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How do I know if I have a hormone imbalance?

LADIES!!!  This one is for you!  

Here's a scenario that we hear almost daily at our practice....  There are some variations for sure,  but for the most part, it goes like this:

"I'm tired, don't feel well, no energy, stressed, my husband would say I'm grouchy, I would say, he's on my last nerve....sex, forget about it. "

Sound familiar?  If not, consider your self one of the lucky ones.  Hormone imbalance is REAL!  And it affects how you feel, your energy, your mood, your sleep, and your relationship.  In fact, as many as 50% of women over age 35 have a hormone imbalance called estrogen dominance.  

Let's break it down a bit further with a little Q and A...

Hormones are vital to your health and well-being as they control most of your basic bodily functions. They coordinate everything from digestion and metabolism to immune function, mood, and libido. Hormones travel in your bloodstream to organs and tissues to help them do their work. Sometimes hormones can get out of balance causing you not to feel your best as well as increasing your risk of certain medical conditions. Some of the more common symptoms we see in our practice are irritability, mood swings, weight gain, brain fog, difficulty sleeping, hot flashes and/or night sweats (for postmenopausal women), and thinning hair.

 

How do I know if my hormones are out of balance?

If you have one or more of the symptoms listed above, there is a good chance your hormones are not balanced. However, the only way to know for sure your hormone levels is to have them tested. In our office we use saliva testing. This simple method tests what is bioavailable to the tissues in your body, making this the most accurate (and painless) way to test your hormones.

 

What is the treatment if my hormones are not balanced?

If your hormones are not balanced, our treatment goal is to simply restore them to their natural balance as safely and effectively as possible. Typically, this involves using a topical bioidentical hormone cream. Bioidentical means the chemical structure of the hormone is identical to that which your body makes. Using them topically allows the hormone to enter the bloodstream unchanged by the liver. When hormones are taken orally, the liver them down, changing their chemical structure making them less effective and, in many instances, unsafe.

 

Are bioidentical hormones safe?

Simply put, yes. It is important to remember that natural bioidentical hormones are NOT the same as synthetic hormones. Natural hormones do not have the same negative side effects of the synthetic hormones. In fact, natural hormones often have completely opposite physical and cellular effects on the body. Natural hormones are a safe and more conservative approach to hormone replacement therapy that does not carry the risks of synthetic hormones.

 

What are the benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT)?

The benefits of BHRT are two-fold. First, there are numerous studies that show the many health benefits of having balanced hormones. These include improved sexual function for both women and men, prevention of bone loss, relief from hot flashes or night sweats, improved sleep, thicker skin with increased collagen production, decreased joint pain and stiffness, improved brain function, lowers your risk of heart disease, and even lowers your risk of breast cancer. Second, YOU WILL FEEL BETTER – and who doesn’t want that! This is typically what brings people back wanting to stay on BHRT. We love hearing stories of how people are sleeping better than ever, have energy throughout the day again, or how their relationship has improved because their libido has come back.

 

This is easily one of the most fulfilling parts of our practice.  Hormone balance can make such a real impact in your daily life.  If you think your hormones may be imbalanced, if you know you've not been feeling well, but getting nowhere with your doctor, you owe it to yourself to come us and get your hormones checked. 

Author
Amy Hatcher, APRN Owner and Director of Aesthetics at Aesthetic+Wellness 14 year of aesthetic experience National ACE trainer for Allergan Medical Institute Allergan Advisory Board Member

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