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About 6,000 women in the United States enter menopause every day. That's over two million a year.
If you're one of these women, you know how much menopause can disrupt your life. From night sweats and poor sleep to hot flashes during the day, you're exhausted and irritable. Who wouldn't be?
And yet many menopausal women are afraid to seek menopause support. A 2002 study suggested that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases your risk of breast cancer and heart disease. That's scary, so a lot of women stopped using HRT.
Since then, though, we've learned so much about hormonal therapy. We know now that hormonal therapy is safe for women at or near menopause. Furthermore, you can choose natural hormonal therapies (such as BHRT) that work in concert with your body. They didn't exist in 2002.
You don't need to suffer through menopause. Let's explore 12 reasons to seek hormonal support during this time. Read on!
Thirteen Reasons to Use Menopause Support
This list has to begin with a discussion of that infamous 2002 study. It had such a large impact on women's lives, and yet researchers now feel its data was flawed.
Then let's move on to a natural form of menopause support. It is called bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), and it's a big improvement over traditional therapy.
Next, you will see how BHRT can relieve those annoying menopause symptoms. Finally, we will show its protective effects against diseases like osteoporosis and dementia.
Any questions? We've got your answers here.
The 2002 Women's Health Initiative Revisited
As mentioned above, the 2002 Women's Health Initiative study had an enormous impact on rates of HRT usage. It seemed to show a direct link between HRT and breast cancer and heart attacks. Because of this finding, rates of HRT use dropped by as much as 80%.
Investigators who were involved in that study now say the results were misleading and distorted purely for publicity. In fact, when HRT is used in women of menopausal age for the relief of symptoms, it has beneficial effects.
Not only can it reduce many annoying menopausal symptoms, but it can also save lives. A 2013 study showed that women who had had a hysterectomy were dying in large numbers because they were afraid to take estrogen therapy. The study suggested that as many as 91,610 women died prematurely because of this fear.
We now know that menopause support can make your menopausal years easier. It's also obvious that hormone therapy saves lives. Let's discuss a natural and better form of therapy before listing the specific ways it can help you!
1. What is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy and How Can It Help You?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) uses hormones that match the ones in your body. They are the same size and shape and have the same general make-up.
For this reason, your body recognizes them better than synthetic hormones. They fit into your cellular receptors the way your own hormones would. Because of this, they work more effectively.
Bioidentical estrogens include:
- 17 beta-estradiol
Bioidentical progesterone is progesterone that has been finely ground up in the laboratory. This makes it easier for the body to absorb.
The infamous 2002 study did not use bioidentical hormones. Instead, the women took traditional synthetic hormones. BHRT has advanced a lot since then. Women can feel safe using hormones that replicate the ones that are actually in their own bodies.
2. Good Night, Sleep Tight
Some of the hardest menopausal symptoms to endure are sleep-related. These are caused by hormonal imbalances, and they make it hard to get a good night's sleep.
Most common is the complaint that you can't fall asleep, and, once you do, you can't stay asleep. Throw in several episodes of night sweats each night, and you have a recipe for nocturnal disaster.
We all know how important quality sleep is to good health. Poor sleep has been linked to a host of diseases, including heart disease and cancer. And on a personal note, no one wants to feel exhausted and irritable all the time.
By balancing your hormones, BHRT can alleviate night sweats and help you sleep through the night again. You will be able to fall asleep more quickly and stay in restorative sleep longer.
3. Unwanted Weight Gain
Many women report sudden weight gain during menopause. It can be very frustrating, especially if you're eating properly and exercising the way you should be.
Your hormones play a small but significant role in the maintenance of a healthy weight. They can affect your metabolism, your appetite, and fat storage.
During menopause, they influence all these things, causing you to gain weight in your abdomen. That is the most dangerous kind of weight gain because it has been connected with heart disease.
Menopause support can help with unwanted weight gain. It helps to control fluctuating hormones so you can achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
4. It's Hot in Here
Hot flashes consist of profuse sweating, especially around the head and neck. They can be very uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing. Yet hot flashes are the most common menopausal symptom. Just about every menopausal woman experiences them.
