What Every Woman Should Know

Hormones are chemical cell signals that allow the body to carry out life sustaining functions. Over 50 different hormones are produced in different parts of the body such as the brain, thyroid gland, pancreas, adrenal glands, testes and ovaries. Each hormone has its own unique function, as well as contributes to function of other hormones so the body can function in balance (homeostasis).

Estradiol and Progesterone are two critically important hormones that contribute to every aspect of a woman's health, well-being, and
femininity. They are produced in the ovaries in a cyclical way starting at menarche (beginning of the menstrual history) until menopause (end of the menstrual history).

The hormones initially prescribed by doctors were synthetic versions, chemically different than what the body produces and manufactured by pharmaceutical companies. These molecularly altered versions are patentable, and were marketed as safe, though they have repeatedly been shown to cause harm.

Optimum levels of estradiol and progesterone are produced from the late teens to about the late 30's, during which time women are in their best physical and mental health.

Menopause:

Menopause is commonly defined as an absence of a menstrual
period for 1 year as the ovaries have stopped producing estradiol and progesterone. The average age of menopause is 51. A steady decline of estradiol and progesterone starts about a decade earlier, causing the typical symptoms of perimenopause.

SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE

At menopause, the body is no longer in balance. Most women have symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, wakeful sleep, foggy brain, declining short-term memory, thinning skin, hair loss, low energy, low motivation, mood symptoms (including anger, impatience, rage, depression, sadness, irritability, tearfulness), vaginal dryness, loss of libido, difficulty maintaining and losing weight, and changes in body composition.
This loss of balance is due to the absence of the unique functions of estradiol and progesterone, as well as the communication they had with the other hormones produced by the body.

Menopause symptoms are a red flag for rapid aging and degeneration.

When estradiol and progesterone are critically low the aging process accelerates, and the body deteriorates. Menopause symptom should be treated as a warning sign of critically low hormone levels that will lead to accelerated aging.
Not all women have all the symptoms of menopause. However, all women rapidly age after menopause. Having troublesome menopausal symptoms can be an advantage as it causes women to seek help. If hormones are replaced correctly, age related degeneration can be significantly reduced.

EFFECTS OF MENOPAUSE

As estradiol and progesterone start to decline, every part of the body starts to degenerate. By the time women have symptoms, the degenerative process has been well under way. Every cell and organ rely on estradiol and progesterone for optimum function. Some important examples are:

Joint and Muscles

Estradiol and progesterone are essential in the health and maintenance of joints and muscles. The decline in muscle mass from the effects of low estradiol and progesterone contribute to the
increased weakness and fatigue associated with aging. Research shows that low estradiol and progesterone contribute to joint pain, swelling and degeneration.

Libido

A healthy libido can be restored when the adrenal glands recognize physiological levels (normal healthy levels) of estradiol and progesterone. Testosterone is the hormone responsible for libido. After menopause testosterone is mainly produced by the adrenal glands,
as long as the body is not under stress, and hormones are correctly
restored.

Sleep and immune system

Normal ranges of estradiol and progesterone are needed for proper sleep. Waking up a few hours after falling asleep, then finding it difficult to fall back asleep until the morning is typical of low levels of estradiol. Brain restoration cannot take place without quality sleep. The immune system relies on physiological levels (normal healthy levels) of estradiol and progesterone.

Vaginal dryness

Vaginal tissue is made up of smooth muscle, as is most of the gastrointestinal tract and respiratory system. Estradiol and progesterone are necessary for the healthy function and structure of all smooth muscle. Vaginal dryness is an important sign of low estradiol and progesterone.

Brain and nervous system

Loss of estradiol starts off as brain fog ("senile moments"), slowly leading to senile dementia. The entire nervous system progressively deteriorates in the absence of estradiol and progesterone.

Bone health

Bone health and regeneration depend on physiological levels of estradiol and progesterone. Every bone in our body degenerates; they lose strength and resilience after estradiol levels start to decline at perimenopause, and continuously thereafter. This price is heavily paid in our later decades.

Urogenital system

Most women experience some level of urine incontinence after menopause. This is due to the loss of estradiol and its functions on the healthy maintenance of the urogenital system.

Mood and memory

After menopause, it is typical for women to have changes in their overall mood, and a decline in memory. This is directly related to the decline in estradiol and progesterone.

Perimenopause:

Perimenopause is approximately the decade before menopause; when hormone production has become significantly low, but women still have a period. During this time, the decline in progesterone is more pronounced, leading to symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).

Signs and symptoms of perimenopause:

At perimenopause women typically have a relatively normal menstrual cycle. There may be some changes in the total length of the month, as well as the pattern of flow.

The imbalance from the amount of estradiol made in the first part of the cycle and the amount of estradiol and progesterone made in the second part of the cycle results in PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and occurs about one week before the onset of the menstrual cycle. Typical symptoms are: Irritability, rage, moodiness, depression, tearfulness, sadness, anxiety, feeling of impending doom, irrational
thoughts and behavior, unreasonable thought process, and cravings for carbohydrates and sugars. Many of the symptoms of menopause also start to slowly appear.

The importance of replacing hormones

Estradiol and progesterone have their unique important actions on the cell, while also interacting with and optimize the function of other hormones. When the body stops making estrogen and progesterone,
a cascade of events takes place, leading to rapid degeneration in health and function. By correctly replacing estrogen and progesterone in physiological ranges, the body can begin to function at a healthy level again.

How are hormones safely administered?

1. Hormones should always be bioidentical.

Only bioidentical hormones are made, recognized, utilized and
properly metabolized by our bodies.

