Bioidentical Hormone Therapy for Menopause and Perimenopause
As women age, Testosterone, Estrogen, Progesterone, Thyroid, Melatonin, DHEA, and Pregnenolone hormone levels change leading to hormone deficiencies and uncomfortable symptoms. Though most often thought of as a male-specific hormone, testosterone is also a vital part of the female body. Contrary to popular belief, men and women actually have levels of both estrogen and testosterone, although women have much lower levels of testosterone than men. Lower than normal levels of testosterone and other hormones in women can have a dramatic effect on their lives. Hormone deficiencies most often occur in post-menopausal women, though it is not uncommon in pre-menopausal women. This often results in symptoms similar to those experienced in actual menopause.
Testosterone: This hormone is necessary in both men and women and declines steadily after age 30. At optimal levels, testosterone increases bone density and bone formation, enhances energy and sex drive, decreases body fat, increases muscle strength, lowers blood pressure, and modulates cholesterol levels. Testosterone is a hormone that neither men nor women should be without. It is a great mood enhancer and imparts a sense of wellbeing in aging men and women.
Estrogen: Over 50 years of studies demonstrate that loss of estrogen increases cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporotic fractures, urogenital atrophy, macular degeneration, and depression. Using natural estrogen helps protect the body against these symptoms and disease. Estrogen lowers LDL cholesterol and raises HDL, which is the good cholesterol.
Progesterone: Synthetic progesterone increases the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, strokes, bleeding, and depression. Not only does bio-identical progesterone decrease these risks, but it also protects against them. Progesterone helps reduces symptoms of menopause and occurs naturally with estrogen, and it should be prescribed concurrently to balance estrogen.
Thyroid Hormone: This metabolic hormone decreases steadily with age. Lack of the thyroid hormone leads to hypothyroidism and can result in cold intolerance, fatigue, lassitude, weight gain, increased cholesterol, thin and dry skin, hair loss, and thin and brittle nails. Replenishment results in the reversal of these symptoms plus increased energy and metabolism.
Melatonin: This hormone is produced by the pineal gland and declines significantly by age 40. Melatonin controls the circadian rhythm as well as deep stages of sleep. Studies suggest that the immune system depends on melatonin’s effects of deep sleep. By inducing sleep, it improves quality of sleep and increases REM sleep and deep stage IV sleep. Melatonin provides the body with powerful antioxidants that can protect against cancer and scavenge free radicals, and it does this by activating the cytokine system, which is part of lymphocytic function.
DHEA: By age 40, DHEA has declined markedly in both men and women. DHEA has a beneficial effect on immune response, sex drive, metabolism, and emotional stability. DHEA is a precursor to the sex hormones and is therefore an important building block in the production of these hormones. This beneficial hormone also helps the body breakdown fats and cholesterol, while reducing the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.
Pregnenolone: Decline of this hormone occurs after age 30, and this can cause a lack of mental clarity and failure of memory, which can be among the most frustrating aspects of aging. This hormone aids the body with this frustrating issue of age-related cognitive decline by helping with cellular repair of the central nervous system and enhancing memory.
Below are some of the symptoms associated with low hormone levels in women:
• Increased risk of heart attack
• Increased insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes
• Poor sleep quality and insomnia
• Wrinkling and dehydrated skin
• Memory loss and decreased concentration
• Decreased sense of well-being
• Increased irritability
• Vaginal dryness
• Decreased sexual libido and desire
• Mood changes and depression
• Reduced motivation
• Decreased aerobic capacity
• Increased fatigue
• Looking older than you biological age
• Loss of bone density
• Loss of muscle mass or difficultly maintaining muscle mass
• Reduced strength
• Increased fat mass or difficultly keeping fat off
• Increase in cellulite
Methods of Delivery
Many of the hormones listed above are simply administered by taking a pills or placing a small tablet beneath the tongue. However, Testosterone, Estrogen, and Progesterone are often times given in a cream form that must be applied onto the labial or outer vaginal skin area or creams that may be applied to skin under the arm or arm-pit on a daily basis, which some women find to be burdensome.
Denver Hormone Health Clinics offer testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone pellet therapy, eliminating the need to apply creams or patches. Pellets eliminate the need to take pills and troches on a daily basis. Pellet therapy offers a safer, more convenient way to receive bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and guarantees a therapeutic effect over many months. The hormone pellets are inserted beneath the skin in a very simple 2-4 minute sterile procedure in the office. An incision is placed above the buttocks in the posterior trunk and is so small that sutures are not even required.