by Phoebee Johnson | Sep 20, 2022 | Menopause, Wellness
As you go through menopause, there are many things to discuss with our women’s health care providers. You might be dealing with symptoms like hot flashes as well as changes to your body and health. One change that may have major impacts on your overall health is that your gut’s microbiome, also known as your gut flora, may change as you enter menopause. In this article, we’ll discuss why this is important to understand for your health as well as some ways our team may recommend maintaining your gut health after menopause.
Talk to Our Women’s Health Care Providers About Keeping Your Gut Healthy
Talk to our women’s health care providers about what you can to do keep your gut healthy after menopause.
Menopause comes with many changes, including different ways to manage your health going forward. Therefore, it helps to work closely with our women’s health care team to understand how to stay healthy. One thing to talk to our providers about is your gut health.
The gut microbiome is a major part of your overall health. Your body is made up of trillions of good microorganisms, many of them helping your body with various processes. For instance, they help break down your food, assist with manufacturing certain vitamins (like vitamin K and some types of vitamin B), and even help maintain a healthy vaginal flora. Having a healthy gut is important for many different aspects of your health.
Our team can look at your health as a whole and provide recommendations based on your specific circumstances. Our providers are a great resource for staying healthy before and after menopause. A few key things to know about your gut health is that menopause can change it and those changes can cause negative impacts on your health. However, there are ways to help improve your gut’s microbiome with guidance from our providers.
Menopause May Reduce Diversity for Your Gut Flora
Menopause causes many changes in your body, including changes to your gut. Several studies have found differences in women’s gut microbiome before and after menopause. Researchers believe this may be due to changes in your sex hormones, like estrogen and progesterone. Many good microorganisms in your gut’s microbiome help metabolize estrogen and progesterone, so as those decline, those bacteria and other microorganisms might also, leading to less diversity and potential imbalances in your gut.
One recent study from this year looked at a large group of people to understand what kinds of changes happen to the gut microbiome during menopause. They looked at the microbiome of premenopausal women, post-menopausal women, as well as men to understand the changes. What they found is that post-menopausal women had significantly less diversity in their gut flora than premenopausal women. Instead, their microbiome more closely resembled men’s.
In this study, they also found that these changes in gut flora also were associated with several health issues, specifically cardiometabolic risks. Cardiometabolic risks can include things like high cholesterol, weight gain, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure, all of which can cause serious health conditions. Therefore, it’s important to discuss menopause, your gut’s microbiome, and your general health with our women’s health care team.
Why is a Healthy Gut Important for Women’s Health Care?
When you think of the gut microbiome, you might immediately associate it with digestive health. This is certainly an important part of your overall health, and the gut microbiome does play a role in digestion and your gastrointestinal tract. However, many people don’t know about the other effects of your gut’s microbiome that can impact your health. Here are just some of the reasons it’s important to work with our women’s health clinic to learn how to keep your gut’s flora in check:
Gut Changes Associated with Menopause are Associated with Higher Cardiometabolic Risks
As we mentioned in an earlier section, an unhealthy gut can increase the risk for cardiovascular and metabolic conditions. For instance, changes in your gut microbiome during menopause may increase your risk for things like:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
As you can see, maintaining a healthy gut during menopause may be critical for your health.
Diversity in the Gut Microbiome May Help Keep Your Hormones in Check
While you may not realize it, there’s a pretty strong relationship between your hormones and your gut’s microbiome. Hormones like estrogen and progesterone can affect your gut’s diversity, but your gut’s microbiome can also help regulate and metabolize your hormones. The estrobolome is a part of your gut’s flora that can help maintain hormonal balance, particularly for estrogen in your body. Declining and fluctuating estrogen is often the cause of menopause symptoms like vaginal dryness and mood changes, so keeping it in balance may reduce your risk for these symptoms.
