Bio-Identical Hormone Treatment
We here at IMI work at finding just the right balance of hormones for you. We recognize that everyone is uniquely different. We will obtain baseline levels and proceed accordingly. Everyone responds differently at different levels, but there is an optimal level for you. Our commitment is to work with you to find that optimal level. We work closely with numerous compounding pharmacies and there are a multitude of different delivery systems. After meeting with you we will determine the best system for you.
Hormones conduct the language of cells. Our bodies have over 60 trillion cells with each needing to communicate with one another.
Bio-identical hormones have a molecular structure that is identical to hormones that are naturally produced by the human body, and are intended to replace these hormones when their levels decline due to aging, disease, stress, medications, or surgery. Hormones conduct the language of cells. Our bodies have over 60 trillion cells with each needing to communicate with one another.
Hormones are the chemical messengers that travel through our blood stream, enter cells by unlocking a door called a receptor, and flip the switches that govern growth, development, and mental and physical functioning. The exact chemical structure of the body’s hormones is incredibly important, because in order for hormone therapy to fully replicate the normal functioning present in the human body it must match the original structure of that hormone exactly.
What Are Bio-identical Hormones?
Bio-Identical hormones have the same chemical structure as the hormones made by the human body. Structural differences exist between bio-identical hormones and those available commercially, which are typically synthetic (i.e. esterified estrogens, medroxyprogesterone) or animal derived (i.e. conjugated equine estrogens). In order to be patented, synthetic hormones have side chains added to a natural substance. Synthetic hormones are not found in humans, and are not identical in structure or function to the bio-identical hormones they are intended to replace.
Our hormones play a major role in how fast we age. The action of the various hormones is very complex. In part they act to advance the life cycle according to the biological plan. Alternatively, they may go haywire, promoting disease states associated with the aging process.
Since hormones influence the rate at which we age, considerable research is underway to evaluate the feasibility of “replacement therapy” to forestall the aging process and the degenerative changes that accompany it. “Replacement therapy” has been around for some time in the treatment of menopause. Many gynecologists advocate the use of “estrogen” and “progesterone” in the alleviation of menopausal symptoms. But “replacement therapy” and the use of hormones should not stop there. The use of testosterone, the adrenal hormones such as DHEA, pregnenolone, melatonin and Human Growth Hormone are now just being investigated. The sex hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, which are deliberately programmed for decline, are obvious targets for intervention. In women, menopause is distinct. In men, what is becoming known as “andropause” is less clearly demarcated, perhaps masking the importance of testosterone. The adrenal androgens too, best exemplified by DHEA, may pace aging in both of the sexes through a change of life dubbed “adrenopause” by hormone researchers.
Our hormones play a major role in how fast we age. The action of the various hormones is very complex. In part they act to advance the life cycle according to the biological plan.
Let us take a look at these various hormones, and contrast some of them with their synthetic counterparts.
What is Estrogen Dominance?
When your body is in the company of excess estrogen while at the time in the absence of adequate levels of progesterone, this is known as estrogen dominance.
What causes estrogen dominance?
Dominance of estrogen can start early on in a women’s menstrual cycle. Young women that first enter menarche may suffer tremendously with difficult periods. Many of these young women are started on birth control pills to help regulate the frequency and severity of their periods. Some women will develop estrogen dominance syndrome much later in life, sometimes as a result of poor diet, liver impairment or environmental factors. Also, estrogen dominance may be a result of anovulatory cycles before menopause, Anovulatory cycles are menstrual cycles in which no ovulation has occurred. A special gland called the corpus luteum forms on the surface of the ovary at the site of ovulation. This gland produces progesterone that remains for the last half of the menstrual cycle. Without ovulation, less progesterone is produced, which can cause estrogen imbalance in some women.
Estrogen Dominance Effects
In this context, it is worthwhile to compare the physiological effects of estrogen versus progesterone:
- Stimulates breast tissues
- Increases body fat
- Causes salt and water retention
- Depression and headaches
- Interferes with thyroid hormone
- Increases blood clotting
- Decreases sex drive
- Impairs blood sugar control
- Causes loss of zinc and retention of copper
- Reduces oxygen levels in all cells
- Reduces vascular tone
- Slightly restrains osteoblast function
- Reduces vascular tone
- Increases the risk of autoimmune disorders
- Increases the risk of endometrial & breast cancer
- Protects against fibrocystic breasts
- Helps use fat for energy
- Natural diuretic
- Natural antidepressant
- Facilitates thyroid hormone action
- Normalizes blood clotting
- Restores sex drive
- Normalizes blood sugar levels
- Normalizes zinc and copper levels
- Restores proper cell oxygen levels
- Restores normal vascular tone
- Stimulates osteoblast bone building
- Restores normal vascular tone
- Precursor of corticosteroid disorders
- Prevents endometrial and breast cancer
It is clear that excess estrogen, when unopposed or unbalanced by progesterone, is not something wholly to be desired. It becomes clear that many of estrogen’s undesirable side effects are effectively prevented by progesterone. I would propose that a new syndrome be recognized: That of estrogen dominance. This syndrome, with symptoms familiar to most women, commonly occurs in the following situations:
- Estrogen replacement therapy.
- Premenopause (early follicle depletion resulting in a lack of ovulation and thus a lack of progesterone well before the onset on menopause).
- Exposure to xenoestrogens (foreign chemicals that have an estrogen effect in the body that cause early follicle depletion).
- Birth control pills (with excessive estrogen component).
- Hysterectomy (can induce subsequent ovary dysfunction or atrophy).
- Postmenopausal (especially in overweight women).
- Estrogen use in the meat industry.
Estrogen and Progesterone
When we talk of hormones and women, most of us think of estrogen and a few more will also include progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone are closely interrelated in many ways. In a normal functioning premenopausal woman, estrogen is made from progesterone and/or androgens within the cells of the body. After menopause, estrogens are converted from adrenal produced androgens (DHEA), primarily in body fat. Estrogen and progesterone are, in many ways, antagonistic; yet each sensitizes receptors for the other. A key to hormone balance is the knowledge that when estrogen becomes the dominant hormone and progesterone is deficient, the estrogen becomes toxic to the body; thus progesterone has a balancing or mitigating effect on estrogen.
Estrogen is responsible for the maturation of young women at puberty. Estrogen causes the accumulation of fat that gives the female body its contours, but in excess or when it is not in balance with progesterone, can contribute to excess fat accumulation.
When women consume considerably more calories than what is needed, estrogen production increases to supernormal levels and may set the stage for estrogen dominance syndrome and exaggerated estrogen decline at menopause.
In the United States and most industrially advanced countries, diets are rich in animal fats, refined starches and processed foods. This provides calories in excess to the bodies needs and leads to estrogen levels in women twice as high as those do in women of the more agrarian third-world countries.
Interested in Bio-Identical Hormone Treatment?
Our approach to mental health and wellness incorporates both preventive and nutritional approaches with particular attention to biochemical imbalances.