Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy: Is it Right For You?

When confronted with the need or the desire to replace hormones for medical reasons, you should first seek the advice of a reputable MD. It turns out that the terms “natural” and “synthetic”, used by various labs, may be misleading. And unless you understand what they mean, you may get the wrong treatment and thus end up with bad results. That is why exploring your options with the right natural hormone replacement therapy is so important.

By “natural”, many labs mean hormones made from herbs or plants and thus it may lead you to believe that this is a good, healthy product. On the other hand, the so-called “synthetic” hormones are fabricated artificially in such a way that their chemical structure is equal or equivalent to the original human hormone. In both cases, either “natural” or “synthetic” may be good for your health depending on the person.

On the other hand, those labeled as “bioidentical” are undistinguishable from the human hormone. Their molecular structure not only is equal to the original hormone, but it also works exactly as if it was produced by the human body. Thus, the term “bioidentical”, applied to a hormone, assures that the product will work just as the human hormone. Bioidentical hormones are usually derived from soy, yams, and other plants. The fact that they are made from natural products guarantees that they have not been artificially synthetized.

Finally, the patient must be aware that some labs mix their “natural” and “synthetic” hormones, thus adding to the danger that these drugs pose. Not so in the case of bioidentical hormones since not only are they “natural” but also have no mixture of other potentially harmful hormones.

How Does Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Work?

hormones, hormone treatment

After having your hormones tested to confirm that your symptoms are due to hormonal imbalances, most likely you will be prescribed bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Bioidentical hormones are extracted from plants and modified to be identical to human hormones. These natural compounds are prepared in pharmacies called compounding pharmacies. Compounding pharmacies prepare medicines that aren’t synthesized by pharmaceutical companies.

There are several forms of hormone replacement therapy, such as pellets, creams, capsules, drops, patches, injections, and any of a variety of other dosing options. Hormone pellets have many advantages over other dosing options. For one, the hormone is delivered continuously at a steady rate. This means there are no hot flashes or other symptoms caused by fluctuations in the hormone blood level. Another advantage is the patient doesn’t have to do anything! No trying to remember to take a pill, no need to change patches or try to remember to apply a cream at a particular time. It delivers the dose steadily, all by itself, day and night.

Insertion of the pellets is less painful than getting an injection. The area is numbed with a cream and the pellet is slipped under the subcutaneous fat. The pellets usually last for up to 6 months before needing to be replaced. On the off-chance the patient desires the hormones to be stopped, the pellet can easily be retrieved.

Pellets also seem to be the most effective way to deliver hormones that improve bone density. Scientific studies comparing hormones taken as pills to hormones taken as pellets found that the pellets had a more beneficial effect on bone density than the pills. The continuous steady level of hormones produced by pellets seem to improve the efficacy of the hormones in improving quality of life and reducing symptoms of aging as compared to dosing methods that result in fluctuating levels of hormones.

After inserting your pellets, your physician will regularly check that your hormone levels are appropriate. This is done by a simple blood test, and of course asking you about your symptoms- have they gone away? If your dosage needs adjustment, it is easy to add or remove more pellets. Treatment couldn’t get any easier than this.

If you have ever wondered about your hormone balance, and if it is causing your discomfortable symptoms, take our quick online test and our specialists can help determine if you are suffering from hormonal imbalance.

So You Think You Have a Hormone Imbalance? Common Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

Hormone imbalance is a topic that many do not imagine they would ever have to deal with in their lifetime. The truth is that many will have to deal with this health issue and knowing how to identify it will greatly prevent years of the stress and frustration that it can bring.

Identifying the symptoms of hormone imbalance can help place you on the correct path to improving your health and overall quality of life. Symptoms will vary from individual to individual.

Hormones act as chemical messengers that influence the way that the cells and organs in our bodies function. Hormone levels will not stay constant all your life. Levels fluctuate as you get older and change, but they can severely affect your body when you have a health issue going on or are taking medications, which can affect hormone levels in the body.

A very common symptom of hormone imbalance is irregularity of your period, if you’re a woman. A lack of period each month or an inconsistent cycle is deemed as irregular.

Another common symptom of hormone imbalance is weight gain. Those with a hormone imbalance have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight. A hormone imbalance affects cortisol production, a stress hormone that is responsible for the storing of belly fat.

Low sex drive or libido is another common symptom.

According to the Surrey Park Clinic:

“The pelvic floor tissues are very sensitive to oestrogen and testosterone, and low libido can be very closely related to times of low hormone production such as after childbirth and in the pre and postmenopause.”

Contact us to receive a consultation if you may suspect hormone imbalance.