Your Gut Flora May Affect Your Weight
Another reason to work with our women’s health care team to keep your gut microbiome healthy is because it can affect your weight. An unhealthy gut is associated with obesity and can make managing your weight more difficult. Some studies have even found that a healthy, diverse gut microbiome can assist with weight loss, which many women in menopause struggle with. The bacteria and other microorganisms in your gut help you digest food, absorb nutrients, and store energy properly. If your gut flora is out of balance, it may increase your risk for weight gain as well as difficulty losing weight.
Keeping Your Gut Healthy May Help Keep Your Brain Healthy
Additionally, having a well-balanced gut microbiome may even help your brain. A lot of neurotransmitters are actually controlled and produced by the bacteria in your gut. Serotonin is a major one, which is also known as the “happy chemical.” About 95% of your body’s serotonin is produced in the gut by the bacteria that live there. Therefore, working with our women’s health care providers to keep your gut healthy may also have a positive effect on your brain and mood.
Ask Our Women’s Health Care Team How to Promote a Healthy Gut During Menopause
There are many strategies for keeping your gut healthy after menopause. Our women’s health care providers can help you develop a strategy based on your specific concerns and your health history. Here are some things we may recommend for maintaining a balanced, healthy gut microbiome:
Eat a Diet High in Probiotics
What you eat can have a big impact on your gut’s health. There are several foods that are high in the good bacteria and microorganisms you need to keep your gut flora healthy. For instance, some common foods that contain probiotics include:
- Fermented veggies
Prebiotics may also be important for your diet to maintain a balanced gut microbiome. Prebiotics are what feed the good microorganisms in your gut. Some prebiotic foods include foods that are high in fiber, such as:
It also helps to eat a diverse diet with a variety of different foods and limit artificial sweeteners to promote gut health.
Consider Probiotic Supplements
In some cases, you might need a probiotic supplement during menopause to keep your gut healthy. These are supplements that contain some of the microorganisms necessary for keeping your gut microbiome diverse and well balanced. If you can’t get all your probiotics from your diet, then our women’s health care professionals may recommend a supplement to help.
Estrogen May Help You Maintain Some Gut Diversity After Menopause
Estrogen replacement therapy is a common option for menopause treatment because it helps relieve many symptoms of menopause. Evidence suggests that it may also help you maintain a healthy gut microbiome after menopause. While menopause causes changes to the gut microbiome, studies have shown that estrogen therapy after menopause can correct some of these changes to your gut flora.
Get Quality Women’s Health Care from HerKare
Our team at HerKare is here to help you stay healthy at every stage of your life. We offer personalized women’s health care solutions to help you take care of yourself and feel your best. We take time to listen and understand you so we can help you feel better. Make an appointment now with our team to experience the HerKare difference.
by Phoebee Johnson | Sep 6, 2022 | Hormone Replacement Therapy, Menopause, Sleep, Wellness
Sleep is an essential part of being healthy and feeling like your best self. Yet, many of us struggle to get enough sleep at night. If you feel like you’re sleeping even worse after menopause, you might be right. Hormone changes can negatively affect sleep in many ways. However, estrogen replacement therapy may improve sleep quality for menopausal women. In this article, we’ll explore some of the evidence and why it’s important to address your sleep problems with our team of healthcare providers.
Studies Show Estrogen Replacement Therapy May Improve Your Sleep
Estrogen replacement therapy may improve your menopause-related sleep problems.
We have long known that sleep problems can increase after menopause. Women are already predisposed to insomnia compared to men, but after menopause, risks increase. For instance, sleep complaints shoot up from 12% in premenopausal women to approximately 40% for women of menopausal age, according to the Sleep Foundation.
Many women experience insomnia during menopause. Frequent daytime fatigue is also another common symptom. In addition, menopause can increase your risk for many sleep disorders, including sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome (RLS). Many women also experience poor REM sleep.
A lot of these issues may be due to hormone changes during menopause, particularly low estrogen and progesterone. Therefore, many scientists have looked at the effects of estrogen replacement therapy on sleep and whether it can help menopausal women sleep better.
