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A hot flash? Or a hot mess?
Menopause. Maybe the changes your body is going through don't seem like a big deal. Just a hot flash now and then. Or maybe they're more troublesome, causing sleeplessness, mood swings and difficulties with memory and concentration. Either way, those small changes start to add up?could they lead to a big disaster? Let's look at what women go through in their 40s and 50s. If this sounds familiar, keep reading for some answers.
You're getting warmer?
You're minding your own business, at work or at home. Suddenly you're drenched in sweat. The hot flash passes in a few minutes. But you know it'll come back again and again. Pretty soon, you're dreading them, even trying to compensate for them -- dressing in layers that you can strip off, going to bed knowing you'll go through at least one sweat-stained garment tonight.
Hot flashes can disrupt your life. And they can go on for years.
Memory? Forget about it!
You may notice that you've been misplacing your keys or your purse, and you've started forgetting things like dentist appointments and people's names. And have you ever walked into a room to get something, only to and forget what you were going to get? You're not alone.
Moods that swing up and down.
Do you find that you're snapping at your kids and spouse often, then apologizing afterward? Do you seem to get overwhelmed with sadness for no reason? These are common emotional swings in menopausal women.
Not tonight, dear. Or any night.
When it comes to sex, you no longer enjoy it. You don't have the interest or fantasies you may have had. In fact, you barely think about sex, other than how to avoid it. It's not surprising; sex can become painful during menopause. That's because vaginal tissue dries out when it's not lubricated with the natural estrogen that your body no longer produces. And avoiding sex can cause problems with your relationship.
You're tired, but you can't sleep.
You're tired all the time. But when you get into bed, you have trouble falling asleep, or you wake up in the middle of the night. You toss and turn, and keep your spouse awake -- which doesn't help a relationship that may already be strained by mood swings.
The morning after blues.
Here's the irony. Your sleepless night was endless. But morning comes all too fast. You drag yourself to the bathroom, and sigh when you look in the mirror. You look puffy and pale, dry and wrinkled. As you slather on moisturizer, you realize you're not the woman you used to be.
Welcome to your midlife crisis.
The symptoms of menopause can add up to one big dose of misery. You decide it's time to look for answers. You visit your primary care physician, maybe even a therapist, but nothing really changes. You wonder?
- Why do women have to feel like this?
- Will things ever improve?
- Could there be one simple test that can prevent such a disaster?
Why they can't get your life back.
You've probably sat there on the examining table, frustrated as your doctor tells you it's just a normal part of aging. But you know your body, and you know something's wrong. You press your doctor for help. To support this kind of hormone imbalance, your doctor may suggest hormone replacement therapy, the kind made in chemistry labs. But do you really what it?
Since natural substances like hormones cannot be patented (meaning pharma companies couldn't "own" natural hormones and profit from them), pharmaceutical companies had to come up with an alternative. Instead of offering natural estrogen (the most important women's hormone), they offered modified horse estrogens to produce "estrogen" for women. And rather than offering the second-most important women's natural hormone 'progesterone', they offered 'progestins'--which sound like natural progesterone, but are actually synthetic.
At first, the world thought these synthetic hormones were a breakthrough; patients said they felt better, it made doctors' jobs easier, and pharmaceutical companies were raking in the dough.
And then the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study was published.
The WHI study found that synthetic or semi-synthetic hormones were linked to many life-threatening conditions, like cancer and blood clots.
These hormones, such as Premarin and Prempro, were blockbuster drugs for pharmaceutical companies. Their sales reached almost 1 billion dollars in 20011(1). However, even the most powerful pharma companies couldn't conceal the damaging conclusions found in the WHI study. But that didn't mean they pulled these successful but dangerous drugs off the market. Not at all.
Instead of taking the drugs off the market, pharma companies just added warnings in the packaging. And they only added warnings because the FDA insisted that they do so, and told them to advise women to discuss the drugs with their doctors. Could that be considered "passing the buck?" Maybe. And even though the FDA issued the warning mandate, they never told the drug companies to stop selling!
An investigation into the real risks.
In 2009, New York Times magazine Reporter Natasha Singer wrote a revealing article about synthetic hormone replacement therapy drugs. After the scandals with Troglitazone (2) or Trovan (3), her discovery isn't surprising. She reported that supposedly independent science writers, who were actually paid by pharmaceutical companies, had written scientific papers backing the use of hormone replacement therapy (4). The articles downplayed the risks of HRT.
My reaction to the news.
