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    Estrogen Replacement Therapy & Grapefruit Juice

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy & Grapefruit Juice

    An estimated 21% of American households purchase grapefruit juice, with many more eating the fruit whole. While grapefruits do have their positive effects, it’s important to understand that it may cause a drug-food interaction with estrogen replacement therapy. If you’re taking hormones for menopause symptoms, then it may be best to stay away from this citrus. The FDA requires a warning label about grapefruit and estrogen reactions on all estrogen medications, as it may cause serious side effects.

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy - HerKare

    You may need to be careful about what you eat with estrogen replacement therapy. Grapefruits can cause serious food-drug interactions.

    Does Grapefruit Affect Estrogen Replacement Therapy?

    You might be thinking to yourself, “how much harm can a grapefruit cause?” When it comes to estrogen replacement therapy, it can actually be quite a lot. Grapefruit juice interacts with many different medications, including estrogen hormone imbalance treatment. Grapefruits and grapefruit juice affects how your body absorbs certain medications. In many cases, this may increase the amount of medication that goes into your bloodstream. It may also make medications stay in the body longer. Therefore, mixing grapefruits and estrogens may lead to serious health consequences from extra high estrogen levels.

    How Does Estrogen Replacement Therapy Work?

    There are three types of estrogens: estriol, estrone, and estradiol. Estradiol is the more potent form of the hormone, and the National Institute of Health deems it the most form of estrogen in a woman’s body. The goal of estrogen replacement therapy is to bring low estradiol levels back into healthy ranges. This can help with hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, and many of the other symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. Bioidentical estradiol is an FDA-approved medication for helping relieve menopause symptoms, and this is the hormone replacement treatment we use to help treat low estrogen levels. 

    Estrogens, as well as other types of hormones, are the messengers of the body. They can change how cells in your body function. However, they can only change certain target cells. Target cells have receptors to a particular hormone that allows it to change the cell’s function. Whether naturally produced or as part of your estrogen replacement therapy regimen, estrogens work by binding to estrogen receptors in cells in your body. 

    How Does Grapefruit Affect Estrogen Levels?

    So, how exactly does a grapefruit interact with medications like estradiol? Grapefruits contain organic compounds that affect many different enzymes. One of these enzymes is the CYP3A4 enzyme, primarily found in your liver and digestive tract. Estrogens, whether naturally produced or as part of your hormone imbalance treatment, are metabolized by this enzyme in your liver. By inhibiting these enzymes, grapefruit reduces how much estrogen you can metabolize. This leads to more of the hormone going into your blood.

    The effects of grapefruits on your estrogen-metabolizing enzymes can last up to a few days. Over time, with frequent grapefruit consumption while taking estrogen medications, patients may even see estrogen levels increase by up to 30%. In addition, progesterone is also metabolized by the CYP3A4 enzyme. There are currently no studies that show the effects of grapefruit on progesterone. However, some researchers warn against consuming grapefruits with progesterone due to the potentially similar effects. 

    Can I Consume Any Amount of Grapefruit with Estrogen Replacement Therapy?

    A common question we hear is, “what if I just limit how much grapefruit I eat?” Others wonder if it’s okay to drink grapefruit juice so long as it’s not on days when they receive their hormone injection. Unfortunately, even small amounts of grapefruit can affect your estrogen levels. In fact, most of the studies done on grapefruit-drug interactions were based on just one glass of grapefruit juice per day. Even one glass can affect medications for as long as 72 hours. Another study saw that estrogen levels increased significantly after eating just ½ a grapefruit per day. 

    Therefore, it’s best to avoid grapefruit, grapefruit juice, and other foods with grapefruit in them to be safe when taking estrogen replacement therapy. While this may seem easy, there are some foods and beverages that you wouldn’t expect to have grapefruit ingredients in them. For example, many citrus flavored soft drinks contain some form of grapefruit, so it’s important to check the labels. 

    What are the Potential Effects of Mixing Grapefruit and Estrogens?

