Menopause Made Easy
Bioidentical or “Natural” Hormones are used by a third of Menopausal Women in the United States – and Australian Women are following in their thousands.
Menopause can be a dreadful time, both physically and psychologically. But that need not be the case. Bioidentical Hormones (often called “Natural Hormones”) offer a choice to sufferers, and the science behind it is remarkably logical and understandable. “Menopause symptoms” are actually caused by a chronic hormone imbalance. It is not normal, it is highly treatable, and need not be endured.
The Menopause Misconception
The symptoms associated with menopause are so common that many believe them to be normal. Just part of being a woman. This is totally untrue. Menopausal symptoms are not natural, or normal and can be solved. Public education on menopause is sorely lacking. Many women try to just “tough it out”, often after bad experiences with medications. Many never receive treatment at all, instead they suffer silently. Hot flushes, depression, zero energy, night sweats, loss of libido, mood swings, itchy vagina, anxiety, memory loss, “foggy brain”, etc go untreated every day; largely due to inadequate, conflicting or misleading information.
Today, about one third of menopausal women surveyed in the US are using “natural” or “bioidentical” hormones. Australian women who, for one reason or another, do not consider traditional synthetic HRT (“Hormone Replacement Therapy”) a viable option, are now joining their ranks in their thousands.
What Causes Symptoms?
The cause of these symptoms can be explained quite simply:
- Young women are accustomed to high estrogen levels, with an additional strong “surge” each month, which signals your body to try to become pregnant.
- At menopause, your body does not try to make babies anymore. So from a lifetime of high estrogen your levels drop dramatically and become out of balance with your other hormones.
- This can come as a huge shock to your system. In fact, it’s not entirely unlike withdrawal symptoms from a drug, even though your hormones are natural.
Today this shock is greater than ever, because most women are accustomed to higher levels of estrogen that ever before. We consume artificial estrogens, in meats, chemical “xenoestrogens” in foods via pesticides, plastics and preservatives, even in our cosmetics. (Interestingly, certain peoples in Asia and very remote villages, on traditional diets, free of artificial xenoestrogens, never get menopause symptoms).
What is the Cure?
Menopause is not actually an illness, so you do not “cure” it. Not exactly. Treating away the symptoms comes from fixing the main cause of the symptoms – inadequate levels of estrogen.
In menopause, your body still requires estrogen to regulate a number of vital bodily functions. But some 99% of women with “menopausal symptoms” have estrogen levels well below normal.
The solution? Increase your level of estrogens/other hormones, from being too low for those healthy bodily functions, back up to minimal levels to get rid of your symptoms. (This is an oversimplification, but a useful one for a basic understanding).
In menopause, a “normal” amount of estrogen is less than it once was, but it is needed. And once normal levels are achieved, the symptoms abate. Put simply, when your hormone levels are normal again, you feel normal again.
Achieving Normal Hormone Levels
Insufficient hormones can be increased with 100% identical hormones to those created by your own body (hence the term “bioidentical”). Bioidentical “Natural” Hormones come from yams and soy. Around 50% of our DNA is shared with plants, and estrogens from yams are incredibly close to human estrogen. With a tiny “tweak” in a laboratory, they are identical – at the molecular level.
They work identically too. “Technically, the body can’t distinguish bioidentical hormones from the ones your ovaries produce.” (Harvard Women’s Health Watch, August 2006). It’s like getting your own hormones back. You don’t start ovulating again, nor do you get pregnant. But at normal levels, the symptoms subside and you feel yourself again.
The Process Itself
Everyone is different. As a first step, measure which hormones you have in short supply (or not), via a blood test. An expert hormone doctor identifies which hormones need to be increased and prescribes them accordingly. The hormones can be dispensed in skin cream form (absorbed through your skin) or via a number or oral options. Talking the hormones simply becomes part of any daily routine. The results are felt within weeks.
Not all doctors prescribe bioidenticals. “Compounding chemists” create them on site, and know which doctors use bioidentical hormones. Simply ask them and they will happily help you seek an expert in your area. Rest assured, there is a genuinely effective solution. You have a choice. You do not have to suffer.
About the Author: Dr Maura McGill is Australia’s Leading Natural Hormone Expert, founder of The Natural Menopause Centre at Brickworks Medical Clinic on the Gold Coast.
Ph: (07) 5646 5636
This article is not intended as medical advice. It can in no way whatsoever substitute for advice direct from a Medical Doctor.