After reading in depth on the subject, I started to seriously question the use of synthetic hormones by anyone in the medical profession.
- I thought about why I would ever advise my patients to take hormones.
- I remembered a 27-year-old neighbor, who died from a blood clot in her legs that traveled into her lungs. She was on birth control pills.
- I knew hormones are linked to cancer (5).
- I knew they can cause blood clots (6).
- I knew hormones can cause complications such as low ED, decreased libido and gallstones (7).
- I knew what my decision should be. But that led to another question?
If hormones aren't the answer, how can I help menopausal women?
I started to wonder if menopausal women need hormones at all. Maybe you can get your life back with diet, or vitamins. Maybe lowering cholesterol would help. Or yoga or meditation could make a difference.
But first, I had to look more closely at both sides of the hormone issue.
How hormones help humans.
A fertile woman's ovaries have plenty of eggs that are released in cycles. To get pregnant, she produces the sex hormone estrogen, which makes the follicles with eggs grow. When the egg is big enough, follicle-stimulating hormones and luteinizing hormones surge, which along with estrogen make the follicle break -- a process called ovulation.
Then ovaries start producing another sex hormone, progesterone. The egg travels to the uterus, which is already prepared by progesterone. If there is sperm there, she becomes pregnant. If not, the egg is released and estrogen and progesterone production ceases, the uterus lining is gone, blood vessels open, and menstrual bleeding starts. Estrogen production starts again, and the uterus lining is restored. The bleeding ends, and a woman is ready for another cycle. These cycles continue, until there are no more eggs in woman's ovary. When there are no more eggs, periods stop and menopause begins. It sounds natural. But there is a math problem here: an average woman has about 1 million eggs, yet she uses only about 400.
Why are the rest of her eggs wasted? Instead of using those eggs to make babies, women go into menopause. (And you may not know it, but men go into andropause--the male equivalent of menopause.) If we live long enough, we spend several decades of our lives being infertile!
Why would Mother Nature invest in longevity, but not fertility? Why do older women go through menopause, and older men go through andropause?
Some theories behind our longevity.
Maybe women outlive their reproductive abilities because Mother Nature wants a post-menopausal woman to have time to take care of her daughter's children, so the daughter can make more babies, ensuring survival of the species. This is called the Grandmother's theory (8).
Maybe it's because older males can compete with youngsters to make competition tougher, because older males are more experienced and sophisticated. This is what the Patriarch hypothesis says (9).
It doesn't really matter why nature decided to give us menopause and andropause. The only thing we need to do is to trick our bodies into believing that we are still young hormonally. But how?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
Have you ever seen a person who looks half her real age? I remember the first time I saw a stunning woman with beautiful, taut skin and a lean but curvy body. She looked like she was in her early 30s, but she was in fact in her 60s. Her name is Suzanne Somers. Her fountain of youth? Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT.
What is Suzanne doing right? She has a theory: "It isn't your cholesterol, it isn't your blood pressure, it is the decline of hormones that kills you."
Is she onto something big?
At first, I doubted her theory. What about heart attacks, cancer and Alzheimer's? People die from them all the time. Then it hit me. It's usually older people who die from them. People who no longer have the hormones they used to have. People who have their full complement of hormones don't usually die of those diseases. Is there a connection?
How BHRT began.
You might think hormone replacement is a modern invention, but it was actually discovered back in 1930. Dr. James Collip was the chairman and a professor at McGill University in Canada. He had just co-discovered insulin, and was thinking about how to help women get relief from menopausal symptoms. After a series of experiments and failures, he eventually found the solution. What he did was extract estrogen from the urine of pregnant women and give it as a menopausal remedy. It worked. Giving natural hormones of fertile women to post-menopausal women sent a signal to their bodies that they were still fertile. In other words, it made women?s bodies think they were young again!
How hormones make a woman more womanly.
You've no doubt seen photos of the voluptuous Marilyn Monroe. What you might not realize is that she?s the perfect example of a woman with a high level of estrogen: confident, feminine, with a strong desire to have sex, big breasts and a low waist-to-hip ratio, the perfect hourglass figure (10). That's why estrogen is sometimes called the "Marilyn Monroe Hormone."
Estrogen plays a critical role in the body. It's responsible for breast development, vaginal lubrication, burning fat, maintaining your bones, skin and blood vessels, maintaining your cholesterol, etc. Since it works as an antioxidant, it protects your brain. No estrogen leads to mood problems (11), memory problems, and other issues. However, estrogen alone is not enough.
