By: Vanessa Billingsley

Some men and women are able to live flourishing, healthy lives by diligently engaging in diet, vitamin and mineral supplementation, and exercise programs.  However, some of us experience that despite our attentive efforts to age gracefully, hormones can drop to uncomfortable, unbalanced levels.

An assessment of symptoms is currently considered by the North American Menopause Society to be the best way to monitor the body’s balance of hormones, so discussing symptoms openly with a doctor should feel comfortable.  Here’s a list of frequently asked questions answered by Vanessa Billingsley from The Fountain of You.

What are hormones?

Our hormones are the chemical messengers of an inspiringly intricate communication system within the body.  In many cases these hormones are effective in performing their various “jobs.”

Why should I be concerned?

Some studies link hormone imbalance to the onset of many diseases and even some types of cancer, including breast cancer.  Hormones can drop to uncomfortable, unbalanced levels, the distressing symptoms associated with menopause are a perfect example of this.  These symptoms often go ignored by health professionals who label them as unavoidable, but there is reason to speculate that this is unwise in our fight against disease.

What choices do I have?

We should become familiar with all options relative to hormone treatment.  “Natural” or bioidentical hormones (BH) are obtained from plants and changed to be identical in molecular structure to the hormones our bodies produce on their own.  This is one of the many reasons why anti-aging physicians choose to use this type of hormone when prescribing hormone replacement therapy (HRT).  Our bodies are able to metabolize them naturally because their chemical structure is not foreign.

It is extremely important, however, that bioidentical hormones be prescribed properly and taken exactly as prescribed.

Are there risks?

All forms of HRT can carry health risks.  However, numerous important studies have done a great deal to ease fears about the risk of HRT in relation to breast cancer.  Those on a regimen of bioidentical estrogen and progesterone did not experience an increased risk of breast cancer, while those on a regimen including artificial progestin had an increase in breast cancer risk of 69 percent.   Some research even suggests a higher life-long level of progesterone to be a protection against cancer.  This is why it is imperative that we develop a solid relationship with our physician and that he or she be well-informed on all aspects of Hormone Replacement Therapy.

Vanessa Billingsley is the Fountain of You Wellness Writer

The studies:

  • The International Journal of Cancer published the Fournier Study in 2005.  In his study Dr. Agnes Fournier and his team followed 54,000 women taking bioidentical estrogen along with either bioidentical progesterone or a synthetic version, progestin.  This study showed the risk for breast cancer to increase by 40 percent for women who were taking the progestin and the risk to decrease by 10 percent for women who were taking the bioidentical progesterone.
  • The 2002 Women’s Health Initiative revealed the risks associated with a one-size-fits-all approach to hormone replacement therapy.  It simply does not make sense that all women need the same treatment when it comes to something as delicate and personal as hormones.

Symptoms of Menopause/Hormone Deficiency include but are not limited to:

  • Changes in menstrual periods
  • Hot flashes
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Headaches
  • Memory and concentration changes
  • Mood swings
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Changes in sexual function
  • Weight gain

About Dr. Zipper and Fountain of You

Dr. Kim Zipper received her Medical Degree from the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Specialty Training & Membership: Fellowship Trained in Anti-Aging medicine.

She is Board Certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology, a Member of American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, Credentialed North American Menopause Practitioner -American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery, Inc.  For more information call Fountain of You at (321) 574-5376 or visit