Bioidentical Hormones for Menopause and Perimenopause
Women can experience hormone imbalances at anytime during their lives due to stress, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, poor lifestyle choices, idiopathic factors, and aging. Age related hormone decline usually begins in a woman’s mid to late 30’s or early 40’s; however, some women can experience hormone decline prematurely during their 20’s. When hormone decline sets in, women can begin to experience a number of uncomfortable symptoms as a result. Lynne Mielke, M.D. uses Bioidentical Hormones to help treat hormone decline in women in Pleasanton CA.
In women, the ovaries are responsible for producing most of the female hormones, and during hormonal decline, they begin to produce fewer sex hormones. When the ovaries decrease hormone production, the adrenal glands begin to supply the body with the necessary amounts of hormones. If the adrenal glands have not been exhausted by the demands of stress and a poor diet, they are able to supply the necessary amounts of hormones required to maintain healthy bodily functions; however, due to the demands of daily life and modern lifestyles, this is usually not the case.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy can supplement hormonal deficiencies to decrease a number of symptoms brought on by hormone decline.
Conditions that can be helped with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy can include:
The time before menopause is called perimenopause, and during this stage, the ovaries begin to make fewer sex hormones in preparation for closing down reproduction. This stage may last from 4-6 years. Perimenopause can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms that are related to hormone decline. Some of the symptoms that are caused by hormone imbalances during perimenopause can include acne, weight gain, headaches, mood swings, irregular periods, low libido, and infertility.
When menopause symptoms affect the quality of life, they need to be addressed. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy offers treatments for menopause, and the goal of the treatment is to achieve an overall better sense of wellbeing. Treatments are individualized for each patient and are recommended based on the patient’s particular age, stage of life, and condition. Symptoms that can be addressed with BHRT include insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats, depression, irritability, anxiety, vaginal dryness, and low libido.
Irregular Menstrual Periods
Hormone imbalances can cause menstrual periods to come early, late, or not at all, and a woman may experience painful, heavy, or very light periods. Increased amounts of menstrual symptoms may also occur, and PMS may be abnormally painful, which may include symptoms of bloating, headaches, mood swings, cramps, and breast pain. Over time, fertility may also be affected if ovulation does not occur.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can be caused from a surplus of male hormones in the female system. PCOS is characterized by small, fluid filled sacs forming on the ovaries and causing numerous symptoms. BHRT may be able to help with some of the symptoms related to PCOS. Some of the symptoms may include unwanted body and facial hair growth, acne, hair loss on the scalp, infertility, and depression.
The main hormones that comprise the female hormonal system are estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, DHEA, and melatonin. Because all of these hormones are interconnected, when one hormone is out of balance, other hormones can become imbalanced as a result.
Each hormone in a woman maintains different functions, and when a hormone is out of balance, its associated functions can suffer:
- Estrogen is a sex hormone that is made by the ovaries, and it is associated with sexual function, bone health, healthy nails, lustrous hair, and youthful skin. Estrogen helps to build collagen, which helps skin to maintain its elasticity. Symptoms of estrogen deficiency may include low libido, mood swings, dry hair, brittle nails, wrinkles, vaginal dryness, fatigue, and osteoporosis.
- Progesterone is another sex hormone that takes part in pregnancy, menstruation, and the formation of embryos. Progesterone is responsible for many functions in the body, which may include regulating moods, preventing anxiety and irritability, regulating sleeping patterns, and balancing estrogen. Symptoms of progesterone decline may include low libido, depression, mood swings, anxiety, weight gain, insomnia, heavy menstrual periods, migraine headaches, water retention, and increased inflammation.
- DHEA is responsible for the production of estrogen, and it is a sex hormone produced mainly by the adrenal glands. During a woman’s 20’s, DHEA is abundant, and it declines as time goes on. DHEA deficiencies can be caused by a number of factors such as, aging, menopause, smoking, and stress. Symptoms of DHEA deficiencies can include fatigue, muscle atrophy, weight gain, irritability, joint pain, lowered immunity, and feeling overwhelmed with stress.
- Cortisol is known as the stress hormone, and it is the only hormone that increases with age. It is produced by the adrenal glands, along with all other sex hormones after the ovaries stop hormone production. After a long period of time with increased cortisol levels, the adrenals can stop producing adequate amounts of cortisol. This can impair many functions that rely on cortisol. When cortisol is deficient in the body, a person may experience increased allergies, lower libido, slow wound healing, low thyroid function, digestive issues, feeling overwhelmed, low blood pressure, and low blood sugar.
- Melatonin functions to set the body’s cycles and helps to put a person to sleep at night and wake them up in the morning. Imbalances in melatonin affect the sex hormones because they are involved in the body’s cycles and functions; however, melatonin deficiencies mostly affect the functioning of testosterone and growth hormone. Symptoms of melatonin deficiencies can include increased risk of cancer, irregular sleeping patterns, accelerated aging, or poor moods.
Lynne Mielke, M.D. in Pleasanton can utilize Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy to put these hormones back into balance to prevent illness and disease to restore health. Thousands of women have been set free from the effects of age related hormone decline and the symptoms caused by hormone imbalances, and they have been able to increase their quality of life and overall vitality.