Osteoporosis and BHRT

Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mineral density, compromised bone strength, and increased fracture risk. It is one of the most common bone diseases in humans. Currently, the National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that more than 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and an additional 33.6 million have osteopenia. Together, osteoporosis and osteopenia affect the majority of postmenopausal women in the United States, and 1 in 2 white women can expect to experience an osteoporotic fracture at some time in her life.

Estrogen and testosterone therapy is approved for the prevention of osteoporosis. Estrogen therapy’s protective effect against bone loss was one of the findings of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) first reported back in 2002. For postmenopausal women who experience bone loss despite a healthy lifestyle, BHRT might offer a viable alternative to other medications for the prevention of osteoporosis.

Bioidentical hormones are derived from naturally-occurring sources and are designed to replicate the molecular structure of hormones produced naturally in your body. Before starting on BHRT, we will perform a Hormone Panel to determine your individual hormone needs.

When you’re ready to get started, give our office a call at 201-255-2525 to schedule your consultation. May is National Osteoporosis Awareness & Prevention Month. There’s never been a better time to be proactive about your bone health.

BHRT and Depression

Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by a persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing a significant impairment in your daily life.  Biological, lifestyle, and hormonal factors may be linked to depression, and a hormonal imbalance may worsen symptoms.

Our hormones play an important role in how our bodies function.  Physiologic levels are required for optimal health and well-being.  As our hormones decrease with age these levels can drop, leading to a decrease in quality of life.

Estradiol is arguably the most important hormone in a woman’s body.  Not just a sex hormone, estradiol receptor cells exist throughout the body.  It is known to support bone growth, helping to maintain healthy bones and joints.  It’s neuroprotective effects have been shown to improve blood flow in coronary arteries.  In addition, estradiol raises serotonin levels, providing relief from depression and aiding in a more restful sleep.

Testosterone is not just for men.  In women, testosterone supports motivation, boosts energy levels, improves concentration, and elevates mood.

In addition to estradiol and testosterone, we have several other hormones that dictate how we handle stress, including progesterone, thyroid, vitamin D, adrenal hormones, and more.  An imbalance in any or all of these could be exacerbating your depression symptom, making them even worse for you.

If you are struggling with depression, talk to your doctor.  If you think a hormone imbalance may be contributing to your symptoms, give us a call at 201.225.2525 for a consultation.  We may be able to help get you back to feeling like yourself again.

Menopause Related Cognitive Impairment

As women begin menopause, they may begin to experience some cognitive impairment, which may be mis-diagnosed as “mild cognitive impairment,” an early warning sign for dementia.  However, this menopause related cognitive impairment is often treatable with hormone replacement therapy.

Symptoms of menopause related cognitive impairment are very similar to a chemo related brain fog, including trouble with short-term memory, multitasking, coming up with words, and outing cogent thoughts together.  This condition happens to women in their 40s and 50s who are otherwise in the prime of life.  While estrogen begins to decline around 45, women may not become postmenopausal until age 50 or later.  It is important to consider menstrual history and hormone levels when searching for a diagnosis, as this can often be attributed to a thyroid disease or vitamin deficiency.

In a study spanning six years and including 1,903 women in midlife, menopause-related symptoms such as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and hit flashes did not account for a decline in memory, learning, or how the brain processes information.

Menopause-related cognitive issues should not compromise your quality of life.  Be proactive in your treatment and diagnosis.  Give us a call at (201)225-2525 to schedule your consultation.  You deserve to live your best life.

Testosterone Supplements for Women

Hormone Replacement Therapy has a long and sordid history.  In the 1980s and 1990s, the most prescribed medication in the United States was an estrogen-based menopausal treatment called Premarin.  In the early 2000s, a new drug called Prempro was released, a combination of synthetic estrogen and synthetic progestin.  Unfortunately, Prempro was found to cause an increased risk of breast cancer in women taking the drug over extended periods of time.  And thus, the misinformed opinion that hormone replacement therapy is unsafe was born.  However, the study that concluded these results made zero distinction between synthetic and natural forms of hormone treatment.

Researchers at this time were assessing the use of testosterone in menopausal women with sexual disorders.  Testosterone is actually the dominant hormone in women, as all estrogen in women is synthesized from it.

