What Your Doctor Didn’t Tell You About Aging, And Your Momma Didn’t Know
I don’t know about you, but I’d choose natural and I’ll reveal why. Up until a couple of years ago, I didn’t really think much about hormones and their effect one way or the other on my body. Most of us probably don’t until we are faced with some kind of side effects or major health issues, such as:
Unexplained Weight Gain
Just to name a few and even then, I didn’t really think too much about it being related to hormones. What I’ve discovered has truly opened my eyes and that’s what I’d like to do for you. I’d like to be a great source of trusted and valued information that most Doctors don’t tell you and you’ll be surprised to discover why.
I think it important to lay a little ground work so that what I’m about to share with you will make more sense. We’re smart women; we need to be told the truth about what happens as a result of hormone imbalances and how we can take charge of our own health and well-being.
Here are the basic female hormones and their primary functions.
Estrogen Definition: A steroid sex hormone produced by the ovaries, the placenta, and the adrenal glands and, in small amounts, by the male testes. Estrogen causes the development of secondary sexual characteristics (e.g. breasts, larger hips) in adolescent girls, and is involved in rebuilding the uterine lining after menstruation. Estrogen also plays a role in calcium uptake and balance. Also Known As: estrone, estradiol, estriol.
Progesterone Definition: Progesterone is a hormone produced in the body which helps to regulate the menstrual cycle of women. Chemical forms of progesterone are widely used by women as part of birth control. Progesterone serves several other important functions in the body such as aiding immunity, reducing swelling and inflammation, stimulates and regulates the production of the thyroid gland, and keeps blood-clotting levels at normal values. Progesterone also can be said to be an “anti-aging” hormone. It keeps bones strong, produces collagen, and helps keep nerves functioning at appropriate levels.
As a woman ages, levels of progesterone and estrogen begin to decline. This gradually leads to menopause. When these levels decline, it not only affects the menstrual cycle but also contributes to aging, because less collagen means less skin elasticity, which is a leading factor of skin wrinkles. Low progesterone levels also decrease the body’s ability to create new bone cells, which puts a woman at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.
Testosterone Definition: Is considered a male hormone, but is also found, in much smaller amounts, in women. A member of the androgen group of hormones, testosterone is produced in the adrenal glands and ovaries of women. Despite its relatively low levels, testosterone in women aids in the areas of bone and muscle density, sex drive, appetite, fat distribution, and an overall sense of wellbeing.
Too much testosterone can contribute to irregular cycles and acne. When testosterone levels are too low, women will often experience a reduced libido. Other than menopause, some of the conditions that can lower levels of testosterone for women include childbirth, endometriosis, drug and alcohol abuse, and chemotherapy.
Increasing the levels of testosterone in women is one of the techniques used to treat the symptoms many women experience during menopause. The ovaries and adrenal glands gradually produce les estrogen and progesterone as well as testosterone. The absence of sufficient levels of these hormones often results in hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and insomnia, as well as other symptoms.
Cortisol Definition: Cortisol is a type of hormone, called a corticosteroid hormone, produced by the adrenal gland. It is often called the “stress” hormone since we produce higher levels of it under major or during a “fight or flight” reaction and too much over a long period of time causes belly fat. Cortisol and testosterone are closely connected in both men and women. When cortisol levels rise, testosterone levels tend to decrease.
In ordinary conditions, after a brief bout of stress, people return to a normal state. Cortisol and testosterone levels readjust because the stressor is gone, with cortisol falling to a more normal level and testosterone rising. In cases where people cannot escape stress, cortisol levels remain elevated and the production of testosterone continues to be suppressed, causing hormonal imbalances.
DHEA Definition: Dehydroepiandroserone (DHEA) is a hormone produced by the body naturally. Mainly produced by the adrenal gland, DHEA is also produced within the brain and in men, testes. Low DHEA can cause a wide variety of symptoms including fatigue, depression, joint pain, and a host of others that can interfere with living a productive life.
Once DHEA is produced by the adrenal glands or other organs, the human body works to transform DHEA into androstenedione. Androstenedione is then transformed into male and female hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. Producing the appropriate levels of DHEA is important to the hormonal balance of the human body.
With age, the production of DHEA in the body naturally decreases. Typically, males will produce more DHEA than women. This holds true for all age ranges. For both men and women, the body produces the highest level of DHEA in their twenties.
Some believe that adrenal fatigue as a result of chronic stress, poor nutrition, and an erratic emotional state can affect the production of DHEA. If the adrenals is working harder to produce stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, DHEA production is decreased. This can throw the body out of balance, resulting in a host of symptoms related to low DHEA.
