Hot Flashes, Night Sweats and Real Help

hot flashes, menopause

The approach of menopause often brings unpleasant symptoms such as

changes in your period (time between periods may fluctuate and flow may change)
thinning bones and bone loss
thinning hair
vaginal dryness and painful sex
hot flashes (warm flushing of face, neck, and chest with or without sweating)
night sweats (the nighttime version of hot flashes, which may disrupt sleep and cause tension or anxiety)
These symptoms vary from individual to individual and are caused by decreasing levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Women who are bothered by one or more of these symptoms can use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to alleviate them. HRT medications may use estrogen only or estrogen with progestin (for women whose menopause was not caused by surgical removal of the uterus).

There are basically two choices for HRT:

HRT with synthetic hormones
HRT using bioidentical (natural) hormones
Natural hormones are identical in composition to those produced naturally in a woman’s body and are formulated with plant materials such as yams and soy. These bioidentical or natural hormones will be used by the body just as it used the hormones that it naturally produced prior to the onset of menopause. HRT with natural hormones will restore bone density and greatly reduce the risk of Osteoporosis, relieve hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness, and even offer additional benefits such as a reduced risk of depression, better sleep, improved muscles mass, and even a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Contact us for additional information on Natural HRT and ask about our other services!

3 Things to know about Hormone Replacement Therapy

hormone therapy

With age come many benefits: respect, self-confidence, wisdom, etc. However, the older we get the harder it is to accept certain things that change in our bodies. Or sometimes, we accept what’s going on with our body and attribute it to age. This last one doesn’t have to be the case. Hormone Replacement Therapy is to help ease the process of aging without having to give up things that make us human like our sex drive, energy, strength, and endurance. Here are three things to know about hormone replacement therapy that might help you get your life back.

1. The best method of hormone replacement therapy is natural/bioidentical.

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy allows your body to think it’s producing the necessary hormones to improve your daily routines without shocking your body. Synthetic therapy can be corrosive to your system and cause larger, greater problems later on in life.

2. Pellet Therapy is the simplest form of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

An identical representation of your hormones, “matched molecule by molecule” derived by plant-based extracts to ensure that you receive the most natural hormone replacement to make aging seamless. Your doctor will then take these pellets (smaller than a pill) and place it under your skin, typically it’s placed just above the buttocks.

3. Hormone Replacement Therapy should not be taken lightly.

As with any form of procedure, therapy, medication, etc. there needs to be a pros and cons list. It’s always best to speak to your General Practitioner about the risks and benefits and to see if you’re a good fit.

For more information please contact us and take our free hormone imbalance test to see if you’d be a good fit for Hormone Replacement Therapy.

What you need to know regarding hormones

hormones

If you’re looking at hormones, here’s what you will need to know first.

As we age, we want to feel robust, mentally sharp and healthy. So, it’s no wonder so much attention is being placed on hormone replacement therapy.

In the 1990’s, more than 40% of women were taking some form of hormone therapy primarily for their hearts. In 2002, a landmark study by Women’s Health Initiative found that hormone therapy provided no protection against heart disease. In fact, it actually increased a woman’s risk.

Over the past decade, reviews of older studies along with newer ones revealed it was all in the timing of when the hormones were introduced. For a woman, taking hormones early in menopause helped, while taking them later in life caused the risk of heart problems.

“In men, the issue is even more contentious, in part because the data are so limited,” says Dr. Shalender Bhasin, an endocrinologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The Women’s Health Initiative hormone trial included more than 27,000 women who were followed for nine years. In contrast, the largest-ever trial of testosterone included 790 men who were followed for one year.

Hormones affect your mood, sex life, mental health, physical health and general overall well being. For many people, hormone replacement is the way to go. You will find ten people who swear by them yet a handful who would not dare try them. Given the risks and rewards, hormone therapy is worth trying.

To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

3 Health Conditions That May Improve Because Of Hormone Replacement Therapy

hormone therapy

If you take bioidentical hormones to manage your menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, don’t be surprised if taking them helps improve symptoms of some of your other health conditions. Unlike synthetic hormones, bioidentical hormones are made from natural sources such as yams, and are almost identical to the hormones that your body produces. The following three health conditions may improve or even resolve during hormone replacement therapy:

Back Pain

Back pain can be caused by osteoporosis, which is especially common in menopausal women. Osteoporosis can cause severe back pain, hip pain, thin bones and fractures, and is often related to declines in hormone levels that occur during the menopausal years.

Bioidentical hormones can help restore deficient hormone levels while staving off osteoporosis symptoms. While taking hormones cannot reverse bone loss, it can help strengthen your bones, help prevent further thinning, alleviate pain and reduce the risk for fractures.

