The Hormones and Their Functions
Hormones are not drugs. Hormones are natural substances that occur in our bodies. They function as messengers to stimulate cells to heal, reproduce and rejuvenate. Disease and symptoms of aging occur when hormone levels decline.
Physical deterioration is not a requirement of growing older. Natural hormone supplementation can help your healthy aging. Hormone replacement therapy is for men and women alike.
Preventative or age management medicine is becoming an exciting new area of medicine. Instead of treating disease we are focusing on prevention and wellness. One way of achieving this is to replace those hormones that decrease as we age. Symptoms that make us have aches, pains, fatigue, muscle weakness etc. Current research tells us that hormone replacement can slow the deteriorating effects of aging and help reverse the symptoms.
Only natural hormones will be supplemented. You will achieve all of the benefits of hormone replacement without the risks and side effects associated with synthetic hormones.
So What are Bioidentical Hormones or BHRT
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy or BHRT is the use of supplemental doses of hormones that have a chemical structure identical to the hormones that the human body naturally produces. Bioidentical hormones are a safe and effective way to protect our health as we age. It helps restore our vitality to youthful levels. Balance is achieved with comprehensive medical guidance. Most hormones start to decline around age 30 and markedly by age 40. Blood tests are necessary to determine appropriate levels. Saliva tests do not show true levels.
DHEA has declined markedly in our forties. It helps by building up the adrenal gland and regulating the immune system. This makes DHEA extremely important in cancer and infection prevention. DHEA is a precursor to the sex hormones and is therefore an important building block in the production of these hormones. DHEA helps the breakdown of fats and cholesterol, while reducing the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.
"DHEA administration reduces abdominal fat, decreases insulin resistance and protects against metabolic syndrome and diabetes." JAMA 2004 November; Vol.292(18):2233-2247.
"Low DHEA levels are associated with depression and depressed mood." J American Gerentology Soc.1999 June;47(6):685-91.
"DHEA is beneficial in treatment of major depression in women." Am. J Psychiatry 1999 April;156(4):646-649.
"DHEA improves mood and fatigue." J Psych 2000 Dec;85(12):4650-56.
Replacement with natural estrogen protects against heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's disease and osteoporosis in women. Estrogen prevents symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, temperature disregulation, mood swings, urogenital atrophy, decreased libido and depression. Estrogen lowers LDL cholesterol and raises HDL (the good cholesterol).
"This manuscript presents a protocol for hormone replacement therapy with natural estrodial, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and melatonin. Using the natural sex steroids which occur naturally in humans represents replacement to ensure attainment of pre-menopausal levels and adequacy of therapy. This is inexpensive therapy that gives relief of symptoms, is well tolerated, provides minimal side effects, protects the endometrium, and results in excellent compliance. This replacement of natural hormones is based on sound physiologic principles that have been demonstrated to be the preferred method of hormone replacement." Infertility and Reproductive Medicine Clinics of North America; 1995 October; Vol. 6 (4):653-675.
"Fear of breast cancer is the strongest factor limiting postmenopausal hormone use. The most powerful study to date definitively demonstrated that estrogen does not cause an increase risk for cancer. The increased risk was associated only with taking the progestin (Provera®) and not estrogen." JAMA 2004;291(24): 2947-2958. (check)
"Loss of hormones at menopause results in significant genital atrophy, vaginal dryness, introital stenosis, and painful intercourse." Family Practice News 2005 March;58-59.
"Estrogen deficiency greatly increases mortality from cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Over 90% of women will die from cardiovascular disease which estrogen can prevent". Over 40 years of study have well documented the cardiovascular protective effects of estrogen". Obstet Gynecol 1996 Jan;87(1):6-12.
Replacement with natural progesterone protects against uterine and breast cancer plus osteoporosis. Progesterone reduces symptoms of menopause. Progesterone occurs naturally with estrogen and should be prescribed concurrently to balance estrogen.
"The main reason women discontinue HRT is due to side effects. Synthetic progestin’s (Provera®) cause may side effects: breast swelling and tenderness, uterine bleeding, depression and mood disturbance, weight gain, bloating and edema. Natural progesterone has no side effects." Female Patient 2001 Oct; 19-23.
