Female Hormones 101
Hormones regulate the activity of cells, tissues and organs in your body. The balance of hormones produced by your body is essential to good health and well-being.
There are many ways to support the hormone system naturally.
Knowing the function of your hormones can be a first step in pursuing your options for natural hormone balancing.
Goals of Natural Hormone Balancing?
- Alleviate symptoms caused by the natural decrease in hormone production;
- Re-establish optimal hormonal balance; and
- Provide protective benefits that were originally provided by naturally occurring hormones.
Benefits of Maintaining Ideal Hormone Levels?
- Help in the prevention of osteoporosis and restoration of bone strength;
- Protection against heart disease and stroke;
- Reduced hot flashes and reduced vaginal dryness;
- Muscle mass and strength are better maintained;
- Improvement in cholesterol levels;
- Reduced risk of depression;
- Reduced risk of breast and endometrial cancer;
- Increased libido;
- Prevention of senility and Alzheimer’s Disease;
- Improved sleep;
- Better mood, and
- Concentration, and memory become better.
What are the Main Sex Hormones and Their Functions?
The main sex hormones are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone (yes, women we do produce and NEED testosterone!).
The function of estrogen is to make everything grow. It makes the lining of the uterus grow, it makes the breast tissue grow, and it maintains the comfort of female organs. There are three main types of estrogen that a woman produces:
- Estradiol (80% of a woman’s estrogen)
Estradiol is produced directly in the ovaries, estrone is produced from estradiol, and estriol is produced in large amounts during pregnancy. Estradiol is the most potent of the three estrogens.
Other functions of Estrogen:
- Optimal levels prevent the symptoms of menopause;
- Prevents bone destruction and prevents osteoporosis;
- Protects the cardiovascular system reducing blood pressure by relaxing the lining of blood vessels, and preventing plaque build up;
- Reduces incidence of diabetes and protects insulin sensitivity through lower insulin levels;
- Protects nerve cells and brain function thus helping our memory, improving learning abilities and providing a better quality of sleep; and
- Works as an antidepressant by increasing serotonin levels.
Symptoms of Estrogen Deficiency:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats;
- Vaginal dryness;
- Sagging breasts and/or loss of breast fullness;
- Mental fogginess;
- Changes in mood; and
- Decreased sense of sensuality and sexuality.
Progesterone is made in the ovaries after ovulation. This hormone prepares the uterus for a fertilized egg. If there are no eggs to be implanted then the progesterone level drops causing a shedding of the lining of the uterus (menstrual period).
Progesterone keeps the estrogen in check by preventing the overgrowth of endometrium, protects against fibrocystic disease, and offers protections from estrogen-related cancers. Progesterone prevents a woman from being “estrogen-dominant.”
Other functions of Progesterone:
- Serves as a natural antidepressant;
- Restores the normal sleep pattern;
- Play several roles in cardiovascular protection;
- Prevents bone loss;
- Increases the body’s use of fat; and
- Is a natural diuretic.
Symptoms of Progesterone deficiency:
- Hot flashes or night sweats;
- Vaginal dryness;
- Foggy thinking or memory loss;
- Bone loss, aches, or pains;
- Water retention;
- Increased risk of breast or uterine cancer;
- Yeast infections; and
- Hair loss especially on top of the head.
Testosterone (for women)
Yes, in women. Women make testosterone also, about 1/10th about as much as a man. But testosterone is important in women also, so correcting deficiency is important. During a woman’s reproductive years, the ovaries not only make estrogen, but also testosterone.
As women age, or after having children, these levels decrease (even before menopause). Often the deficiency starts in their early thirties. Testosterone is important for sexual function, sexual response, and libido. Estrogen rules the brain, testosterone rules the body. A woman’s body can’t respond appropriately to sexual stimuli without testosterone.
Additionally, testosterone helps maintain lean body mass, or muscle, as opposed to fat. It also has positive effects on those suffering from osteoporosis.
Other Functions of Testosterone:
- Prevents aches, pains and arthritis;
- Protects against cardiovascular disease;
- Protects against Alzheimer and dementia;
- Helps to stabilize blood sugar;
- Reduces breast cancer; and
- Aids in the prevention of headaches/migraines.
Menopause is a normal part of aging. However, you don’t have to live with the consequences of hormone imbalance! You don’t have to accept prescriptions for symptom management: sleeping pills and antidepressants. Instead, look at replacing the hormones that your body is no longer making in optimal amounts. By replacing your hormones, you avoid the common symptoms of menopause such as:
- Accept sagging skin
- Sleepless nights
- Fragile bones
- Hot flashes
- A dry vagina
- Loss of sex drive
- Loss of mental focus and multitasking skills?
Bio-identical hormone therapy (BHRT) is a healthy solution. Bio-identical means the same exact hormones that your body makes (or used to make). It is NOT a synthetic or foreign molecule to the human body. This is an important point because the synthetic hormones do not have all the same healthy benefits as completely natural, bio-identical hormones.
BHRT not only offer potential relief from menopausal symptoms, but it also offers increased quality of life in several areas.
For example, aging skin is often the result of declining estrogen levels. Collagen matrix formation is dependent on health estrogen levels. When estrogen levels decline, the collagen matrix suffers, and the result is seen in the face. The “falling face” or increased naso-labial creases occur with age. Firm and supple skin is replaced with sagging dry skin, flattening of upper lips, loose sagging cheeks, and the infamous “turkey neck.”
Why live with the changes while safe available therapies are available?
Several methods of bio-identical hormone therapy (BHRT) exist. Troches (lozenges), drops, capsules, creams and gels are just some of the common ways to approach this therapy. However, we have found the hormone pellet therapy preferable for many patients.
A great source for the science behind BHRT comes from the work of Jonathan Wright, MD. A book we recommend is: Stay Young & Sexy With Bio‑Identical Hormone Replacement: The Science, by Jonathan Wright, MD.
At Real Health Medical, we have been balancing hormones naturally for almost two decades. We also help our patients diagnose and correct the root cause behind hormone imbalance.
Call us at 678.990.5401 or email at email@example.com to schedule a free phone consult with our New Patient Coordinator. Don’t suffer any longer!
Now is always the perfect time to take action and improve your health!