Estrogen has 400 critical functions in the body. Your body has receptor sites for estrogen in the brain, muscles, skin, bone, bladder, gut, ovaries, vagina, breasts, eyes, heart, lungs, and blood vessels. As your estrogen levels decline as you age, you can understand why menopausal symptoms can be debilitating! Symptoms of menopause (low estrogen) can include anxiety, memory loss, depression, weight gain, food cravings, insomnia, decreased lipids, and hot flashes. Women can experience estrogen excess as well, leading to bloating, fatigue, heavy menstrual cycles, weight gain, and breast tenderness. There is a delicate balance that needs to be maintained between estrogen and progesterone. If estrogen is more dominant, there is an increased risk for breast cancer, uterine fibroids, and uterine cancer.
Estrogen has major health benefits which include:
- Prevention and treatment for osteoporosis
- Increased libido
- Improved cholesterol levels
- Protection against Macular Degeneration (a common cause of blindness)
- Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
- Improves skin texture and prevents wrinkles
Progesterone is another critical hormone for our well-being. Symptoms of low progesterone can include anxiety, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), migraines, irregular menstrual cycles, heavy menses, swollen breasts, and bloating. These symptoms can occur years before you actually go through menopause.
Progesterone supplementation can boost your quality of life by:
- Improving insomnia
- Reducing anxiety/mood swings
- Improving libido
- Eliminating migraines
- Preventing osteoporosis
- Reducing inflammation and joint pain
Estrogen and progesterone together work to balance your body’s release of insulin. Estrogen makes your insulin work more efficiently. If you have an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone, you can have an increased risk of diabetes. All of the benefits of optimal estrogen and progesterone listed above are from Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) and not synthetic hormones. Synthetic means NOT the same chemical structure that your body produces. Bioidentical or natural means the exact same chemical structure your body makes. Studies have shown that the use of synthetic hormones can cause:
- 22% increase in heart disease
- 26% increase in the rate of bone fractures
- 41% increase in the risk of stroke
- Double the risk of blood clots
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