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Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

Answers to Your Burning Questions About Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy

NATURAL ALTERNATIVES TO SYNTHETIC HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY

Ever since we launched our GLOW Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) program I’ve been getting a ton of questions from women who are intrigued, curious, and confused about hormone replacement therapy.  They know they want the benefits that hormone replacement can provide, but they are still on the fence… wondering if it’s right for them.  So, I decided to answer the most common questions here, since it’s possible you are looking for answers as well.

The exciting news is that in just the past few months, we have helped hundreds of women regain healthy hormonal balance, reverse age-related symptoms, and protect themselves from diseases such as osteoporosis, dementia, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer…  by addressing the key underlying deficiencies in their hormones.

This article is designed to help you explore the process of natural hormone replacement and decide whether bioidentical hormones and natural hormone replacement therapy are appropriate for you.

 

WHAT ARE BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES?

Bioidentical hormones are natural hormones that have an identical chemical and molecular structure as hormones produced by the human body. When we refer to bioidentical hormone replacement we are mainly talking about the steroid hormones that include bioidentical estrogen, bioidentical progesterone, bioidentical testosterone, and bioidentical DHEA.

Bioidentical hormones have the same molecular structure as the human body’s natural hormones, therefore both endogenously produced hormones and bioidentical hormones have the same biological action. Bioidentical hormones generate normal, physiological responses from the human body when replaced in the doses required by the body.

Many organs of the human body have receptors for specific hormones. Bioidentical hormones can attach easily to those receptors. Bioidentical hormones, just like human hormones, fit perfectly into the receptors “like a key into a lock”.

Synthetic hormones do not provide an exact fit for the receptor. Due to the fact that they are molecularly different from human hormones. Synthetic hormones can distort the receptor and create damage to that receptor, including damage to the DNA. This can result in numerous side effects such as a stroke and various cancers that are often associated with the use of synthetic hormones.

WHAT ARE THE RAW MATERIALS THAT BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES ARE MADE FROM?

Bioidentical hormones are produced using raw materials that are derived from plants such as wild yam and soy. Wild yam and soy have an abundance of precursor molecules known as “phytohormones” that can be easily converted into bioidentical hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone, etc.  However, although bioidentical hormones originate from plant sources, these plant ingredients have been transformed into molecules of bioidentical hormones, therefore bioidentical hormones are not plant extracts.

At GLOW Natural Wellness, we only use wild yam-based hormones.

HOW ARE BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE MANUFACTURED?

The raw material for bioidentical hormones is United States Pharmacopoeia approved for use in bioidentical hormone preparation.  The hormones will list the letters “USP” in front of the hormone name at the ingredient level.  A facility that has been approved by State Boards and the FDA is obligated to use only those official raw materials that have certificates of analysis as being appropriate for the production of bioidentical hormones.

All of the hormones that we use here at Glow Natural Wellness are made in an FDA-approved and Kosher and GMP-certified facility.  The base of our topical hormone creams is Paraben Free, Soy Free, Fragrance-Free, Allergen Free, and EDTA Free. Our hormones come from organic wild yam extract and are converted into USP progesterone, estradiol, estriol, and DHEA (meeting the standards of the United States Pharmacopeia for strength, purity, and quality

BENEFITS OF BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES

Bioidentical hormones, when dosed and delivered appropriately through bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, re-establishes hormonal balance in the body in a natural way. They follow the same metabolic pathways as the body’s own hormones.  Because of their structure – identical to the body’s hormones – bioidentical hormones and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy do not cause the unpleasant and dangerous side effects that synthetic or horse-derived hormones do.  Bioidentical hormones will alleviate symptoms of menopause and perimenopause.  This means you get your life back!  BHRT provides freedom from hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, low libido, vaginal dryness, hair loss, belly fat, rapid aging, joint pain, and more. For younger, premenopausal women, suffering from irregular menstrual cycles, uterine fibroids, and PMS, bioidentical hormones can balance their menstrual cycle and ease their symptoms.

More importantly, bioidentical hormones have many health-protective benefits such as:

  • Preventing osteoporosis, improving bone density and preventing tooth loss.
  • Maintaining muscle mass, preventing sarcopenia.
  • Helping maintain proper body mass and reducing obesity.
  • Improving lipids and cholesterol levels.
  • Preserving cardiovascular function, reducing risk of heart disease.
  • Protecting youthful brain function, preventing Alzheimers and dementia.
  • Balancing mood, reducing anxiety, irritability, and depression.
  • Restoring libido and sexual pleasure.
  • Improving quality of sleep.
  • Enhancing energy.
  • Preventing UTI’s and incontinence.

