Menopause

Menopause in Women

What is all the Hype About with Hormones? This hormone hype actually started in the 1960’s with the development of the “pill”  or Oral Contraception.  Shortly after we were preventing pregnancy with high dose hormones, the pill was given to treat PMS, irregular bleeding, later hormones became the treatment for menopause.

Menopause became important to manage when women entered the workplace.  It was difficult for women to have careers while dealing with the symptoms of menopause. Many of us today know what it is like to be sweating in a board meeting, having crying spells when our co-worker  looks at us the wrong way. These are common issues that affected the workplace for the first time over 60 years ago. Now they are common place concerns that we deal with every day.

The other factor with hormones of course is money!  The hormone industry quickly became an $840 million dollar a year business, for Premarin a product which contains 49 different horse estrogens controls $672 million dollars in sales as of 2010. In the 1970’s researchers found out that if estrogen was given alone, it caused an increased risk of uterine cancer, so practitioners began prescribing synthetic estrogen and progestin together.  About 40% of the U.S. population of women signed on for hormone therapy, which correlated into 6 million women using estrogen only and 8 million women using combination therapy.

In 2002 the WHI trial presented information reporting that synthetic hormones caused an increased risk of breast cancer. About 30% of the women who were taking hormones hurled their products in the trash and 50% of the doctors stopped prescribing hormones to women.

Do you feel better without hormone therapy?  What are the symptoms? What are the risks?

The question now is do you think that these women are feeling better without hormone therapy? No!  Many feel worse! But, they do not want to take the risks anymore.  It is estimated that by 2015, 50% of the women will be of either perimenopausal-menopausal age.  Therefore suffering all the aging symptoms we deal with every-day.

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Brain fog
  • Decreased libido
  • Weight gain
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia

Serenity Health Care Centers  and its practitioners Dr.’s  Debra Muth and Wayne Konetzki have the tools and skills needed to assist you in treating your symptoms and giving you, your life back.

Serenity Health Care Center’s individualized approach to hormone therapy
We are the hormone experts!

We truly understand the endocrine system from every aspect. We offer women a different approach.   We offer women an opportunity to work with their body to heal, something different, safe, and natural all the things needed to repair the body.

The art of communicating with the female patient (15 minutes) …The art of listening!

We know how to talk with women! More importantly we know how to listen!  We listen to what you say, listen you don’t say, and what you want to say.  We give you the time to tell us your story.  We know this story includes the important people in our lives; our families, children, husbands and careers. We recognize that this is an important transitional period for each women, it is a journey.  During this journey we are looking to create the life we have always dreamed of.

Review the basics of the hormonal system

Have you ever wondered why some women are symptomatic and others feel no change during hormonal shifts?  There are a variety of factors which play a role in how a woman feels such as; the air we breathe, the water consumed, quality diet, sleep, exercise, emotional and relationship help, these are just starters.

Hormones are chemical messengers that formed by an orchestra of eight glandular members.  They are biochemical directors of the female body.  Hormones commute through the bloodstream via the information highway that connects to the executive suites of the brain to the DNA managers working in the body’s cells.

All of your hormones communicate with the neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and Norepinephrine, which are produced in the brain.  These are just some of the neurotransmitters that affect a person’s mood, energy level, dietary cravings, sleep, and many diseases such as; Parkinson’s, Autism, ADHD, etc.

We know that a woman’s body creates both female and male hormones that are responsible for libido, energy, and overall well-being.

Hormone receptors are just starting to be really understood.  If you think of these receptors as a nightclub that has several different rooms, where there are several trillion cells all busy living and working together.  Inside and outside the membranes of every cell, these receptor sites functions like the elite clubs can only be entered with special passwords.  For a substance to enter the club and provide information to the DNA, these are the cells that require a special password.  It is the hormone that makes contact with a specific target cell so the hormone can gain entrance to the receptor site.

Once inside the cell the hormone delivers the biochemical messengers for processing.  It has the ability to turn on or off bodily functions such as telling the liver to produce more glucose. They can orchestrate a menstrual cycle and measure cellular function throughout the body.

Depending on a woman’s age, health, diet, fitness level and mental status her body will produce different hormones at different times of the day. Typically hormones peak at age 20 and start to fluctuate around age 35.  Around age 40 the body will start to prepare for menopause causing hormones to fall.

Estrogen acts as a growth hormone causing breasts and uterine tissue to grow it also fortifies the collagen layer of the skin, improving elasticity, and helps prevent wrinkles. Estrogen is also important for cognitive function and mood.  Just as various nutrients from our food support specific bodily functions so do the many different hormones that our body produces. Hormones are not constant they fluctuate throughout the day and night.

The most famous hormones are the sexual hormones, testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. It is a good thing that we have these male hormones as well, they are responsible for a healthy sex drive, energy, cognitive thinking, and over all well-being.

Perimenopause is the stage of life that occurs 7-10 years on average before menopause.  The average age of menopause is 52.  Symptoms begin with an increase or the development of PMS type symptoms.  Then usually irregular bleeding starts.  The symptoms can be very broad and can confuse some practitioners which lead to mistreatment this is why women do not always obtain relief of their symptoms.

