Hormone replacement therapy — medications containing female hormones to replace the ones the body may no longer make after menopause — is a treatment often used for women through the menopausal years. A recent surge in information has been sparked by various medical studies and books filled with information, including Suzanne Summers’ book, “Ageless” which was published in 2006. Mike Peterson of Suntree Pharmacy explains more about the therapy and how to determine if it is right for you.
But what does it all mean?
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy is compounded medication used to restore healthy hormone levels.
“Bio-Identical means that the hormones are made to be identical to the ones in your body, which improves their overall effectiveness and doesn’t cause negative interactions,” says Mike Peterson of Suntree Pharmacy.
Hormone imbalance can cause a number of tell-tale symptoms including but not limited to abdominal swelling and bloating, brain fog, breast tenderness, fatigue, hair loss, hot flashes, impaired immune system, increased anxiety, loss of libido, memory loss, mood changes, muscle weakness, sexual dysfunction, skin aging, sleep disturbances,
urine incontinence, vaginal dryness, and weight gain.
“One of the hormones important to a woman’s energy, mood, and libido is the sex hormone, testosterone,” Mike said. “Produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands, testosterone is critical in the makeup of a woman’s hormonal balance. Commonly thought of as an important hormone to just men, testosterone is an essential hormone that women rely on for energy, vitality, sex drive and endurance.”
“It’s important to know that results may take months to fully materialize, but the medicine starts working the moment you use it,” Mike said. “All the while, along with your doctor, we are here to provide support and guidance.”
Other types of hormones include:
Estrone (E1) Estrone is the estrogen most commonly found in increased amounts in post menopausal women. Estrone does the same work that estradiol does, but it is considered weaker in its effects.
Estradiol (E2) Estradiol, the principal estrogen found in a woman’s body during the reproductive years, is produced by the ovaries. Because it is much more potent than estriol, it can be more effective for symptomatic relief than estriol. Estradiol is very effective for the symptomatic relief of hot flashes, genitourinary symptoms, osteoporosis prophylaxis, psychological well-being and reduction of coronary artery disease.
Estriol (E3) Estriol is the estrogen most beneficial to the vagina, cervix and vulva. Estriol is the weakest of the three major estrogens, in fact it is 1,000 times weaker in its effect on breast tissue. Estriol is the estrogen that is made in large quantities during pregnancy and has potential protective properties against the production of cancerous cells.
Progesterone Progesterone, a steroid hormone, belongs to a class of hormones called progestogens. Progesterone and estrogen work together to form a balance and equilibrium going into menopause. Unfortunately, as perimenopause begins, the body creates less progesterone. As a mood hormone, this imbalance of estrogen and progesterone can lead to estrogen dominance creating PMS symptoms and erratic emotional imbalance. With that imbalance comes nervousness, mood swings, irritability, and even depression. Progesterone deficiency is the most common hormone deficiency seen in perimenopausal women.
Treatment begins with a visit to your doctor who determines your need based on symptom evaluation and lab results. You then bring your prescription to Suntree Pharmacy where it is filled with a medicine compounded specifically for you.
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