GOALS OF BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY (BHRT)

The goal of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) using synthetic hormones was to only alleviate menopausal symptoms. The goals of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) are not only to ease unpleasant symptoms of menopause and perimenopause but more importantly to restore youthful hormone balance as well as provide the body with the same protective health benefits that the body’s own natural hormones would provide; in other words, reducing the risk of nearly all age-related disease and extending longevity. This can be accomplished through optimization and balancing of bioidentical hormone levels in a safe, natural way.

WHO NEEDS BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY?

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is beneficial for all who have hormonal imbalances or insufficiencies.  Hormonal imbalances can occur at any age and can affect both men and women.  Hormonal imbalances can manifest themselves as menopause, perimenopause, PMS, infertility, ovarian cysts, breast cystic lesions, uterine fibroids, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), adrenal dysfunction, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, brain fog, and more.

WHEN DO YOU NEED BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY?

Whenever a hormonal imbalance is diagnosed it can be treated using bioidentical hormones. Unfortunately, allopathic physicians address only the obviously significant abnormalities and typically turn to pharmaceutical drugs to suppress symptoms rather than addressing the source, which is why many hormonal imbalances are undiagnosed and untreated.  Midlife women are too often told that their symptoms are just part of “getting older” and offered antidepressants or birth control pills which are of little help.  Addressing hormonal imbalances with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can significantly improve the quality of life and well-being for these women at the present and for years to come.

BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY DURING REPRODUCTIVE YEARS

Hormonal imbalances during reproductive years can result in menstrual cycle abnormalities such as amenorrhea (lack of menstrual period), menorrhagia (very heavy menstrual bleeding), and dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation). Hormonal imbalances can affect your mood in a negative way, causing premenstrual syndrome (PMS).  Uterine fibroids can grow as a result of abnormal estrogen and progesterone levels. Hormonal imbalance and especially low progesterone levels can significantly affect female fertility.

Female athletes may have menstruation problems related to extensive physical training. This can result in amenorrhea, hormonal imbalances, decreased bone density, infertility, and adrenal fatigue, or other forms of adrenal dysfunction. Overtraining and intense physical competition creates increased stress levels and amplifies the production of cortisol at the expense of sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone). Diets that are rich in refined carbohydrates (simple sugars) and without adequate protein intake can also contribute to menstrual disorders.

In addition to lifestyle modifications, bioidentical hormones can be useful to help bring the body back into balance and restore a healthy menstrual cycle.

BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES AND HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY AT PERIMENOPAUSE

Perimenopause is the time period (usually of several years) that precedes menopause. Perimenopause can last anywhere from two years to eight years. The first year after the end of menstruating is also included in perimenopause. During perimenopause the levels of estrogen can fluctuate, menstrual cycles can be shorter or longer, and menstrual periods become irregular. Symptoms of perimenopause are the same as symptoms of menopause and can include hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, mood swings, and decreased libido. Hormonal fluctuations during perimenopause create perimenopausal symptoms. Bioidentical hormones used by means of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy during perimenopause will restore hormonal balance and improve perimenopausal symptoms.

BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY DURING AND AFTER MENOPAUSE

During and after menopause, women seek bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to improve menopausal symptoms of hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood swings, memory problems, loss of libido, etc. The other very important aspect of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy after menopause is to restore the hormonal balance of the body to natural, youthful levels.  Bioidentical hormones offer many important health-protective benefits, such as protecting the cardiovascular system, preventing a decline in brain function, balancing mood, as well as protecting against bone loss and osteoporosis. 

BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES AND HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY AFTER A HYSTERECTOMY

Many women undergo surgical menopause through hysterectomy. Having a hysterectomy before menopause usually results in severe menopausal symptoms due to a sudden stop in the production of female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.  Allopathic medicine treats post-hysterectomy menopausal symptoms through synthetic hormone replacement therapy, often combined with antidepressants.  Bioidentical hormones and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can re-establish hormonal balance to the body that was drastically deprived of female hormones.  Also, allopathic medicine believes that postmenopausal women who have had a hysterectomy and do not have a uterus, do not require progesterone replacement.  Doctors who are well educated in women’s health, bioidentical hormones, and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, know that progesterone plays a much more important role in a woman’s body than just protection from uterine cancer.  Therefore, bioidentical progesterone, as well as bioidentical estrogen, is recommended for women after a hysterectomy.

BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES AND BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY FOR UTERINE FIBROIDS

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that grow out of the uterus. They usually occur during childbearing years. Uterine fibroids are quite common and often do not cause any symptoms. When symptomatic, uterine fibroids can cause abnormal heavy and painful menstrual periods, pelvic pain, and frequent urination. The growth of uterine fibroids is influenced by estrogen levels. Uterine fibroids have more estrogen receptors than normal uterine muscle tissue. A family history of uterine fibroids can predispose a woman to uterine fibroids. Also, black women have a higher rate of developing uterine fibroids. As well, obesity is considered a risk factor for developing uterine fibroids. Exposure to xenoestrogens (including pesticides, PCBs, and herbicides) predisposes someone to uterine fibroids and causes increased growth of pre-existing uterine fibroids. Women with uterine fibroids typically have hormonal imbalances that can be improved with lifestyle factors, along with a bioidentical hormone replacement and a hormone detox program. There is usually a long-lasting progesterone deficiency and relatively high estrogen levels in these women.

NATURAL BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY (BHRT) FOR ENDOMETRIOSIS

Endometriosis is a medical condition in which the endometrial uterine cells are deposited in areas of the body other than the uterus. This misplaced uterine tissue responds to the stimulation of female hormones in the same fashion as the endometrial tissue of the uterus.  Exposure to xenoestrogens from pesticides and herbicides worsens symptoms of endometriosis.  An imbalanced estrogen to progesterone ratio can aggravate symptoms of endometriosis.  Natural bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) and the use of bioidentical progesterone inhibit the growth of the uterine lining and improve symptoms of endometriosis.

BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES AND HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY FOR OVARIAN CYSTS

Several hormonal imbalances have been associated with ovarian cysts. These include:

  • Thyroid hormone deficiency
  • Cortisol deficiency
  • High prolactin level
  • Imbalanced estrogen to progesterone ratio

Also, a deficiency of essential fatty acids can predispose a woman to ovarian cysts. Restoring hormonal balance through bioidentical hormones and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy decreases the likelihood of developing ovarian cysts.

BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES AND HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY FOR BREAST CYSTS

Breast cysts usually develop when levels of estrogen are relatively high, while progesterone levels are low.  This hormonal imbalance causes swelling of the breast cells and stimulates the epithelial cells of the breasts to grow in the form of a cyst.  Restoring hormonal balance and improving the estrogen to progesterone ratio by utilizing bioidentical hormones and a hormone detox protocol will restore the natural composition of breast tissue.

BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT AFTER BREAST CANCER

While it is widely accepted that synthetic hormones increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancers, the same is not the case for bioidentical hormones. 

Many treatments for breast cancer block the estrogen receptor or the androgen conversion of estrogen to reduce the risk of relapse. This results in an imbalance of the cancer survivors’ hormones. Without estrogen, clinical symptoms like hot flashes, sleeplessness, insulin sensitivity, and mood changes can creep up, as well as increased incidence of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis  According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology,   the use of estrogen and progesterone bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) increased well-being and quality of life for women with breast cancer without increased incidence of cancer.  In fact, women receiving topical, physiological doses of BHRT actually had less incidence of recurrence.

 

BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES AND BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT FOR INFERTILITY

Proper hormonal balance is essential for healthy conception and normal fetus development.  Both male and female hormonal imbalances can result in infertility or a miscarriage.  Bioidentical hormones, by restoring natural hormonal balance to the body, can improve fertility, resulting in a normal healthy pregnancy.

HOW TO BEGIN NATURAL BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY

The best way to begin bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is by consulting an experienced medical doctor who specializes in bioidentical hormones and is well versed in the utilization of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.  The next step is obtaining a baseline of the current hormonal levels of your body.  Baseline hormonal testing is essential for ensuring the safe and precise application of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.  The body’s hormone levels should be monitored on a regular basis. Until a proper balance of hormones is established, hormonal analysis through laboratory testing should be performed every 4 months.  Click here to learn about the GLOW BHRT program.

WHAT IS THE PROPER DOSE OF BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES?

Physicians who prescribe bioidentical hormones should utilize a personalized treatment approach.  A healthy hormonal balance can only be accomplished when each person’s individual hormonal needs are addressed.  At GLOW Natural Wellness, we determine the dose based on a detailed history and symptom assessment, as well as on hormonal laboratory testing.  The dose of bioidentical hormones greatly varies from one person to the other, and each woman will have a unique ratio of hormones that helps her feel her best.

USING BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES AND BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY

The purpose of using bioidentical hormones through bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is to create a state of natural hormonal balance within the body.  Therefore, bioidentical hormones are usually administered in a specific form and at a precise time that will support the body’s natural metabolic pathways and circadian rhythm.  Hormones that have an energizing effect on the body such as thyroid hormones, testosterone, estrogens or DHEA are usually administered in the morning.  Hormones that have a calming, relaxing effect on the body, such as progesterone or melatonin are recommended to be taken at night.

