Hormone Balance and the Benefits of Bioidentical Hormones

In hormones, as in life, balance is everything. Get it wrong and you’ll feel, well, wrong. Out of sorts. Lacking in energy. There are also more serious repercussions. Hormones affect your health as a whole, so any imbalance will soon make its presence felt. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for your hormones to be out of balance. The good news is that Dr. Rashid can help you rebalance them, naturally and quickly.

Put back what time takes away. Many things can disrupt the balance of your hormones, from aging to simply your day-to-day stress levels. These can have a big negative impact on your life, making you feel tired, unable to sleep, suffer with digestion, uninterested in sex and many more. Now, you can’t do much to prevent this happening, but you can restore your balance once it happens with BHRT, or bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. And when your balance is restored, in most cases so is your health.

The biggest piece in the puzzle. We’re not saying BHRT is the whole solution. Other factors such as diet and exercise are important. However, BHRT is certainly the biggest piece in the wellbeing jigsaw. Once your hormones are re-balanced you’ll have more energy, feel younger and even feel more at ease with yourself. What’s more, you’ll find that your other initiatives will work better as well. Hormones are the key to your body running as it should. If you like, think of it like the oil in your car’s engine.

Reach the balance point So how can you reach the point where your hormones are balanced? We can test your hormones under strict medical supervision, establish your current levels and decide where you need to go from here. Through BHRT, supported by appropriate nutrition and exercise plans, Dr. Rashid will help you to feel younger and fitter than you though possible.

Make aging a thing of the past with hormone therapy. First, what exactly are hormones? Essentially, they’re molecules in your body that signal to your cells when it’s time to do something important for your wellbeing. It’s important that you produce them in balanced amounts, otherwise it can lead to disease. You must realize, though, that hormones decline with aging.

How many do you have? Your body has many hormones and hormone systems. However, the ones that decline first and quite abruptly are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

How important are they? They communicate with each other, as well as all other hormones and every other part of your body. Which makes them essential for your wellbeing and general health.

What happens when they stop working? Women’s ovaries make estrogens, estradiol and estrone, and progesterone, while men’s testes make testosterone. As you age, these hormones begin to decline steadily. Yet, as we’ve said, they are tremendously important to every aspect of your health. When produced in the right amounts, they support every function your body takes on. And when you’re at your most fertile, with your fertility hormones at their optimum levels, you’re also at your healthiest.

Which is quite logical, when you think about it. Mother Nature wants you to reproduce yourself to ensure the survival of the species. Therefore, she looks after you best while you’re doing this. And then she wants you to stick around while your offspring are growing up. After that, well, she loses interest a bit. The aging process kicks in, and it’s not just fertility that’s affected but every aspect of your health eventually.Which is where BHRT comes in.

What are the symptoms? How do you know when your hormones are out of balance? Whether you’re a man or a woman, you’re likely to experience either some or all of the following:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats in women
  • Memory loss
  • Decline in the way your brain functions
  • Moodiness
  • Lower energy levels
  • Weight gain
  • Sleep problems
  • A decrease in your libido and sexual performance
  • Changes in your skin, nails and hair
  • An overall feeling of reduced well-being
  • Loss of your youthful look

In truth, hormone balance is critical to your general health and wellbeing. There isn’t an organ your body that functions well without it.

So what exactly is hormone replacement therapy? Exactly what it says. With hormone replacement therapy, the hormones that are declining in your body are replaced.

In women it’s estradiol (the good estrogen) and progesterone. In men, testosterone. As we’ve mentioned, these are your fertility hormones, yet they’re actually involved in maintaining every aspect of your health and the way your body functions. Unfortunately, these are also the hormones that decline first. This then affects the balance of all the other hormone systems in your body. Also, although many other hormones decline with aging, the way these hormones decline is the most predictable and dramatic.

Now, we said hormone replacement was simple. We actually mean that the concept is. However, putting theory into practice is not that simple at all. It’s vital that hormone replacement therapy is done correctly, under the care of a specialist physician. Especially so when you consider how much is at stake, that is, the way your body ages and functions for the rest of your life!