Chronic Urinary Tract Infections

Low estrogen can decrease bladder tone, which can lead to urinary retention. When urine is retained in the bladder for extended periods of time, bacteria can multiply and cause an infection. Bioidentical hormones can help improve bladder tone so that your bladder contracts normally. This can facilitate optimal voiding so that urine is not retained in your bladder.

If you experience a burning sensation during urination, see blood in your urine, experience an increase or decrease in urinary frequency or develop pelvic or back pain, see your doctor because these are symptoms of a urinary tract infection. You may benefit from bioidentical hormones if you experience frequent urinary tract infections, which over time, may cause permanent kidney damage.

Gingivitis

Declines in circulating estrogen levels can also lead to gingivitis. Estrogen helps keep your teeth and gums healthy, and when your body stops producing normal amounts of estrogen as a result of menopause, you may experience inflamed, red or bleeding gums.

Low estrogen may also lead to gum recession and increase the risk for a gingival infection. Bioidentical hormones can help restore optimal levels of circulating estrogen so that your gums stay healthy and your teeth remain strong.

Talk to your doctor to determine if bioidentical hormones might help improve any of the above conditions. Bioidentical hormone prescriptions are based upon saliva and urine tests and are formulated in special pharmacies known as compounding pharmacies, as opposed to traditional pharmacies. These types of hormones may also help decrease the risk for heart attack and stroke in certain people.

How Does Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy Work?

hormones, therapy

Individuals with hormonal imbalance may want to consider bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. This is a noninvasive medical treatment that can significantly reduce the symptoms of hormonal deficiencies.

Treatment Theory

Hormonal imbalance can happen for a variety of reasons. Men and women around the age of 50 begin to experience bodily shifts that significantly decrease their production of hormones. If the decrease is too drastic or the ratio of different types of hormones changes significantly, this can cause problems. Hormonal imbalance is not limited to older individuals, however; major hormonal shifts can occur during puberty, after pregnancy, and after a major illness.

Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy works to correct the balance of hormones in the body. Bioidentical treatments are unique in that they are a blend of hormones specifically designed by your doctor to suit your body’s needs. This produces a more natural uptake of hormones for better performance.

Procedure

On your first visit of the treatment, the doctor will assess your symptoms to create a profile of recommended hormone levels for your body. The doctor will also take a saliva sample to determine your current hormonal levels. Next, the doctor prescribes a blend of hormones to correct the discrepancies in what your body needs and what it can produce on its own.

The hormones are delivered to your body through injection, in pill form, or through a topical cream that can be applied on a daily basis. In addition, your doctor may suggest changes in diet and exercise to complement your hormonal health.

Effects

Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is very effective at treating the symptoms of menopause; hot flashes, changes in appetite, loss of libido, and mood swings are some of the uncomfortable experiences that can often be fixed by hormonal replacement. In addition, the hormones could create health benefits such as gain of lean muscle and smoother complexion. In menstruating women, the therapy also helps smooth out irregularities in the menstrual cycle.

Using Bioidentical Hormones for Hormone Replacement Therapy

Patients have a few choices on the type of hormones to use in their hormone replacement therapy. Bio-identical hormones are beneficial because they are plant based rather than synthetic. And since they are detected by the body as identical to the hormones naturally produced in your body, they may be more effective. In short, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is a simple and powerful treatment to give you better control over your health.

Topics: Hormone Replacement Therapy, Hormones, hormone imbalance

Treating Menopausal Symptoms With Bio-Identical Hormones: Is It The Right Choice For You?

menopause, hormones

You’ve been waiting for this stage of your life, perhaps even dreading it, and now it has arrived. Menopause. Suddenly the stories of hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings are not simply stories. They are your life. You’ve heard of hormone replacement therapy, but you’ve also heard about its risks. Now your doctor is telling you about another option for relieving symptoms of menopause—bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. What is it, and can it provide the relief you’re looking for?

What Is Menopause?

Menopause is a natural part of aging in a woman. A woman’s ovaries produce estrogen and progesterone, which are hormones important to reproduction. Some time after age 40, a woman’s ovaries begin to slow and then stop producing these hormones, and her menstrual periods stop. Menopause affects every woman differently, but typically, the reduced hormone levels cause symptoms such as hot flashes, irritability, vaginal dryness, and loss of bladder control,

What Are Bio-Identical Hormones?

Bio-identical hormones are medicines that contain substances that are chemically identical to hormones produced naturally by the body. They are made from compounds found in plants such as soybeans and yams. They are manufactured commercially for hormone replacement therapy or custom-made by a compounding pharmacy on a patient-by-patient basis. The commercial products are regulated by the FDA, whereas the compounded preparations are not. One advantage that compounded products have is that they can be made into many forms, including capsules, liquids, lotions, sublingual pills, suppositories, and nasal sprays.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

When menopausal symptoms are severe, you might want to seek out a doctor’s help for reducing or eliminating them. He or she may recommend replacing the hormones that the ovaries are no longer producing. Your doctor can prescribe synthetic hormones to increase or stabilize your hormone levels, or he or she can prescribe bio-identical hormones.

