Female Hormonal Imbalances Q&A
What are the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance in women?
Symptoms include, but not limited to:
- Low sex drive and other sexual dysfunctions
- Inability to focus clearly
- Chronic fatigue
- Weight gain and inability to lose weight
- Loss of muscle definition and strength
- Night sweats and hot flashes
- Mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
- Higher risk of osteoporosis
- Higher risk of Alzheimer’s
What exactly are hormones?
Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers, either secreted into the bloodstream or used locally, that affect the functioning of other cells. A hormone affects only specific cells called target cells that have unique receptors for that hormone. Think of it as a lock and key. Cells which do not have the specific receptor for a certain hormone cannot be influenced directly by that hormone. Some cells go even further, and regulate their own internal production of a needed hormone. For example, estrogen is made inside the cells that utilize estrogen (brain, bone, heart, etc.) from testosterone. The most common hormones that are balanced through hormone replacement therapy are the following:
Testosterone: Testosterone is vital to the health and well-being of BOTH men and women. It goes without saying that women require substantially less testosterone than men. In women, testosterone is produced in the ovaries and the adrenal glands. Testosterone is the force behind a woman’s sex drive and boosts the body’s ability to build muscle, lose weight and increase energy levels. Testosterone contributes to muscle mass, strength and endurance, decreased fat, increased exercise tolerance, and enhancement of sense of well-being and psychological health. Testosterone protects against cardiovascular disease and reduces blood sugar. It leads to improved lean muscle mass, increased bone density, a decrease in cholesterol, improved skin tone, improved healing capacity, increased libido, and enhanced sexual performance. It improves the quality of life for both men and women by decreasing the diseases of aging. Cells that require estrogen use testosterone to manufacture estrogen inside the cell by a chemical conversion that uses an enzyme called aromatase.
Estrogen: Estrogen refers to a group of similar hormones produced in the body. Like testosterone, estrogen is a required hormone for the health of BOTH men and women. The main three are estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3). Estrogens are believed to be protective against heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and memory disorders. It also protects against vaginal atrophy, urinary incontinence, and prevents symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and poor temperature regulation (e.g. “hot flashes”). It can improve balance by the “visual somatosensory” system in the central nervous system. Estrogen deficiency is linked to: urogenital atrophy, incontinence, increased skin wrinkles of the face, fatigue, depression, mood swings and decreased libido. However, the vast majority of women we treat need only testosterone (see above) as their body, like those of men, makes all the intracellular estrogen it needs from testosterone, thus avoiding the serious problems that can occur with high circulating estrogen levels in the blood. While estrogen supplementation is rarely necessary, it is important that any estrogen prescribed be a bio-identical estrogen and not a non-human estrogen. The non-bio-identical synthetic estrogens bind nearly 20 times stronger to your cells’ receptors and have been proven to be harmful.
Progesterone: Progesterone is primarily produced in the ovaries just prior to and after ovulation. It is also produced in large quantities by the placenta during pregnancy and in small quantities by the adrenal glands. If you are on bio-identical estrogen, you should probably be on this hormone as well. Studies suggest it protects against uterine and breast cancers, fibrocystic disease and ovarian cysts. Unfortunately, most U.S. women are prescribed a synthetic horse-derived progestin (Provera) which can cause side effects such as bloating, headaches, fatigue, weight gain, and heart disease. Bio-identical progesterone is much safer.
Progesterone plays an important role during a woman’s reproductive years, but as a woman gets older, most women produce less and less of it. With the decrease of both progesterone and testosterone levels, many women don’t feel like their old selves and begin to experience the symptoms above.
What can I expect from a hormone evaluation at Balanced Medical Solutions?
For only $99 you will have a consultation and exam with our medical specialists and we will run labs to check your testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen levels along with more than twenty other tests to assess your general health, your thyroid function, your human growth hormone levels, and much more. If our medical evaluation shows that you are suffering from a hormonal imbalance, we will prescribe a tailored treatment plan unique to your body type and circumstances. We also monitor and are with you every step of the way with free follow-up visits.
Proactive women who are suffering from a hormonal imbalance and who get treatment express a significant change in their energy levels, sex drive and their ability to lose weight within a short period of time.
Make an appointment today to find out if this is what is causing your suffering. It’s time to begin your journey back to vitality and your youthful figure and passion!
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