Natural Hormone Balancing for Men and Women
Is Something Missing from Your Health Picture?
You want to say to the doctor, "What am I missing? I just don't feel like I used to. My energy is low, muscle strength and skin tone diminishing, mood a little flat, sex drive and performance less than desired, thinking and memory not as sharp, retaining some fluid, insomnia more frequent, some hot flashes and tender breasts. I'm told that all the tests are normal and that I'm 'just getting old.' I've lost that zest for living-and don't know what to do."
You may be among the millions of men and women who have some of the symptoms expressed above and have been told, "your tests are normal" and "you're just getting a little older." Based on your individual history, we who are interested in Preventive Medicine take such complaints seriously and look further for the cause.
Could it be hormone imbalance or deficiency?
A major piece of the puzzle could be a reduction or imbalance in your hormones. Hormone imbalances can start in a person's teen years. Actual hormone deficiencies can start in some people in their early twenties. We would like to discuss this issue, starting with estrogen dominance or progesterone insufficiency.
The medical view on hormone replacement has come full circle. For most of the last thirty years, doctors were taught to use supplemental estrogen to help women with certain symptoms. They used a patented or synthetic hormone product obtained from pregnant mare's urine called Premarin. This helped a number of women but was recently found to be causing breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer, as well as cardiovascular disease.
The Women's Health Initiative scared off all medical doctors from hormone use-and rightly so.
- The estrogens (and the synthetic progestins) are best suited for pregnant mares-not human females. These horse hormones are viewed as alien by the human body, since they are not identical to the sex hormones seen in human females.
- Most synthetic estrogens, including Premarin, contained high amounts of estrone and estradiol, two very potent forms of estrogen.
- The patients' own levels of all the forms of estrogen, progesterone, and other important hormones were never measured to see if they were balanced or excessive.
- When supplemental synthetic hormones were prescribed, they were not usually cycled to imitate the natural female menstrual cycle.
- Finally, the "balancer" of excessive estrogen, the hormone progesterone, was only given if a woman had an intact uterus, and even progesterone was not given in its natural form but as a synthetic progestin.
But physicians like us who practice natural medicine differ from all of the above. We use special compounded pharmaceutical hormones, derived from wild yams, which are made in identical proportions to human hormones and prescribed in the lowest amounts required to "balance" the patient. We call these bio-identical hormones.
Careful monitoring with frequent testing, and following rhythmic cycling patterns for hormones, are two powerful ways to protect the patient. Care is also taken to balance all the hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and cortisol) to create a coordinated symphony. For example, optimal DHEA levels have been proven to correlate with longevity. [NOTE: Natural Hormone Balancing is best done under the guidance of a physician knowledgeable in the use of bio-identical hormones-beware of self-treating based on symptoms alone with over the counter products!]
As Anti-Aging physicians have known for years, when a man or woman has the right amount of hormones, in the correct balance, the body begins to look and function at an optimal level of wellness. The skin and muscle tone change, making a visual difference to family and friends. Energy, mood and sexual function begin to return to a level not known for several years.
Since hormones are the biggest coordinators of the body's physiology, changes can be dramatic.
The rapid decline of body functions that takes place after the age of forty-five can be significantly lessened. Being fully functional with body and mind intact as we enter the seventh to the ninth decade is a possibility. Physical, mental, and emotional debilitation can be avoided, but be aware that symptoms of hormone imbalances and deficiencies can begin as early as in our twenties.
What is the solution for hormone imbalance?
Just knowing the possible symptoms of hormone imbalance doesn't always help to determine what your own individual hormone levels might be.
A thorough hormone evaluation of the major hormones, through saliva and blood tests, measures hormone levels over time and identifies relative imbalances. Likewise, thyroid testing also requires a careful study of all fractions of the thyroid hormone in order to adequately assess true thyroid function, and not just the routine TSH testing done at most doctors' offices. Most importantly, careful laboratory testing of all the major hormones, paired with careful consideration of a patient's own individual medical and family history, allows appropriate natural bio-identical hormones to be supplied to correct imbalances. With this comprehensive approach, results can be dramatic.
If you are interested in learning more about your own hormone balance and deficiencies, call "The Center" at (843) 572-1600. A comprehensive diagnostic evaluation may be what you need for true health and well-being. Natural Hormone Balancing may be that missing piece in your health program that makes all the difference.
The references below are written for the average layman. The specific scientific citations can be found in the back of these books:
1) Hotze, Stephen M, M.D. Health, Hormones, and Happiness. Houston, TX: Forrest Publishing, 2005.
2) Lee, John, M.D. What Your doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer. New York NY: Warner Wellness, 2003.
3) Lee, John, M.D. and Hopkins, Virginia. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. New York, NY: Warner Books, Inc. 1996.