Studies have shown, though, that BHRT helps control hot flashes. Bioidentical hormones can reduce the total number of hot flashes you experience. They can also make them less severe.
5. Bored in the Bedroom
Hormonal imbalances during menopause can lead to low sex drive. Combined with vaginal dryness, your sex life and relationships may suffer.
Menopause support can alleviate these symptoms. By balancing your hormones, it helps to reduce vaginal dryness. Your sex drive may also return to pre-menopause levels.
6. You Look Beautiful!
One interesting footnote to the 2002 study is that when the women stopped taking HRT, their skin began to age rapidly.
This is not surprising since low estrogen leads to lower collagen levels. Collagen is a significant part of the skin and connective tissues. It gives our skin strength as well as elasticity. As levels decrease, your skin starts to sag, and you look older.
As you go through menopause, you may notice wrinkles accumulating on your face. BHRT can help with this problem. Evidence shows that it:
- improves skin thickness
- assists with hydration and elasticity
- minimizes wrinkles.
7. I'm So Tired: Fatigue and Energy Levels
During menopause, women feel tired. Really tired. There are sleep problems and night sweats, but there's also a sense of declining energy levels.
Low energy may be tied to low levels of progesterone, DHEA, and testosterone. BHRT can help bring them back to normal.
Menopause support will help you regain mental clarity, motivation, and alertness.
8. Osteoporosis and Hip Fractures
Osteoporosis is a major concern for menopausal and post-menopausal women. Hip fractures from falling on weakened bones are one of the major causes of death and disability in older women.
Luckily, many studies have found that estrogen and testosterone can help prevent bone loss. For this reason, BHRT can have a dramatic effect on your quality of life as well as your safety post-menopause.
9. Heart Disease
The 2002 study suggested a strong link between HRT and heart disease. Now doctors are saying menopause support prevents heart disease. How is that possible?
If you already have heart disease, like some women in the 2002 study, HRT or BHRT is not going to cure it. But BHRT can help prevent heart disease in women who do not have it.
Healthy menopausal women taking hormones reap the benefits of this protection, and it's one of the best reasons for menopause support.
10. Gum Health and Possible Tooth Loss
Declining estrogen levels coupled with natural aging can have a negative influence on your gums and other oral tissues. We now know there's a strong link between estrogen therapy and the reduction of gum disease in postmenopausal women.
Gum disease is a serious matter, and, in severe cases, can lead to tooth loss. No one wants that, and it doesn't have to be considered a natural part of the aging process.
11. Protect Your Vision
The hormones connected with menopause can affect your vision in a negative way. Women are more likely than men to suffer vision problems as they age, and this is a direct result of depleted hormones post-menopause.
Conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts are much more common in women than men. Menopause support can help balance your estrogen and help protect you against vision loss later in life.
12. Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease
About 5.7 million Americans currently have Alzheimer's Disease. That number is expected to grow to 14 million by 2050.
A recent study, though, shows that using hormone therapy long-term may decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease. Most of the people who develop Alzheimer's or dementia are women. Researchers speculate that depleting levels of hormones may be responsible for this fact.
Menopause support can help stabilize hormone levels. In this way, it may help you prevent dementia or Alzheimer's.
As you can see, menopause support can have numerous benefits for menopausal and post-menopausal women. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) can help reduce symptoms. These might include night sweats, hot flashes, and abdominal weight gain. There's no reason to suffer from these symptoms when there's a safe treatment to reduce them.
BHRT also has many protective benefits. It can help protect against bone loss, heart disease, gum disease, and dementia. All of these conditions are caused by the depletion of hormones, and they can all be remedied with menopause support.
Our affiliated practitioners can help improve the quality of your life through BHRT. Your hormones will be brought back into balance, and you will feel like yourself again. They will also monitor you for risks during treatment. Feel free to contact us to ask questions or schedule an evaluation!
Published: May 11, 2018
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