What You Should Know About Hormone Therapy and Menopause

Close-up of a doctor's chest with his stethoscope hanging down and several pens in his pocket.

Estrogen and progesterone are obviously necessary for sexual development and reproduction, but hormonal balance provides many other health benefits for women.  For example, estrogen assists in maintaining bone density, lowers cholesterol, improves memory and mental clarity and increases metabolism.  Progesterone aids in the reproductive cycle, counter-balances estrogen and is instrumental in the development of other hormones.

What Happens to Hormonal Balance During Menopause?

As women approach menopause estrogen production may decrease to less than half of the optimum level and progesterone production can cease altogether.  Night sweats, hot flashes, hair loss, weight gain, vaginal dryness and mood changes are all common side effects that accompany this period of life.

I Have Menopause Symptoms – Should I Consider Therapy?

Eliminating these symptoms is motivation enough to investigate the benefits bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in Armonk, NY, but replacing diminishing hormones can impact your health in even more significant ways.  Studies indicate that restoring hormonal balance can increase bone density, improve memory, slow the aging process by rejuvenating your skin and help prevent serious conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis, colon cancer and diabetes.

To determine the most effective bioidentical hormone therapy in Armonk, NY you should meet with a physician who will administer various tests to determine your current hormone levels. Your doctor should then work with a pharmacist to provide the exact formulation needed to restore your hormonal balance.  In fact, you should meet with your doctor periodically to make necessary adjustments as your own hormone production levels change.

The Unique Nature of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy is not new, but the hormones originally used came from sources such as pregnant mare urine and synthetic progesterone manufactured in a laboratory.  These were not identical to the hormones found in women, but were routinely prescribed for women of menopause age until a study conducted a decade ago revealed that some women taking these drugs were at greater risk for blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, gall bladder disorders and breast cancer.

Fortunately, these dangers are isolated to synthetic medications. These artificial forms do not mirror nature intentionally; a company cannot be given a patent on a completely natural substance.  Because of this, the structure of synthetic hormones is deliberately designed to be almost – but not completely – identical to human hormones.  These differences are immediately recognized by the body and are broken down in a manner which can actually cause damage to some major organs as well as the cardiovascular system.

Bioidentical hormone therapy for Armonk NY patients is safe because it utilizes hormones found in plants that are exact replicas of human hormones.  The human body is designed to ward off foreign substances and synthetic hormones, which are different in molecular structure or bonding than human hormones, are viewed by the body as invaders.  When you take a bioidentical hormone your body cannot distinguish it from the hormones it is already producing so there is no adverse reaction. As you replace the hormones your body no longer produces you can reap the many benefits you enjoyed when you were younger.

How Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Works

Patients interested in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in Armonk NY should find a physician who specialized in individualized treatment and not a one-size fits all solution.  Not only is each individual different, but a woman’s needs also change over time.

The first step will be to determine your current hormone levels including estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and thyroid.  The results of these tests will be used to design a unique program of completely natural, bioidentical supplementation that fits your needs and personal interests.  If you are only interested in relief from menopausal symptoms there are a variety of natural topical estrogen applications which can provide relief in a relatively short period of time as well as natural oral progesterone which can improve your resistance to uterine and breast cancer.

Achieving the greater long-term health benefits involves a more personalized plan that addresses a broader spectrum of hormones.  Your doctor will design a plan that treats the adrenal and thyroid functions as well, ultimately restoring the hormonal balance you enjoyed as a young adult.  These levels will be monitored frequently at the outset of the program until you achieve the balance needed.  Once this is accomplished testing will occur less frequently and adjustments will be made as your own hormone production declines.

Investigate Your Options

Hormonal levels can begin to decline as early as the late 30’s and early 40’s.  If you have begun to notice changes in weight, libido, skin, hair or are experiencing menopause symptoms take the time to investigate your options.  Find out what bioidentical hormone therapy in Armonk NY can do for you.