Later, in 2004, Australian researchers studied the effects of adding testosterone pellets to conventional hormone replacement therapy.  Researchers in this study noted remarkably reduced occurrences of breast cancer in women who took testosterone in addition to more conventional hormone replacement therapy, or no replacement therapy at all.  The study concluded that testosterone can suppress breast cell proliferation and the presence of breast cancer.  In addition, testosterone was found to improve the common symptoms of menopause.

In a 10-year United States study, researchers reported similar results.  Testosterone on it’s own, without any other replacement therapy, improved all symptoms of menopause in women and also showed a reduction in expected breast cancer rates.

Over the last 15 years, several studies have shown testosterone replacement can safely and effectively relieve symptoms of menopause and reduce the risk for breast cancer.  Still, testosterone replacement for women continues to be misunderstood.  There are ways for health care providers to use hormone therapy to safely manage menopause and reduce several health risks associated with aging.

If you’d like more information, or think testosterone therapy may be right for you, call our office at 201.225.2525 to schedule a consultation.

Do Men Need Estrogen?

While most people think of testosterone when they think of male hormones, estrogen also plays a major role in men’s health and sexuality.  In men, estrogen is important for sperm health, combating osteoporosis, metabolism, and heart health.  Too little estrogen is just as important as too little testosterone.

According to a 2006 study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, men with low estrogen are at an increased risk for hip fracture, especially if they also have low testosterone.

Conversely, the issue for most adult men is not too little estrogen, but too much.  As men age, testosterone is increasingly converted to estrogen leading to levels above what’s considered healthy.  If estrogen levels are too high, you can be at risk for heart attack or stroke, prostate cancer, or gynecomastia.

Likely causes of high estrogen in aging men include impaired liver function, obesity, alcohol or drug abuse, or zinc deficiency.

If you think you may be experiencing unhealthy estrogen levels, call us today at 201-225-2525 for a consultation.  Let’s get you back to living your best life at every age.

How the Holidays May Impact Your Hormones

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Right?  Does all the hustle and bustle of the season leave you feeling worn out, depressed, and stressed?  If you find yourself battling those holiday blues, the answer may be as simply as balancing your hormones.

During the holidays, we tend to consume more sugar and alcohol than usual, which can quickly disrupt our hormonal balance.  Many women experience an increase in mood swings, hot flashes, depression, and insomnia.

To help your hormones stay balanced this time of year, try to go light on caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, and minimize sugary treats.  Caffeine and alcohol raise cortisol levels, which makes it hard for your body to deal with stress and can cause low progesterone.  All of the added sugar in your cookies affects your insulin hormones, which impacts estrogen and can lead to irritability.

Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy helps replace lost hormones and provide some balance.  It’s a safe and effective way to combat your holiday stress and have make sure this really is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Give us a call at 201-225-2525 to schedule your consultation.  Don’t let the holidays wear you down.  Let us help give you back all of your holiday spirit.

Staying Fit During The Holiday Season

Tis the season for Peppermint Cocoa, Pumpkin Pie, Sugar Cookies, and Indulgence! Holiday parties, colder weather, and shorter days make it incredibly difficult to stay committed to a healthy lifestyle… not to mention your ever-growing to-do list this time of year. Staying fit is harder, but doesn’t have to be impossible. We’ve put together some tips to help keep you on track.

BE CREATIVE Opt for exercises that make activity fun and familiar. Explore a new fitness class or take a walk around the neighborhood and look at decorations. Think outside the box and you’ll come up with ways to spend time with family and prioritize your health.
INDULGE FOR A NIGHT But just one night. Avoid binging on all those yummy leftovers. When the party is over, send doggy bags home with as many guests as you can, and then dump the junk!
DRINK WITH MODERATION Don’t discount the all the calories in that eggnog! It’s easy to forget just how often we drink our daily calories, especially when the wine and juice mixers are so plentiful.
SET A CHALLENGE If running in cold weather isn’t your thing, now might be the perfect time to try something new! Try a new bodyweight exercise, take up yoga… whatever you choose, make it fun and set a daily or weekly goal.
ACT LIKE A KID Even if you’re not usually a fan of cold weather, who doesn’t love a good, old-fashioned snow ball fight? Sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing… there are plenty of ways to be active in the cold and still have fun!

