Hormones are chemicals that regulate all functioning in our bodies. Slight hormone level fluctuations can trigger a series of reactions. For women, estrogen level changes can bring about many unwanted symptoms that affect your overall well-being. If you are looking into treating menopause or post-menopause symptoms with bioidentical hormones, Jon Ric International Health and Wellness in Edmond, OK, can assist you in finding the best bioidentical hormone replacement therapy option.
Importance of Estrogen
Estrogen can be found in both men and women’s bodies. However, it is widely known as the “female hormone” because it triggers the development of female secondary sex characteristics and regulates the menstrual cycle and development of the fetus during pregnancy. But other than female-specific functions, what else does estrogen do?
It works in conjunction with calcium and vitamin D to repair and grow bone structures. Consequently, as estrogen production decreases, women become susceptible to osteoporosis, arthritis, and other bone-related problems.
Besides, lower estrogen level slows down the repair process, making bone-related injuries take longer to repair. According to medical research studies, postmenopausal females have four times the risk of developing osteoporosis as men of the same age group.
Muscles, Joints, Tendons, Ligament Functioning, and Repair
Estrogen promotes muscle growth and strength. It also reduces stiffness in joints, tendons, and ligaments. Also, it promotes performance and repairing of damaged cells.
Estrogen plays a vital role in blood coagulation as it directly affects clotting factors, plasminogen, and antithrombin in hemostasis reaction. As women reach menopause, the decrease in estrogen leads to a slower healing process.
Skin and Hair Growth
Estrogen regulates oil secretion in skin and hair follicle cells. It is also associated with collagen production, maintaining skin hydration, and upkeep of the skin barrier.
Estrogen helps control the salivary gland and vaginal gland secretions.
Estrogen is essential to memory formation and neuron growth. Consequently, low estrogen levels are correlated with brain fog, depression, and mood suppression.
American University medical studies have found that estrogen level is linked to minimizing brain inflammation. As a result, as estrogen level drops, we are more prone to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinsons’s disease.
It is also responsible for the production of serotonin and endorphins, two essential hormones that regulate mood, memory formation, and circadian cycle. Low levels of estrogen result in less serotonin and endorphin production and secretion. This chain reaction leads to disruption in sleep and memory formation. Moreover, the depletion leads to a high risk of developing depression and other mood disorders.
Medical researchers have found that estrogen plays a significant role in autoimmune diseases in females. Studies have shown that a lower level of estrogen may contribute to the onset of lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Estrogen is directly connected to the metabolism of starch and glucose in the blood. As a result, higher estrogen level increases women’s resting metabolic rate. Lack of estrogen impairs sugar metabolism and leads to excess fat storage.
Why Do Estrogen Levels Change in Women?
Estrogen goes through several fluctuations throughout every woman’s life. Puberty, pregnancy, and the beginning of menstrual cycle cause estrogen levels to elevate. Menopause and the end of menstrual cycle trigger a decrease in estrogen.
Other Conditions That Decrease Estrogen Level:
- Ovary failure
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Congenital abnormalities
- Underactive pituitary gland functioning
- Extreme low body fat content
- Extreme underweight
What Happens When Estrogen Level Decreases?
When estrogen level drops, many common symptoms can be observed in women:
- Hot flashes
- Weight gain
- Heavy and irregular periods
- Decline in memory formation
- Incontinence or frequent need to urinate
- Brain fog
- Muscle loss
- General sense of tiredness
- Muscle fatigue
- Joint and muscle aches
- Mood swings
- Poor sleep quality
- Grogginess throughout the day
- Increase in sweating
- Problem remaining asleep at night
- Depression and anxiety
- Dry skin
- Dry mouth
- Accelerated skin aging
- Hair loss
- Vaginal dryness
- Loss of libido
- Weak bones
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Increase in dental problems
What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is also known as postmenopausal hormone therapy (MHT) or menopausal hormone therapy (MHT).
These names all refer to hormone therapy given to individuals to treat hormonal imbalance or deficiency. A majority of these individuals happen to be menopausal women or postmenopausal women who are suffering from moderate to severe estrogen imbalance symptoms.
Types of HRT
Depending on the needs of each patient, HRT may contain estrogen or a combination of estrogen and progesterone. The hormones may be administered in various dosages and combination:
- Estrogen-only HRT
- Cyclical HRT for women to alleviate menstrual symptoms:
- Continuous HRT for treating postmenopausal symptoms
- Long-cycle HRT
- Local estrogen to treat localized symptoms such as vaginal dryness
How Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) Different From Traditional HRT?
The difference between bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and traditional HRT is how the hormones are produced. In traditional hormonal replacement therapy, the hormone source can come from urine from pregnant mares or is synthetically manufactured in a laboratory.
In bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, the hormones are naturally made from plant hormones and are chemically identical to human hormones. As a result, BHRT has fewer chances of side effects.
Types of BHRT
There are two types of BHRT hormones:
- Original bioidentical hormones
- Compounded bioidentical hormones
Original Bioidentical Hormones
These hormones are made by drug companies and are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Compounded Bioidentical Hormones
These hormones are custom produced by a pharmacy according to a physician’s instructions. This type usually includes a combination of hormones in various dosages to meet the particular need of a patient. The United States FDA does not approve of these hormones.
Benefits of Bioidentical Hormones Pellet Therapy
This is one method of administering bioidentical hormones. It is a small device implanted under the skin to continuously release small doses of estrogen into the patient’s body. This technique ensures the estrogen level remains at a steady level throughout the day. It prevents rollercoaster fluctuation effects as seen from other types of hormone administration methods.
Another advantage of this method is that it requires very little maintenance. Depending on each patient’s needs, two to four annual pellet implants per year are needed. But once the implant is completed, you no longer have to worry about it for several months.
Other BHRT Method Options:
Benefits of BHRT
Estrogen replacement therapy has been shown to help women in remarkable ways. It dramatically alleviates numerous physical symptoms and improves the overall emotional and mental state of these patients.
BHRT has shown to remarkably improve PMS-related symptoms. Almost all patients claim that they see these changes:
- Much better quality sleep
- No night sweats
- Overall boost in energy
- Significant improvement to hot flash problem
- Less urgency to urinate frequently
- Improved memory and focus throughout the day
- Fewer muscle and joint aches
- An overall better sense of physical health
- Fewer headaches
- Better control with bowel moments
- Better digestion and metabolism
- Less skin irritation
- Less vaginal discomfort
The biggest problem for many menopausal women is the deterioration of brain functioning. With the sudden lack of estrogen in the system, neurons are no longer working at full capacity for memory formation.
The inability to properly metabolize glucose (the brain’s primary energy source) due to deficient in estrogen makes it harder for the brain to process information. Also, new brain cells and neurons are no longer formed to replace older cells. All these factors compound to create what we called “brain fog.”
After being placed on BHRT treatment, patients see fast results in better focus and memory retention. Most patients claim that they finally feel like themselves again and are able to process information at a much quicker pace. Many women also state that they see an improvement in multitasking performance. As a result, they report an overall improvement in mood as well.
Menopausal and postmenopausal women are at high risk of developing depression. Studies have shown that those who are put on BHRT are much less likely to develop mood disorders for various reasons.
By having better mental processing capacity, many women can finally make sense of what is happening to their minds and bodies. This immediately takes away the stress and anxiety factors. The boost in estrogen also directly increases serotonin and endorphin production to alleviate mood problems and improve sleeping patterns. Just by having better quality sleep, patients feel more energized and relaxed.
Because estrogen directly affects cell growth and the repair of skin and hair, the sudden drop after menopause can cause rapid skin and hair cell aging. BHRT can help women slow down the process.
With treatment, you will see a difference in skin thickness and elasticity. And because your skin regains better control of hydration, your wrinkles and fine lines will become less evident.
Another difference you can expect is thicker and stronger hair. It no longer breaks easily and regains that youthful bounce. In addition, your nails become healthier and less prone to chipping.
Other Medical Conditions That Benefit From BHRT
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Heart diseases
- Metabolic syndrome
- Parkinson’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Severe menstrual cycle cramps
- Perimenopause symptoms
- Thyroid Problems
- Ovarian cysts formation
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Mood disorders
- Low sex drive
When Can You Expect Results From Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Pellet Therapy?
Because each client’s needs and symptoms are unique, their estrogen dosage will also be different. As a result, it is hard to pinpoint when exactly you will see the results.
However, a majority of BHRT patients claim that they begin noticing differences around four weeks into their therapies. By six months into treatments, they report radical improvement in their symptoms.
Why Does It Take Weeks to See a Difference?
Just as it took weeks for your hormones to become imbalanced, it will take several weeks for your body to recover. At the same time, pellet implants work at smaller dosages to help your body adjust to the new changes.
Although it takes a little longer to see improvement with this method, you are much less likely to suffer from the side effects of other administration methods. Some undesirable side effects are over-adjustment, mood swings, nausea, irritability, and even skin discoloration.
Get Back to Being Yourself
We want you to regain your active lifestyle in the safest way. If you believe that you are suffering from a low level of estrogen or hormonal imbalance, don’t hesitate to contact Jon Ric International Health and Wellness in Edmond, OK to book an appointment with our representative. We look forward to meeting you.