Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
- The number of women suffering with Perimenopause are underappreciated and underdiagnosed.
- Women in their late 30s to early 50s are vulnerable.
- Commonly perimenopause starts with anxiety, irritability, insomnia and brain fog.
- Obvious symptoms are hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and poor libido.
- The cause is hormonal imbalance because of decreased hormone production.
- Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone need to be measured with salivary testing.
- Safe Bioidentical hormones are then utilized to bring about hormonal balance.
Perimenopause and Its Symptoms
Too many women today in their late 30s to early 50s suffer needlessly. Why? Because one of the most underappreciated and under diagnosed conditions is that of perimenopause. This is the period of time before menopause were hormones begin to fluctuate. This normally occurs around 3 to 4 years before a woman enters menopause, but many times can start as early as 10 years before.
The symptoms of perimenopause can insidiously creep up on you. In the beginning well before the usual symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, dry skin and thinning hair, perimenopause can start out with mood swings and increased feelings of anxiety and irritation. Sometimes this can increase to the point of insomnia, trouble falling asleep and/or waking up during the night. Often women also find trouble concentrating with bouts of brain fog. With these symptoms many times a woman will go see her GP, here’s where the problems really begin.
Drugs and Synthetic Hormones Are Not The Answer
Women with these symptoms are usually given a prescription for an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication and a sleep hypnotic (Ambien, Sonata, Lunesta) for her insomnia. These drugs, with their serious side effects, are not the answer to their problems. You see, the physician misses the perimenopause caused by hormonal imbalance. Primarily because it’s not on their radar and rarely, if ever, do they test hormones. And even if their physician did recognize the perimenopause, they may then prescribe synthetic artificial hormones, not bioidentical to a woman’s own hormones. This leads to unnecessary and problematic side effects. For example, progestin may be prescribed, a synthetic artificial form of a woman’s natural progesterone.
There are numerous scientific studies that show it is the artificial or synthetic form of hormones that lead to the unwanted side effects. Here is the conclusion of a recent 2016 study published in Syst Rev. 2016; 5: 121: “Observational studies suggest that in menopausal women, estrogen and progesterone use may be associated with lower breast cancer risk compared to synthetic progestin.” So please don’t use them. Many women ask me why then their conventional doctor prescribes synthetic hormones. Two reasons, that’s how they are schooled, and drug companies cannot patent and sell a Bio-Identical hormone. By slightly changing the structure of the hormone they can turn it into a sellable drug.
What you want to utilize is appropriately dosed bioidentical hormones based on your salivary levels of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and pregnenolone. One of the more common issues in perimenopause is that of progesterone deficiency also known as estrogen dominance. Progesterone production is usually the first hormone to decrease. The primary symptoms of this are anxiety, insomnia and brain fog.
Brain Health and Protection With Hormonal Balance
What is most underappreciated about hormones is their beneficial effect on brain function and protection. Progesterone assists or augments the GABA neurotransmitter which brings about relaxation and sleep. Estrogen assists or augments the neurotransmitter serotonin which brings about a sense of well-being. Therefore, you can see when you are deficient in any of these hormones, it can affect your mood, sleep and well-being. Furthermore, numerous studies have shown that having adequate hormonal levels decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
How To Regain Your Health and Wellness
So, here’s my point, if you’re like many of the women I’ve seen in my virtual Minnesota clinic in their late 30s and 40s struggling with a variety of symptoms: anxiety, irritability, difficulty sleeping, decreased libido and even depression, before you start up on more drugs, get your hormone levels checked through a salivary testing. Salivary testing is the only accurate way to find out what your tissue levels are of active unbound hormones. Once your hormone levels have been measured you want to utilize Bio-identical natural hormones to regain your balance.
Along with your steroid sex hormones of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA you will also want to have your full thyroid assessment tested measuring TSH, free T4, free T3, reverse T-3 and both thyroid antibodies. This is done through blood serum testing. When looking at the hormone balance of an individual I also test for adrenal function through salivary cortisol testing. Hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue can wreak havoc on your overall hormonal balance leading to many different and varied symptoms.
If this sounds like it may be what you need, give my virtual Minnesota clinic a call at 763-862-7100 and schedule a free consultation with me, Dr. Greg Fors, and my staff. Discover what can be done to restore your hormone balance and wellness.
About Dr. Greg Fors
Dr. Greg Fors, D.C. is a Board-certified Neurologist (IBCN), certified in Applied Herbal Sciences (NWHSU) and acupuncture. As the director of the virtual Pain and Brain Healing Center, he specializes in a functional medicine approach to fibromyalgia, fatigue, brain fog, digestive disorders, depression and anxiety. He is a sought after international lecturer for various post-graduate departments and state associations. Dr. Fors is the author of the highly acclaimed book, “Why We Hurt” available through booksellers everywhere.