    You might be wondering just how bad the effects are of grapefruit and estrogen interactions. By causing more estrogen to enter your bloodstream rather than being metabolized, this can cause serious side effects. High levels of estrogen due to grapefruit consumption during estrogen replacement therapy may cause both short and long-term effects. 

    Short-Term Side Effects

    In the short-term, after eating a grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice, you may notice some side effects. Grapefruit juice may increase your risk for experiencing side effects from your hormone imbalance treatment. For example, you might notice menstrual pain, breast tenderness, nausea, headaches, or spotting. Some other effects you may notice is increased bloating, tiredness, or even weight gain. These could be due to the extra estrogen in your blood due to grapefruit’s effects on how your body metabolizes hormones. 

    Long-Term Effects of High Estrogen Levels

    There are some other potential effects of mixing grapefruit with estrogen replacement therapy. Long-term effects may have serious consequences for your health. For example, long-term exposure to high estrogen levels is associated with an increased risk for breast cancer. Since grapefruits may lead to high estrogen levels, this is a potential effect. However, it’s important to note that researchers are still studying this potential effect. 

    Also, while grapefruit juice bottles often bear the American Heart Association’s heart healthy checkmark, mixing it with estrogen has the potential to affect your cardiovascular risks. Grapefruit can increase the amount of estrogen in your body, and high estrogen levels in your body can increase your risk for certain conditions. Some heart problems associated with high estrogen include an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and blood clots. Therefore, it’s important to follow the FDA’s warning against ingesting grapefruit and grapefruit products while taking estrogen replacement therapy. 

    At HerKare, we provide quality, compassionate health care for women. Our medical professionals take the time to listen to how you’re feeling and the symptoms you’re experiencing. Then, we work to find underlying causes of your symptoms and find personalized treatment solutions for you. Schedule an appointment today to talk to one of our providers so we can help you start feeling better. 

    Hormone Replacement Treatment & Menopausal Migraines

    Hormone Replacement Treatment & Menopausal Migraines

    Of the 28 million Americans who suffer from migraine headaches, women make up 70% of those patients. Also, about 40% of women will experience a migraine at least once by the time they reach menopause. What’s worse, more than half of women with migraines notice their migraines change during menopause, most of them reporting that they happen more often and feel more intense. In some cases, this may be due to fluctuations in estrogen levels, which hormone replacement treatment may be able to help.

    Hormone Replacement Treatment - HerKare

    Migraines may get worse during the transition into menopause and after, but hormone replacement treatment may help.

    First, it’s important to understand the difference between a headache and a migraine. A headache is pain or pressure in your head. Headaches usually affect both sides of your head. A migraine generally has more severe head pains and also has other symptoms. Some symptoms of a migraine include:

    • Sensitivity to light, sound, or smells
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Dizziness
    • Numbness or tingling in one side of the face
    • Distorted vision
    • Mood changes
    • Neck stiffness

    In addition, some people experience migraine with an aura. This usually includes visual disturbances like seeing bright flashes, shimmering spots, blind spots, or zig zagging lines. 

    Is Hormone Replacement Treatment Safe for Women with Migraines?

    You may be wondering if hormone replacement treatment is safe to take if you have migraines. It’s a common misconception that you can’t use bioidentical hormones if you have migraines. Some women shouldn’t take combined estrogen and progesterone oral contraceptives if they have migraines with aura. Experiencing migraines with aura slightly increases your risk for strokes, and taking certain types of birth control pills can make this stroke even worse. This is usually the source for the misconception that hormones are unsafe for women with migraines.

    Actually, studies show that women’s hormone care is safe for women who experience migraines. One study looked at 85,000 U.S. women and found no evidence of an increased risk of heart attack or stroke for women with a history of migraines. Additionally, some women notice that hormone replacement treatment actually helps their migraines, especially if they get worse leading up to the transition into menopause.

    Why Are My Migraines Worse During Menopause?

    Many women notice that their migraines get worse during and after menopause. This is especially true of the 70% of women who have migraines associated with their menstrual cycle. Migraine headaches may have several triggers, including hormone changes and other issues that tend to occur and get worse during menopause. 

