Women typically start experiencing hormonal changes around the age of 35. Left unaddressed, these symptoms may continue to worsen with age. You may be experiencing:
- Menstrual irregularities
- Pain and/or heavy bleeding associated with periods
- Loss of interest in sex
- Vaginal dryness/irritation
- Decreased concentration
- Poor energy levels
- Poor temperature regulation: hot flashes/night sweats/cold intolerance
- Disrupted sleep
- Mood disturbances: depression, anxiety
- Weight gain
At Rhett Women’s Center, we identify and address hormone imbalances by looking at your sex hormones (estradiol, progesterone, testosterone), thyroid hormones, adrenal hormones, and insulin levels.
By identifying and addressing hormone imbalances, you can treat the underlying cause of your symptoms and optimize your hormones. By optimizing your hormones and creating balance in your body, you will experience relief of your symptoms and reduce your risk of many chronic diseases (including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dementia).
Bio - Identical Hormone Optimization
Dr. Neal Rouzier, who has been called the “expert on bio-identical hormone replacement therapy,” has trained thousands of physicians, including all practitioners at RWC. He educates that replacing deficient hormones to levels we had in our youth is beneficial to our health and quality of life. Hormones decline in all women as they age, resulting in symptoms that alter their quality of life and increase their risk of chronic and age-related diseases. Conventional medicine has always believed that aging is inevitable and that the progressive deterioration in our adult years cannot be altered. This is not true.
We have also been led to believe that the diseases of aging are all part of the “normal aging process,” and the only way to slow that process is through lifestyle interventions (nutrition, exercise, sleep, etc.). However, “there is an exciting revolution in science and medicine today that identifies hormone replacement as preventive medicine…. over 50 years of research has shown that maintaining our hormone levels in a youthful state can prevent the debility and illness that accompany the aging process. By optimizing a woman’s sex hormones, she will not only feel better, but she will also be protecting herself. The providers at RWC are committed to replacing and optimizing hormone levels to allow patients to be in the lowest risk categories for the development of chronic disease.
At RWC, we firmly believe in the benefits of improving a woman’s quality of life using bioidentical hormones. Bio-identical hormones are the replica of the hormones produced naturally in the body. They can relieve symptoms and provide women with protection from age-related chronic disease. Also, Bioidentical Hormone therapy is tailored to the individual based on her symptoms, age, past medical history, family history, current medications, and hormone levels. Because there is no “one size fits all” when using Bioidentical Hormones, it can take time (anywhere from 3-6 months) to achieve maximal benefit and optimal hormone levels. All of our providers at RWC are committed to working with each patient to ensure that her symptoms are addressed and her needs are met in the most effective manner possible using Bioidentical Hormones.
It is a common misconception that Bio-identical Hormone Therapy is reserved for post-menopausal women. A tremendous benefit of using Bioidentical Hormones is that the types of medication, doses, and route of administration are highly customizable, thus making Bioidentical Hormone Therapy an excellent option for symptom relief for women of all ages. At RWC, we can administer hormones in the form of pellets as an in-office procedure. We also may prescribe hormones in the form of pills, creams, or a combination of these. We work closely with multiple compounding pharmacies to ensure that each hormone regimen is specifically tailored to each patient.
BHRT vs Conventional Hormones
The traditional method of treating symptoms associated with hormone deficiency includes anti-depressants and synthetic hormones (which might consist of Provera, Premarin, Evista, Activella, and/or oral contraceptives) in the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time. Many providers are almost hesitant to prescribe hormone therapy. Yet, these providers are failing to make a significant distinction between synthetic hormones and Bio-identical Hormones.
Traditional hormone therapy included synthetic hormones with a different molecular structure than natural hormones. Although they have proven to relieve vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness), traditional hormone therapy can’t reduce all the signs that hormone deficiencies can cause. In addition, according to the Women’s Health Initiative published in 2003, Prempro and Provera were found to carry increased risks of breast cancer, heart attack, and stroke. These foreign hormones can be harmful since the molecular structure is not identical to a woman’s natural hormones and is not metabolized by her body in the same manner.
A hormone secreted primarily by the ovaries and the adrenal glands and stored in fat cells from puberty until menopause. It is responsible for multiple functions throughout the body, making the extreme fluctuations in a woman’s estrogen level through her childbearing years and the perimenopausal period (months to years before menopause). It is also responsible for the dramatic decrease in estrogen levels at menopause, the cause of most symptoms and detrimental health effects women suffer from. Estrogen protects against heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and memory disorders. It also protects against vaginal atrophy, urinary incontinence, and UTIs. Adequate estrogen provides adequate temperature regulation (prevents hot flashes and night sweats), mood stability, and increased libido. Optimized estrogen levels have the ability to:
- Increase metabolism
- Improve insulin sensitivity
- Prevent muscular damage
- Regulate body temperature
- Improve sleep
- Maintain elasticity of arteries
- Increase blood flow
- Decrease plaque in arteries
- Maintains collagen in the skin
- It has a positive effect on cholesterol levels
The ovary is a hormone secreted only with receptor sites in the uterus, breast, vagina, blood vessels, and brain. It is responsible for protection against breast cancer, coronary artery disease, and heart disease. Progesterone works synergistically with estrogen to maintain bone density and reduce plaque build-up in the arteries. It also has an excellent effect on PMS symptoms by decreasing headache, bloating, and irritability. Natural Progesterone can relieve anxiety and act as a natural sleep aid. This hormone is vital to women of all ages. Optimized Progesterone levels have the ability to:
- Balance Estrogen
- Improve sleep
- Reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms
- Protect against breast cancer and endometrial cancer
- Relieve minor inflammation
- Protect against bone degeneration
- Lower cholesterol
- Improve libido
It is essential to differentiate natural progesterone from synthetic progestin (Provera, norethindrone, levenogesterol). The medical community uses these two hormones interchangeably, and they are not. Additional molecules have been added to progestin, resulting in negative symptoms (weight gain, migraines, and mood swings) and detrimental effects (increased risk of breast cancer, coronary artery disease, and diabetes). RWC chooses to use only natural progesterone to treat our patients.
A hormone secreted by the ovaries, adrenal glands, and testes. It is vital to the health and well-being of both men and women. Testosterone is responsible for maintaining muscle mass, strength, and endurance. It also supports collagen levels in the skin, improves healing, and enhances libido. Testosterone protects against excess body fat, cardiovascular disease, joint and bone degeneration, and dementia. Testosterone levels decrease with age, leaving a 40-year-old woman with half the amount of testosterone she had when she was 20. Optimizing testosterone levels can have an impact on almost every central body system. Optimized testosterone levels have the ability to:
- Improve strength and endurance
- Decrease body fat
- Improve lean muscle mass
- Increases sexual performance and desire
- Improve healing
- Maintain memory
- Improve skin tone
- Maintain a positive lipid profile
- Increased sense of emotional well-being
- Maintain bone density
DHEA is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. It is a precursor to testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. The presence of DHEA results in a shift to an anabolic or protein-building state. DHEA stimulates the immune system and can decrease the risk of chronic diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. DHEA also plays a vital role in enhancing mood and emotional well-being. Optimized levels of DHEA have the ability to:
- Improve well-being
- Decrease risk of chronic disease (cardiovascular disease and diabetes)
- Improve bone density
- Increase energy
- Restore sexual vitality
- Improve memory
- Decrease visceral fat