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Who needs bioidentical hormone therapy? Almost all of us over 40 and in some cases starting at age 30. Our hormones naturally decline with aging. The process can be accelerated by environmental and dietary toxins and in women who used hormone containing contraceptives such as birth control pills and certain IUD’s. Hence, we get “old” and lose muscle mass, gain weight/body fat, lose functional capacity, lose hair, have lower motivation/libido/strength/stamina, have more fatigue/moodiness. More importantly, we acquire a higher risk for disease, sickness, and cancer. Ever wonder why more aggressive screening for cancer and disease starts for all people around age 40. The common feature among all people at this age is some degree of hormone decline.
Hormone levels are measured by blood, urine, and/or saliva testing.
What are bioidentical hormones? These are hormones that exactly match the hormones we make in structure and function. They have proven to be safe, unlike the non-bioidentical synthetic hormones that contain multiple horse-derived estrogens and very harmful progestins that are derived from male androgens. In fact, all of the bad information on hormones comes from studies which utilized only the bad synthetic hormones or involved hormone therapy that was not done properly.
Bioidentical Hormone Therapy For Women:
Mainly involves 3 hormones- estrogen (estradiol), progesterone, and testosterone.
Estrogen has 400 beneficial functions. Here are a few:
Progesterone counterbalances the estrogen so as to prevent estrogen dominance. Here are a few of the beneficial functions of progesterone:
Testosterone is present in women at low concentration levels. It works with the estradiol to enhance libido, strength, stamina. When women go into menopause the testosterone becomes the dominant hormone for the adrenal glands will always produce small amounts. Hence, women get unwanted hairs (such as facial hair) and the hair on their head thins out.
Bioidentical Hormone Therapy For Men:
Involves one hormone… testosterone, however, some testosterone is converted to 2 other hormones which are estradiol and dihydrotestosterone. These levels also need to be monitored to confirm that they remain within the optimal range.
Symptoms of suboptimal testosterone include:
What does a normal testosterone level mean? When a man gets his lab testing done for testosterone he will get one result called the total testosterone. He will be told his level is normal if it falls within the laboratory range for normal. The normal range is defined by the levels found in men ranging from age 25 to 75. So, one could be 35 and have the testosterone level of a 70-year-old and still be called normal. Therefore, one should not use the range level as the only consideration when evaluating for treatment. Studies have revealed some interesting facts about the range. Men in the second highest quartile of the range were 38% less likely to die from all causes. Men in the highest quartile were 41% less likely to die from all causes. This is consistent with all the large well-designed studies that always show a reduction in disease and death with men who maintain total testosterone levels above 500.
The thyroid is a gland in the neck that produces hormones which participate in metabolism regulation. The two main thyroid hormones are T3 and T4. People with suboptimal thyroid hormones can have significant fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, dry skin, and many other symptoms. Most people in treatment for hypothyroidism are taking levothyroxine or Synthroid which contain only the T4 hormone (the weaker of the two thyroid hormones). Most doctors neglect the T3 and the result is up to 20% of patients receive treatment that does not control their symptoms. We deliver modern thyroid therapy for hypothyroidism and disorders such as Hashimoto’s disease. Treatments involve T4 and T3 combination medications and twice daily dosing if appropriate. Therapy is individualized to maximize clinical benefits and optimize the biochemical profile.
Also known as adrenal fatigue syndrome. This has become more prominent as our lives have become more stressful and demanding. This condition may mimic/increase the symptoms of other hormone imbalances or prevent successful treatment of these other imbalances. Symptoms of adrenal dysregulation include:
The adrenal function will continue to deteriorate and clinical symptoms will escalate over time. But hope is not lost for the system can be healed with treatment protocols that are based upon the severity of dysfunction.