Before we delve into the balancing act that is necessary for your sex hormones to function optimally, I would like to announce that as of yesterday, 8/13/14, the Giannotto Clinic You Tube Channel became active. The idea here is to post two videos weekly, on Tuesdays and Thursdays which cover a different aspect of Metabolic Wellness, Hair Restoration and Skin care. The next twenty or so videos will cover the Five Pillars of metabolic wellness and dissect topics such as nutrition, exercise, hormones, stress and toxins. Each video is between 4-6 minutes in length. Please subscribe to the channel or simply watch the videos by doing a Giannotto Clinic search on You Tube. And as always, comments are appreciated.
In order for your body to function optimally, your sex hormones need to be balanced. Physicians use a calculation called the Estrogen; Progesterone ratio to gauge symptoms and adjust doses so that symptoms are minimized and intended effects are maximized. For instance, prolonged use of progesterone without estrogen, as some physicians recommend, can increase weight gain, increase bad cholesterol or LDL, decrease good cholesterol or HDL, cause depression, fatigue and decrease libido. Insulin resistance can increase leading to type 2 diabetes. fat storage is promoted, cortisol is elevated, compounding the last two effects. Excess progesterone use without adequate estrogen to balance also causes carbohydrate cravings and relaxes the smooth muscles of the gut causing bloating, fullness and constipation. Finally, growth hormone can be decreased and the immune system suppressed! Balance is the key. When embarking on a bioidentical hormone regimen, consult a physician who respects this balance. Sex hormones are meant to work together as a symphony. When unbalanced the symptoms described occur and your post-menopausal life becomes a disability! Progesterone is compounded bioidentically as a cream or can be taken by mouth (unlike Estrogen) as a capsule. If you suffer from insomnia, the oral route is preferred and will alleviate this symptom by stimulating GABA receptors in the brain, thereby calming you.
Most people think of Testosterone as a “male” sex hormone. yet small amounts are necessary in women. Testosterone increases sexual interest, increases one’s sense of emotional well being, helps maintain memory, helps the skin from sagging, decreases excess body fat and helps maintain bone mass. it also has an anti-depressant effect. Low testosterone results from menopause, childbirth, chemotherapy, adrenal stress, endometriosis, depression, psychological trauma, birth control pills and statins- yes ladies and gentlemen, STATINS! And if perchance you are one of the many individuals who exhibit any of these causes, low testosterone will cause muscle wasting, weight gain, fatigue, low self esteem, dry thin skin with poor elasticity, thinning and dry hair, droopy eyelids, sagging cheeks, thin lips and anxiety. It becomes obvious that the symptoms of your “aging face” can be due to chronically low testosterone levels! Treatment of low testosterone is replacement therapy either by a transdermal cream or by mouth. The bioidentical form is paramount; synthetic forms such as methyl testosterone are associated with an increase in liver cancer! And ladies, if testosterone is to do its job well, estrogen must also be optimized! Without enough estrogen, Testosterone cannot attach to brain receptors. If given alone, without the aid of estrogen, Testosterone can increase plaque formation in women. You can also raise your testosterone levels by caloric restriction, increasing protein in the diet, taking the amino acids argentine, leucine and glutamine, exercise, sleep, weight loss, stress reduction, and taking zinc.
So now you have an appreciation for the subtle balance involved in the female sex hormones if they are to function optimally and if you are to minimize or eliminate symptoms and chronic disease states post menopausally. If you are a candidate for BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY, place your trust in a physician who understands these subtleties and the delicate balance involved.
Next week, we begin a discussion of the other hormones affecting women’s health such as cortisol and thyroid hormones. Please keep educating yourselves. And remember, tune into the Giannotto Clinic You Tube Channel for the video series on Metabolic Wellness. Great weekend everyone!