Bio-identical Hormones for Alleviating Menopause symptoms

Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) to alleviate Menopause Symptoms

Serving as an internal communication system, the hormones in the human body regulate virtually all the essential body functions. They control digestion, appetite, growth, libido, immune function,  and mood.  So, when the body's hormones are out of balance or their levels fall, even slightly, it can drastically affect one's health and well-being.

Once women approach 40 years, their hormone levels begin to decline. Estrogen is an essential hormone in women that regulates the development of their reproductive system including the menstrual cycle, controls glucose metabolism, food intake, insulin sensitivity, and body weight. When estrogen levels fall, most women experience hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, anxiety, and vaginal dryness. This decline in female reproductive hormones is what is referred to as peri-menopause.

Menopause is a natural process signaling the end of a woman's menstrual cycle. When a woman goes for 12 months without menstruating, she is said to be in menopause.

Symptoms of menopause

Most of the symptoms of menopause occur during the peri-menopause stage. Some women experience menopause without any complications or unpleasant symptoms and hence require no medical treatment. Others might not be so lucky.

The symptoms of menopause are primarily related to a decline in estrogen levels in the woman. These symptoms vary widely due to the many effects estrogen has on the female body:

Other symptoms associated with menopause include the absence of menstruation or irregular menstruation, mood swings, itchy skin and change in body odor.  The combination of these symptoms could lead to anxiety and depression.

Treatment for menopause

No treatment is required for menopause. Rather, treatments are aimed at relieving the unpleasant signs and symptoms and preventing or managing the conditions associated with menopause.

Sometimes, a simple change in lifestyle, diet, and nutrition can alleviate the unpleasant conditions associated with menopause.

Women having hot flashes are advised to wear light clothing, reduce their stress levels, take regular exercise and lose weight if they are overweight, take cold showers, keep their bedroom cool at night, and avoid potential triggers such as spicy food, caffeine, smoking, and alcohol.

For those suffering from insomnia and sleep disturbances, focus on having a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, avoiding heavy evening meals, exercising during the day, and adjusting the light, noise and temperature levels in the bedroom.

Generally, to stay healthy during menopause and reduce the undesirable symptoms, women are urged to

Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) as a Treatment for Menopause Symptoms

Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, also referred to as natural hormone therapy is the type of hormone replacement that uses hormones that are chemically identical to the body's natural hormones instead of synthetic hormones. 

Since the molecular structure of the bio-identical hormones is identical to hormones found in the body, the body uses them the same way it uses hormones naturally produced in the body.  This minimizes the side effects commonly associated with the use of synthetic hormones in the traditional hormone replacement therapy. 

BHRT is used as a treatment for people with hormone imbalances or reduced hormone levels. In this case, it serves as a viable treatment to ease the symptoms of menopause in women.

How to use BHRT

Bio-identical hormones come in many forms, including creams, pills, and suppositories.

You'll have to consult your naturopathic doctor to ascertain the best form of these hormones for your lifestyle. Once you begin bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, you'll need to be regularly monitored to evaluate your body's response.  Naturopathic doctors recommend using the lowest possible dose that is effective if you ever choose any form of hormone replacement therapy. The average use of BHRT is approximately 2 years. 

Benefits of BHRT

Bio-identical replacement therapy increases the level of hormones that have dropped and alleviates or eradicates menopause symptoms like hot flashes, mood changes, insomnia, and low libido.  The benefits of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy far outweigh the risks. Women who opt for this mode of treatment over the traditional hormone replacement therapy experience fewer side effects and any adverse reactions are usually mild, if noticeable.

Some of the benefits include:

Unlike the approach of traditional hormone therapies to fit in all instances, the bio-identical hormones are compounded based on each patient’s symptoms and diagnostic results. This makes the therapy not only safer but can be more effective than the traditional hormone therapy.

For more information, schedule an appointment to discuss whether you are a candidate for Bio-identical hormone therapy today!

Dr. Minna Yoon, ND, L.Ac.

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