Too much of anything is never a good thing, and progesterone is the hormone that keeps estrogen in check.
Progesterone to keep calm.
Pregnant women are often calm because of the presence of progesterone. Do you know that a glass of milk in the evening may help you get better sleep? Milk contains progesterone, which may help calm your system, along with calcium and the milk protein casein. Casein in your stomach is broken down into casomorphin, which is an opioid (12)--it's nature's sleeping pill!
Progesterone also normalizes blood pressure, and works as a natural diuretic and antidepressant. Its main job is to balance estrogen. Progesterone is also a neuro-steroid, which is produced in your brain and is necessary for the brain to function normally. But again, estrogen and progesterone are not enough. There has to be something that gives us energy and a sense of wellbeing, as well as the ability to maintain our muscles, mental strength and libido. That's where the hormone ED comes in.
How ED was discovered.
1889, Paris, France. Doctor Charles Edouard Brown-Sequard, a former Harvard professor and current Professor of Experimental Medicine at the College de France, was looking for an elixir of youth. He was a shrewd observer and talented scientist, known for the spinal cord-damaging syndrome that bears his name. But he was aging as everyone does. He was desperately looking for an anti-aging remedy, and he found one, later called the Brown-S'quard Elixir. The elixir was self-administered injections of an extract from guinea pigs? testicles?an extract known as ED. According to the professor, his vigor and sense of wellbeing returned. The famous medical journal The Lancet first published his observations.
Was he lauded for his discovery? Actually, his colleagues laughed at him, and it took science 40 years to rediscover the importance of ED (13). Now we know that it not only benefits the sex drive, erections and muscles, it also maintains bones and protects you from Diabetes, Alzheimer's, and heart disease (14).
The hormone cocktail that keeps us young.
To fight aging, we need all the hormones I've discussed: bioidentical estrogen, progesterone and ED (women and men both). Ideally, hormone replacement should correct the deficiencies and ensure optimal levels of hormones, but should not go above those levels. It should be a balance between hormones. That means that all hormones should be checked and corrected, not just one.
So let's look at bioidentical hormones.
What exactly are bioidentical hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are chemically the same as hormones that your body produces when it's young and healthy. Bioidentical hormones are created from plant chemicals, not lab chemicals.
Are bioidentical hormones officially recommended?
No other treatment has ignited as much controversy as bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Mainstream medicine, including the FDA, the International Menopause Society, the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Mayo clinic, and the Endocrine Society say that bioidentical hormones carry the same risks as synthetic hormones, and that there is no evidence of any additional benefits of bioidenticals.
What about BHRT?
Recently, two branches of government-funded research groups tried to decide if chronic fatigue syndrome was associated with the exotic XMRV virus. One group (Harvey Alter, the FDA and National Institutes of Health) found that yes, there was a link. Another group (William Switzer, CDC), found the exact opposite (15).
If scientists using the same methods and tests on the same virus cannot come to the same conclusion, how could they be so unanimous about a much more complicated subject as bioidentical hormones?
As for the FDA's decision that the risks of bioidenticals are the same as synthetic, what are these opinions based on? Did the FDA test bioidentical hormones? I'm not aware of any studies--and I've been looking. They assumed that bioidenticals work the same as synthetic hormones, which we know are in fact harmful. It's like assuming that a one-dollar bill has the same value as a hundred-dollar bill, because they're the same size.
What BHRT believers say.
On the other hand, proponents of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy say that bioidenticals are different from synthetic hormones.
Two French studies published in 2008 suggest that bioidenticals are indeed different from conventional synthetic HRT. According to Dr. Kent Holtorf's literature review: "Physiological data and clinical outcomes demonstrate that bioidentical hormones are associated with lower risks, including the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, and are more efficacious than their synthetic and animal-derived counterparts. Until evidence is found to the contrary, bioidentical hormones remain the preferred method of HRT. Further randomized controlled trials are needed to delineate these differences more clearly." (16)
According to Dr. Christine Derzko, Chief of Endocrinology at St. Michael?s Hospital in Toronto: "Despite the weak evidence, some promising preliminary data are emerging, suggesting that pharmaceuticals containing BH (bioidentical hormones), estradiol and progesterone, have equal (and in some cases, lower) risk compared with other CHT (conventional hormone therapy)" (17).
Normally, we would need controlled randomized studies of the efficacy and safety of bioidentical hormones - but there is no such study in sight. But what do we do if we lack long-term studies so far?
