Bioidentical BHRT for Menopause and Perimenopause
Many women assume that the hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain they experience as they approach middle age are normal signs of pending menopause that they just have to accept. If that is something you believe, Gretchen Reis, M.D. of BodyLogicMD in Charlotte, North Carolina has good news for you. While it’s true that these are typical menopause symptoms, they are typically related to a general hormone imbalance that can be treated with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy.
Gretchen Reis, M.D. focuses her knowledge and expertise in Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy with extensive training from the Fellowship in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine to treat women suffering from the symptoms of menopause in the Charlotte North Carolina area. As a highly trained bioidentical hormones doctor, Gretchen Reis, M.D. is recognized as a leading expert in her field of expertise and is an active member of the American Academy for Anti-Aging medicine; continually staying at the cutting edge of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy treatments.
Are You Dealing with a Hormone Imbalance?
There are six primary hormones in a woman’s body that work together to support reproductive health, stabilize mood, provide energy, and several other essential functions. These hormones include cortisol, estrogen, pregnenolone, progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid. As you get older, your body naturally begins to slow the production of some of these hormones, while other’s cease to be made at all. The effects of hormone imbalance in women range from feeling mildly uncomfortable to being totally disabled by the symptoms. Most women fall somewhere in between. If you are in your mid 30s to early 50s, you probably recognize several of the following symptoms associated with hormonal imbalance:
- Vaginal dryness
- Painful intercourse
- Lack of energy
- Difficulty losing weight
- All-day fatigue
- Feeling overwhelmed by everyday life
How Bioidentical Hormones Help to Restore Balance
Charlotte Menopause Doctor, Gretchen Reis, M.D. believes that optimal hormone balance is essential for women to achieve long-term good health and feel a deep sense of satisfaction with life. Gretchen Reis, M.D. uses only bioidentical hormones, offering her patients a safe and natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy. The term bioidentical means that the hormones used as part of your Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy replicate what your body produces naturally on its own. Due to the identical cell structure of the replacement hormones, most women experience safe and effective symptom relief without the risk of undesirable side effects.
The Role of Women’s Hormones
Each of the six primary hormones in your body has an essential role in maintaining your overall health and quality of life. These include the following:
- Cortisol: Also called the stress hormone, cortisol creates chemicals in your body that react to stress. Cortisol is manufactured by your adrenal glands, which are located directly on top of your kidneys. When women feel stress from juggling so many different roles, it can cause an imbalance in the level of cortisol. You may experience cortisol imbalance as anxiety, fatigue, depression, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
- Estrogen: In early menopause, symptoms of estrogen deficiency include breast tenderness and hot flashes. As menopause progresses, you are likely to experience sleep disturbances, problems with memory, and low bone density that can put you at risk for osteoporosis. Not having enough natural estrogen also disrupts intimacy with your partner because your libido is lower. You may also not be in the mood for sex due to physical symptoms such as vaginal dryness.
- Pregnenolone: This hormone controls the function of many others, including estrogen and progesterone. During the natural course of aging, you may lose up to 60 percent of the pregnenolone your body needs to sustain energy. It is also responsible for memory and alertness. An unbalanced level of pregnenolone contributes to depression, fatigue, and stress.
- Progesterone: This hormone is necessary to balance estrogen levels and to avoid the many problems associated with estrogen dominance. Common causes of progesterone deficiency include poor nutrition, lack of exercise, chronic stress, and insulin resistance. Symptoms associated with an imbalance of progesterone include insomnia, headaches, weight gain, anxiety, and breast tenderness.
- Testosterone: Testosterone, which is a hormone typically associated with men, is also present in women. Your body produces testosterone in the ovaries and adrenal glands. Testosterone in women is responsible for producing lean muscle mass, maintaining bone strength, providing energy, and contributing to an overall feeling of well-being. Women with low testosterone levels experience less pleasure from sex because their clitoris and nipples are less sensitive to stimulation.
- Thyroid: The thyroid is a tiny gland in your neck that controls all of the functions of your adrenal system. When your body produces too much or too little thyroid hormone, you may experience weight gain, depression, fatigue, cold sensations, hot flashes, and many other unpleasant symptoms.
Hormonal imbalance has a huge impact on your quality of life, whether you have just started perimenopause, have completed menopause, or are a young woman still in her childbearing years. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy offered by Charlotte’s most highly trained Bioidentical Hormones specialist Gretchen Reis, M.D. can help you enjoy life again, not just endure it.