HORMONE BALANCING

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Bio-Identical Hormones

As we age, many things about our bodies change. One of the things that changes, is our hormones. Hormones help to determine how tall you grow and how you handle stress and, of course, they also regulate the functioning of your sex organs.

The normal aging process causes hormone production to decline in everyone, resulting in imbalances that have both physical and psychological effects.

The main hormones that regulate a woman's body are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Any time one or more of these hormones becomes out of balance, a woman starts to experience change.

For women, this hormonal change is broken up into different stages:

Pre-menopause refers to the time from a woman's first regular menstrual to her last regular menstrual cycle. This is the period of "normal" reproductive function for a woman.

Perimenopause is the next stage. This refers to the "transitional" stage, which varies from 2 to about 10 years, prior to complete cessation of menstruation. This is usually experienced by women 35 to 50 years of age. During this stage a woman can experience major hormone fluctuations which can cause typical symptoms, such as hot flashes.

Menopause is the third stage and marks the natural end of a woman's reproductive cycle. It is at this point that the body's ability to produce estrogen and progesterone naturally, decreases substantially. The ovaries stop producing eggs and a woman is no longer able to become pregnant naturally.

Post-menopause is te period of life after menopause. This phase is generally believed to begin after 12 full months have passed since the last menstrual period.

The main hormones that regulate a woman's body are:

• Estrogen
• Progesterone
• Testosterone
• DHEA
• Pregnenolone

Estrogen

Estrone (E1)- Estrone (E1) and its conjugate Estrone Sulfate (E1S) represents perhaps the most significant estrogen, certainly from a quantitative point of view. It is less estrogenic than estradiol.

Estradiol (E2)- Estradiol is the major biologically active estrogen. It can intercnvert to E1, the major function of which is to act as the estrogen reservoir.

Estriol (E3)- Estriol is the meabolic end product of estrogen metabolism. It is considerably less estrogenic than either E1 or E2 and as a result has been considered by some to be the ''safe'' estrogen.

Benefits of Estrogens:

• Growth of Endometrial lining
• Growth of the follicle until ovulation
• Growth of breast tissue
• Development of female secondary sex traits
• Support of vaginal tissue
• Promotes storage of fat
• Increases thyroid binding globulin
• Production of progesterone receptors
• Positive vascular effects (anti-oxidant)

Symptons of estrogen excess:

• Breast tenderness/fibrocystic change
• Hot flashes
• Water retention
• Depression/anxiety/fatigue
• Endometriosis
• PMS
• Weight gain
• Breast and uterine cancer
• Fibroid tumors of the uterus

Progesterone

Progesterone is not normally excreted in human urine. It is derived to a major degree from pregnenolone, which also is not excreted in urine in appreciable amounts unless orally supplemented.

Functions of Progesteron:

• Preparation of the lining for pregnancy
• Causes maturation and differentiation of tissues (endometrium, breast)
• Promotes normal cell death
• Decreases estrogen receptors
• Decreases estrogen-induced cellular growth
• Decreases TBG
• Binds GABA receptors
• Allows for diuresis- blocks aldosterone receptors

Benefits of progesterone:

• Promotes bone building and protects against osteoporosis.
• Protects against endometrial cancer.
• Precursor of other sex hormones.
• Natural diuretic (production of urine to cleanse body of waste)
• Increased energy
• Decreased depression
• Increased libido

Symptons of progesterone deficiency:

• Breast tenderness/fibrocystic change
• Hot flashes
• Water retention
• Depression/anxiety/fatigue
• Endometriosis
• PMS
• Weight gain
• Breast and uterine cancer
• Fibroid tumors of the uterus

Testosterone

Testosterone is a hormone that stimulates development of female secondary sexual characteristics in the ovaries and adrenal cortex. Testosterone deficiency is increasingly being recognized as a cause of low libido (sex drive), poor response to sexual stimulation and a reduced vascular response to vasodilatation.

