Top 5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Hormone Therapy
“Balance: a state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have an equal or proper amount of importance.”
It is when our bodies, particularly our hormones, fall out of balance that we experience many symptoms of modern living. Anxiety, insomnia, foggy thinking and fatigue are all common symptoms of hormonal imbalance that often go unchecked and untreated. Mainstream medicine doesn’t consider it to be a potential root cause of these common day-to-day struggles. Many doctors simply prescribe medication to mask each individual symptom.
As we age many of these hormones begin to take a solid gradual decline. Progesterone levels for example, in women, can begin to drop as early as age 30. Women who have undergone menopause have no hormonal production altogether and can end up living a third of their life void of all the benefits of balanced hormone levels. Men can also go through testosterone decline resulting in mood changes, decreased libido, muscle wasting and premature aging.
These imbalances can affect all different kinds of systems, from hormones that regulate your stress response and your blood sugar levels to ones that regulate sexual functionand mood. Hormones can also be put off balance at any age, in any race and in either sex. It is indeed a phenomenon that can affect everyone.
The first step to hormonal balancing is getting your levels assessed, which is most accurately done through salivary testing. If your levels are found to be out of balance, supplementing with hormone therapy is a viable option to reduce symptoms quickly and effectively allowing your body to re-establish a state of balance and equilibrium.
There has been much debate in the past about hormone therapy. To help dispel some of the rumors I have included 5 essential myth busting facts about hormone therapy to set the record straight.
FACT #1 – Bioidentical is not the same as synthetic
It is important to distinguish the difference between synthetic hormone therapy andbioidentical hormone therapy. Synthetic hormones were the initial big push from the pharmaceutical companies to solve hormonal imbalance issues. Synthetic hormones were of interest to these companies because they could be patented as a drug. Thousands of women were prescribed these synthetic hormones until studies emerged indicating that these drugs caused various forms of cancer and chronic health diseases.
Bioidentical hormones are much different than the original synthetic hormones as they are identical to the form in which your body naturally produces them. Unfortunately for the big pharma companies natural hormones cannot be patented and therefore there is less research done on bioidentical hormones. The studies that HAVE been done actually show great benefit to using this therapy. It has been shown to decrease risk of cancer, help properly manage weight, and re-establish mood as well as many other benefits. By simply brining back the body to a more natural state of hormonal balance many health issues can be corrected.
FACT #2 – They actually help reduce your risk of cancer
The synthetic hormones originally on the market, which increased the risk of certain cancers, caused most people to assume that any form of hormonal therapy would lead to these same increases in risk. It simply is not the case and the use of bioidentical hormone therapy has actually shown to decrease the risk of cancer.
Because bioidentical hormones are identical to the ones your body naturally produces they have a protective effect against cancer as well as other chronic diseases. The key to this beneficial effect of hormone therapy is re-establishing hormone balance in the body. It is this balance while establishing hormones in the right ratios to each other that produce the beneficial protective effect.
FACT #3 – They are not just for menopausal women
Originally menopausal women were the primary patient population receiving bioidentical hormone therapy. This was because it is a clear and definitive process occurring in the body when a women stops producing sex hormones and goes through menopause. This therapy helps relieve symptoms of menopause immensely and acts as a anti-aging therapy by maintaining a woman”s youthful hormone levels.
Hormone therapy can also be used in any sex, male or female of any age. More and more,stress is having great effects on our body, which can disrupt the production of our natural hormones. Bioidentical hormone therapy can be used effectively in situations other than menopause and can be a great ally for patients in achieving optimal health and recovering from chronic stressors of our modern environment
FACT #4 – Hormone therapy is not a lifelong treatment
Often times it is assumed that if you start hormone therapy you will be on it for life. Women undergoing menopause, who begin hormone therapy, are the only group that must stay on hormones indefinitely. This is because their body’s natural ability to produce hormones has completely shut down.
For patients who’s bodies are still able to produce hormones naturally, the therapy is used simply as a means to support the proper production and function of hormones until the body has reached a level of recovery where it can once again support itself. Think of it as a temporary crutch for your body to stand on until it can regain its ability to balance and produce hormones naturally.
This process of recovery can often take as long as 3 to 6 six months with proper nutritional and lifestyle support.
FACT #5 – It can be a solution to your nagging health problems
Are you suffering from anxiety, mood issues, irritability, weight gain, depression, insomnia or fatigue? Your hormones may just be the issue and are worth investigating further! Hormone imbalances are a condition of modern living and are affecting an increasing number of people as most of us are overworked, stressed and not taking the downtime we need to allow our bodies to recover. Unfortunately our bodies pay the price and we are stuck feeling unwell. Hormone balancing is a huge piece of the puzzle to optimal health and should never be ignored or put off. You deserve to start feeling better!
I hope these facts have enlightened you about how hormone balancing is crucial to optimal health.
If you would like to learn more about how hormone therapy can help you on your health journey please do not hesitate to get in touch. Contact information as well as clinic locations are all available on my website at www.DrJamieSmellie.com.
Dr. Jamie Smellie ND