Regaining Hormonal Balance is Easier Than You Think - By Dr. Screven Edgerton,OB/Gyn – Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Doctor, Functional Medicine Doctor, Anti-Aging Doctor, Women's Health Issues, Thyroid Disease,Weight Management, Nutrition, Detoxification, Brain Wellness, Acupuncture Treatment Doctor – Austin, Texas
You’d be surprised how quickly you can restore your hormones to optimal levels and start looking better, feeling better, and living better, free of the Menopausal & Andropausal symptoms that haunt you.
The Amazing Benefits of Bioidentical Hormones
Yes, the same hormones that nurture a growing fetus and keep women and men youthful. The same hormones that keep the breasts full, bones strong, the colon healthy, the mind sharp, skin vibrant, and sexuality soaring.
Yet, instead of embracing our physiology and the hormones we need for survival, physicians have been blindsided by the pharmaceutical industry and the notion that synthetic hormones are as safe as what our body naturally gives us.
WHAT ARE BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES?
These are generally plant derived substances that are engineered to have the exact chemical structure as the hormones in our bodies. The body recognizes these “natural” hormones as their own. Hormone replacement can have amazing benefit. Here are a few:
· Improved energy
· Better memory and mental acuity
· Cardio protection
· Weight loss
· Bone health
· Reduce or eliminate symptoms of PMS and PCOS
· Reduce or eliminate menopausal symptoms
· Balance of mood and less depression
· Maintenance of good skin, hair and teeth
· Improved muscle definition and normalization of weight
· Enhanced libido and sexuality
HORMONES, AGING, AND DISEASE
Hormone replacement is not a new invention. Replacement with bioidentical hormones isn’t either. Popularity of natural hormone replacement and returning to a focus on physiology is what is novel. The most significant factor driving the increased interest in bioidentical hormones is the rising fear that conventional HRT is posing a significant risk. There are clear benefits to hormone replacement.
For physicians the question should not be if we are to replace hormone deficiencies, but rather which hormone is the best for our patient. If we (physicians) can base our decisions on physiology, medical evidence, and the best hormone replacement, we will be doing the best for our patients. With the mass media controlling the pulse and ultimately the fear of the public, even physicians can get bogged down with what may be best. It seems an easy alternative would be to just advise women to not take any hormones and just embrace the aging process. This is not the right approach!
The experts from the menopausal and gynecological academies claim that there are no studies to support the use or benefit of compounded bioidentical hormones as opposed to conventional, pre-manufactured products. True. The FDA approval process for synthetic drugs is meant to prove that a drug is effective for the purpose intended, is absorbed properly, and maintains adequate serum levels to guarantee efficacy. These conventional, manufactured drugs are standardized and guaranteed to have a certain consistency and effectiveness.
So how do we know that the prescriptions compounded by hand in compounding pharmacies are consistent and effective? We simply test levels in our patients and assure that what we prescribe consistently provides protective levels with the pharmacies we use. If we weren’t seeing good levels, we would question the pharmacy on the source of their pure ingredients and their compounding process. Compounding pharmacies can have different procedures, but we must assure through serum testing that what is being dispensed provides exact amounts of hormones and efficacy.
Thyroid is a hormone secreted by the thyroid gland. It regulates temperature, metabolism, and cerebral function. Over time, the amount of thyroid hormone decreases and conversion from T4 to T3 is decreased. Patients can have normal labs and symptoms of thyroid deficiency. The range of "normal" thyroid is so wide that many individuals are suffering from insufficient thyroid despite having values in the normal range. There is a wide range of benefits for the thyroid hormone:
· Increased energy
· Increases fat breakdown
· Weight loss
· Lowers cholesterol
· Cardiovascular protection
· Improved cerebral metabolism
· Prevents cognitive impairment
· Protects against bone loss
· Assists with irregular menses & ovulation
· Improves thin sparse hair and nails
· Improvement of bipolar disorder
Pregnenolone is a steroid hormone synthesized from cholesterol and naturally found in the brain, gonads, and adrenal gland. It is the precursor to DHEA, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Pregnenolone is an imperative "brain-supporting" hormone that often decreases with age, leading to memory ailments, mood changes, stress and anxiety. Replenishing pregnenolone levels can lead to improved stress and anxiety, balanced mood, memory function, better sleep.
Estrogen is predominately a female hormone produced in the ovaries and the adrenal glands. The female body produces three types of estrogen. Estradiol is the most abundant during the reproductive years. Estrone becomes the most prominent in untreated menopause. Estriol is the byproduct of the other two and has the weakest estrogenic effect. In addition to the cosmetic benefits – stronger hair, smoother skin, and improved muscle tone, estrogen has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and colon cancer. Additionally, there is protection and/or reduction of stroke, cholesterol, Alzheimer ’s disease, menopause symptoms, memory loss, genital tract atrophy and depression.
We must learn to not fear estrogen. If it were harmful, then we would remove women’s ovaries after childbearing.
Both men and women have testosterone in their bodies. Testosterone is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, ovaries, and testes. This amazing hormone goes beyond controlling sex drive to give the body true vitality. We have seen from medical studies that optimal testosterone can:
· Increased lean muscle mass
· Increased endurance
· Decreased fat
· Increased exercise tolerance
· Enhanced well being
· Improved bone density
· Improved skin tone
· Improved healing
· Cardiovascular protection
· Decreased blood pressure
· Improves depression
· Prevents Alzheimer’s and dementia
· Improves lipids
· Improves insulin sensitivity
· Increased libido
· Enhance sexual performance
Progesterone gets it's name from being the hormone of pregnancy (Pro-gestational-hormone). Progesterone is secreted by the ovary. There are receptor sites in the uterus, breast, vagina, blood vessels and brain. One of its primary roles to maintain balance with estrogen. When women reach their forties, progesterone typically is the first hormone to slack off. This is mainly because ovulation is slowing down. This is what some term estrogen dominance but truly it is progesterone deficiency. Progesterone's amazing qualities include:
- Decreased menstrual bloating
- Decreased menstrual headache
- Protection from uterine cancer
- Protection from breast cancer
- Improves libido
- Reduces bloating
- Improves sleep
- Improves mood
- Reduction of PMS and menopause symptoms
- Helps with polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Improves osteoporosis, ovarian cysts, fibrocystic disease
- Increase HDL cholesterol (Heart Dz prevention)
DHEA is a hormone secreted by nerve tissue and the adrenal glands. It is an endocrine precursor to other hormones (Testosterone, Progesterone, and Estrogen). This is one of our stress hormones and is a backup to the cortisol production in our bodies.
DHEA levels fall with age but maintaining an optimal level helps:
· Reduces cardiovascular disease
· Improves mood & well being
· Decreases cholesterol and body fat
· Prevents osteoporosis
· Assists with sleep
· FDA approved for lupus
· Improved erectile dysfunction
· Protects against insulin resistance
· Improved immunity
· Prevention of diabetes/obesity
· Possible reduction of depressive symptoms
· Decreased accumulation of abdominal fat