2. Topical is the safest method of application.

Topically applied hormones directly enter the bloodstream without the complex side effects of taking them by mouth. Taking any estrogen by mouth causes a risk for blood clots. If progesterone is taken by mouth, we have no control over the many other hormones it can convert to before reaching the blood steam. Complex reactions take place when hormones are taken by mouth because they pass through the highly acidic environment of the stomach, followed the metabolic environment of the liver before entering the bloodstream.

3. Routine blood work.

Having blood work done on a routine basis is necessary to ensure that hormones remain in physiological levels (normal healthy levels) for optimum function and health.

Difference between bioidentical and synthetic hormones

Bioidentical is a term given to hormones with exact molecular structure to those produced by the human body. Synthetic hormones are molecularly altered versions of bioidentical hormones. They are preferred by pharmaceutical companies because they can be patented. Synthetic hormones are foreign to the human body, which means they must go through FDA approval

Why was hormone replacement controversial?

Before 2002 hormone replacement was not controversial. For decades, women were using synthetic hormones, primarily by mouth. In the 1990's the largest study on hormone replacement began: The Woman's Health Initiative Study (WHI study).

This study used synthetic hormones and they were given by mouth to the participants. To note, it was already known that by-mouth (oral) estrogen increased the risk of blood clots, leading to strokes, heart attacks and lung clots (pulmonary emboli), as well as clotting other blood vessels. It was also well understood that bioidentical
progesterone was beneficial for the breasts, as well as other structures such as the brain and uterine tissue. The study only used fake (synthetic) progesterone. As a result, the study showed an increase in breast cancer (from fake progesterone) and blood clots (due to by- mouth estradiol)

It is very important to understand the WHI study clearly demonstrated that estrogen was not linked to breast cancer, but synthetic progesterone was. Oral (by-mouth) estrogen was linked to blood clots. Topical estrogen does not have the same risk of blood clots as oral estrogen does. When taken by-mouth, estrogen directly enters the liver in a concentrated dose before entering the blood stream, which leads to a higher production of blood clotting proteins by the liver. When applied topically, estrogen distributes within the entire blood stream before reaching the liver.

The myth that estradiol (the main estrogen produced by our ovaries) is linked to breast cancer still circulates today. It is preventing many women from seeking bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and the important health benefits it can provide.

Do hormones cause breast cancer?

Bioidentical estrogen or progesterone are not known to cause breast cancer. Cancer cells generally start from an unchecked/uncorrected mutation. Most breast cells have hormone receptors for normal growth and function. If a malignant breast cell has estrogen or progesterone receptors, it will grow by taking up estrogen and progesterone. For this reason, we don't give estrogen or progesterone for those with active cancer.

Synthetic progesterone, also called progestins (as well as many other names), has been linked to breast cancer, specifically demonstrated in the Women's Health Initiative Study.

Estrogen in any form, bioidentical or synthetic (such as Premarin), has not been linked to breast cancer in any human study.

Women fear the diagnosis of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers. The life-time risk of breast cancer is 8% and can be much higher if there is a family history of breast cancer. About 3.1% of women will get uterine cancer at some point in their life. About 1.28 % will get ovarian cancer. Most of these cancers present after age 55.

What choices do women have at menopause?

Without hormone replacement the body will predictably degenerate. With bioidentical hormones in physiological doses, the body will have the greatest chance at maintaining a healthy and normal function.
Synthetic hormones have unpredictable side effects; they are not recognized, utilized, or metabolized the same way as bioidentical hormones are, and consequently have many known and unknown side effects.

Where do bioidentical hormones come from?

Estradiol is the main estrogen made in the human female ovaries, and it also naturally exists in soy. After going through an extensive extraction and purification process, it is tested for approval by the USP (U.S. Pharmacopeia) and CGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practices). The final product is completely purified and free from any trace of any other chemical.
Progesterone is mainly made in a woman's ovaries, with smaller amounts made in other parts of the body. Progesterone also naturally exists in yams, from where it can be safely and purely extracted. It is tested for approval by the USP and CGMP. Synthetic progesterone is chemically different than progesterone, it does not have the same benefits, and has been linked to breast cancer.

How long is it safe to use hormones for?

Once the body stops making estradiol and progesterone there is progressive decline in health. And as previously described, these hormones contribute to optimum function. We don't know what happens if we continue to take these essential hormones throughout our lives, as there has never been any research on this. However, we are aware of the decline in health and loss of function when we stop producing these hormones.

When should hormone replacement start?

It is never too late to start hormone replacement therapy. The best time to start is when hormone levels are consistently low and are leading to symptoms. Although perimenopause is a good time to start, most women
start when they have the disturbing symptoms of menopause.

Are hormones safe?

There is no reason to believe that the hormones our body made while we were young and healthy have later become unsafe for us. It is reasonable to believe that synthetic (molecular altered) versions of our hormones, as well as any hormone in abnormal amounts can be unsafe. It is also well established that without hormones we start degenerating, become senile, and subject ourselves to unnatural pharmaceutical drugs.

Is it unnatural to have estradiol and progesterone after menopause?

Advances in medicine have allowed the natural lifespan of women to increase from 48 in 1900, to 81 in 2000. This was due to important, but unnatural, interventions such as immunizations, antibiotics, sterile surgical techniques, blood transfusions, medications for diabetes,
thyroid disease, asthma, autoimmune diseases etc. These have all increased our lifespan. Hormone replacement with estradiol and progesterone does not promise to increase our life span, but it will dramatically increase our quality of life.