HOW LONG DOES BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY LAST?

The length of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy depends on the individual health condition and the type of hormonal imbalance.  Synthetic hormones were recommended only to alleviate menopausal symptoms and therefore the length of the therapy was limited to several years after menopause. Many women were stopping synthetic hormone replacement therapy due to the unpleasant side effects.  In lieu of synthetic hormones, and due to their many positive health benefits and no dangerous side effects (when appropriately administered and carefully monitored), bioidentical hormones and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be taken for a prolonged period of time.  Additionally, there is no upper age limit for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.  As I like to say, “You are never too old to grow young”.

CAN I USE BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT AFTER AGE 65

The use of hormone replacement therapy after age 65 has been a controversial topic.  Some doctors feel that hormone replacement after this age is risky and should be avoided.  However, they are basing this opinion on the 2002 Women’s Health Initiative Study that used SYNTHETIC hormones.  The study found that the use of synthetic hormones in women over age 65 could increase the risk of cancer.  This is because synthetic hormones have serious side effects and should not be used by women of any age.

Bioidentical hormones on the other hand are protective for women over the age of 65 and can prevent bone loss, heart disease, and cognitive decline in addition to treating any vasilmotor symptoms.  In fact, the North American Menopause Society recently stated, “age shouldn’t dictate whether or not a woman receives hormone therapy”.  So, yes… you absolutely can use bioidentical hormone replacement therapy after age 65 if dosed and delivered appropriately.

WHO CAN PRESCRIBE NATURAL BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES AND BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY?

Unfortunately, very few doctors have any experience with bioidentical hormones and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Allopathic doctors are inexperienced in hormonal testing or prescribing bioidentical hormonal formulas.  Many allopathic doctors, including gynecologists and endocrinologists, have very little, if any, training on bioidentical hormones.  They tend to lump synthetic (dangerous) hormones together with bioidentical (protective) hormones.  To experience the full range of health benefits of bioidentical hormones, you’ll want to work with a knowledgeable doctor who can interpret the hormonal laboratory test values and design a hormone replacement program individually suited and customized for you.  Since access to educated hormone doctors is limited and can be hard to access, GLOW Natural Wellness recently launched its online GLOW BHRT program, where you can work directly with female hormone experts and board-certified physician, Dr. Michelle Sands and her team to replace your hormones easily and effectively.

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SAFETY OF BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES

The safety of bioidentical hormones is assured by several factors:

  1. The raw materials come from FDA approved facilities.
  2. Bioidentical hormone creams are manufactured according to FDA standards of quality in a FDA approved facility.

Furthermore, bioidentical hormones are prescribed by and administered under the care and guidelines of qualified medical doctors.  Based on the positive clinical results from thousands of patients treated with bioidentical hormones worldwide, bioidentical hormones should be the preferred and standard method for hormone replacement therapy.

BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES VS. CONGUGATED EQUINE ESTROGEN, PROGESTINS AND SYNTHETIC HORMONES

The major difference between bioidentical hormones and synthetic or equine (horse) hormones is their chemical structure. Due to this fact, there is a difference in how bioidentical hormones and their synthetic counterparts work in the body.  There are also many different metabolic pathways for each specific type of hormone.  Bioidentical hormones, due to their biological action and metabolic pathways being identical to human hormones offer the best path to hormone replacement therapy.  On the other hand, synthetic hormones are basically drugs that cover up menopausal symptoms without restoring hormonal balance.  However, while reducing menopausal symptoms of hot flushes, night sweats, irritability, etc., synthetic hormones and horse hormones generate many unpleasant side effects.  Because of those side effects, many women stop these types of hormone replacement therapies on their own.

The side effects of synthetic hormones are:

  • Water retention
  • Breast engorgement and discomfort
  • Weight gain
  • Gallbladder stones
  • Blood clots

According to the Women’s Health Initiative, equine estrogen, especially when combined with synthetic progestins, can significantly increase many health risks including breast cancer, heart attack, strokes, blood clots and death from pulmonary cancer.  Synthetic progestin stiffens arteries and reduces arterial blood flow, while natural, bioidentical progesterone relaxes blood vessels, improves blood flow and circulation.  Bioidentical progesterone increases REM sleep, however synthetic progestins do not.