    Hormone Replacement Treatment May Help with Hormone Fluctuations

    Women may experience migraines due to hormone fluctuations. For example, during the beginning of their period or during and after menopause when hormone levels fluctuate and decline. Hormone injections may help reduce menopausal migraines by helping keep your hormones in balance. 

    Why would hormones have such an effect on migraines? While the exact cause of migraines is still debated, many researchers believe that they are caused by changes in brain chemical levels, possible serotonin levels. They believe that these changes can cause the blood vessels in your brain to swell and push up against nerves that cause the migraine. Estrogen may play a role in this because it is thought to help increase serotonin levels and serotonin receptors in your brain. However, as we age, estrogen in our bodies start to fluctuate and gradually decline, which can cause the more commonly known menopause symptoms like hot flashes and mood changes. Hormone replacement treatment may help with these symptoms and may also help prevent fluctuations that may cause migraines. 

    Other Migraine Triggers During Menopause

    In addition, there are many other things that may happen during menopause that can trigger migraine headaches. For example, many women notice that their migraines are associated with hot flashes and night sweats during perimenopause. Women’s hormone care may help reduce the frequency of your hot flashes which, in turn, may also help reduce how many migraines you experience. 

    Also, some other common triggers of migraines during menopause include lack of sleep and stress. Many women experience more of these issues because of physical, emotional, and social changes during menopause. Night sweats may make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. You may feel more stressed because of mood changes and other menopause symptoms. In some cases, relieving these symptoms can also help with migraines. 

    Can Hormone Replacement Treatment Help My Migraines?

    A recent study linked migraines during menopause to hormone fluctuations. The women in the study who experienced worsening migraines also experienced greater changes in hormones, namely, a more significant drop in estrogen. Rapid or large changes in hormone levels may lead to migraine headaches. The goal of hormone replacement treatment is to help boost hormone levels up to healthy ranges and also help reduce fluctuations. Therefore, some women do notice that their migraines improve after starting on hormone medications for menopause. Additionally, hormone replacement treatment may help reduce night sweats and other symptoms that may be triggering your migraines. While hormone replacement treatment is not a treatment for migraines, women who begin therapy for hot flashes and other menopause symptoms may also experience migraine relief. 

    Women’s hormone care is different for everyone, so not everyone will notice this effect. It’s important to talk to one of our providers about your symptoms to find personalized treatment plans for both menopause symptoms and migraines. For example, other underlying conditions can cause migraines during menopause, such as vitamin D deficiency. Our team is here to help you find solutions for your symptoms.

    At HerKare, our goal is to provide you with the quality, compassionate care you deserve. As an advanced women’s health clinic, we offer treatment solutions for women at every stage of life. Whether you need general women’s wellness care or testosterone replacement therapy for menopause symptoms, we are here to help you feel better. Our physicians take the time to listen and understand to help create treatment plans tailored to you. We also provide advanced treatment monitoring to help you optimize your treatment and help you reduce your risk for serious preventable diseases. Book an appointment today for a health assessment to discuss your symptoms and overall wellness. 

    Could Low Estrogen Put Your Heart At Risk?

    Could Low Estrogen Put Your Heart At Risk?

    Approximately 290,000 women die each year in the U.S. from cardiovascular disease. This makes cardiovascular disease the leading killer of women. What most don’t realize is that low estrogen could play a role in your risk for cardiovascular diseases. Women have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease during and after menopause, which may be due to declining estrogen levels in the body.

    Low Estrogen - HerKare

    Low estrogen could put extra stress on your heart. Take care of your heart health during menopause.

