, which is a typical perimenopausal event. The estrogen already produced for that month is NEVER balanced by progesterone because progesterone can only be produced with ovulation.
Many women in their 30’s and 40’s are actually in perimenopause and therefore produce estrogen, but LESS progesterone. This is referred to as estrogen dominance; it is a hormone imbalance and causes symptoms similar to menopause. Unbalanced estrogen is dangerous and toxic.
Female bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) improves your life, increases energy levels, and stops symptoms related to PMS, perimenopause and menopause. Natural bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is the solution to eliminate your female hormone imbalance symptoms (you will see later that natural hormones do not necessarily mean bio-identical hormones).
The adrenal glands produce three types of steroid hormones: glucocorticoids (cortisol), mineralocorticoids (aldosterone), and androgens (Testosterone/DHEA/DHEAS). Cortisol enables the body to respond and adapt to the stresses of daily life, both physical and mental. It also helps to maintain blood sugar levels and promote a healthy immune system. Aldosterone works to balance salt and water in the body. Androgens secreted by the adrenals provide the majority of DHEA for both men and women. For women, the adrenal glands are the major source of testosterone. An imbalance of hormones in the adrenal system can contribute to problems with the nervous and immune systems, body composition difficulties (such as weight gain), blood sugar irregularities, and high androgen levels.
Thyroid Function Imbalance
Thyroid hormones control the body’s metabolism. The brain produces thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which triggers the thyroid gland to produce two types of hormones – T4 and T3. In hypothyroidism, the body has low levels of the thyroid hormones. This often leads to other imbalances, such as estrogen or progesterone. Hyperthyroidism is a less common condition that exists when excess thyroid hormones are present. Because every cell of the body is affected by the thyroid, symptoms of imbalances are often varied and affect multiple body systems.
Insulin is secreted by the pancreas. Insulin “unlocks” the cells to allow glucose (sugar) from food to enter and be converted into energy. When too much glucose is present in the body, the pancreas increases the amount of insulin being produced. High insulin, as well as high glucose, may contribute to multiple symptoms. A number of conditions are associated with insulin and glucose imbalances and regulation problems. These include chronic stress, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.
Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency
In childhood, human growth hormone (HGH) controls a child’s height. It is normal for human growth hormone levels to decline as a person reaches adulthood, but new research suggests that some adults may have too low a level of human growth hormone. Low levels of HGH are linked to poor muscle tone, increase body fat, low energy levels, and cardiovascular changes. HGH insufficiency is associated with pituitary gland problems, brain injury, autoimmune disorders, and nervous system conditions.
What is Menopause?
Officially, it’s the time when a woman ceases to menstruate. 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’s producing fewer fertility hormones – estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. This is the root cause of the symptoms and changes that accompany the menopause. When the menopause has a trial run and occurs at a much earlier age, it’s known as the perimenopause. This condition also has a lot to do with hormone imbalance, as well as factors such as poor nutrition and lack of exercise.
The changes become apparent a long time before menstruation ceases altogether.
What are the Different Stages of Menopause?
- Premature menopause – Premature menopause may occur when there is ovarian failure before the age of 40, and may be associated with smoking, radiation exposure, chemotherapeutic drugs, or surgery that impairs the ovarian blood supply.
- Perimenopause (Pre-menopause) – When a woman first starts to experience menopausal signs and symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats and irregular periods; on average occurs 4 years before menopause
- Menopause – When 12 months have passed since a woman’s last period, marking the end of a woman’s reproductive years
- Post-menopause – The years that follow menopause
- Surgical menopause – Surgical menopause may follow an oophorectomy (removal of an ovary or both ovaries), or radiation of the pelvis, including the ovaries, in premenopausal women. This results in an abrupt menopause, with women often experiencing more severe menopausal symptoms than if they were to experience menopause naturally.
The Effects of Menopause on your Health
Menopause occurs when your ovaries stop releasing eggs and producing female hormones. This change in hormone levels can cause symptoms such as hot flashes, sleeplessness and mood swings. Even if you have no obvious symptoms, it’s important to understand the effects of menopause and aging on your overall health. Loss of the female hormone estrogen can weaken your bones, for example, increase cholesterol levels that contribute to coronary artery disease, cause emotional changes, vaginal changes and urinary tract changes. Preventive care during these menopause years offers a huge opportunity to improve your quality of life as you age.
Risks of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Several chronic medical conditions tend to appear after menopause. By becoming aware of the following conditions, you can take steps to help reduce your risk:
- Osteoporosis. During the first few years after menopause, you lose calcium from your bones at a much faster rate, which increases your risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis causes bones to become brittle and weak, leading to an increased risk of fractures. It’s also important to engage in regular, weight-bearing exercise to keep your bones strong
- Diabetes – taking HRT around the time of menopause reduces women’s risk of developing diabetes.