Studies have shown that hormone replacement therapy may increase your risk of breast cancer, heart disease, blood clots and stroke. Bio-identical hormones are considered a more “natural” alternative to synthetic hormones, and therefore safer. Your body cannot tell the difference between bio-identicals and the ones your body produces, and they act exactly like the ones your body produces. There currently is little evidence to support the theory that they carry fewer risks, but studies are ongoing.

If you and your doctor decide that bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is a good option for you, there are many products available. Your doctor can prescribe the one that is best for you and your situation. If you do decide to try this treatment, it’s important to use only enough to relieve symptoms and monitor yourself for signs of problems that may be related to hormone-replacement.

What if Your Lack of Sex Drive isn’t a Normal Part of Aging?

As we age, there are certain changes that we all put up with.  No one likes the idea of getting older, but we also know that we can’t expect to be quite as energetic, youthful looking or strong in our old age as we were in our twenties.  While, certain aspects of aging should be accepted with grace, you may be excusing certain diminishments in your quality of life as “normal” parts of the aging process, when actually they are anything but.

For instance, how is your romantic life?  Have you noticed a dwindling interest in sexual activity? Perhaps you’ve just been telling yourself that this part of getting older and that there’s nothing you can do about it. IF so, you should know that lack of sex drive can actually be an indicator that you have a hormone imbalance.

You don’t have to give up on your love life, instead you can simply have your hormones tested.  If a hormone imbalance is detected it can be treated very effectively with bioidentical-hormone replacement.  You don’t need to take artificial hormones, you can replace the hormones that you are in need of, and get back to feeling more like yourself.

Before you chalk up your fatigue and diminished sex drive to your age, come in and see if it is something we can help you with. We love improving the quality of lives of our patients. Nothing gives us more satisfaction than teaching someone how important it is to have balanced hormones.

Conquering insomnia by paying attention to diet

insomnia, sleep, diet

One often overlooked approach to conquering insomnia is to pay more attention to the specific foods we ingest, especially right before bedtime. There is strong evidence suggesting that diet has a huge impact on our ability to fall and stay asleep.

According to the president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Dr. Nathaniel Watson, the impact of diet on sleep quality is significant. Dr. Watson is quoted in the Huffington Post as saying “… diet and sleep are interwoven in the fabric of a healthy lifestyle.”

Dr. Watson, confirming results of a small study conducted by Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition author Marie-Pierre St-Onge emphasized that for a good night’s sleep, it is important to eat a nutritious diet and get enough exercise.

This might not be so surprising to many people, especially insomniacs, as it is common knowledge by now that drinking caffeinated beverages and eating a lot of sugar do impact the quality of sleep.

However, the study indicated that there are some other foods that also impact the quality of sleep; foods high in fat, low in fiber and high in sugar have the potential to interrupt deep sleep, causing wakefulness during the night. Eliminating or even just reducing these foods in the diet, especially immediately before bed time, and conversely, eating foods low in fat, high in fiber and low in sugar, can actually improve sleep patterns, helping to get a good night’s sleep. Foods such as beans and other legumes, whole grains such as brown rice, fruits, leafy green vegetables (such as kale and spinach), and some nuts and seeds (such as almonds, and flaxseed, which must be ground to be well digested) are high in fiber and mostly low in fat. Low fiber, high fat foods include most meats (even lean meats have less fiber than beans and vegetables), cheeses, butter-filled desserts and most processed foods.

Foods high in processed sugar, such as candy bars, cakes and cookies, can negatively impact sleep, especially if eaten too close to bedtime. These foods offer no nourishment and can even deplete the body of minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium. When the body is depleted, sleep quality can be effected.

There is also some evidence, according to the article “Hibernation Diet Links Sleep and Obesity”, however, that honey, a natural sweetener, can actually aid in getting a good night’s sleep by keeping the liver and brain well nourished and reducing stress levels. Sleep quality is improved by reducing stress. Many insomniacs have experienced the opposite, when high stress causes poor sleep. When sleep is not restorative, the following day can be even more stressful, causing us to perhaps eat more comfort foods (which are often high in fat, low in fiber), and continuing the cycle of poor sleep-poor diet-poor sleep, etc.

While the Onge study was very small, only 26 people spending five nights in a controlled environment, the results are significant. If only a few days of eating certain foods can influence sleep patterns so significantly, there is evidence that changing diets to include sleep-healthy foods could improve not only sleep, but the quality of life as well!

Contact us for more information on insomnia and other health tips .