    Low Estrogen and Cardiovascular Risks

    Estrogen plays many important roles in the body. Low estrogen during menopause can lead to symptoms that many of us know about. For example, hot flashes, mood changes, and vaginal dryness. However, declining estrogen levels can also cause other effects on your health. Some of these don’t even have symptoms like high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

    Low estrogen levels may lead to cholesterol changes

    Estrogen can help regulate cholesterol levels, which is an important part of heart health. Cholesterol is a type of fat found in your blood. There are good and bad types of cholesterol. However, when people say “high cholesterol,” most of them mean high bad cholesterol, which can affect your risk for cardiovascular disease. LDL cholesterol, commonly known as bad cholesterol, can start to collect and form deposits in your blood vessels, which affects how well your heart can pump blood and may increase the risk for blockages and overworking your heart. HDL cholesterol, a.k.a. good cholesterol, actually helps reduce bad cholesterol levels and makes it harder for LDL cholesterol to form deposits in your blood vessels.

    Estrogen acts on the liver to help reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol in your blood. Therefore, low estrogen levels can lead to high cholesterol. This can put additional stress on your heart and increase your risk for heart attack and death from heart disease. Cholesterol level screenings are important at any age, but especially after menopause when you likely have low estrogen levels. Estrogen replacement therapy may help reduce LDL cholesterol levels and help increase HDL levels for postmenopausal women. 

    Low estrogen affects the blood vessels

    Also, low estrogen can increase your inflammatory response to cholesterol deposits in your blood vessels. This inflammation can constrict blood flow even further and increase the risk for blockages and undue stress on your heart. Low estrogen levels may also cause your heart and blood vessels to become stiffer and less elastic. This can increase your blood pressure, which can damage your blood vessels and increase your risk for stroke, heart disease, and heart failure. 

    Menopausal heart palpitations

    Another common symptom that women experience during menopause due to low estrogen levels are heart palpitations. Lower estrogen levels can overstimulate the heart and cause arrhythmias. For most menopausal women, this is an increase in heart rate. These palpitations can be a sign of atrial fibrillation (AFib), which is irregular and rapid heartbeat due to the upper chambers of your heart beating out of rhythm with the lower chambers. AFib can increase your risk for heart complications like strokes, heart failure, and blood clots. 

    Estrogen levels may lead to other health effects that increase your risk for cardiovascular disease

    Low estrogen can also work more insidiously to affect your heart health. Hormone changes can increase your risk for conditions that also increase your risk for cardiovascular risk. For example, low estrogen levels have been linked to increased insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a risk factor for developing diabetes. Diabetes is another risk factor for heart disease and stroke. 

    Additionally, estrogen affects how your body distributes fat. Declining estrogen often leads to weight gain and increased visceral fat during menopause. This affects your health in many ways, one of which is putting extra stress on your heart. Therefore, estrogen also has other, more indirect impacts on your heart health. However, estrogen replacement therapy may help reduce these risks and help relieve menopause symptoms. 

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy May Help Reduce Cardiovascular Risk

    Many researchers believe that estrogen plays a cardioprotective role in our bodies, which is why premenopausal women have less risk of developing cardiovascular disease compared to men. Some studies suggest that starting estrogen replacement therapy may help reduce your cardiovascular risks. For example, one study followed women who started estrogen replacement therapy in their 50s after having a hysterectomy. That study showed that they had a reduced risk for cardiovascular death. Researchers looked at data from 10,000 women and found that the group who used estrogen replacement therapy after their hysterectomy had 12 fewer heart attacks and 13 fewer deaths over approximately 11 years. 

    Another study showed that women’s hormone care may also help reduce levels of atherosclerosis, which is plaque buildup in heart arteries. This plaque buildup increases the risk for heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions. However, the group of women who used hormone therapy reduced their risk for plaque in their arteries. For example, the hormone therapy group was 20% more likely to have a coronary calcium score of zero, which is the lowest possible score for the test that indicates atherosclerosis. Additionally, women using hormones were 36% less likely to have a score higher than 399, which indicates plaque buildup in the arteries and also a high risk for heart attacks. Therefore, estrogen replacement therapy may help reduce cardiovascular risks during menopause.

    Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore 

    There are many symptoms of heart issues that women with low estrogen shouldn’t ignore. If you notice these signs, it’s important to schedule a checkup to help with early detection: 

    • Heart palpitations: Heart palpitations could be a sign of atrial fibrillation. 
    • Shortness of breath: Unexplained shortness of breath could be a sign of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and AFib. 
    • Pressure in the chest: Fullness, squeezing, or even a dull pressure in your chest could be a sign of heart disease or even heart attack. If chest pressure doesn’t go away or if it goes away and comes back, it’s vital to talk to your physician. 
    • Headaches: While headaches could be caused by many different things, they can also be a symptom of high blood pressure. 
    • Achy jaw: If your jaw aches this could be a symptom of health issues and can even be a sign of a heart attack for women. 
    • Lightheadedness: Lightheadedness can be a symptom of many things, like heart failure, diabetes, and heart arrhythmias. 
    • Swelling in your feet: If your feet start swelling, this could be a sign of congestive heart failure.
    • Difficulty breathing when lying flat: Once again, this could be a sign of other conditions, but it can also be a symptom of pulmonary edema, or fluid buildup in your lungs, which is often caused by heart failure. 

    At HerKare, we provide advanced, compassionate healthcare for women. Our goal is to help you improve your quality of life. Whether you’re suffering from low energy levels, hot flashes, or just need a plan for overall wellness, our providers are here for you. To celebrate National Cholesterol Education month, schedule an appointment to learn more about your cholesterol levels, heart health, and learn strategies to help improve your health.  

    Hormone Replacement Treatment May Reduce Bloating

    Hormone Replacement Treatment May Reduce Bloating

    Hormone replacement treatment can help with many symptoms of menopause. For example, many women seek hormone care for hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. However, another common issue you may experience during menopause is bloating. Women who experienced bloating symptoms during PMS in their pre-menopausal years are more likely to notice these symptoms during perimenopause and after. Some characteristics of bloating include uncomfortable pressure or tightness in your abdominal area and changes in abdominal size or shape. Bloating is generally due to either gas retention or water retention. Either of these can occur due to hormone imbalances. While occasional bloating is normal for people of all ages, chronic bloating can negatively impact your quality of life. Therefore, if you notice frequent bloating, make an appointment to talk to one of our physicians about your symptoms.

    Hormone Replacement Treatment – HerKare

    Hormone replacement treatment may help with bloating during and after menopause.

    Why Am I Bloating During Menopause?

    Bloating is different from weight gain, though many people mistake the two. The way to tell the difference is bloating often causes sudden changes or fluctuations. For example, you may notice differences throughout the day or after meals. Weight gain generally doesn’t cause such quick changes and usually requires diet and exercise to change. There are many things that can cause bloating. For instance, many people bloat from eating or drinking too quickly, chewing gum, or taking certain medications. Additionally, bloating is common for those with gastrointestinal disorders and food intolerances.

    However, hormone changes can also cause bloating. This is especially true during perimenopause when your hormone levels begin to fluctuate and often become imbalanced. However, even after menopause, low hormone levels can lead to bloating. Fortunately, hormone imbalance treatment can help keep your hormone levels in healthy ranges and may assist with symptoms like bloating and hot flashes.

    High Estrogen, Low Progesterone

    During perimenopause, a common hormone imbalance to see is estrogen dominance. This is where your body produces more estrogen and less progesterone. Estrogen can encourage water retention, which may lead to chronic bloating. Bloating caused by water retention may be different than bloating caused by gas retention. Generally, gas retention causes bloating only in the abdominal area, while water retention can cause bloating throughout the body. A common sign of water retention bloating is your hands or feet feeling “puffy.”

    High estrogen and low progesterone levels can lead to water retention and bloating. Estrogen often acts as a fluid retaining hormone, while progesterone is a natural diuretic. Therefore, when these hormones are thrown off balance, you may notice bloating. This is commonly the cause of perimenopausal bloating. There are many strategies for handling bloating due to water retention, including hormone replacement treatment when the cause is hormone fluctuations.