- Bowel cancer – HRT slightly reduces the risk of colorectal cancer (bowel cancer)
- Colorectal Cancer. Estrogen plus progestin HRT may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
- Cardiovascular disease. At the same time your estrogen levels decline, your risk of cardiovascular disease increases
- Stress urinary incontinence. As the tissues of your vagina and urethra lose their elasticity, you may experience stress urinary continence — a condition that may cause you to leak urine during coughing, laughing or lifting — for the first time, or it may worsen
- Weight gain. As your body’s metabolism — the rate at which you burn calories — slows and estrogen levels decline, your body weight and shape will likely change. You may need to cut down your food intake — perhaps as much as 200 to 400 fewer calories a day — and exercise more, just to maintain your current weight. Exercises also help in prevention of osteoporosis
Signs and Symptoms of Menopause
It is important to note that no two women are the same, and the symptoms associated with menopause can vary in severity from person to person. In addition to a gradual reduction and loss of her period, woman going through menopause may also experience:
|Hot Flashes||Night Sweats||Irregular Periods|
|Loss of Libido||Vaginal Dryness||Mood Swings|
|Fatigue||Hair Loss or Thinning||Sleep Disorders|
|Difficulty Concentrating||Memory Lapses||Dizziness|
|Allergies||Brittle Nails||Changes in Body Odor|
|Irritability||Panic Disorder||Breast Pain|
|Headaches||Joint Pain||Burning Tongue|
|Electric Shock Sensation||Digestive Problems||Gum Problems|
|Muscle Tension||Itchy, Crawly Skin||Tingling Extremities|
Sound familiar? Thought so! The bad news is that the menopause is an inevitable part of life. The good news? BHRT can help you beat the symptoms and recapture your old self. You can feel decades younger. You can recapture your zest for life and love. You can enter a new chapter in life, where you enjoy the best of every world.
Don’t be afraid… Say goodbye to menopause misery!
Right now, thousands of women are having their first menopause-related hot flash. If you’re one of them you’re not alone: about 40 million US women will go through the menopause transition over the next 20 years, and virtually everyone will experience a symptom of shifting hormones.
How to Treat Female Hormonal Imbalance
The simple lifestyle changes to help relieve menopausal symptoms:
- Healthy diet
- Choose a wide variety of foods, including plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, cereals, whole grains and small portions of lean meat, fish or chicken several times per week.
- Increase fluids and eat low fat dairy foods with high calcium content
- Decrease caffeine and limit alcohol (1-2 standard glasses or less, per day)
- Regular exercise – at least 45 minutes three times per week
- Use vaginal lubricants, especially during intercourse, to deal with vaginal dryness
- Add Calcium and Vitamin D to your diet through food and supplements
- Maintain a regular dose of exercise and sleep
- Explore a range of relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga
- Drink a glass of cold water or fruit juice when a hot flash begins.
- Reduce your stress level, which may aggravate hot flashes.
- Keep a thermos of ice water or an ice pack next to your bed during the night.
- Use cotton sheets, lingerie, and clothing that allow your skin to breathe.
- Keep a diary or record of your symptoms to determine what might trigger your hot flashes.
- Avoid smoking
- It’s important to avoid smoking because of the associated risk of osteoporosis, coronary heart disease and lung cancer.
- Regular Pap smear and breast checks
- You should have:
- Yearly Pap smear
- Yearly mammogram
Hormone Replacement Therapy
To gain insight into your specific condition, the doctor, assisted by state-of-the-art hormone test results, will suggest a treatment plan that’s right for you. Once a baseline hormone level has been established and all your symptoms have been thoroughly evaluated, a custom compound pharmacy will create a customized dosage based on your bio-identical hormone replacement therapy needs.
Hormone replacement effectively reduces many of the unpleasant effects of symptoms of the menopause. If you are also in a category at risk of osteoporosis, hormone replacement could be considered as it can stop the progression of osteoporosis disease.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a common treatment for women going through menopause or experiencing the symptoms associated with menopause. Slowed metabolism, hot flashes, mood swings, memory loss, low libido and aging are all reasons a doctor may prescribe hormone replacement therapy. A more natural method of treatment, called bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), is becoming increasingly popular among doctors and clients alike.
Unlike synthetic hormones, bio-identical hormones are made to have the -identical molecular structure of the hormones made by your own body, so your body can metabolize them as it was designed to do, minimizing side effects. Additionally, as opposed to the general, mass-produced synthetic hormones, bio-identical hormones are individually matched to each woman’s specific hormonal needs. Synthetic hormones can cause serious side effects and are only available as a generic hormone replacement.
