Hormone Replacement Therapy with Bioidentical Hormones
By: Joseph Feste, MD, Board Certified OBGYN
“Obesity is a hormonal, not a caloric imbalance.”
Whether your personal struggles are with weight loss (or gain), sleep, energy, libido, migraines, depression, hot flashes, night sweats, difficult periods or many other conditions, your hormones are likely involved.
Post-Menopausal? One of the most significant changes in the aging process is the decline in hormone levels of thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. DHEA also declines.
Low hormone levels in women can cause trouble sleeping, weight gain, decreased desire, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, fatigue, foggy memory, low energy, unhealthy skin, and loss or thinning of hair.
Note: Women spend one-third to half of their life in post menopause.
Hot flashes? About ½ of women in menopause (or even nearing menopause) will complain about hot flashes. The good news is that they are more likely to seek help. The bad news is that those ladies who do not experience hot flashes or other noticeable symptoms may not realize that their hormones have also declined. The words we often hear include: “we are fine”, and “menopause is a breeze.”
The first group may gain early protection through bioidentical hormone therapy against heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other conditions such as urinary incontinence (diapers), loss of collagen, and loss of skin elasticity, The second group may not realize the significant health benefits from early therapy with bioidentical hormones and never realize these benefits.
Loss of Vitality. Living with any or all of these symptoms can be miserable and, in many cases, cause depression and a loss of feeling alive and vibrant. Low (or non-existent) levels of hormones can contribute to heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease regardless of the above symptoms. The answer is NOT an antidepressant but bioidentical hormone therapy with a knowledgeable practitioner. Aging can be a time of fulfillment, understanding, and joy.
Not limited to Post Menopause. Many women who are peri-menopausal (menopause transition period) or even younger (including teenagers), suffer from hormonal imbalance and deficiencies. The time of perimenopause can last from 4 years (or less) to ten years. Median age of onset for perimenopause is 47.5 years See potential symptoms of perimenopause below.
However, hormonal imbalances and deficiencies can occur as early as the teenage years. We have seen many teenagers and young adults who suffer from symptoms such as difficult periods, thyroid issues, migraines, lack of energy, poor sleep, infertility, excess body fat, PMS, and other conditions that are related to hormones. See Progesterone Blog.
Note: In some ladies, symptoms can often be very severe to include painful cramping and migraines, and devastating PMS and an inability to control weight regardless of efforts. They may suffer from PCOS.
Low T in women. We know that testosterone is often the focus of marketing to men. However, women can gain the same benefits as men. These include preserving lean muscle, increased energy, vital sex drive, protection against heart disease and loss of cognitive function, and more. Women just need a lot less testosterone to achieve these benefits.
Did you know? Testosterone in women can decline as much as 50% between the ages of 20 and 40 and generally 100% in post-menopausal women.