HOW YOUR BODY UTILIZES BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES

The body utilizes bioidentical hormones the same way as natural body hormones.  Bioidentical hormones, due to their chemical structure being identical to that of natural hormones produced by the human body, follow the same metabolic pathways and attach to the receptor sites without causing changes to the receptor site as synthetic hormones do.

WEIGHT LOSS AND BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES

One of the most common symptoms of a hormonal imbalance is weight gain.

Around the time of menopause, most women gain some weight. The size of this gain and its distribution depend on the type of hormones that are declining and the amount of each declining hormone.  The ratio of estrogen to progesterone determines the distribution of weight gain.  When estrogen decreases out of proportion to progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA, the weight gain is in the middle section of the body.  Cortisol, the hormone released during stress, facilitates increased fat storage in the body and weight gain around the waist.  If the estrogen is too high and progesterone too low, the weight accumulates around the hips.  Bioidentical hormones through bioidentical hormone replacement therapy are the best options for providing natural hormonal balance.  Postmenopausal women using bioidentical hormones replacement therapy have a lower incidence of gaining excess body fat and weight.

CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH, HEART HEALTH, AND BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES

Estrogen and testosterone have protective effects against cardiovascular disease.  Estrogen and testosterone lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL cholesterol) while increasing good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) levels.  Lipids, blood sugar, and insulin levels improve with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.  Bioidentical estrogen and bioidentical DHEA (which converts to testosterone) improve the function of the small blood vessels including coronary arteries.  Estrogen and testosterone reduce high blood pressure by vasodilatation (increasing the lumen of the arteries) and by decreasing the viscosity of the blood, estrogen, and testosterone to prevent blood clots.

Synthetic progestins block the estrogen’s protective effects on the health of the cardiovascular system.  Synthetic progestins cause spasms of the arteries, increasing blood pressure, while bioidentical progesterone decreases blood pressure.  Bioidentical progesterone also has a positive effect on lipid metabolism and cholesterol levels.

BONE DENSITY, BONE HEALTH AND BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES

Osteoporosis, or bone loss, happens to both women and men due to a loss of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.  To protect bone health and prevent osteoporosis, the body requires the proper intake of nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin K, boron, manganese, and vitamin C. Physical exercise also helps to maintain optimal bone density.

Hormonal balance is of great importance for healthy bones and osteoporosis prevention. Hormones such as estrogen and testosterone prevent bone tissue loss, and progesterone can assist with the rebuilding of lost bone tissue. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a much better way to treat osteoporosis than synthetic drugs such as bisphosphonates or selective estrogen modulators.

 

MEMORY PROBLEMS, BRAIN HEALTH AND BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES

Estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and DHEA have beneficial effects on brain function and memory preservation.  These hormones improve cognitive function and increase the ability of learning.  Studies show that women who are on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy after menopause have a lower incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  Additionally, the studies show that the longer an individual continues bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, the lower his/her risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.  Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy stimulates the growth of new brain cells and improves neuronal function.  Bioidentical hormones act as a guardian by protecting the function of the neurons and increasing oxygen supply.

DEPRESSION, MOOD SWINGS AND BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES

A healthy hormonal balance is necessary for supporting a stable mood. Estrogen, testosterone, and DHEA stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, which increases alertness.  Progesterone has a calming, relaxing effect.  Estrogen increases the serotonin and endorphin levels in the body, thus bioidentical estrogen has a positive effect on the mood of a woman.  A sudden drop in estrogen levels, as happens postpartum, can lead to a drop in serotonin and create a postpartum depression in women who may already have low serotonin levels.  Fluctuating levels of estrogen create symptoms of anxiety, depression, and mood swings.  Not only do low levels of estrogen create emotional imbalances, but excessively high levels of estrogen can also cause many symptoms as well. The condition in which estrogen is not balanced by progesterone is called estrogen dominance. A foremost important factor that causes estrogen dominance is exposure to environmental toxins such as pesticides, herbicides, and PCBs.  Progesterone helps balance mood by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system.  Bioidentical progesterone relieves symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and mood swings.  Synthetic progestins do not have the same effect, in fact, they can cause mood disturbances called dysphoria.

STRESS AND BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES

Stress, whether emotional or physical, can affect the production and release of many hormones.  During stressful situations, the body releases mainly cortisol, a major hormone that helps the body to cope with stress.  At that time, the production of other hormones such as DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen decreases.  If the stressful situation lasts for a prolonged period of time, adrenal glands can become exhausted and the production of cortisol will diminish.  Decreased levels of cortisol will further reduce tolerance of stress and have a negative effect on mood.  In the time of stress, the body requires higher levels of hormones and therefore the dosage of bioidentical hormones will have to be adjusted.  This is why at GLOW Natural Wellness, our BHRT program includes retesting every quarter and constant contact with our clinical team so we can keep your hormones balanced – no matter what life throws your way.

