At Living Wellness Medical Center, we specialize in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. In this blog post, we are answering some questions we often receive from patients concerning menopause symptoms and bioidentical hormones.
Question #1: Is difficulty losing weight a menopause symptom?
Dr. Brouwer: Very commonly, yes, it really is. At menopause, our ovaries stop producing hormones for us in the quantities that they used to. So, if a woman’s estrogen level was 150 before menopause, it can drop as low as 5. With that dramatic reduction in hormones, it impacts not only ovarian hormones, but it drags down our thyroid hormone, which really sets our metabolic burn rate and how easily we lose weight. And when all these hormones go out of whack and shift around, that weight gain is a really common result.
Dr. Turner: I heard a fascinating statistic which is a woman, having her period, burns almost 300 calories a day just having a cycle. So to complicate the issue is when she gets to menopause and she stops ovulating. She’s now got these extra calories that are not getting burned
Question #2: What do you think of bioidentical hormones
Dr. Brouwer: That is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart because I’ve done extensive education, since medical school, learning about hormones and bioidentical hormone replacement. It’s a very complex subject, and a lot of doctors don’t take the time to really study all the literature that’s out there to know about bioidentical hormone replacements, so there’s still a lot of myths and fallacies that are spread around about lack of safety using bioidentical hormones.
But did you know that women who use hormone replacement therapy actually have a lower risk of breast cancer than women who don’t? We preserve a function of our breast tissue and keep it working right, and it is less likely to grow those cancerous cells.
It’s very safe. I personally think, as a naturopathic doctor, our bodies are designed to work with hormones, and they don’t function well once those hormones are gone. So, replacing them is actually the best preventive medicine that I know of.
Question #3: Do you go over all of the different hormones and routes of administration with your patients?
Dr. Brouwer: I definitely do. We spend a lot of time at the initial visits talking about hormones and what they do. Then, once we’re going to start
Question #4: At what age should a woman start getting bioidentical hormones?
Dr. Brouwer: At the age that she starts becoming deficient, so there’s no set time. Early menopause is actually before age 40. So, really any time from 40 on, your hormones are really going to be shifting and changing and heading towards that menopausal drop-off. I have some women that are even younger, in their 30s or 20s, if they’re using hormonal birth control, that’s throwing their hormones off so dramatically that I want to start some kind of replacement or balancing program, even then. But as far as strictly menopausal bioidentical hormone replacement, I would say start checking around age 40 or any time your periods start to go off and they begin to change. That’s an indication that it’s around the corner.
Are you curious about what some of your symptoms are and what our approach to might be to solving those symptoms for you? Click here to schedule a free 10-minute consultation with one of our naturopathic doctors and let’s talk about it.