The symptoms related to low DHEA can vary and can also depend on lifestyle habits and overall health. For some, extreme fatigue, depression, and loss of sex drive may be the main symptoms. Some may experience a decrease in muscle mass, trouble concentrating, and trouble sleeping at night when the body is dealing with low DHEA.
I know this is a lot of information and at the same time, necessary to that we can begin to understand why we experience the not so pleasant side effects of PMS, like bloating, food cravings, weight gain, and more serious effects like depression, fibroids, etc. In most cases our bodies are deficient in progesterone and are producing too much estrogen, often causing what is called estrogen dominance. Left unchecked, this causes many debilitating symptoms. In other articles we’ll continue talking about these hormones and their importance. Today, I thought it important to address the often confusing topic of HRT and BHRT.
There are many reasons doctors prescribe Hormone Replacement Therapy (commonly known as HRT) and Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement (often called BHRT).
Most general practitioners have little or no substantial hormone education and you’re probably wondering why your doctor doesn’t understand your worries or concerns about how you are feeling and it’s probably not entirely his or her fault. Medical doctors receive little training on sex hormones and learn most of the later education from pharmaceutical reps who visit their offices promoting their drugs, which, in most cases, only cover up the symptom and produce many other side effects. This also explains the higher cases of hysterectomies and ablations (the removal of the inside of the uterine lining by laser, typically). These are often performed unnecessarily due to a misunderstanding of a simple hormonal imbalance that can be corrected.
Please also understand that there are doctors who study hormones in depth and often prescribe BHRT, which are closer to natural, they are still flawed. They aren’t proven for long term use, they usually don’t focus or work on adrenal fatigue and some of the delivery methods can result in a buildup of hormones in the fatty tissues. The hormone levels also need to be monitored regularly by saliva or blood testing, at least yearly, which is expensive. Suzanne Somers has talked a lot about Bio-Identical hormones and her basic theory are good and great for guiding women away from synthetic HRT. A big issue with BHRT is that this is still altered chemically in order to mimic the body’s naturally produced hormones. You will need hormonal testing, a prescription, constant monitoring to make sure the hormone levels are accurate, which means frequent doctor’s office visits. This really is a far superior method to HRT, but there are still issues with this treatment.
Let’s talk a little about HRT, which is completely synthetic. What would you do if your doctor told you to swallow horse urine every day for the rest of your life? You’d think he lost his mind wouldn’t you? But what if your doctor handed you a prescription for “Premarin,” manufactured by a pharmaceutical company, and told you they’d “cure” menopause and all the symptoms of associated with menopause? If you’re like 8 million other women, you’d take them.
Want to know what’s really in them? The name Premarin is a contraction of “pregnant mare urine.” Hmmmm… I don’t know about you, but I’d be looking for natural alternatives fast.
Are you ready for some really great news?
When a completely natural hormone solution is used, such as the progesterone based creams we offer and we use personally, it works with the body to balance the hormones without side effects. Side effects are usually only seen with synthetic compounds, pharmaceutical drugs, or pharmaceutical compounded solutions, some of which are foreign to the body, as in the case above. Natural solutions support the entire endocrine system in order to diminish the high levels of estrogen (which doctors don’t usually know) without the unpleasant side effects.
The body is often able to rebalance with a natural solution and will not overproduce any of the sex hormones that we’ve talked about. Also, there isn’t a danger of a buildup in the fatty tissues, as does happen with the above describe methods. For this reason, it is usually unnecessary to test hormone levels with natural hormone replacement.
If you decide you want to spend the money to have hormone testing done, saliva testing is more accurate than blood testing. It can be expensive and like mentioned earlier, is usually not necessary if the course of treatment is completely natural.
Now that you’re more empowered to ask great questions of your health practitioner or hormone expert, let’s begin the journey of making a “shift” in balancing your hormones and ridding yourself of some not so favorable symptoms that we really don’t have to live with.
Until next time, let’s take one positive step for ourselves this week, we deserve it.
If you have any questions about anything written here, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll do my best to get you appropriate answers. I want to encourage all of us to communicate, that’s how we learn and take care of ourselves.
Here’s to you looking, feeling and living 10 years younger through balanced hormones!
Are you like me and want to know what is happening with your body and want to take control of what you put into it? Please visit http://www.10yearsyounger.com for more great information, testimonials, and a natural plant based hormone cream system that will have you looking, feeling and living 10 years younger. I use the product and totally recommend it to all my family and friends. Do something great for you today!
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