As we age our hormone levels, chemical messengers in the body, often decline. As they decline we can experience a wide variety of declining health functions. Even though this is widespread it is possible to address this situation.
For years western medicine has offered hormone replacement therapy from recycled animal sources. Recent studies indicate this may be of suspect value.
Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy
Modern nutritional and herbal research has developed a variety of hormone preparation that are considered identical to our own biological hormones. Many have found these replacements to be highly effective.
Hormones available include:
Phytoestrogens are a group of compounds found in plants that influence estrogen activity in the body. Although they are not hormones, phytoestrogens can bind to estrogen receptors, and have either mild
estrogen-like effects or anti-estrogenic effects.(1;2)
When estrogen levels are low, as in menopause, empty estrogen receptor sites can be filled by phytoestrogens, exerting a weak estrogen-like effect.(3-5)
If estrogen levels are high, as in some women who suffer from
PMS and other effects of estrogen dominance, phytoestrogens can compete with the body’s estrogens for receptor binding sites, effectively lowering estrogenic activity in the body by exerting a weaker estrogenlike
effect at the receptor site.(6;7)
Addressing estrogen balance is an important long and short-term strategy for maintaining optimum health in women. (Source: Emerita)
In a woman's body the majority of progesterone is secreted by the corpus luteum, which forms in the ovary following ovulation. During the second half of each monthly cycle, from ovulation until menses, progesterone is designed to be the dominant hormone. Not all women produce sufficient amounts of progesterone during the second half of their cycle.
Prior to menopause, as ovarian function wanes, cycles frequently occur where a woman does not ovulate (known as an anovulatory cycle). This period leading up to menopause is referred to as "perimenopause."
Anovulatory cycles that begin in perimenopause can lead to hormone changes that may result in hot flashes, changes in bleeding patterns, PMS-type symptoms, as well as many other menopausal symptoms.
While progesterone levels fall close to zero due to anovulatory cycles at menopause, estrogen levels may only decline to about 40-60% of pre-menopausal levels.
Progesterone has a number of important roles relative to menopause. It is the natural balancer to estrogen, as well as being necessary for optimum estrogen utilization. Research over the years has also revealed other vital roles of progesterone on the heart, blood vessels, nerves and brain. Many women find that supplementing with progesterone allows them to achieve a balance once again. (Source: Emerita)
Other hormones which are often compromised have to do with the endocrine function. These hormones include:
- Adrenal Glands - Cortisol Levels
- Thyroid Glands - Thyroid Hormones, TSH, T3 and T4
- Pituitary Gland - Growth Hormone
Testing for Hormones
Hormones are potent in their effect and must be used wisely. Testing for hormones is easily accomplished with at home salivary collection kits. We offer a wide variety of medical grade tests.
Not Certain What To Do Next?
If you are uncertain as to which products or programs to use or which tests to take; or, if you would like additional help:
- Contact us with a brief question.
- Arrange a phone consultation with Dr. Forrest.
Call ( 408) 354-4262
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