HOW DO HORMONES CHANGE WITH AGE?
Among women, menopause is often the result of age-related hormone changes. Sometime around age 50, women’s bodies begin to produce less estrogen and progesterone, and more follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which plays a role in controlling the menstrual cycle. A lower amount of estrogen contributes to many side effects of menopause, such as hot flashes. Other side effects of menopause include anxiety, changes in sex drive, night sweats, weight gain and sleep problems.
Among men, about 20% of those over age 60 and 30-50% of those over age 80 experience andropause. Although commonly known as “male menopause,” it is not quite the same thing. In this stage, men’s bodies experience a significant decline in testosterone production. This may lead to decreased muscle mass, lower sex drive, depression and cognitive impairment.
SHOULD I CONSIDER BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY?
The side effects of aging are often unpleasant, and some may even be dangerous. Hormone replacement therapy was once the standard treatment, but some large studies found that it also increased the risk of heart disease, stroke, blood clots and breast cancer. These studies, however, were based on a one-size-fits-all treatment using synthetic hormones. Fortunately, there is now another option!
The bioidentical hormone replacement therapy at Tri Valley uses plant-derived hormones that are chemically identical to your body’s natural hormones. Nurse practitioner Donna Bierut, FNP, will evaluate your hormone deficiencies and then develop a plan to return balance to your body, without the dangerous side effects of synthetic hormones. As part of the process, Donna also uses lab testing to identify nutritional deficiencies that can be addressed to help you attain total wellness.