Unveiling the Essence of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) for Women
As women age, their bodies gradually produce lower levels of hormones compared to their younger years. BHRT involves replacing these depleted hormones with natural ones, just like the body used to produce.
This approach promotes longevity and vitality by addressing hormone deficiencies. Restoring these hormones can often alleviate and reverse the symptoms associated with hormone imbalance. Women who undergo hormone replacement therapy often report feeling rejuvenated, with renewed passion and zest for life.
When Do Perimenopause / Menopause Symptoms Begin?
Perimenopause and menopause symptoms can occur at different stages in a woman’s life. At our clinic, we’ve observed that symptoms typically manifest between the ages of 39 and 45. During this period, women may experience variations in menstrual cycles, with a difference of seven days or more between consecutive cycles. Additionally, there is a slight increase in FSH levels, while estradiol levels remain relatively stable.
Menopause symptoms commonly emerge during the perimenopause transition, occurring at a median age of 47, which is four to six years before natural menopause. Vasomotor symptoms, including hot flashes, are most likely to occur within two years after the last menstrual cycle. This menopause phase can last from one to six years after the final menses. During this time, the ovaries come close to follicular exhaustion, resulting in decreased production of estradiol and an increase in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels.
It is not uncommon for perimenopause and menopause symptoms to be mistaken for other age-related medical conditions, making the transition challenging to recognize and treat.
Furthermore, symptoms can persist long after menopause, hysterectomies, and ablations, as these procedures and the natural course of the body’s transition lead to increased FSH levels.
Nearly all women with a uterus experience changes in their menstrual patterns during the perimenopause and menopause years due to hormonal fluctuations prior to ovarian follicular depletion.
What are the Symptoms of Menopause / Perimenopause Due to Hormone Depletion?
Sleep Problems: Poor sleep quality and disturbances in sleep patterns.
Emotional Changes: Feelings of depression and a decreased sense of well-being.
Hot Flashes: Sudden episodes of intense heat, often accompanied by sweating.
Night Sweats: Excessive sweating during sleep, leading to discomfort.
Vaginal Dryness: Dryness and discomfort in the vaginal area, which can worsen during arousal and cause itching.
Migraine Headaches: Severe headaches accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound.
Mood Swings: Irritability and sudden changes in mood.
Fatigue and Apathy: Persistent tiredness and a lack of motivation.
Decreased Libido: Reduced sexual desire and diminished interest in sexual activities.
Cognitive Issues: Mental fog, forgetfulness, and difficulties with concentration and memory.
Weight Gain: Increase in body fat, particularly around the midsection.
Anxiety and Palpitations: Feelings of anxiety and occasional rapid heartbeat.
Crying Spells: Episodes of unexplained crying or emotional outbursts.
Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night.
Decreased Bone Density: Accelerated loss of bone density, leading to conditions like osteoporosis and osteopenia.
Joint Pain: Discomfort and pain in the joints.
Decreased Muscle Tone: Loss of muscle tone and reduced exercise tolerance.
Weakened Immune System: Increased susceptibility to illnesses and infections.
What Are the Differences in Hormone Replacement Care?
When considering hormone replacement care, it is crucial to take into account the differences in treatment approaches:
Bioidentical Hormones: Do they use bio-identical hormones instead of pharmaceuticals?
Comprehensive Hormone Approach: Does the provider address all hormones and comprehend their interrelationships?
Personalized Treatment Plans: Do they develop unique treatment plans tailored to each patient’s symptoms, lab values, and medical history?
Optimal Symptom Interpretation: Do they interpret lab values to optimize symptoms rather than solely relying on “normal ranges”?
Individualized Adjustments: Do they understand the relationship between symptoms and hormones, enabling individualized adjustments for each patient?
Appropriate Delivery Systems: Do they utilize the appropriate delivery system for each hormone (e.g., injection, pellet, creams, tablets, troche), as this can
significantly impact outcomes?
Correct Hormone Dosage: Is the dosage of each hormone correct?
Suitable Treatment Frequency: Is the treatment frequency suitable for the patient’s body metabolism?
Effective Side Effect Management: Do they effectively manage potential side effects?
Comprehensive Risk Management: Do they appropriately address risk factors?
What are the Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy “HRT”?
Reverse menopausal symptoms: hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and vaginal dryness
“Loss of hormones at menopause results in significant genital atrophy, vaginal dryness, introital stenosis, and painful intercourse.” Family Practice News 2005 March;58-59
Enhance sexual response, sexual desire, and level of sexual arousal
“Loss of testosterone causes loss of libido, energy, strength, sexual function, memory, cognition, muscle and bone. Testosterone replacement, as far as quality of life is concerned, is tremendous.” Medical Crossfire 2001 Jan;Vol.3 No.1:17-18
Increased motivation and sense of emotional well-being
“Estrogen protects against neuron-degeneration, changes in mood, cognition and behavior.” Clinical Genetics 1998 May;6(5):15-19.
Maintain and build bone (prevents/reverses osteoporosis)
“The largest study to date, the Nurses’ Health Study, demonstrated a 100% decrease in heart disease and cancer for estrogen users. It is never too late to initiate estrogen therapy to arrest the progression of osteoporosis and hip fractures.” Female Patient 2004 Oct;Vol 29: 35-41.
Decrease body fat/ increased muscle ton
“Estrogen lowers cortisol which in turn reduces abdominal fat.” Female Patient, 2001April; 26:18-24.
Improved cognition/ brain function
“Higher testosterone levels increase cognition and memory.” Neurology 2005 Mar. 8; 64-5:866-71.
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