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All about hormones

22
Nov

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement

BHRT (Bioidentical hormone replacement) helps to restore and maintain your natural, youthful hormone levels. Bioidentical hormones are compounds that are made from yams, soy beans, and are identical to the hormones made by the human body. Since these hormones are natural and identical to what is already in your body, they have very few side effects, unlike synthetic hormones.

There is a significant difference between the perspective or philosophy of conventional medicine compared to functional/integrative medicine as it relates to hormone balance. While conventional medicine continues to prescribe birth-control pills for dysfunctional uterine bleeding, acne, or painful periods in young women, and continues to prescribe Premarin for menopausal women, functional/ integrative medicine evaluates the delicate balance of all hormones, including cortisol, thyroid function, gut health, blood sugar regulation, estrogen, progesterone, FSH levels, and the hypothalamic/ pituitary axis.

Hormones exist in harmony with each other – like partners in a delicate balancing act.  The hormone, endocrine system is a symphony, wherein each instrument needs to be played in conjunction with the others in total balance. Therefore, it is important to clinically measure each of the hormones including estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone, growth hormone, adrenal hormones, etc.  When these levels fall out of balance, normal function is disrupted, leading to chronic symptoms, disorders, and disease. Hormone replacement therapy plays a long-term preventive role  and can decrease the likelihood of heart disease, osteoarthritis, autoimmune disease, and general debility.

For women, The onset of hormone decline can begin with peri menopause, which occurs three to seven years before menopause. During this time, ovarian hormones such as estrogen and progesterone decline, and women may notice fatigue, irregular periods, bloating, migraines, and increased PMS symptoms such as irritability and mood swings. Menopause can be rather sudden with the abrupt onset of hot flashes, mood swings, sleep disturbances, night sweats , weight gain, vaginal dryness, foggy thinking, and loss of libido. These symptoms tend to resolve quickly when hormone balance is restored.

For men, the onset of the symptoms of hormone decline are usually much more gradual. Very often when testosterone declines, men observed an increase in fatigue, less motivation, weight gain, and poor exercise  tolerance. Restoration of testosterone and other hormones to optimal levels will quickly improve vitality and overall health.

-Dr. Michele Zormeier
Double Board Certified physician with practices in Indiana, Illinois, and California.

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