In a previous post, we learned that hormones can actually change our genes, which changes our chances of developing cancer, or diabetes, or Alzheimer’s, etc. But how does this work?
Hormones enter into all 100,000,000,000,000 (that’s 100 trillion) cells in our body. Inside the cells, hormones start a cascade of reactions which causes the “target cell” to perform the intended functions, to produce energy, to aid in memory, to increase the sex drive, to increase muscle development, to build bones, etc. Without this action by hormones these functions gradually decline. That is called menopause in women and andropause in men. When hormones begin to decline this is a sign of the beginning of the dying process. Our bodies cannot function as well (cannot function at all) without hormones.
This is why it is crucial to replace these lost hormones. But the key is to replace them (estradiol, progesterone and testosterone) with hormones that are an exact duplicate of those we had when we were 25 year old. We have learned from years of using the synthetic hormones (Premarin, Provera, and Prempro) that these can cause many negative side effects. In a study involving 16,608 women, the Women’s Health Initiative Trial, it was shown that when using these synthetic hormones, women are more likely to develop breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes and blood clots. Natural hormones, as we had when we were 25, do not have the side effects associated with synthetics.
Many studies have been done showing the beneficial effects of replacing these hormones as they decline. As a matter of fact, these studies show that the earlier the better, even replacing diminishing hormones in perimenopause (the early stages of menopause) is more beneficial than waiting until menopause. Many studies can be found on medical web sites showing there is less osteoporosis, coronary artery disease, depression, an increase in sex drive, elimination of hot flashes, vaginal dryness and night sweats, an increase in muscle mass in men and women, less need for erection dysfunction medication in men, greatly improved sleep, more energy, much improve self-esteem, and a resolution of restless leg syndrome.
It is very important to have blood tests done to confirm if you are deficient in hormones before beginning therapy. It is important to balance these 3 essential hormones to have optimal health. Without blood testing one cannot know what dosages to use. Many of our patients are able to get off of their antidepressants and pain medications and sleep medications under the guidance of their PCP. We all have to go to our reward eventually, but we can slow down the dying process until that day comes. I want my years of health to last as long as my years of living.
Next week we will be talking about how to prevent illnesses using a balanced approach to our hormones.