    Low Estrogen

    However, even low estrogen can cause bloating. After menopause most women will have lower levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Estrogen doesn’t just play a role in water retention; it also aids in bile production. This means that low estrogen may lead to a reduction in bile, which may lead to symptoms that cause menopausal bloating. Bile is made in the liver and helps digestion in several ways. Notably, bile helps break down fats in food and turn them into fatty acids. Bile also helps lubricate the small intestine to help soften stool and promote bowel movements. Declines in bile production due to low estrogen levels can lead to constipation and other gastrointestinal symptoms that may cause bloating. However, hormone replacement treatment can help bring estrogen levels up to healthy levels to help with menopause symptoms.

    Hormone Replacement Treatment May Help Menopausal Bloating

    If you’re bloating during menopause, hormone therapy may be able to help relieve your symptoms. While menopausal bloating is often confused with other conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, a common cause is simply hormone changes that naturally occur during perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. If you have bloating due to these hormone changes, hormone replacement treatment may help reduce bloating.

    The aim of hormone replacement treatment is to help bring hormone levels up to healthy ranges and to help create hormonal balance. Our provider may recommend hormone imbalance treatment if your hormone levels are low or if you have too much of a hormone. Often, this may cause other symptoms in addition to bloating, such as:

    • Mood changes
    • Hot flashes
    • Night sweats
    • Vaginal dryness
    • Insomnia
    • Anxiety
    • Low libido

    If you and your doctor decide to start hormone replacement treatment, our team offers hormone injections for fast, convenient, and advanced hormone care. Injections can help you absorb the hormones better and allow more dosage control so we can adjust your dosage to suit your needs and body.

    Hormone therapy from our team also means regular monitoring to help us fine-tune your dosage. This also helps us keep track of how you’re responding to treatment and evaluate your overall health. Hormone care from our team means routine checks of your hormone levels to help personalize your treatment plan.

    Lifestyle Changes Combined with Hormone Replacement Treatment

    However, because we take a broad approach to healthcare, we may recommend combining hormone replacement treatment and lifestyle changes as part of your custom treatment plan. Depending on your specific circumstances, there are several changes you may be able to make to help reduce bloating. We understand that there are many factors that can influence bloating, which is why we often recommend making some healthy changes when you’re experiencing symptoms. Some of the changes we may suggest include:

    • Drinking plenty of water
    • Exercising regularly
    • Reducing sodium intake
    • Eating smaller meals
    • Avoiding foods that cause gas retention, like:
      • Beans
      • Broccoli
      • Fatty foods
    • Reducing stress

    Therefore, if you’ve been experiencing chronic bloating, it’s important to talk to a physician about your symptoms to help you start feeling better.

    At HerKare, we provide advanced, compassionate women’s healthcare. Whether you’re experiencing uncomfortable menopause symptoms or need a general wellness checkup, our team is here to listen and provide a warm, friendly environment where you feel comfortable to discuss all your health concerns. Our goal is to help you feel your best and help you remain healthy. Therefore, we work with you to find solutions tailored to your needs and your lifestyle. Book an appointment today and let’s talk about your health and wellbeing. We are here for you.

    What are Bioidentical Hormones?

    What are Bioidentical Hormones?

    With so much marketing out there, it can be difficult to understand the different hormone options out there. Bioidentical hormones are identical to the hormones your body naturally produces. They come from natural sources like plants. Bioidenticals can help reduce symptoms of menopause and hormone imbalances by helping bring your hormone levels into healthy ranges. There are also many different bioidentical options to choose from for treating your symptoms. For example, our provider may prescribe bioidentical estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone to help you feel better. In any case, if you’re interested in bioidentical hormone therapy, it’s important to learn more about bioidenticals.

    Bioidentical Hormones – HerKare

    Bioidentical hormones can help reduce symptoms of menopause and hormone imbalances.

    What’s the Difference Between “Natural” Hormones and Bioidentical Hormones?

    You’ve likely heard of so-called “natural” hormones for relieving symptoms of hormone imbalance. However, it’s important to distinguish between these products and bioidentical hormones. Bioidentical hormones are natural, as they come from plant sources. However, bioidenticals take this a step further by being molecularly identical to human hormones. They’re altered to match the hormones that the human body produces.