"I always tell clinicians that until we have definite randomized trial data--which we may never have--whatever the patient wants to do is the correct decision," said Dr. Speroff, a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Oregon Health and Science University and a sub-specialist in reproductive endocrinology--one of the most respected OB-GYN doctors in the US. He is the founder and recently stepped down as director for the Women's Health Research Unit at OHSU. Doctor Speroff has gained prominence in the area of women's health throughout his publications, national and international lectures, and extensive work on clinical trials.
Are hormones the fountain of youth?
But do bioidentical hormones really work? Do they really prolong life? Or are they just another myth? I was desperately looking for the answer for my patients, so I kept digging.
I found that Western medicine does not have the answer. According to demographer S. Jay Olshansky of the University of Illinois (as well as 51 longevity experts in their position statement in 2002): "There are no lifestyle changes, surgical procedures, vitamins, antioxidants, hormones, or techniques of genetic engineering available today with the capacity to repeat the gains in life expectancy that were achieved during the 20th century."
I decided I needed to dig deeper.
My investigation was based on common sense, not controlled studies. This method was used by doctor James Lind in about 1750 when he discovered how to fight scurvy. Six groups of two sailors were used. One group, which was given oranges and lemons, actually improved. The group that didn't get citrus fruits got worse. Simple. This same method was used by doctor Edward Jenner in 1796 when he invented the vaccination for smallpox. People who got the vaccine lived. People who didn't get the vaccine died.
What would happen to mankind if double blind controlled studies were necessary to prove that the vaccination works for smallpox, or lemon for scurvy? Millions would have died waiting for the studies to be conducted. If a treatment is really working, you don't need double blind controlled studies to prove it.
It's like the keys for your front door. It either fits or it doesn't. You don't need a study to figure it out. But why haven't scientists studied bioidentical hormones? Normally, an investigation like this is done by a group of scientists and as such it needs to be financed. Usually, it's a big pharmaceutical company that invests money in the study. But will anybody invest money to study bioidenticals? Unlikely.
I began to investigate cases of extreme longevity, to see if I could find some answers.
Why Eskimos don't have heart attacks.
During my medical training I was told that heart attacks were due to high cholesterol. I didn't know about the Danish Eskimo study (18).
Danish scientists Bang and Dyerberg discovered that Eskimos almost never die of heart attacks, the number one killer - despite the fact that they did not have low cholesterol.
So it wasn't actually cholesterol that kills, and they've known about it since the 1970s! It must be something else.
What about cancer? What about Alzheimer's? Staffan Lindeberg, MD, a Swedish scientist from the University of Lund, went to Kitava Island in New Guinea to study its population of 24,000. What he found was that they too did not have heart attacks. Or cancer. No diabetes. No Alzheimer's. However, they die healthy on average at the age of 45 (19). Why 45? Because of infant and childhood mortality.
So it isn't cholesterol, cancer, or dementia that kills! So what is it? I was mystified.
Finding an answer in the Blue Zones.
Another breakthrough came unexpectedly -- from the Blue Zones study. National Geographic reporter Dan Buettner decided to look for the areas on Earth where people lived longer than other populations. These areas are called Blue Zones, and his research led to several areas: Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Loma Linda, California; and Nicoya, Costa Rica. They decided to learn from real people, not theory, about how to live longer. What did they find?
The longest-living people in the Blue Zones had a number of factors in common:
- They get enough exposure to the sun
- They eat nuts and tomatoes
- They're very social and live in close communities
- They restrict calorie consumption
- They get exercise from their vigorous daily lives, not at gyms
- They drink enough water
Those factors don't sound unusual, but somehow together they worked much better than any other protocol suggested. Why? Let's look at some facts I discovered:
- The antioxidant lycopene, found in tomatoes, goes to the testes, adrenal glands and liver. It seemed like tomatoes were protecting endocrine glands from oxidative stress, an imbalance that interferes with the body's ability to detoxify. This protection means the body can make enough hormones. I thought to myself, "Maybe it is all about hormones."
- Being social means less stress and hence, your body produces less of the harmful hormone cortisol, and more of the other steroids like estrogen, progesterone and ED.
- Caloric restriction is proven to raise human growth hormone (HGH) levels.
- Sun exposure provides vitamin D, which is considered more as a hormone now.
I concluded that hormones may indeed add up to longer life.
How old is old?
We all feel old sometimes. But these people have us beat?
