By: Pamela Egan, FNP-C CDE
Hormone Balance Essential to Anti-Aging
APRIL 11, 2008 – When you think of all the body systems that our hormones regulate its mind boggling! Hormones regulate our breathing, heartbeat, and control our blood pressure. They wake us up in the morning and put us to sleep at night. They build bone, muscle, and keep our joints healthy. They affect our growth and development. They control our metabolism. Hormones burn fat. They combat depression, anxiety, insomnia and fatigue. The help keep our memory sharp. They boost our immune system. They defy allergic reactions. Who would want to be without them?
In America, there is so much confusion about hormones right now. Since the highly publicized findings from the Women’s Health Initiative were released in 2002, women quit their synthetic hormones Premarin & PremPro in droves due to reports of increased risk for stroke, breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. Many chose to struggle through menopause without any type of medical intervention.
Many in the Medical Industry fail to recognize the fact that all women need Progesterone throughout their whole life whether they’ve had a hysterectomy or not. They confuse the synthetic chemical progestin with natural Progesterone and fail to realize that they are not the same. Unfortunately, women are given Estrogen only after having a hysterectomy leading to Estrogen Dominance which has its own set of negative symptoms.
Let’s look at what this dominant estrogen imbalance does to women. Without natural Progesterone (which is NOT Progestin), women are deprived of their anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, and sleeping hormone. They begin to complain of insomnia, depression and anxiety due to the estrogen overload. Estrogen dominance also leads to hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, and weight gain. If a woman should contract an estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, the unopposed estrogen just feeds the cancer. Prometrium (Progesterone) prevents Breast Cancer as shown in a recent study on Breast Cancer from France. Progesterone also builds bone, preventing osteoporosis.
There is a distinct difference from synthetic hormones that are not made identical to the body and plant-based, bioidentical hormones that are made identical to the body. Synthetic hormones give the body’s cells incomplete messages (birth control pills are included in this class).
In the past, we used to have to compound plant based, bioidentical hormones. I have many patients who prefer compounded hormones. However, we now have some prescriptions that are FDA approved that are bioidentical products sold in pharmacies (estradiol: Estrace, Vivelle dot, Climara, Femring as well as others & progesterone: Prometrium.) There are better options out there to the synthetic hormones that have been shown to cause disease in women.
When all of our hormones are at optimal levels, our bodies are in good physical shape, healthy, and strong. Even a slight imbalance can cause mayhem in our bodies.
The body must have balanced nutrition to make all the hormones it needs in the proportions it needs them. The first thing you need to do is to provide your body with nutrients it needs to take care of itself. Our food today is so refined and processed, that most of the vitamins and nutrients are depleted.
With the proper physiological doses of natural hormones in combination with a good quality diet and vitamin and mineral supplements, you can obtain optimum health and slow down the accelerated aging process.
Pamela Egan, FNP-C, CDE is a board certified Adult & Family Nurse Practitioner, Certified Diabetes Educator & Clinical Specialist in Mental Health. She practices in Women’s Health with Kathy Posey, MD & can be reached at 985-867-1700 or www.pamelaegan.com.