Practice Mindfulness to Complement Your Low Libido Treatment

libido, hormones

Sometimes, a low libido is not just a result of a hormone imbalance but involves psychological factors as well. This doesn’t mean you need therapy, but it’s possible that there are some resentments or other stresses getting in the way of your sex drive. Mindfulness, being aware of the present moment without judgment, is a tactic that you can use with your low libido treatment for better results. It will cover the mental aspect needed for a higher sex drive. Here are three simple mindfulness techniques to help you improve your libido:

#1 Become More Curious About Your Body’s Sensations

Learning how to be aware without judging is a difficult task for most people, especially when it comes to themselves. One way to let go of judgment is to replace it with curiosity. Simply be curious about how you’re feeling, what you’re experiencing, and what signals your body is sending you. Ask yourself questions out of curiosity and a genuine desire to understand.

This process will often reveal emotions and past issues you haven’t fully let go of, so that you can finally release them instead of suppress. You can gain valuable insight on what you need to do to help yourself feel better by practicing mindfulness.

#2 Pay Attention to Any Signs of Resistance

Resistance shows up in different ways for each person. Common signs of resistance that you may experience when getting intimate with your partner include suddenly feeling tired, irritated, anxious, numb, and foggy. Your muscles may even tense up. Notice how your body shows resistance without judging it. Once you know how you’re resisting, you can explore what’s behind the resistance and solve the problem.

#3 Communicate Effectively with Your Partner

You may find that you need to talk to your partner about a problem you’re experiencing that’s affecting your sex life. For instance, maybe you feel insecure about having a health issue. Or perhaps you have some conflict with your partner. Just make sure to use good communication skills when discussing it with your significant other to prevent fights or accusations. A quick tip for communicating effectively is to not start your sentences with “you”. Phrase what you think and feel in “I” statements. It’s not “you make me mad when you _____.” It should be “I feel mad when you _____.”

Conclusion

Practicing mindfulness in addition to hormone therapy is a good way to tackle both aspects of a low libido: physical and mental. Women, in particular, benefit from mindfulness because their emotions are generally more influential on their sex drive in comparison to men.

A Link Between Hormonal Imbalance and Depression?

depression, hormones,

It’s no secret: throughout a woman’s life, her hormones will change; especially surrounding her reproductive years. A woman’s hormonal balance goes through a great fluctuation process during these internally turbulent years. During these years, moments such as giving birth, period cycles, pregnancy, and menopausal symptoms can throw a woman’s hormonal balance completely out of whack; especially the hormone known as progesterone.

To begin, progesterone plays an integral part in one’s mood swings. In cases of hormonal imbalance, a woman’s levels of progesterone are too high or low, depression symptoms can creep in and range greatly in severity. Signs of depression can vary person to person, but there are some distinct signals to keep an eye out for:

  • feelings of anxiety
  • unexplained sadness
  • feelings of loneliness or isolation
  • fatigue
  • quick to anger

As noted, it’s imperative for woman to be cognizant of these tell-tale signs of depression; especially during the child bearing years. A woman’s body creates high levels of this hormone during pregnancy, as it enhances the glands which produce milk. This sudden increase can often cause anything from simple mood shifts to full blown depression. Additionally, after the birth of the child, progesterone levels drop greatly, which can also have dangerous consequences. It is this significant hormonal drop, which is thought to be a key contributor to postpartum depression.

Another point in a woman’s life in which a hormonal balance can place her into the throes of depression is menopause. When a woman’s body stops producing eggs, the hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone drop significantly. As a result of such a decline in hormonal levels, a woman can experience signs and symptoms of depression.

While an individual can experience the symptoms of depression at many points during life, it’s important to know when to take action and ask for help. One good rule of thumb is if the symptoms (i.e. anxiety, sadness, etc.) affect one’s daily routine or responsibilities. That can be an important sign that it’s time to get some help. For example, being nervous or anxious on any particular day isn’t necessarily a problem. However, if those feelings of anxiety keep you from going about your daily life, you need medical help.

Consequently, if a woman does seek medical assistance for depression, there are different routes a physician may take, depending on the severity of the symptoms. Some treatments may include:

  • hormone replacement therapy
  • medication
  • change in diet
  • change in activity levels (i.e. exercise routines)
  • alter sleep routines
  • counseling

Overall, education and awareness are key for woman to not only understand how their body works; but also how it reacts and changes during pivotal points in their development.

By supporting her body, seeking assistance if needed, and adhering to medical advice (i.e. diet, medication, exercise, etc.), a woman should have no problem weathering the storm of hormonal changes that stirs up as we age. If you suspect you are suffering from the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause, such as depression, trouble sleeping, low libido or a lack of energy, take our online Hormone Asessment Test and our specialists can help determine if bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a fit for you.