- The longest living person on earth was Jeanne Calment, who lived for over 122 years. She was still riding a bicycle at age 100 and broke her hip at age 114. This means that she had enough estrogen to maintain her bones for over a century.
- Another centenarian, from Nicoya, named Rafael Angel Leon, had multiple girlfriends until age 94, then married a woman who was 40 years younger than he was. Nobody marries an older person who cannot have sex. Therefore Mr. Rafael Leon had enough ED to have sex.
Are bioidentical hormones safe?
That's like asking if drinking water is safe; it's a complicated question. Yes, drinking water is safe in moderation. But if you drink too much, you can die from brain swelling.
As with any potent agent, bioidentical hormones have side effects including but not limited to irritability, headaches, breast tenderness and so on. These side effects usually happen when the dose of bioidentical hormones is not optimal. They usually disappear when optimal hormone levels are reached.
Estrogen -- Yes or No?
Estrogen itself is not a problem, because your body cannot produce a poisonous hormone. The problem comes when there is too much estrogen, which leads to an increased cancer risk, or is converted into a poison that causes cancer.
Normally, the main estrogen in your body, estradiol or E2, is removed from your body very rapidly in 2 ways:
- It is converted into 2 OH estrone, which is benign.
- Estradiol binds to bile in the stomach, becomes water soluble, and is then eliminated via the kidneys.
So estradiol is removed and no poison is made. But that process happens only when three conditions exist:
- Your body knows what to do with hormone.
- There are enough enzymes to do the job.
- Your stomach functions properly and does not have the wrong bacteria in it.
If even a single condition isn't met, you may be in danger.
Fortunately, we can monitor what your body does with estrogen, and we can correct it.
My thoughts regarding bioidentical hormone replacement therapy:
With the support of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy you might get:
- More energy
- Better sleep
- A better mood
- More productivity
- Improved skin tone
- A better sex life
One question to ask: can hormonal replacement suppress your natural hormone production? Yes, it can. If you're getting too many hormones, your own hormonal production will be shut down. You don't want that, especially if your hormone production is limited to begin with, due to aging. But if you're getting only enough hormones to correct deficiencies, your own hormonal production will only be suppressed (no more than 30 to 40 percent) to give your own endocrine glands some rest instead of exhausting them.
The important thing is that if you take bioidentical hormones, work with an expert in BHRT. And get regular follow-ups!
A holistic approach to health.
The key is being aware of the risks of any treatment you choose, and finding the root cause of the problem. It's important to have precise understanding of the root cause of your problem--don't just treat the symptoms. That takes careful investigation, then proper treatment. To me, it's more than using bioidenticals, it's about using a holistic, individualized approach, instead of standard protocols.
Help hormones work well by eating well.
- A Paleolithic diet of fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry and fish is the best option. It's very important to get enough minerals, microelements and vitamins. Many enzymes have microelements, so if you don't have enough microelements, you do not have enough enzymes. The same applies to vitamins.
- Avoid dairy products, including yogurt and cheese. Their lactose can create digestive problems because we do not have the enzyme lactase to digest it, therefore it remains undigested in your gut. Also, dairy products can cause allergies that may damage your gut.
- Dairy products also help yeast overgrowth due to lactose. Some dairy products contain yeast (like cheeses).
- Avoid grains because they have carbohydrates that are bad for our endocrine system, especially the pancreatic gland and its insulin production, and they create weight gain. Moreover, carbohydrates may promote yeast overgrowth.
You may have a digestive problem and cannot absorb vitamins, minerals and microelements, even though you may eat a "healthy" diet. Go organic and fix your gut.
Some grains, especially wheat, also contain protein called gluten that we can't digest properly. It may go undigested and create inflammation of our gut, which has three consequences:
- Inflammation shuts down our cognitive function, our brain.
- Inflammation creates holes in the gut, allowing bacteria, viruses and yeast as well as toxins to get into our blood.
- Inflammation requires more cortisol, which is a steroid like testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. To make cortisol, your body has to sacrifice the production of sex hormones; this is a phenomenon known as a "cortisol steal."
- Foods with a high glycemic index (foods that bring our sugar up too high, too fast) bring down the levels of such important hormones as growth hormone, testosterone, estrogen and cortisol, because those hormones raise sugar levels. Therefore, to bring sugar down, our body suppresses the production of those hormones. This kind of food can ruin all your hormone replacement therapy.
- Alcohol and coffee are also problems. Alcohol interferes with digestion by slowing it down. It also increases the activity of the enzyme aromatase, which increases the conversion of testosterone into estradiol. So even if you aren't getting enough testosterone, it could be converted into estrogen.