If you’re still finding it hard to stay fit and healthy over the holidays, your hormones may be to blame. Give us a call for your personal consultation. We’ll get you ready to start the new year with a new you!

Staying Active in Cooler Weather

Autumn is upon us, and with that comes Pumpkin Pies, Apple Ciders, Halloween Candy, and Thanksgiving feasts. Staying healthy and active as the weather cools can be a bit more difficult so we’ve gathered some tips to help you stay fit as the days get shorter.
• Walk the Mall. Shopping Malls are a simple (and free!) way to get your steps in and be protected from the elements.
• Join a Health Club. If it’s in the budget, choose one close to home or work so you’re more likely to use it. Try to find a club that has classes or indoor teams like yoga. And if the club has an indoor pool, even better! Swimming is great for building stamina.
• Create a Home Gym. If health clubs aren’t for you, build one! Invest in some practical, easy to use equipment, and toss in some DVDs with instructors to show you some new moves.
• Don’t Forget Your Chores! Vacuuming, shoveling, laundry… they may not be exercises in the traditional sense, but they certainly keep you active and count toward being fit.

Set goals, invest in weather-appropriate gear, and enlist some friends to help keep you accountable! Your body, and your mind, will thank you!

SEPTEMBER IS HEALTHY AGING MONTH

September is a time of year many people think of as a new beginning. It’s the start of a new school year, the time when things tend to settle down after the hustle and bustle of the summer months. Now is the time to rejuvenate and start taking some positive measures with your health. Here are some ideas to help get you started:

1: Don’t Act Your Age! Think about your best year so far, picture yourself at that age, and be it! Positive thinking goes a long way toward positive feeling.
2: Be Positive! Try to see the positive in your conversations and actions every day. Limit complaining, and stop watching all the negative news stories.
3: Drop Your Negative Friends. Surround yourself with people who have a positive outlook. Energetic, happy, positive people will help you be happy, too! Smile! People who smile more often are happier.
4: Walk the Walk. Do you walk slowly because you’ve become lazy? Make an effort to take big strides, walk heel first, and wear comfortable shoes.
5: Stand Up Straight! Look at yourself in the mirror. Hold your stomach in, shoulders back, chin up. Fix your stance and practice every day. You’ll look great and feel better!
6: Check Those Pearly Whites. Teeth are often the first thing people notice. Good oral health is just as important as good physical health. Go to the dentist regularly.
7: Find Your Artist. Take music classes, learn to paint, try woodworking! Creativity keeps our brains young!
8: Check Your Hormones! Aging doesn’t have to mean feeling less than you did when you were younger.

Call us today at 201-225-2525 to schedule your consultation so we can make sure you continue to age healthily.

Beating Hot Flashes in the Summer Heat

July and August tend to be the hottest months of year, and pairing summer heat with hot flashes is a recipe for disaster! Hot flashes are caused by drops and spikes in estrogen levels as we age. We’ve compiled a list of some ways you can try to combat your hot flashes and make it through the summer:

Pay Attention to Triggers. Do you notice more intense flashes after spicy foods? Caffeine? Stress? All of these things can cause our blood vessels to dilate, making hot flashes even worse. Try to track your flashes to see if you can pinpoint problematic behaviors.

Stay Near the Air Conditioning. Well of course! And if you don’t have AC, an oscillating fan works wonders as well.

Dress in Layers. Give yourself the option of peeling off those outer layers when you have to stay cool.

Try Controlled Breathing. Taking slow, deep breaths when a flash starts can help decrease severity. Paced respiration helps slow our heart rate and open up those blood vessels.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals. Sunscreen includes synthetic estrogens such as oxybenzone and avobenzone which penetrates the skin and further disrupts our hormone system. Look for zinc oxide and titanium oxide instead.

Try Acupuncture. Acupuncture increases production of endorphins, which may help stabilixe our body temperature.

Exercise. Exercise has been shows to improve hot flashes in some women, provided you finish up more than 3 hours before bedtime.

Hormone Testing. Of course, give us a call at 201-255-2525 for a consultation to pinpoint your exact imbalance so we can create a customized plan to help get you feeling comfortable and enjoying the rest of the summer!

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