Topics: Hormones, hormonal imbalance, weight gain, estrogen, Health, women

Riding an Emotional Rollercoaster? See How Hormones Affect Your Mood

It is a fact of life that women cope with fluctuating hormones throughout their lifetime. First comes puberty – that time when hormonal changes cause you to feel anxious and moody. Monthly menstrual cycles that leave women feeling physically and emotionally exhausted come next. Add on a pregnancy here or there and then you have found yourself dealing with menopause later in life. The cycle is unending, which is why the more you know about your hormone levels, the better you are able to anticipate changes in mood and heightened emotions.

No one knows for sure why you feel moody when your hormone levels are changing, but some researchers attribute the emotional rollercoaster to certain hormone metabolites in the brain that causes your mood to change. Every woman’s body reacts differently to fluctuations which is why you may become more moody right before your menstrual cycle, but a friend may not. Some women metabolize hormones differently than you do.

Yes, outside factors do also affect your mood, such as social interactions, diet, exercise, stress and daily responsibilities. And, the way you react, communicate with others and express your thoughts and feelings are also attributed to how you feel physically. But, your hormone levels take a toll on your emotional and physical well-being.

While it is impossible to change your physiology, you can form positive lifestyle habits to change your life when your hormones are off-balance.

Nova Health is here to help you navigate these hormonal changes. Take our free hormone assessment test and contact us to discuss how natural hormone replacement therapy can change your life.

Understanding the Six Primary Hormones in Women

Hot flashes, low libido, weight gain, and mood swings are all common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, but they could also indicate a general hormonal imbalance. As women age, their bodies naturally slow down the production of certain hormones. This causes an imbalance that can lead to the above symptoms as well as dozens of other ones. Understanding hormones in women is essential so you can start to feel better.

Beyond Estrogen: Hormones That Make a Woman Tick

Most women are aware of estrogen, the primary hormone in the female body. Common symptoms of low estrogen include breast tenderness, vaginal dryness, lack of desire for sex, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, and decreased bone density. The following hormones are also essential for long-term good health:

  • Progesterone: Balanced levels of progesterone are necessary to prevent symptoms associated with estrogen dominance. In addition to age-related hormone decline, stress, poor nutrition, insulin resistance, and a sedentary lifestyle can cause low levels of progesterone. Typical symptoms of unbalance include anxiety, depression, weight gain, and sleep disturbances.
  • Pregnenolone: This hormone controls the function of several others, most notably estrogen and progesterone. You will notice a marked drop in energy when pregnenolone declines since it produces up to 60 percent of the body’s energy.
  • Cortisol: Both men and women possess cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone. That is because cortisol produces chemicals in your body that help you respond appropriately to stress. Fatigue, lack of focus, and mood disturbances are common with cortisol imbalances.
  • Testosterone: While this is the primary hormone of men, women also have it in smaller amounts. Testosterone in women is necessary for muscle definition, energy, bone strength, and experiencing pleasure from sex.
  • Thyroid: People can experience either too little of this hormone (hypothyroidism) or too much (hyperthyroidism), although the first type is more common. Hot flashes, cold sensations, weight gain, and dozens of other symptoms can be traced to thyroid deficiencies.

Now that you have a better understanding of the role of women’s hormones, we at Nova Health Therapy would be happy to discuss your treatment options in more detail.

Bio identical hormone therapy: Is it right for you?

Much ado has been made about the benefits of bio identical hormone therapy, but you may be wondering if it’s a good idea to get this therapy, or if this type of therapy are nothing but hormone disrupters. In this blog, we will discuss what bio-identical hormone therapy is, its impact on your health and well-being, and we will illustrate its benefits so you can determine if it’s right for you.

The term “bio-identical hormone therapy” was first coined in 2002 as a marketing term, and it referred to custom-compounded hormones. The reason many people began to take an interest in bio-identical hormone therapy is because of a study released by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) that proved that women who were undergoing traditional hormone therapy were more susceptible to certain forms of cancer (such as breast cancer) than those who avoided hormone therapy.

There is, of course, some controversy regarding bio-identical hormone therapy: while the individual ingredients are FDA approved, the actual “prescription” (that is to say, the combination of ingredients) is not. However, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), bio-identical hormones can be considered as safe as FDA approved non-bio-identical hormones. The North American Menopause Society recommends bio-identical hormone therapy to women who cannot tolerate the synthetic form of the drugs.

Finally, bear in mind that some insurance plans may not cover hormone therapy, and this is true regardless of whether the hormone therapy involves bio-identical hormones.

Remember: if you have any questions about the benefits of bio-identical hormone therapy, consult with your medical provider.

 

Topics: Hormones, Natural hormone therapy, hormone imbalance, Health

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.

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.