    By contrast, “natural” marketing campaigns can apply to almost any hormone, as most come from natural sources. For example, yam-based creams are natural. In addition, a commonly prescribed form of estrogen is actually made from horse urine. However, this is also considered natural. The difference is that these options aren’t bioidentical to the hormones your body produces.

    Unfortunately, many of the hormones marketed as natural hormone imbalance treatment may not be effective. In some cases, your body can’t convert or use the hormones in these natural (but not bioidentical) options. This means that they likely won’t be effective at soothing or reducing your symptoms. Also, perhaps more concerning, is that some can cause side effects that may be even worse than the symptoms they claim to relieve.

    Instead, bioidentical hormones are the same molecular shape, make up, and structure as hormones made in the human body. Essentially, your cells recognize these hormones because they look and act exactly like the hormones your body produces. Synthetic and natural versions that aren’t bioidentical may only resemble what your cells are familiar with. This may make them less effective than bioidentical options.

    Why Bioidentical Hormones for Menopause?

    So, why choose bioidenticals for hormone imbalance treatment during menopause? As we age, we begin to produce less and less estrogen and progesterone. These declining hormone levels cause your periods to stop. This can also lead to a whole host of life-altering symptoms, like hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. Hormone therapy is one of the most effective ways to reduce symptoms, like hot flashes and night sweats, that may affect your quality of life by making it difficult to sleep and concentrate or lead to mood changes or uncomfortable intercourse.

    Bioidentical hormones can help bring your estrogen and progesterone levels into healthy ranges, which may reduce or relieve symptoms of menopause. Since bioidenticals are generally well-tolerated and may help with symptoms, they are a common treatment for menopause.

    If you have menopause symptoms but still have your uterus, then you will likely use combination hormone imbalance treatment. This means both estrogen and progesterone. This is because estrogen alone can cause the lining of your uterus to thicken, which may increase your risk for endometrial cancer. Progesterone can help control this and keep the uterine lining thin. However, if you don’t have a uterus, then you may only need estrogen hormone therapy for your symptoms.

    While there are pros and cons to taking bioidentical hormones or hormone therapy of any kind, most doctors agree that the benefits outweigh the risks for women taking hormones who are under 60 years old and within ten years of menopause. However, taking bioidentical hormones is an individual choice, so our provider will discuss options and recommendations based on your specific circumstances and health status.

    Is Bioidentical Hormone Imbalance Treatment FDA-Approved?

    A common misconception is that bioidentical hormones aren’t FDA-approved. It may surprise you to learn that many of the hormones doctors prescribe today are bioidentical. Bioidentical hormones are hormones derived from plants and altered in a lab to be identical to human hormones. They come in both pharmacological forms and compounded forms. While one form is FDA-approved, the other is not. This comes down to how they’re formulated into a treatment, as well as consistency and control standards during mixing.

    Pharmacological Bioidentical Hormones

    Pharmacological bioidentical hormones have a mass quantity manufacturing process with quality and safety regulations. This means that pharmacological bioidenticals offer quality and consistency for each dose. Because of the strict quality and safety standards involved with the process, the FDA has approved several bioidentical hormones. These include forms of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. With pharmacological bioidentical hormones, you know exactly which hormones you’re taking and how much. This may not be so with compounded hormone mixtures.

    Compounding

    What many think of when they hear the term “bioidentical hormones” is hormone compounding. These are hormone treatments that a compounding pharmacy mixes, often with various amounts of different types of hormones. While compounded mixtures use bioidentical hormones that are FDA-approved on their own, the final product is not. This is because the FDA cannot regulate the quality and safety of each individual mixture and the amount of each hormone can change with each batch.

    At HerKare, our team listens and understands your health concerns. If you’re experiencing symptoms of menopause or hormone imbalance, we are here to help find underlying causes and help you feel better with personalized treatment plans. We also work with you to monitor your progress on your treatment plan and make adjustments to help you feel better. Our team is with you every step of the way to help find solutions to your health concerns and questions. Our goal is to help you improve your wellness and quality of life. Reach out today to schedule an appointment and discuss your health concerns with one of our compassionate women’s health care providers.