Are you suffering from symptoms of hormonal imbalance caused by perimenopause or menopause? Are you experiencing hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood swings, memory problems, or loss of libido, among other symptoms?
Many women recognize that ‘hot flashes’ may be the first obvious symptom of their bodies beginning to experience perimenopause and menopause. Though hot flashes are indeed a common complaint, they are not the only symptom that women may present to their physician. You don’t have to miss a period for 12 months to have symptoms associated with these changes.
‘Natural’ or bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can help alleviate these symptoms, restoring a natural hormonal balance within the body. This type of therapy can yield exceptional results and health benefits, significantly improving your quality of life and well-being.
What is Perimenopause and Menopause?
‘Peri’ is from Greek, and means ‘near’ or ‘about’ – Perimenopause describes the time when a woman’s body transitions from her fertile, child-bearing years into middle age. The body undergoes biologicial changes resulting from declining ovarian hormone production. Peri-menopausal symptoms sometimes begin in your late 30’s and early 40’s. It is the beginning phase of ‘the change’ and can last up to ten years.
Menopause means ‘the end of monthly cycles’ – a woman is considered to have reached menopause when a full year has passed since her last menstrual cycle. It is a natural, gradual process typically occuring in women around the age of 50, when a woman’s ovaries make less estrogen and progesterone, and her lifetime supply of eggs becomes depleted.
Symptoms of Perimenopause and Menopause
Women going through Perimenopause and menopause often experience a combination of some or all of the following symptoms: irregular menstrual periods, hot flashes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy skin, irritability, insomnia, mood swings, sudden tears, depression, loss of libido, vaginal dryness, heart palipitations, urinary urgency, inability to sleep through the night, depression and weight gain, especially belly fat. All leading to an overall lower quality of life.
What are Bio-Identical Hormones?
Hormones are ‘chemical messengers’ that transport information between cells and facilitate communication among different body organs, regulating various functions of our body. The first hormone replacement supplements were developed in the 1930’s to provide relief from symptoms of menopause. These first hormone supplements were ‘bio-identical’ in that they had a chemical structure and biological action identical to natural hormones produced by the human body.
Bio-identical hormones are derived from plants, primarily soy and yam, and undergo transformation in the chemical laboratory to create the end products, hormones. Because bio-identical hormones are identical to human hormones, our bodies can utilize and metabolize them easily, without the unpleasant and dangerous side effects that synthetic or horse hormones can have. Bio-identical hormones are prescribed by a medical doctor and are specfiically custom-made for you by a compounding pharmacist, according to a doctor’s prescription.
What are Synthetic Hormones?
Synthetic hormone supplements were first developed in the 1940’s. Synthetic hormones are derived from plant and animal progestins, and estrogens, and are usually not chemically identicial to the hormones your body uses. These mass-produced synthetic hormones do NOT match the molecular structure of the naturally occurring hormones in our bodies.
Current, traditional hormone replacement therapy utilizes synthetic products to alleviate the symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats without restoring the normal hormonal balance one needs to feel good. While reducing the menopausal symptoms, synthetic hormones may generate many unpleasant side effects including water retention, breast engorgement, and weight gain. Synthetic estrogens, especially when combined with synthetic progestins, may also increase health risks including breast cancer, heart attacks, stroke and blood clots. Beacause of these side effects, many women stop their hormone replacement therapy on their own and suffer the remainder of their life.
Restoring Natural Hormonal Balance
Bio-identical hormones, with their biological action and metabolic pathways identical to human hormones, not only ease the unpleasant symptoms of perimenopause, menopause and andropause (male menopause), more importantly, they restore youthful hormonal balance as well as provide the body with the same protective health benefits the body’s own natural hormones would provide.