As women move past their childbearing years, the transition from perimenopause to menopause can last up to ten years, which can mean ten years of symptoms—caused by hormone imbalance—that ranges from annoying to debilitating. When the reproductive system stops ovulating and menstrual cycles become less frequent, then eventually disappear, the physical results of this can include everything from weight gain and migraines to insomnia and low sex drive. Mentally, depression and anxiety can stop the most active pre-menopausal women in her tracks, causing her to struggle.
Estrogen is a woman’s most important hormone. Without hormone replacement therapy, the loss of estrogen puts her at increased risk for premature ovarian failure, osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, tooth loss, impaired vision, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes. The longer a woman is without the protection of her own estrogen, the greater the risk for serious health consequences of these conditions.
Estrogen receptors are located throughout a woman’s body and brain. When estrogen levels rise, as they do in the first week of menses for young women, the overall effect is to increase the amount of serotonin available in the spaces between the brain’s nerve cells, this improves mood. Estrogen may in fact act as a natural antidepressant and mood stabilizer. Estrogen deficiency produces a wide array of symptoms such as loss of skin elasticity, bone shrinkage, emotional and cognitive decline. It is therefore essential that a woman diagnosed with premature ovary failure or surgical menopause receive treatment from a hormone specialist who understands the many manifestations of low hormone levels and is skilled in meeting her endocrine and emotional needs.
Optimal testosterone levels are as essential as estrogen in maintaining a woman’s health and vibrancy. Testosterone influences a woman’s mental clarity, libido, and muscle tone and mass. When this hormone is deficient, women often complain of mental confusion, weight gain, night sweats, sleep disturbance and poor muscle growth even with regular exercise. The musculoskeletal system is also adversely affected by loss of testosterone. Low testosterone levels or imbalance can lead to muscle atrophy, osteopenia, osteoporosis and pain in the muscles and joints.
Bio-identical hormone pellet therapy is the only method of testosterone and/or estrogen therapy that gives sustained and consistent hormone levels throughout the day, for 3-4 months, without any “roller coaster” blood levels of testosterone and estrogen, which can result in mood and energy fluctuations for the patient. Some doctors continue to say that women should stop whining and embrace their menopausal woes, but why should they when the remedy is as simple as replacing missing hormones with bio-identical hormone pellets?