Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement in St. Louis
Bio-Identical Hormones are natural plant based hormones that are exactly like the hormones we make ourselves. Each person has their own hormone “blueprint” that is to be best for them. Levels of hormones can be measured and adjusted to match each blueprint. Bio-Identical hormones are formulated by compounding pharmacists in more convenient effective forms than standard drugstore brands. Being able to individualize a dose is superior to other traditional “one size fits all” synthetic hormone therapy, having more health benefits and fewer side effects. If you live in St. Louis our Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy options may be the answer you’ve been looking for.
As we age many hormone levels naturally start to decline. The National Institute on Aging instructed several major U.S. universities to study the relationship between aging, lowered hormones and the development of disease. They concluded that deficiencies of hormones were major contributors to the disease of aging. Worldwide research of the past twenty years has also confirmed their conclusions: There appears to be tremendous health benefits of hormone replacement during the aging process.
The current emphasis of Western medicine is to diagnose and treat disease. Many diseases including cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer and dementia are considered part of the “natural aging” process. They are expected for old people. Traditional medicine never treated aging as a disease and so has never tried to prevent these consequences of aging.
The results coming in from recent research now demand that we look at aging itself as a significant factor causing diseases. We are changing our medical thinking about whether diseases that occur with aging are really “normal” and if they are acceptable. What we now know is that much of the deterioration of aging is preventable with hormone replacement therapy.
Other researchers realized the importance of supplementing other aging hormones. Scientists at the Gerontology Research Center of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Baltimore, Maryland , examined the roles of sex hormones: estrogen, testosterone, DHEA with age-related disturbances of the muscles, bone metabolism and body composition. They restored these sex hormones levels to those of younger healthier people. They discovered improvement in both physical and psychological functions. The findings of improved cardiovascular function improved cholesterol levels, decreased body fat, increased lean mass, body mass, improved energy, increased muscle strength and endurance were all recognized as valuable benefits of hormone replacement therapy during aging. The theory behind supporting hormones to promote health can be understood by our experience with the hormone, insulin. Before the identification, production and administration of insulin, many people died as a result of diabetes. Once scientists able to synthesize and replace insulin, the severe changes caused from diabetes were profoundly improved. Generic engineering now enables scientists to synthesize all the natural hormones found in our bodies. This advanced technology leads hormone research beyond just treatment of diseases, now there can be a focus on correction of hormone deficiencies associated with aging. Replacing hormone levels back to what we had during our healthy youth (ages 25- 30) has been clearly shown to reverse many of the unfavorable effects that appear as we age. While no one claims to have the “fountain of youth”, hormone therapy holds great promise for promoting a healthier longevity.
Bio-Identical Hormone Descriptions
The following is a brief description of many the hormones that decrease as we age. Bio-Identical replacements for these hormones are available. Some or all of these hormones may be supplemented during hormone replacement therapy.
DHEA is a hormone secreted by adrenal glands located above the kidneys. This hormone is precursor to the sex hormones: testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. DHEA promotes an anabolic (protein building) state. It reduces cardiovascular risk by increasing fat metabolism. DHEA stimulates the immune system, restores sexual vitality, improves mood, lowers cholesterol and reduces body fat. Recent studies point to DHEA as an anti-stress hormone, reversing the effects of stress on the immune system.
Pregnenolone is a parent compound to many other hormones, mainly estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, DHEA, and cortisol. Pregnenolone also functions as a memory enhancer and is a factor in cell repair, particularly in the brain and nerve tissue. Pregnenolone protects brain function and protects against brain cell injury.
Testosterone is an important hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, testes, and ovaries. It contributes to energy, muscle mass, strength, endurance, decreased fat, increased exercise tolerance, enhancement of well-being, and psychological status. Testosterone protects against cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity and arthritis. It leads to improved lean muscle mass, increased libido, and sexual performance. It prolongs the quality of life by decreasing the diseases of aging. Testosterone levels dramatically decline after the age or forty in both men and women. The most common symptom of declining testosterone, andropause (male menopause) is fatigue and is often experienced by men in their mid-forties. Testosterone is extremely important in the female as well as the male, making supplementation absolutely recommended for both.
Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland located at the base of the brain. It is a circadian rhythm hormone-fluctuating according to the amount of daylight. Melatonin levels affect sleep patterns. Research has shown that cells rejuvenate and repair during the deeper stages of sleep. It is during these sleep stages that the body produces natural killer cells or CD4 cells. Melatonin increases the deep stage of sleep and stage IV sleep, thereby increasing and enhancing immunity. Improved sleep patterns serve to energize the body and improve mood. Melatonin has powerful antioxidant effects that contribute to a disease and cancer prevention. Melatonin deficiency results in poor sleep, jet lag, irritability and premature aging.
Thyroid hormone is metabolic hormone secreted by the thyroid gland that regulates blood circulation, body temperature, metabolism and cerebral function. It contributes to energy levels, temperature regulation, and body warmth. It increases fat breakdown, resulting in weight loss as well as lowering cholesterol. It protects against cardiovascular disease and improves cerebral metabolism. It helps to prevent cognitive impairment. Thyroid hormone is probably the safest and most beneficial cholesterol-lowering agent, yet it is infrequently used for this. Thyroid function is best evaluated by laboratory levels of THS, free T-4, and free T-3 along with clinical correlation of symptoms. Abnormal TSH levels indicate primary hypothyroidism, while abnormal free T-3 and free T-4 cause secondary and tertiary hypothyroidism.
The estrogens are secreted by the ovaries. Men also make a small amount of estrogen form conversion of testosterone. In women, estrogen protects against heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and memory disorders. It protects against vaginal atrophy (skin thinning), unitary leakage (incontinence), and prevents symptoms of menopause including hot flashes and temperature dysregulation. Estrogen improves balance by improving the visual somatosensory system in the central nervous system. Estrogen deficiency results in the urogential (urinary and genital) atrophy, incontinence, saggy breast skin, increased face wrinkles, decreased energy, depression, mood swings, decreased libido and insomnia. The use of estrogen replacement during menopause is a classic example of optimizing hormone levels to younger levels to avoid some of the diseases of aging (osteoporosis, heart attack, and stroke).
Progesterone is secreted by the ovaries during the second half of the menstrual cycle. It is only produced from an ovulating ovary. During reproductive years, it prepares the uterine lining for the embryo implantation. After menopause, progesterone supplementation protects against uterine and breast cancers, osteoporosis, fibrocystic breast disease and ovarian cysts. Most U.S. physicians prescribe synthetic progestins that cause side effects such as bloating, headaches, fatigue, and weight gain. Natural progesterones are as effective and generally do not cause these side effects.
Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands. It is the hormone responsible for the body’s ability to handle stress. Stress can be emotional or physical, yet both have the same cortisol response. Prolonged stress can markedly deplete cortisol levels. This leads to adrenal fatigue and eventual “burn out”. Low cortisol levels contribute to fatigue, poor immune defenses and depression. Low cortisol levels inhibit the effectiveness of antidepressant medication often making depression more difficult to treat.
Insulin is secreted from the pancreas gland and is critical for the glucose (sugar) transport to every cell for energy. If insulin levels are too low or too high, the functions of the cells are greatly impaired. Hyperinsulinemia (too high of insulin) contributes to a metabolic syndrome called Insulin Resistance Syndrome (IRS). Seventy- five percent of American adults have this hormone condition. IRS worsens with age. Insulin Resistance Syndrome often results in high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and/or triglycerides, obesity, gout, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Polycystic Ovarian (PCOS) is now known to be caused by insulin resistance.
If you are looking for help please don’t hesitate to call Med Weight and Wellness Center, LLC in St. Louis today.