Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when the ovarian production of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone begins to decline. Even though the median age for menopause is 51, many women can experience menopause starting at the age of 35. Symptoms of hormone deficiency may include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, anxiety, depression, insomnia, loss of libido, vaginal dryness, fatigue, memory loss, weight gain, urinary incontinence, muscle weakness and joint pain.
Hormonal balance is essential to good health for women of all ages. Hormone decline is not limited to estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Other natural hormones that can decline include DHEA, Human Growth Hormone, thyroid hormone, melatonin and others. All hormones have a specific role in your body and all cells in the body have receptors for these hormones. Additionally each hormone affects numerous metabolic activities that support bone formation, lipid metabolism, liver function, and brain function.
One of the first hormones to decline is progesterone at around the age of 35. This produces symptoms of anxiety, panic attacks, lighter sleep, PMS, mood swings, fibroids, heavy or irregular bleeding and weight gain. Progesterone is also responsible for bone building, thus women start to have bone loss at 35. Estrogen levels begin to decline around age 45 and wane altogether at 51. Changing estrogen levels produce hot flashes, skin and vaginal dryness, recurrent urinary infections, urine incontinence, bone loss and cognitive decline.
Bio-identical hormones are a natural hormone replacement that is identical in molecular structure to the naturally occurring hormones in your body. Diagnosis of hormone deficiency can be accurately achieved by physical examination, clinical history and lab work that include both saliva and serum testing. Hormone replacement can be in the form of pills, patches and creams. Hormone replacement along with nutritional and dietary counseling has been proven successful in treating menopausal symptoms and improving quality of life.