Numerous changes are associated with an age-related decline in testosterone. Women can go through these changes quickly, with a sudden change, or more typically, slowly over a period of time, with a gradual hormone decline. Women can start this decline as early as their 30's, when the body's production of testosterone starts to drop by 1-2% each year.

Benefits of testosterone:

• Increased libido and improved sexual function
• Increased bone density
• Improved mood and/or stabilization of mood swings
• Possible decrease in BMI (body mass index)
• Increased muscle mass
• Improved glycemic control, insulin resistence, and cholesteol levels for type 2 diabetes.
• Improved quality of life (i.e. memory, cognition)

Risks of Low testosterone levels:

• Lack of sexual desire

-After menopause, women might experience a dip in their sex drive. This could be the result of lowering testosterone levels. In some women, testosterone patches have been found to revive sex drive. However, that treating reduced libido requires more than just testosterone. Therapy and creativity could also help improve your sex life.

• Keep bones healthy

-The correct balance of testosterone furthers and supports the growth and strength of healthy bones, while too much or too little can harm bones. Testosterone replacement after menopause could help some women maintain healthy bones.

• Not being able to manage pain levels effectively

-Women who take birth control pills and who have levels of testosterone that are out of balance with levels of estrogen might have less ability to manage their pain response.

• Deterioration of mental and physical condition

-Changes in cognition and cognitive fatigue may be related to changing hormone levels. Correcting testosterone levels might help prevent cognitive fatigue, according to research in gynecological enocrinology.

DHEA

Dehydroepiandrosterone is primarily an adrenal hormone and serves as a precursor to both androgens and estrogens. DHEA is a steroid hormone made by the adrenal glands that acts in the body much like testosterone and is converted into testosterone and estrogen. As with most hormones, the blood levels of DHEA decline with age.

Metabolized from DHEA-S and back to DHEA. It is a precursor of 75%-100% of engogenous estrogen in women. Support may enhance progesterone production from adrenal gland. DHEA is the highest production of any steriod other than cholesterol. Levels of DHEA decline by 10% per decade after the age of 20.

Benefits of DHEA:

• Improved sex drive
• Increased energy
• Improved immune function
• Improved sleep
• Better memory
• Increased happiness
• Reduced cardiovascular disease
• Weight loss (through reduced insulin resistance)

Pregnenlone

Pregnenlone is an endogenous steroid and metabolic intermediate in the biosynthesis of most of the steroid hormones, including the progestogens. It is a precursor hormone synthesized from cholesterol, principally in the adrenal glands, but also in the liver, skin, brain, testicles, and ovaries.

As with other hormones, levels decline with age. However, stress of the adrenal glands can lower the pregnenlone levels even more in the body. Maintaining strong adrenal function is important for optimizing your cortisol level, controlling blood sugar, insulin levels, and overall physical fitness. Pregnenlone is considered to be one of the most important hormones because it has a balancing effect on the levels of the other hormones; if it is low, the other hormones are low, on the other hand, if the levels are high, the other hormones are high.

Benefits of pregnenlone:

• Increased energy
• Enhanced memory
• Decreased stress levels
• Improved immunity
• Improved skin quality due to psoriasis, scleroderma, etc.
• Decreased arthritis
• Improved mood
• Improved heart function

Symptons of menopause

• Vaginal dryness
• Hot flashes (estrogen withdrawal without P)
• Mood swings
• Water retention
• Depression/anxiety/fatigue
• Carbohydrate cravings/increased appetite
• Headaches
• Weight gain especially abdominal

Symptons of PMS

• Breast tenderness/fibrocystic change
• Hot flashes
• Headaches
• Mood swings
• Water retention
• Depression/anxiety/fatigue

• Carbohydrate cravings/increased appetite
• Weight gain especially abdominal

All these are corrected by balancing the hormones and improving the patient's production of these hormones.



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Martha Johnson
10 Hours Ago

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