TYPE 2 DIABETES AND BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES

Hormones such as DHEA, cortisol, testosterone, progesterone, estrogen, and thyroid hormones play important roles in regulating levels of blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.  Excessive levels of DHEA, cortisol, testosterone, and progesterone influence an increase in insulin.  Also, decreased estrogen and thyroid hormones will raise insulin levels.  During menopause, women with elevated insulin levels may have higher testosterone to estrogen ratio which can result in a masculinizing effect on the body.

Estradiol improves insulin sensitivity.  Insulin resistance will negatively influence the release of DHEA from the adrenal glands.  Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, when applied under the supervision of an experienced hormone doctor, decreases one’s risk for diabetes.

SKIN HEALTH, SKIN REJUVENATION AND BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES

Skin is one of the organs that has estrogen receptors.  When the estrogen levels decline, the skin begins to lose elasticity.  Bioidentical estrogen increases collagen production in the skin, it also improves blood supply to the skin as well as the production of hyaluronic acid and therefore makes the skin softer, hydrated, and smoother.  Bioidentical estrogen also increases the thickness and firmness of the skin.  Bioidentical estriol is often utilized in skin creams since it was shown that bioidentical estriol effectively reduces wrinkles by rejuvenating the skin. Depletion of other hormones such as progesterone, testosterone, and growth hormone has an aging effect on the skin similar to that of estrogen depletion.  Since bioidentical hormone replacement can reverse the signs of aging and restore youthful appearances, perhaps that is why some of our practice members call their hormones “youth in a bottle”!

ABOUT THE GLOW BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY PROGRAM (GLOW BHRT)

When it comes to treating symptoms of hormonal imbalance, at GLOW Natural Wellness we only practice the most natural bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).  We provide the cleanest bioidentical hormones creams manufactured in the US at a kosher-certified, FDA-approved facility.  Our hormone creams are allergen-free, Paraben Free, Soy Free, BPA Free, and EDTA Free.   We use only organic wild yam-derived USP hormones – meeting the standards of the United States Pharmacopeia for strength, purity, and quality.

Dr. Michelle Sands and her team of skilled clinicians have helped thousands of women around the world find relief from the effects of hormone imbalance brought on by menopause and perimenopause.  And the best part… we bring the doctor’s office to you.

Whether you suffer from fatigue, insomnia, mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, bone loss, rapid aging, or any other menopausal symptoms, you can achieve hormone balance through a customized treatment plan that has been designed specifically for YOU.  We start with an intake questionnaire, then test your baseline hormone levels.  Dr. Michelle will analyze your symptoms alongside your lab results and then consult with you about the best plan to restore balance.  Your hormones will ship to your door and every 4 months we will retest and reevaluate your hormone replacement protocol to get you the very best results.

Don’t settle for “this is what happens when you get older”, and please don’t suffer needlessly through your symptoms another day.  You deserve to look and feel amazing now, and to preserve your health for the future. 

=>Click here to learn more about our GLOW BHRT program

 

 

References:

BREAST CANCER
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CARDIOVASCULAR BIOMARKERS, PHYSIOLOGY AND PHARMACOLOGY INCLUDING MODULATION BY GENDER SPECIFIC FACTORS
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35. Van Baal W, Kenemans P, Van der Mooren MJ, et al. Increased C-reactive protein levels during short term hormone replacement therapy in healthy postmenopausal women. Thrombosis and Haemostatsis 1999; 81(6): 925-8. 4
36. Rifai N, Buring JE, I-Min Lee, et al. Is C-Reactive protein specific for vascular disease in women? Annals of Internal Medicine 2002; 136(7): 529-533.
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56. Garcia-Moll X, Zouridakis E, Cole D, Kaski JC. C-reactive protein in patients with chronic stable angina: Differences in baseline serum concentration between women and men. European Heart Journal 2000; 21: 1598-1606.
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DHEA
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ESTROGENS: ESTRADIOL AND ESTRIOL
1. Lemon HM. Estriol prevention of mammary carcinoma induced by 7, 12 dimethylbenzanthracene and procarbazine. Cancer Res. 197535(5): 1341-1353.
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11. Molloy EJ, O”Neill AJ, et al. Sex-specific alterations in neutrophil spoptosis: the role of estradiol and progesterone. Blood 2003; 102(7): 2653-9.
12. Azcoitia I, Leonelli E, et al. Progesterone and its derivatives dihydroprogesterone and tetrahydroprogesterone reduce myelin fiber morphological abnormalities and myelin fiber loss in the sciatic nerve of aged rats. Neurobiology of Aging 2003; 24: 853-860.
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15. Polanczyk MJ, Carson BD, Subramanian S, et al. Cutting edge : Estrogen drives expansion of the CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cell compartment. The Journal of Immunology 2004; 173: 2227-2230.
16. Polanczyk M, Hopke C, Huan J, et al. Enhanced FoxP3 expression and Treg cell function in pregnant and estrogen-treated mice. J of Neuroimmunology 2005.
17. Yue T, Wang X, Louden CS, et al. 2-Methoxyestradiol, and endogenous estrogen metabolite, induces apoptosis in endothelial cells and inhibits angiogenesis : Possible role for stress-activated protein kinase signaling pathway and Fas expression. Molecular Pharmacology 1997; 51: 951-962.
18. Weiland N. Estradiol selectively regulates against binding sites on the N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor complex in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Endocrinology 1992; 131: 662-668.
19. Van den Heuvel MW, Van Bragt AJ, et al. Comparison of ethinylestradiol pharmacokinetics in three hormonal contraceptive formulations: the vaginal ring, the transdermal patch, and an OC. Contraception 2005; 72: 168-174.
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21. Cohen LS, Soares CN, Poitras JR, et al. Short-term use of estradiol for depression in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women: A preliminary report. Am J Psychiatry 2003; 160: 1519-1522.
22. Felson D, Cummings S. Aromatase inhibitors and the syndrome of arthralgias with estrogen deprivation. ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATISM 2005; 52: 2594-2598.
23. Yue T, Wang X, Louden C, Gupta S, et al. 2-methoxyestradiol, and edogenous estrogen metabolite induces apoptosis in endothelial cells and inhibits angiogenesis: possible rold for stress activated protein kinase signaling pathway and fas expression. The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 1997; 51: 951-962.
24. Fotsis T, Zhang Y, Pepper M, et al. The endogenous oestrogen metabolite 2-methoxyoestradiol inhibits angiogenesis and suppresses tumor growth. NATURE 1994; 268: 237-239.
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1. Rossow, JE et al. Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women : principal results from the Women’s Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2002; 288(3): 321- 33.
2. Anderson, GL, et al. Effects of conjugated equine estrogen in postmenopausal women with hysterectomy: the Women’s Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2004; 291(14): 1701-12. 
3. Hulley S, Grady D, Bush T, et al. Randomized trial of estrogen plus progestin for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease in perimenopausal, menopausal, and port menopausal women: Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study (HERS) Reasearch group. JAMA 1998: 280; 605-613. 
4. Shumaker SA, Legault C, Rapp SR, et al. Estrogen plus progestin and the invidence of dementia and mild cognitive impairment in postmenopausal women. JAMA 2003; 289: 2651-2662.
5. Ridker PM, Hennekens CH, Rifai N, et al. Hormone replacement therapy and increased plasma concentration of C-reactive protein. Circulation 1999; 100: 713-716.
6. Ridker PM, Buring JE, Shih J, et al. Prospective study of C-reactive protein and the risk of future cardiovascular events among apparently healthy women. Circulation 1998; 98(): 731-733.
7. Van Baal W, Kenemans P, Van der Mooren MJ, et al. Increased C-reactive protein levels durng short-term hormone replacement therapy in healthy postmenopausal women. Thrombosis and Haemostatsis 1999; 81(6): 925-8.
8. Rifai N, Buring JE, I-Min Lee, et al. Is C-Reactive protein specific for vascular disease in women? Annals of Internal Medicine 2002; 136(7): 529-533.