What are some of the reasons  hormones go out of balance?

If we stay with the same theory that hormones are an orchestra if one hormone becomes out of balance the entire system struggles to maintain balance. Lifestyle, diet, toxic exposure, and medications can directly affect the hormonal system.  Let’s take a look at  some of the functions of hormones in our bodies and symptoms resulting from deficiencies and excesses.

FUNCTIONS OF PROGESTERONE:

  • Balances Estrogen
  • Prevents the lining from building in the uterus
  • Maintains pregnancy
  • Needed for brain and nervous system development in the fetus
  • Stimulates bone growth
  • Helps calm and focus the brain
  • Helps burn fat and energy
  • Natural diuretic

PROGESTERONE DEFICIENCY:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Weight gain
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Headaches, Migraines
  • Anxiety
  • Spotting
  • Irritability
  • Hot Flashes
  • Nervousness
  • Depression
  • Amenorrhea
  • Oligomenorrha

PROGESTERONE EXCESS:

  • Sleepiness
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Candida Infections
  • Mild depression
  • Increased Estrogen deficiency symptoms

TESTOSTERONE DEFICIENCY:

  • Weakness muscle and bone
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Decreased body hair
  • Low or absent libido

TESTOSTERONE EXCESS:

  • Acne
  • Oily skin
  • Loss of head hair (male pattern baldness)
  • Excess facial hair
  • Irritability
  • Deepened voice

DHEA DEFICIENCY:

  • Debilitating fatigue
  • Decreased ability to handle stress
  • Impaired immunity
  • Memory difficulties
  • Difficulty recovering from trauma and stress
  • Lack of stamina
  • Decreased libido
  • Lowered mood

DHEA EXCESS:

  • Irritability, edginess
  • Acne
  • Oily skin
  • Increased facial hair
  • Insomnia
  • High testosterone

Understanding the symptoms of the hormonal woman

Many women who are imbalanced with hormones will have a variety of symptoms including:

  • Hot flashes
  • Irregular bleeding
  • High energy
  • Low energy
  • Creativity changes
  • Mood changes
  • Diminished sex drive
  • Loss of ambition/drive
  • Night Sweats
  • Erratic sleep patterns
  • Headaches
  • Vaginal dryness

ESTROGEN EXCESS:

  • Heavy Bleeding
  • Clotting, Cramping
  • Water retention
  • Bloating
  • Breast Tenderness
  • Weight Gain
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Emotional hypersensitivity
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Thyroid Dysfunction

What is the difference in testing Salvia, Blood and Urine?

There are unique commercial laboratory using extracted saliva testing for estrogens and testosterone.  Extraction removes contaminants that interfere with the assay and concentrates the sample, significantly improving assay sensitivity compared to the “direct” assay methods available commercially.

What are the pitfalls in testing?

Any method of testing has pitfalls there is no perfect method of testing hormones. Each test has drawbacks. Blood is only accurate for hormones that can be tested via free hormones. That would leave thyroid, testosterone and DHEA-S. Otherwise it is not accurate. It measures what is circulating in the blood not what is available on a cellular level. Because the body is meant to restore balance when the blood is deficient it will pull hormones from the cellular levels and place them into the blood stream. This is why blood can be drawn and show normal levels even though a person has so many symptoms and by evaluation they sound like they are imbalanced.

Saliva testing is more accurate if it is done using the appropriate extraction method. Saliva testing can be done either on one day or a series of days. I recommend testing on day 20 of the menstrual cycle if you are still bleeding. If you are not bleeding any day of the month is fine. I usually only order testing one day out of the month, not multiple days of the month

Urine testing uses the same method as blood testing therefore it is not my choice of testing. It is also more expensive then saliva testing.

What hormones does Serenity Health Care Center recommend for testing?

Some of the commonly ordered hormone panels include:

  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone
  • DHEA-S
  • Cortisol

Testing can also be ordered for:

  • Melatonin
  • Serotonin
  • Norepinephrine, and Epinephrine, which can be useful when hormones are not managing the symptoms properly.

Is hormone replacement therapy safe?

Synthetics have been commonly recommended for the past 30 plus years starting back in the late 1930’s. The problem with taking any drug, including a patented prescription hormone, is that it forces a biochemical event that has a price somewhere else. Synthetic hormones push a biochemical event. These biochemical events produced by synthetic hormones block your energy production pathways therefore contributing to depression and fatigue.

Synthetic hormones started with the production of unopposed estrogen from an equine preparation produced by the Home Products division of Wyeth pharmaceuticals. It is made up of 49 different types of equine estrogens. It wasn’t until the 1976 when unopposed estrogen stopped being used because of the result of uterine cancer.

Serenity does not use synthetic hormones we recommend natural or bio-identical hormones. These hormones are made from wild yam and chemically are the same as what your body produces. Using these hormones results in prevention of many side effects, allows for the flexible application of doses, which are individualized for you.
Serenity Health Care Centers  and its practitioners Drs. Muth and Wayne Konetzki, MD have the tools and skills needed to assist you in treating your symptoms and giving you, your life back. Call us today at 262.522.8640 to schedule your consultation