Synthetic vs. Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
What is Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)?
Bio–identical Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women (BHRT) uses hormones that are -identical, on a molecular level, to the natural hormones occurring in your body and are manufactured from plant sources. How does BHRT differ from the hormones in the “other” HRT, the one linked to an increase in breast cancer and heart disease risk?
We believe those increased risks have to do with the source of the hormones. Premarin, the most commonly prescribed non-bio-identical estrogen is extracted from the urine of a pregnant horse, and that is not the same as the estrogen in your body.
Human estrogen consists of three molecules: estrone (10-20%), estradiol (10-20%), and estriol (60-80%).
Premarin is estrone (75%) and equilin (25%), the latter found only in horses. Although Premarin acts like a replacement, the estrone amount is three times that of a woman’s, making the match far from perfect. And equilin is a totally foreign molecule.
What does BHRT do? BHRT relieves menopause symptoms by replacing estrogen and progesterone. We don’t know if BHRT is as effective at preventing osteoporosis as Premarin and similar hormones. It should work just as efficiently, but hasn’t been tested for this.
Where do I get BHRT? Because human molecules (unlike horse molecules) can’t be patented and made into drugs, the pharmaceutical industry has little incentive to invest in BHRT clinical studies. Without research, using bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is based more on common sense than hard evidence, and as a result many conventional doctors don’t prescribe it.
The term “bio–identical structure” means that our hormones are nothing like the synthetic hormones manufactured by pharmaceutical companies. They are both natural and biologically -identical to the estrogen and testosterone your body once produced in correct amounts. These hormones are compounded according to the highest industry standards using the finest botanical ingredients available. Derived from soy and other natural plant-based substances, the bio–identical hormones are hand-formulated into creams at one of the foremost compounding pharmacies in the U.S. This ensures the superior quality and efficacy of our pellets for use in natural hormone replacement therapy. No horse urine. No fillers. Just pure, natural, biologically -identical hormones plain and simple.
Medical professionals on the forefront of anti-aging medicine, like the ones at Age Management, use BHRT and related hormone replacement therapies to combat the aging process and its debilitating symptoms in women.
Is There Health Risks Using Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
The “official” risks of Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy are the same as those for drugs like Premarin–gallstones, increased susceptibility to blood clots, and stimulation of existing estrogen-sensitive breast cancers. But physicians whose clients take BHRT report they virtually never see these problems, probably because the hormone exposure is lower and the product matches exactly what’s already in your body.
We have seen that using BHRT is extremely safe in our experiences. It’s also usually enough time to get you through the roughest menopause symptoms. Some women (Suzanne Somers comes to mind) choose to remain on BHRT indefinitely.
If you’re currently using Premarin or a similar product, we suggest a switch to BHRT. If you’ve been using HRT of any kind for a year or two, stop for a month or so to see if your menopause symptoms are still present.
What to Expect from Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Preliminary testing is done with blood to determine hormone imbalances and is repeated every 6 months to year, depending upon physician recommendations. Once results are received, clients are seen by our physician to formulate a customized treatment plan to address specific areas that need improvement. For women, whether pre or post-menopausal, bio-identical hormone replacement will reduce the symptoms associated with menstrual cycles and menopause that can consume your life and state of well-being. Each and every client is unique, therefore; it is difficult to determine how long it will take to notice results in each client. Some clients notice results very quickly within a week while others may need additional time and monitoring before experiencing remarkable results.
Doing Hormone Replacement Therapy The Right Way!
Expert Medical Treatment
Bio–identical Hormone Replacement Therapy for women must be administered by an experienced physician who will first evaluate your existing medical condition and run a range of tests to determine your hormone levels. A BHRT physician will then create a custom treatment plan personalized to your specific needs and health concerns. Hormone levels will be monitored during and after your hormone treatment to ensure optimal health results and minimize side effects.
BHRT combined with lifestyle modifications, changes in diet, and increased levels of exercise can have a positive impact on your health, improve your quality of life, and help you look better and feel younger. A comprehensive medical approach is needed to optimize your health, renew your energy levels, and restore your body to feeling years younger. Hormone replacement therapy requires a functional approach, if you want to slow down the aging process, stay healthy, and live longer.
Who is Age Management & Optimal Wellness Center?
Age Management & Optimal Wellness in Tampa, Florida is a unique center dedicated to the care and treatment of women with menopause symptoms, conditions, and related health issues. Women at this age have a different set of health issues than younger women and so do women who have chemotherapy induced menopause, primary ovarian deficiency or menopause as a result of a surgical procedure. Our specialists devote their full time, attention and expertise to helping women through the menopause years, providing personalized treatment to improve your health and quality of life. Our approach is comprehensive, addressing every aspect of a woman’s health affected by menopause, and long term, providing a lifelong resource for healthy aging.
