Is Something Missing from Your Estrogen Therapy?
Estrogen replacement has a well-documented track record when it comes to combatting the symptoms associated with menopause, including:
- Weight gain
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings and depression
- Memory loss
But estrogen alone isn’t the answer. It turns out that estrogen by itself has the potential to do as much harm as it can do good.
To be both effective and safe, bioidentical estrogen therapy should always be paired with bioidentical progesterone.
Why Progesterone is Important
While progesterone rarely gets the attention that estrogen does, it has a vital role to play when it comes to keeping women healthy and feeling good.
Progesterone helps women to feel their best by boosting metabolism, promoting quality sleep, reducing anxiety, increasing energy, and combatting hot flashes.
But perhaps even more important, progesterone provides an important counterbalance to the growth-stimulating effects of estrogen.
What Happens When Progesterone Levels Decline?
Diminished estrogen production isn’t the only change associated with menopause. In fact, progesterone levels typically drop off sooner, when women are in perimenopause.
Symptoms of progesterone deficiency include:
- Mood swings and anxiety
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Weight gain
A deficiency in progesterone relative to estrogen can also make women more susceptible to breast cancer (which is why the incidence of breast cancer among women increases during perimenopause).
Why Progesterone is Important in Hormone Replacement Therapy
For years, the medical community focused only on estrogen replacement to alleviate menopause symptoms.
In more recent years, the importance of including progesterone in hormone replacement regimens has finally been recognized.
When estrogen isn’t balanced with adequate amounts of progesterone, it leads to a condition called “estrogen dominance”. It’s estrogen dominance that causes many of the symptoms experienced during perimenopause. Estrogen dominance also explains why women who are given estrogen replacement without progesterone will often find that their symptoms get worse, rather than better.
Estrogen dominance also increases breast cancer risk. Think of progesterone like the police where estrogen’s growth-stimulating characteristics are concerned. One of progesterone’s most important jobs is tell estrogen when it’s time to switch off, so cell growth doesn’t go unchecked. When these two hormones are paired together, women can enjoy the benefits estrogen, without its risks.
Bioidentical Progesterone Only
Bioidentical progesterone is often confused with the synthetic version of progesterone (known as progestin). However, progestin should never be included in hormone replacement regimens.
Unlike bioidentical progesterone, progestin is not identical to progesterone produced by the human body. This small difference in molecular structure has serious negative consequences for how it works in the body. These negative consequences include:
- Higher risk of breast cancer
- Increased cholesterol and plaque accumulation
- Narrowing of coronary arteries
- Weight gain and fluid retention
- Insulin resistance
At Renew Youth, we know that effective and safe hormone therapy for women goes beyond estrogen, and it should always include bioidentical progesterone. Want to learn more? Call us today at 800-859-7511 or use our convenient contact form to schedule your free consultation.