"Progesterone should be administered to all women, hysterectomy or not." Infertility and Reproductive Medicine Clinics of North America; 1995 Oct;Vol.6(4):653-673.
"Due to the side effects of synthetic progestin’s, natural progesterone is preferred. Progesterone has proven bio-availability and no side effects making it the preferred hormone for menopause." American Family Physicians 2000;62: 1339-46.
"Estrogen and progesterone are neuro-protective against cerebral damage. These beneficial effects were blocked by MPA (medroxyprogesterone)." National Academy Science USA; 2003 Sept. 2;100(8):10506-11.
This hormone is produced by the pineal gland and declines significantly by age 40. Melatonin helps to induces sleep, improves quality of sleep and increases REM sleep and deep stage IV sleep. During this deep stage of sleep the immune system is stimulated. It has anti-cancer effects and modulates immune function by activating the cytokine system (lymphocytic function).
"Melatonin has been shown to slow the growth of some cancer, prevent some cancer and decreases side-effects of many chemotherapeutic agents." Medical Hypothesis 1997 June; 49(6):523-35.
"Use of melatonin in elderly patients with insomnia demonstrated improvement in sleep quality. This study is consistent with other studies." Patient Care 2000 June:34-38.
"In this study patients were successfully weaned from benzodiazepines (valium), with the sleep regulating hormone melatonin: Melatonin was not associated with adverse effects or tolerance." Archive of Internal Medicine; 1999 Nov 159: 2456-2460.
This hormone is necessary in both men and women and declines steadily after age 30. Testosterone is responsible for sustaining libido, muscle mass and immunity. It protects against heart disease in men plus the degeneration of muscle, bone, tendon and joints. It is a great mood enhancer and imparts a sense of wellbeing in aging men and women.
"Loss of testosterone causes loss of libido, energy, strength, sexual function, memory, cognition, muscle and bone. Testosterone replacement, as far as quality of life is concerned, is tremendous." Medical Crossfire 2001Jan;Vol.3 No.1:17-18
"Symptoms of low testosterone may occur due to decreased serum levels or reduced receptor site sensitivity. In spite of normal blood levels patients will still feel and function better when testosterone is prescribed." Medical Crossfire 2001 Jan;Vol.3 No. 1:17-18.
"Testosterone replacement improves muscle mass and strength, libido, erectile function, bone density, memory, cognition, myocardial function. It is unconscionable for physicians not to treat men with testosterone." Medical Crossfire 2001Jan;Vol. 3 No.1:47-50.
"Low testosterone levels are associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and carotid atherosclerosis." Diabetes Care 2003 June;Vol. 36, No. 6: 20-30.
This metabolic hormone decreases steadily with age. Lack of thyroid hormone results in cold intolerance, fatigue, lassitude, weight gain, increased cholesterol, thin and dry skin, hair loss, thin and brittle nails. Replenishment results in reversal of these symptoms plus increased energy and metabolism.
"Fibromyalgia is frequently seen in hypothyroidism. There is now evidence to support that fibromyalgia may be due to thyroid hormone resistance (cellular hypo-function)." Medical Hypotheses 2003 Aug;21(2):182-89.
"Combined T4 and T3 therapy resulted in improved symptoms, well-being and weight loss in comparison with straight T4 therapy. A decrease in weight resulted from using higher T3 levels." J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2005 May;90(5):2666-74.
"Long term high doses of thyroid had no adverse effect in causing osteoporosis or fractures" Cortland Forum July 2001:85-90
"TSH is a good test to diagnose hypothyroidism. However TSH is a poor measure of symptoms of metabolic severity. It is, therefore, the biological effects of thyroid hormone on the peripheral tissue and not the TSH concentration, that reflects the clinical and metabolic effects." British Medical Journal Feb 2003;Vol. 326:325-326.
"Even exceptionally high doses of thyroid do not cause osteoporosis or fractures." Normal Metabolic. Research 1995 Nov; 27(11):503-7.
"Even though the TSH is in the normal range, patients continue to have persistent symptoms despite adequate replacement doses. These patients are still symptomatic due to low T3 levels." BMJ Feb. 2003; Vol 326:295-296.