By Brenda Lee Herrod, APRN, MSN, WHNP-BC
Do you suffer from brain fog? Do you complain of anxiety and have endless nights without sleep, resulting in a lack of energy, fatigue, and mood swings? Are you frustrated from gaining fat around the midsection and losing muscle, no matter how well you are eating, or how hard you are working out? How is your libido? Many women (and men too) suffer from these symptoms, as well as hot flashes, incontinence, vaginal dryness, accelerated skin aging, and joint pain. They are discouraged when told that it’s just “midlife changes” and to deal with it.
You don’t have to live with it and continue to suffer. There are options available. If you have decreased hormone production and some of the before-mentioned symptoms, I strongly recommend checking into bioidentical hormone therapy to optimize your hormones. Age-related decline in hormone production is one the most common causes of hormone imbalances. Poor nutrition, lack of sleep, stress, and lifestyle choices can also cause hormonal issues and make you feel like “crap.” In our early 30’s our hormones start diminishing and continue to plummet as we age, especially by the time we are in our 50’s and 60’s. Chronic disease can develop if left untreated. Restoring your hormones can actually slow down the aging process and prevent issues like cardiovascular disease, which is the number one cause of death in men and women. Other health issues that can result from low hormones are Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and likely breast cancer.
Often the biggest fear that people have is that hormones can cause cancer. Cancer is not caused by hormones. The elderly have the greatest risk for cancer and they have the lowest level of hormones, while twenty-year-olds have the highest levels of hormones and a much lower risk of cancer. The important part is the type of hormones, the safest dose, route of administration, and having a provider closely monitor your labs, as well as the patient’s individual symptoms. It is essential and the best practice to treat patients on symptoms they are experiencing, as well as doing frequent lab work to monitor blood levels.
Bioidentical hormones are structurally identical at the molecular level to those naturally produced by our bodies and are made from wild yams. Synthetic hormones are derived from animal parts or urine and have a different molecular structure than what our body produces. Biodentical replacement therapy can be a part of a personalized health management program, but only when administered by providers specializing in natural hormone replacement therapy. These hormones include estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
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Gray, Stephanie. Your Longevity Blueprint, Advantage Media Group, 2017.
Donovitz, Gary, and Cotten, Mandy. Breast Cancer Incidence Reduction in Women Treated with Subcutaneous Testosterone: Testosterone Therapy and Breast Cancer Incidence Study. European Journal of Breast Health (2021): 17, 2. 150-156.
Donovitz, Gary. Testosterone Matters… More! The Secret to Healthy Aging in Women, Wheatmark Publishing, 2020.
Sieman, Robert S. Live Life Better with Natural Hormone Therapy, New Leaf Wellness, 2017.