We educate women on lifestyle habits necessary for healthy aging during the menopause years, providing the latest information and guidance on:
- Nutritional needs and supplements
- Exercise requirements
- Sleep requirements
- Pelvic floor strengthening
- Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight/BMI
- Alcohol, tobacco and personal safety recommendations
What to Expect from AMOWC & our Program
We take special care to ensure all clients have a thorough consultation and custom tailored treatment.
During your first visit, you will work one-on-one with the specialist to establish personal goals and go over your individual needs. We will run specific tests to establish your hormone or nutrient levels.
We use a comprehensive blood test to determine which hormones and nutrients your body is deficient in and which ones you have in excess.
Research & Regimen Building
We will then compile all the data from your initial consultation and blood work to develop a personalized treatment regimen for your particular needs.
Your journey back in time begins with your second visit. We will go over our findings with you, suggesting a series of appropriate treatments to correct imbalances.
Your individualized treatment program includes:
- Comprehensive Hormone Level Testing
- Personalized Female Hormone Replacement Therapy Programs – Matching Solutions with Symptoms
- Thorough Analysis of Lab Results, Symptoms, Medical, Family and Personal history
- Quality Compounded Hormones and Pharmacy-grade Supplements
- Nutritional Guidance and Support
- Customized Women’s Health and Fitness Programs
AMOWC takes an integrated approach to anti-aging medicine for both men and women. Our programs are customized and prescribed to include proper fitness, nutrition and supplements in combination with possible anti-aging Bio–identical Hormones. This balanced functional medical approach helps put an end to suffering and the negative effects caused by stress induced adrenal fatigue, perimenopause, menopause, post-menopause, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
We use only bio–identical hormones which are 98% -identical in structure to the hormones that your body produces. These bio-identical hormones are made from wild yam and herbs that cannot be patented. In contrast, hormone replacement therapies are a synthetic replica of your body hormones and are only 6% -identical in structure. Would you rather have a natural bio–identical hormone cream or a synthetic counterfeit cream? Of course, the pharmaceutical companies would prefer that you choose the synthetic type because they can patent the formula and charge more money. The natural bio–identical hormone alternatives occur in nature and cannot be patented.
The First Three Months
There is an adjustment period as your system adapts to the prescription. Some of the side effects could be, but are not limited to, a slight headache, dizziness, weight changes (water), hypoglycemia, change in sleep patterns, and breast tenderness. Most females begin to feel better in weeks.
Side Effects from BHRT
As with all medicines, there are side effects associated with BHRT. Some women taking BHRT may experience water retention, bloating, nausea, breast tenderness, mood swings, and headaches. Changing the dosage usually help to alleviate these side effects.
Some women have irregular bleeding when they start taking BHRT, but changing the dosage often eliminates this side effect.
IF YOU HAVE A HISTORY OF HEART PROBLEMS, PLEASE DISCUSS THIS WITH THE PHYSICIAN.
By month three, a full complement of receptors should be up and running. By month six, blood testing is in order at this juncture to give the physician the information to correlate any remaining symptoms with the amounts of hormone you are receiving. Women, who are already cycling when they start the protocol, may need to adjust earlier.
Blood Testing Procedure
By month six and every year thereafter, you are required to get your blood tested. There are cream application issues with regard to blood testing, and we have a preferred option for making sure the tests are accurate and comparable from test to test. Best option:
First Thing in the Morning Method
Get up and go straight to the lab a few hours after you put on any hormones but don’t apply on an area where the needle will enter your skin.
Medications, Supplements, Herbs that are Contraindicated
All medications, prescription or otherwise, available to the public work across hormone receptors to be effective. Therefore, all medications, supplements, and herbs can have an effect on these receptors. Many things have hormonal effects and could interfere with our replacement protocol. Check constituents of all “combination” products from health food stores, naturopathic and chiropractic practitioners.
With time, you may find that you need less of certain conventional medications such as antidepressants, especially SSRI’s and Lipitor. NEVER alter your prescription intake without consulting your physician.
Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Recommendations
Because of the wide variability of hormones within each woman, it is difficult to recommend standard doses for everyone. Instead, it is recommended that women rely on regular blood testing to strive for optimal hormone levels. These ranges are based on a healthy 20 to 29 year-old woman:
65 – 380 ug/dL
300 – 320 ug/dL
11 – 480 pg/mL
100 – 300 pg/mL
61 – 500 pg/mL
150 – 400 pg/mL
.2 – 28 ng/mL
10 – 16 ng/mL
14 – 76 ng/dL
70 – 95 ng/dL