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Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy

The First Step

Cornerstone Progressive Health recommends first evaluating and improving where needed the diet, getting supported nutritionally, detoxing the body of endocrine disruptors and having osteopathic manipulation before considering hormone replacement therapy. Once that is done then testing is recommended to determine if Natural Hormone Replacement will be helpful to resolve any remaining hormonal symptoms. If needed per testing we utilize BHRT (Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy) which is the use of doses of hormones that have a chemical structure identical to the hormones that the human body naturally produces.

Should I Get Tested?

If after diligently trying to resolve your symptoms without success the answer is YES. Especially if  you want to feel vibrantly alive and optimistic about life again.

Hormone Balance is the Key to Health

Your hormonal system is like a symphony playing a complex piece of music. If each hormone isn’t playing its part, you might feel off-key, start encountering a host of symptoms and disorders, and be at risk for disease. Both men and women can experience hormonal imbalance, which can be caused by inadequate or excessive hormone levels and many other factors. Balanced hormones are the key to well-being. If you have tried to treat certain symptoms but you still don’t feel well, it might be time to have your hormones tested.

Why a 24-hour Urine Hormone Test?

urine-testHormones are secreted in small “bursts” throughout the day. By collecting urine for a full 24-hour period, this test captures the hormonal peaks and valleys and provides an accurate assessment of your hormone levels. Other methods, such as a blood draw or saliva sample, only capture hormone levels that circulate in the body at the moment of collection.

A 24-hour Urine Hormone test also looks at hormones that are available only in urine. These hormones provide insight into your risk for developing breast or prostate cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, and other diseases associated with aging.

How Does this Test Help My Doctor to Help Me?

With the information that this 24-hour Urine Hormone test provides, we at Cornerstone Progressive Health can prescribe a safe and customized treatment plan so that you are on your way back to healthy living.

Symptons of Hormonal Imbalance

Do You Have Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance?

Physical Symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Low Sex Drive
  • Decreased stamina and/or flexibility
  • Loss of strength and/or decreased muscle size
  • Increase in body fat
  • Bone loss
  • Unexplained aches and pains in muscles and joints
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizzy spells
  • Low blood pressure
  • Frequently feeling cold
  • Headaches
  • Hot flashes/Night sweats
  • Thinning hair/ eyebrows
  • Infertility

Mental Symptoms:

  • Apathy/ burned out feeling
  • Depression
  • Anxiety/ irritability/ nervousness
  • Decreased mental sharpness
  • Increased forgetfulness
  • Feeling “stressed out”
  • Poor sleep, insomnia
Men:

  • Loss of erectile function
  • Decreased strength and/or duration of erection
  • Prostate problems
  • Decreased urine flow
  • Increased urinary urgency
  • Early/accelerated hardening of arteries

Women:

  • Bleeding changes/heavy or irregular periods
  • Tender Breasts
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Acne
  • Increased facial hair
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Acceleration of appearance of aging
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Endometriosis

Regarding Women, Perimenopause, Menopause

Forty-five million women are menopausal in the United States today; another 3.5 million women will become menopausal each year. Based on life expectancy trends, women face the prospect of spending the last one-third to one-half of their lives in a state of hormonal imbalance. The quality and quantity of your life after the menopause occurs may be largely determined by how well you manage your hormonal and biochemical state.

Female Hormone Replacement Therapy

The ovaries are not only the only glands to produce progesterone and estrogens. The adrenals make some as well. Normally, when the ovaries stop producing enough female hormones, the adrenal supplies the difference. However, many women do not have the adrenal reserve to pick up the extra demand and smooth the transition to lower hormone levels needed for mature women who no longer are capable of carrying a pregnancy. Chronic social and emotional stress, poor nutrition, and impaired glucose metabolism are among the most common reasons women’s adrenal reserves become exhausted.

Here are a few common reasons for considering female hormone replacement therapy.

  1. MENOPAUSAL SYMPTOMS such as hot flashes, emotional swings, flushing, sweats, etc. While female hormones are effective for this, my patients report excellent success using a supplement designed to detoxify the liver.
  2. VAGINAL ATROPHY causes dryness, irritation, discomfort during sexual relations, etc. Hormone creams and oral preparations are appropriate options. An alternative might be to support the ovaries or adrenal glands in hopes they will produce sufficient amount of hormones.
  3. OSTEOPOROSIS PREVENTION is a concern for nearly every woman living in industrialized society. Osteoporosis is dependent on many other factors beside female hormones. In fact, osteoporosis is not a problem in other areas of the world despite their minimal use of female hormones. See my osteoporosis handout for more information.
  4. REDUCE YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE. It has been shown in women after menopause. It is well known that men have a higher incidence of heart disease than women. It is thought that female hormones may provide some protection against heart disease that is lost when a woman goes through menopause. Certainly there are many other factors involved than simply female hormone levels. Fat and sugar metabolism, diet, stress, family/genetics, exercise, weight, thyroid metabolism, smoking, high blood pressure, etc. have very significant effects on the development of heart disease. The contribution of female hormones may be less important if these other conditions are not addressed/corrected.
  5. TO MAINTAIN PRE-MENOPAUSAL HORMONE LEVELS could be considered a way of maintaining youth, etc. However, it is difficult to argue why all mammals’ ovaries mature and stop producing hormones and eggs. The wisdom of our design and evolution must be accounted for.

**It is important not to confuse replacement doses with the high dosages used for birth control.

 

Cornerstone Progressive Health Recommends 24 Hour Urine Hormone Testing

Many hormone tests are unable to get a holistic picture of your hormone levels. This is because hormone levels vary throughout the day so you may be measuring a peak or a trough and also important hormones like estriol and androstanediol are missing or inaccurate in serum and saliva hormone tests.

Cornerstone Progressive Health uses Meridian Valley Lab’s urinary hormone tests which can provide precise quantification via gas chromatography, mass spectrometry and proprietary laboratory procedures tied to exacting laboratory quality standards. 24 hour urine hormone tests allow us to quantify a patient’s production over a 24 hour period avoiding peaks and troughs and get a detailed view of how the hormones and metabolites may be effecting your current symptom picture. Click here to visit the Meridian Valley website’s great explanation of the advantages/disadvantages of urine hormone testing versus doing blood or saliva testing.

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