*The Doctor
*Health Notes

Menopause and Bio-identical Hormones

by Laura A. Schissell, ND, DC

Menopause is a natural part of a woman's life. It is a time in a woman's life that can be dramatic or quite simple. The symptoms of menopause are caused by hormonal imbalances and changes. They are also related to diet, lifestyle and genetic factors.

Adjusting diet, exercise, sleep patterns, and taking medical grade vitamins and EFA's can be quite beneficial. I also use specialized herbal and homeopathic formulas, and address adrenal and thyroid imbalances to help ease the menopausal transition. In many cases this approach is all that is needed.

Even with this foundation, some women need to add prescription hormones in order to get complete relief. I recommend using bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, although it is important that the combination approach outlined above be used along with the hormones. Bioidentical hormones have been around for years, but most practitioners are unfamiliar with their use. The great appeal of bioidentical hormones is that they are natural, and our bodies can metabolize them as it was designed to, thus minimizing side effects. Synthetic hormones are quite strong and often produce intolerable side effects.

We know from the Women's Health Initiative that synthetic hormones such as Premarin and Prempro may be detrimental. This is where bioidentical hormones come into play. Bioidentical hormones are manufactured to have the same molecular structure as our body's hormones. By contrast, synthetic hormones are intentionally different. Drug companies cannot patent a bioidentical structure, so they invent synthetic hormones that are patentable in order to make a profit.

There are standardized bioidentical hormone formulas to prescribe, or one can do specialized testing and have a compounding pharmacist make up a more individualized formula. There are many ways to test hormones. I use urine, saliva, or blood tests.

I work with women by discussing with them all the information needed in order to make as wise a decision as possible in finding the best way to ease their own menopausal transition.


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Abundant Health Naturopathic Clinic, P.S.
202 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Suite 201, Vancouver, WA 98663 | Phone: (360) 823-0888 | Fax: (360) 823-0889
Email: DrLaura@AbundantHealthClinic.com | Web: http://www.AbundantHealthClinic.com/
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