Bioidentical Hormones for Menopause and Perimenopause
San Diego Menopause Specialist, Andrea Cole, D.O. has helped many women to improve their health with Bioidentical Hormones. Every woman will go through menopause but you do not need to experience some of the more trying symptoms that come with aging. All women have heard about ‘the change’ and the adverse effects it has on one’s physical and mental well-being. The transition into menopause does not have to be daunting. With the help of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), a natural approach to hormonal health and balance, you can treat the pesky symptoms of menopause; hot flashes, night sweats, low libido, mood swings, thinning hair, insomnia, vaginal dryness, aching joints and fatigue. It’s a new era and women have become stronger and more independent and are making their own decisions. Now is the time to take control of your health because there is nothing more empowering than feeling great. This positive, proactive approach can make a big difference in your experience of menopause. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is an opportunity to ease this transition. By making informed decisions you can take control and feel great during this stage of life. BHRT can aid in that journey by treating your menopausal symptoms.
Even though all women go through menopause, many are surprised at how quickly it comes on and the severity of the symptoms. Menopause is a natural biological process that occurs in all women. Menopause affects every woman differently and commonly occurs around age 51 years of age, although the range can be 40 through 60. Menopause has occurred when one has not experienced a menstrual cycle for 12 months. Perimenopause means “around menopause” and is the period in a woman’s life when the body begins to make the transition toward permanent infertility. This is a relatively new term coined by the medical community. Many women in both stages of menopausal change can experience numerous symptoms pertaining to this transition.
Some of the symptoms are psychological. The influence of psychological factors, lifestyle, body image, interpersonal relationships, role, and sociocultural factors all need to be taken into consideration.
Society can be quite hard on the menopausal woman and the stereotyping that comes with it. This negative connotation of menopause is quite unfortunate because it can also be a time in a woman’s life that has positive aspects. With menopause and the natural progression of aging there often comes a calm demeanor and one becomes less aggravated by the small inconveniences of life. There are many benefits to aging that society conveniently overlooks. These can include financial security, extended family and grandchildren, and the ability to easily identify what brings joy to our lives. With Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy the transition through, and following, menopause can ease the symptoms of menopause that most women find so inconvenient and disheartening.
Hot Flashes, Night Sweats and Cold Sensations
Hot flashes and night sweats are caused by a complex interaction that involves fluctuating estrogen levels. Since estrogen levels fluctuate during menopause and perimenopause the region of the brain that regulates our body temperature, the hypothalamus, is strongly influenced by the fluctuating hormones. Like a bad thermostat, the hypothalamus responds to changes in estrogen as if it senses that your body is becoming overheated. It attempts to cool the body by creating a sequence of occurrences that include dilating the blood vessels to reduce heat and trigger sweat glands. We feel these occurrences as night sweats.
Hot flashes seem to emanate from the solar plexus and spread quickly throughout your torso. A hot flash is a quick feeling of heat and sometimes a red, flushed face. It can cause sweating and a desire to peel off layers of clothing to relieve the feeling of being so overheated.
Since fluctuating estrogen causes both night sweats and hot flashes Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, which helps to regulate estrogen, can help to eliminate these symptoms
Women experiencing perimenopause and menopause can suffer an array of symptoms including irritability, feelings of sadness, anxiety, lack of focus, fatigue, aggressiveness and lack of motivation. These mood swings may not be a daily occurrence but can affect the way you communicate with others. The feeling of not being in control of ones emotions and responses can often lead to depression.
Although mood swings and menopause are terms commonly used together there is much that can be done to alleviate these feelings. Using Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy can help you balance your hormones and, in turn, alleviate your mood swings.
Lack of Sexual Libido
Women going through menopause are not the only ones who suffer from its effects. Rapidly changing moods and the lack of desire for sexual intimacy can also have negative consequences for your marriage or other close relationships.
Decreasing estrogen levels can affect many areas of sexual function. The changes in estrogen levels can cause you to have difficulty becoming aroused, vaginal dryness and thinning of the vaginal walls. These changes can result in decreased sensitivity and painful intercourse.
Bioidentical Hormones Used to Treat Menopausal Symptoms
- Estrone: This is a weaker form of estrogen, but it has a major effect on the accumulation of belly fat. Many women who are struggling with stubborn fat stores lose weight easier after receiving estrone as part of a Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy.
- Estriol: It is formed in the liver and is 8% as potent as estradiol and 14% as potent as estrone. The lack of it can cause problems with dry skin and urinary tract infections.
- Estradiol: This is the major form of estrogen produced by your ovaries, which means that the lack of it causes the majority of troublesome symptoms. It is theprimary female sex hormone but it also affects many other tissues, including bone.
- Progesterone: Your body naturally releases progesterone in the second half of your menstrual cycle. It is also responsible for helping to sustain a pregnancy. Once you are beyond your childbearing years, having too little progesterone can result in heavy bleeding, irregular bleeding, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Testosterone: Although primarily a male hormone, testosterone is present in smaller amounts in women. Lack of testosterone balance affects energy levels, sexual desire, muscle tone and the overall sense of well-being.
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): This hormone is produced by the brain and helps to create sex hormones in both genders. Balancing the level of DHEA in your body helps fight depression, obesity, and osteoporosis.
After three to six weeks of therapy, most patients experience improvements in mood, energy, libido, and an overall improvement in well being.
Our patients have reported dramatic improvements in their symptoms including:
- Improved mood
- Improved sleep quality
- Decreased fat mass
- Improved libido
- Increased mental & physical energy
- Improved overall well being
Aging is a process which can be controlled. True, we are all going to age, but you have a choice in how you age. Individualized Medicine is here.
Bioidentical hormones are customized to the individual. No one size fits all. If you are looking for optimal health despite your age let us create a customized plan that’s right for you! Andrea Cole, D.O. can help you find fast relief of all or most of your menopausal symptoms.