9. Duschek E, Neele SJ, et al. Effect of raloxifene on activated protein C (APC) resistance in postmenopausal women and on APC resistance and homocysteine levels in elderly men: two randomized placebo-controlled studies. Blood Coagulation and Fibrinolysis 2004; 15(8): 649-655.
10. Abrahamsen B, Nommevie-Nielsen B, et al. Cytokines and bone loss in a 5 year longitudinal study hormone replacement therapy suppresses serum soluble interleukin-6 receptor and increases interleukin-1- receptor antagonist: the Danish Osteoporosis Prevention Study. J of Bone and Mineral Reasearch 2000; 15(8): 1545-54.
11. Women’s Health Initiative Steering Committee. Effects of conjugated equine estrogen in postmenopausal women with hysterectomy. JAMA 2004; 291(14): 1701-1712.
12. Stark KD, Park EJ, Holub BJ. Fatty acid composition of serum phospholipids of Premenopausal and postmenopausal women receiving and not receiving hormone replacement therapy. Menopause 2003: 10(5): 448-55.
13. Col NF, Pauker SG. The discrepancy between observational studies and randomized trials of menopausal hormone therapy: did expectations shape experience? Ann Intern Med 2003; 139: 923-929.
14. Wilson PW, Garrison RJ, et al. Postmenopausal estrogen use, cigarette smoking and cardiovascular morbidity in women over 50. The Framingham study. N Engl J Med 1985; 313: 1038-1043.
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18. Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA, Willet WC, et al. Postmenopausal estrogen therapy and cardiovascular disease. Ten-year follow-up from the Nurses’ Health Study. New England Journal of Medicine 1991; 325(11): 756-62.
19. Miyagawa K, Rosch J, et al. Medroxyprogesterone interfaces with ovarian steroid protection against coronary vasospasm. Nature Medicine 1997; 3(3): 324-327.
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21. Maurer M, Trajanoski Z, et al. Differential gene expression profile of glucocorticoids, testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone in human cells. Horm Metab Res 2001; 2(12): 691-5.
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23. DeMasi Ma. Hormonally associated migrane. The Female Patient 2004; 29(7): 30-36.
24. Jette N, Morrell MJ. Sex-steroid hormones in women with epilepsy. The Female Patient 2004; 29(7): 23-29.
25. Donghai, et al. Progesterone inhibits human endometrial cancer cell growth and invasiveness: downregulation of cellular adhesion molecules through progesterone B receptors. Cancer Research 2002; 62: 881-886.
26. Gruber DM, Sator MO, et al. Progesterone and neurology. Gynecol Endocrin 1999; 13Suppl4: 41-5.
27. Sternberg WF, Chesler EJ, et al. Acute progesterone can recruit sex-specific neurochemical mechanisms mediating swim stress-induced and kappa-opioid analgesia in mice. Horm Behav 2004; 46(4): 46a7-473. 
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30. Bergerson R, Demontigny C, Debonnel G. Potentiation of neuronal NMDA response induced by dehydroepiandrosterone and its suppression by progesterone: effects mediated via sigma receptors. The Journal of Neuroscience 1996; 16(3): 1193-1202.
31. Ren K, Wei F, et al. Progesterone attenuates persistent inflammatory hyperalgesia in female rats: involvement of spinal NMDA receptor mechanisms. Brain Research 2000; 865: 272-277.
32. Rosano GMC, Webb CM, et al. Natural progesterone, but nor Medroxyprogesterone acetate, enhances the beneficial effect of estrogen on exercise induced myocardial ischemia in postmenopausal women. J Am Coll Card 2000; 36(7): 2154-9.
33. Hermsmeyer RK, Mishra RG, Pavcnik D, Uchida B, et al. Prevention of coronary hyperactivity in preatherogenic menopausal rhesus monkeys by transdermal progesterone. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2004; 24: 955-961.
34. Azcoitia I, Leonelli E, et al. Progesterone and its derivatives dihydroprogesterone and tetrahydroprogesterone reduce myelin fiber morphological abnormalities and myelin fiber loss in the sciatic nerve of aged rats. Neurobiology of Aging 2003; 24: 853-860.
35. Minshall R, Pavcnik D, et al. Nongenomic vascodilator action of progesterone on primate coronary arteries. J Appl Physiol 2002; 92: 701-708.
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37. Minshall RD, Miyagawa K, Chadwick C, et al. In vitro modulation of primate coronary vascular muscle cell reactivity by ovarian steroid hormones. The FASEB Journal 1998; 12: 1419-1429.
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42. Wilson ME. Premature elevation in serum insulin-like growth factor-I advances first ovulation in rhesus monkeys. Journal of Endocrinology 1998; 158: 247-257.
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45. Minshall RD, Pavcnik D, et al. Progesterone regulation of vascular thromboxane A2 receptors in rhesus monkeys. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2001; 281: H1498-1507.
46. Hermsmeyer RIK, Mishra RG, Pavcnik D, Uchida B. Prevention of coronary hyperreactivity in preatherogenic menopausal rhesus monkeys by transdermal progesterone. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2004; 24: 955-961.
47. Molloy EJ, O’Neill AJ, et al. Sex-specific alterations in neutrophil apoptosis: the role of estradiol and progesterone. Blood 2003; 102(7): 2653-9.
48. Monjo M, Rodriguez AM, et al. Direct effects of testosterone, 17 beta-estradiol, and progesterone on adrenergic regulation in cultured brown adipocytes: potential mechanism for gender-dependent thermogenesis. Endocrinology 2003; 144(11): 4923-30.
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