Who can benefit from hormone replacement therapy? Both women and men, once they reach a certain age. Typically, this is from the late 30’s to late 40’s, when they show a decline in hormone production. However, there are now signs that modern living is advancing the process, with factors such as birth control pills, environmental pollutants and food additives causing women to experience ovarian decline years before previous generations.

Will any hormone replacement therapy do? No! It’s vital that your natural hormones are replaced only with hormones which are ‘bioidentical’. This means hormones with identical molecules to those produced by the human body. This therapy is known as ‘Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy’ or BHRT and is the only one you should consider. There are treatments out there that involve chemically modified or synthetic hormones, and you should avoid these completely as they have not been proven to be safe.

In addition, hormones also need to be correctly administered, with dosing as close to nature as possible. Routine testing in the lab is also needed, to make sure the hormones are absorbed in a balanced way. The way hormones interact with each other must be monitored as well.

For these and other reasons, it’s crucial that you choose a physician who specialises in this area, thoroughly understands the procedures and keeps up to date with current medical thinking.

Why is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement not more widespread then? Easy! Bioidentical hormones can’t be patented. Which means they don’t make huge profits for the pharmaceutical industry. In turn, this means physicians are not made as aware of them as of other kinds. Indeed, bioidentical hormones create a conflict of interest with the pharmaceutical giants and their patented synthetic hormones.

Why is hormone replacement so controversial now? Before 2002, hormone replacement was part of standard medicine. However, the hormones that were medically approved, and still are, were the chemically modified versions we talk about elsewhere on this web site. In fact, hormones had to be chemically modified or they could not be patented!

Then, in 2002, the results of a landmark study called the Women’s Health Initiative or WHI Study were announced. The study was designed by the nation’s top physicians, funded by the National Institute of Health, and had participants from around 40 top clinical centers. The results were stunning, and very controversial.

Sadly, but all too predictably, the real truth emerging from the study was never clearly explained to physicians, for obvious reasons. In the time since, several studies have shown that traditional synthetic hormone therapy can increase the likelihood of many cancers and heart disease.

However natural hormones have not been shown to carry any of these risks and can be taken safely.

So why is BHRT safe? In much the same way that it’s safe to eat many natural foods rather than the processed stuff the food industry churns out. Bioidentical means identical to what occurs biologically. Bioidentical hormones are derived from naturally occurring sources such as yams and soy. They’re designed to replicate the chemical structure your body produces naturally.

Estradiol and progesterone are better understood than any other hormone in the body in terms of the monthly rhythm. We have a known template, so we should follow it. Of all the many types of estrogens and progesterones that are given and in whatever different ways, your body simply made estradiol and progesterone in a single, well understood but ignored way.

But is it more effective? Most certainly! Because they’re biologically identical, your body can metabolize them properly. What’s more, as described they’re specifically designed to match your complete biological needs, as opposed tothe crude ‘shotgun’ approach of synthetic hormones.

In truth, there is a massive bank of evidence indicating that BHRT is both safer and more effective. However, these are potent, powerful chemicals that balance the body. For this reason, always consult an acknowledged hormone specialist such as Dr Selma before starting your treatment regimen.

Can other hormones be replaced? Yes! The fertility hormones are not the only hormones that create havoc when out of balance. The adrenal glands make steroid hormones such as Cortisol, Aldosterone, DHEA and Androstenedione. In fact, after the menopause or andropause these glands make the majority of steroid hormones in the body. For good health they must be in balance, although they can be badly affected by stress. As with fertility hormones, their function also declines with age, which means that addressing adrenal health becomes very important. Again, this must be carried out under the care of an expert.

It’s a similar situation with the thyroid hormones, T4 and T3. By your early 50’s the thyroid gland is producing less of these. Exactly why nobody is sure yet, although in women it could be connected to their close relationship with estrogen. Thyroid hormones can and usually should be replaced, but it’s a task for a physician not only with a thorough knowledge of current practice but who is also not afraid to challenge out-dated medical information.

Contact Chicago Bioidentical Doctor, Selma Rashid, M.D., to learn more about the benefits of balanced hormones and bioidentical hormone therapy.