But remember: these ideas may work only if your body systems are healthy. Do not make any health decisions without consulting a doctor who specializes in holistic medicine. It's not about doing a few random things and hoping for the best. It is about addressing the root cause of any issues, and managing your whole body.
Hormones and hysterectomies
I've talked about how BHRT can help a woman in menopause. But what about a woman who's had a hysterectomy? If you have had this surgery, you're not alone! Other than caesarean sections, hysterectomies are the most common surgery for women of childbearing age. However, that doesn't mean it is easy on your body. Unlike natural menopause, which depletes hormones gradually, a hysterectomy causes you to lose your hormones all at once. This causes chaos in your system, bringing on a rash of symptoms:
- Joint pain
- Short-term memory loss
- Lowered libido
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Weight gain
BHRT can give you the support you need to help to realign your hormones after a hysterectomy. Usually, we manage patients who have had hysterectomies as if they are going through menopause, giving them all three types of estrogen, the hormone most missed by your body after your ovaries have been removed. (Your body may have craved chocolate while you were menstruating. Now it's craving estrogen!) The three types of estrogen it needs are estrone, estradiol and estriol.
One size doesn't fit all!
When choosing BHRT after a hysterectomy (or simply during menopause, for that matter) it's important to get treatment that's created specifically for your body's needs and deficits.
Menopause is difficult enough to experience over time, but having it happen to you in one fell swoop is almost intolerable. And it's not just intolerable, it's dangerous; when the hormones decrease, your likelihood of getting cancer, osteoporosis, or other life-threatening disease increases dramatically. Using a holistic approach, we do everything we can to help you keep living a happy, healthy life full of love, energy, and good health.
Our goal is to offer customized health solutions to whole-body problems, not just offer a quick temporary fix to an isolated symptom. If you want to protect yourself from the life-threatening conditions that can creep into a body void of hormones, don't wait to explore BHRT.
Estriol: A single hormone can make a big difference.
Not every woman needs to be treated with all three kinds of estrogen. Estriol is an especially exciting treatment option, as it is the only hormone proven to have no side effects. If you are going through perimenopause or menopause, estriol may be an excellent treatment option for you.
What is estriol?
The hormone estradiol produces estriol, which is a weaker form of hormone, but still medically essential. (Estradiol also produces another important hormone called estrone, which is secreted by the ovaries unlike estriol, which is made in the placenta.) Estriol is present throughout a woman's lifetime and can rise and fall multiple times in a single day. However, it is often associated with pregnancy because it is produced in much higher quantities during that time. Outside of pregnancy, estriol levels are usually low.
In the past, estriol has been overlooked by medical science since it is only the byproduct of another hormone, but research has pointed out ways in which it can be a very effective element of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
Estriol can give you the support you need to help alleviate issues like:
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Decreases in bone density
Many doctors believe that estriol might also be beneficial for heart health, bone and joint integrity, and post-menopausal urinary tract health. It can guard against painful and annoying infections. For many women dealing with menopausal symptoms, estriol's relative weakness may in fact be its greatest strength. Some women's bodies cannot tolerate stronger forms of estrogen very well, like esterone or estradiol.
A holistic approach to health
The key is being aware of the risks of any treatment you choose, and finding the root cause of the problem. It's important to have precise understanding of the root cause of your problem--don't just treat the symptoms. That takes careful investigation, then proper treatment. To me, it's more than using bioidenticals, it?s about using a holistic, individualized approach, instead of standard protocols.
The Blue Zones checklist on how to live longer:
- Get enough sunlight to get plenty of vitamin D, but don't overdo it.
- After you've been in the sun, don?t remove your skin's superficial layer by scrubbing or using too much soap--you'll wash away the beneficial vitamin D.
- Restrict your caloric intake, but still get enough calories to fight infection or stress.
- Eat lots of tomatoes.
- Move naturally, and get lots of exercise through daily activities--not gym classes.
- Eat a handful of nuts regularly.
- Drink enough water.
- Be social.
To add a few of my own suggestions:
- Get lots of sleep, at least 8 hours a night.
- Avoid processed foods--they're poison!
- Have your hormones balanced--naturally.
If you're looking for a bioidentical hormone replacement doctor in the greater New York City area, consider giving us a call or visiting us at our Long Island, NY or Brooklyn location. We are easily accessible from any borough in NYC, whether you're from Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, or the Bronx.