Much of the evidence suggests that hormone replacement therapy can improve sleep. For instance, one 2017 study published in the North American Menopause Society’s journal, Menopause, found that low dose hormones during menopause improved sleep quality for women who recently entered menopause.
We’ll look at some other studies later in this article that suggest that estrogen may improve sleep after menopause as well. However, these results are promising that estrogen replacement therapy may be able to reduce many sleep symptoms associated with menopause.
How Low Estrogen & Progesterone Affect Sleep for Menopausal Women
Why might estrogen replacement therapy be so beneficial for sleep quality after menopause? To understand this, it’s important to know how menopause affects sleep, especially through two hormones: estrogen and progesterone.
Estrogen and progesterone are key hormones that control menstruation and pregnancy. During menopause, these hormones start to fluctuate and decline until you stop having a period. This causes many symptoms, including things like hot flashes, mood changes, and vaginal dryness. Hormone levels during menopause can also interfere with your sleep.
Hormones May Affect Your Circadian Rhythm & REM Sleep
Researchers are still studying how and why low estrogen and progesterone may interfere with good quality sleep. However, it may be due to changes in your circadian rhythm and REM sleep. These are both essential for good quality sleep.
Circadian rhythm is like your body’s internal clock. It tells you when you should sleep and when you should be awake in a 24-hour period. Many things can influence your circadian rhythm, including light. Your hormones may also affect your circadian rhythm, such as how estrogen and progesterone control menstruation.
Some studies have even found that estrogen can affect REM sleep. REM stands for rapid eye movement and is one of the deeper stages of sleep. REM sleep stimulates areas of the brain necessary for dreaming, memory retention, emotional processing, and learning. One study from 2013 found that estrogen may play an important role in REM and non-REM sleep in rats.
Therefore, estrogen and progesterone themselves may influence the processes in your body responsible for quality sleep.
Menopause Symptoms May Disrupt Sleep
In addition, many menopause symptoms can also interfere with sleep, further compounding the problem. Menopause can come with many distressing symptoms, including:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Frequent urination
All these symptoms can also disrupt sleep. Hot flashes and night sweats can make it hard to get comfortable enough to fall asleep. Anxiety may have your mind racing, or even cause fast breathing and heart rate that make it feel impossible to sleep. Depression often causes insomnia. Frequent urination can cause you to get up multiple times at night to use the bathroom, fragmenting your sleep and often making it hard to fall back asleep.
As you can see, many of the symptoms can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep during menopause.
Why is Sleep Quality Important?
You’ve been told sleep is important for your health, but it’s important to understand exactly why. Sleep helps repair your body and mind so it can function properly. Sleep quality is basically whether you’re getting enough restful sleep.
Poor sleep quality can cause many short- and long-term effects. In the short-term, it can cause mood changes like:
- Memory problems
- Difficulty staying alert
- Higher risk for accidents
- Poor quality of life
If you’ve ever had a bad night’s sleep, then you likely already know just how bad it can affect you and your entire day.
The long-term effects of poor sleep quality on your health. Some of these include an increased risk for:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
In addition to these increased health risks, poor sleep can also seriously affect your appearance. Poor sleep can reduce the amount of collagen in your skin, which can lead to premature wrinkles. Poor sleep quality can also lead to permanent dark circles under the eyes. Both wrinkles and dark circles under the eye can make you look older and cause many people to feel self-conscious.
Therefore, it’s important for adults to get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Also, if you frequently wake up feeling unrested, find yourself unable to sleep, or wake up frequently throughout the night, talk to our providers. We can help determine causes of your sleep problems and provide treatments to help you sleep better for your health and overall well-being.
How Estrogen Replacement Therapy Can Help Improve Sleep
If you’re having a hard time getting good quality sleep during menopause, it may be time to talk to our hormone doctor for help. Many studies have found that hormone therapy during menopause can improve many sleep symptoms you might be experiencing.
Estrogen Replacement Therapy May Increase Sleep Quality
As we’ve mentioned, many studies have looked at the effects of hormone therapy on sleep quality with positive results. In addition to the 2017 study where low dose estrogen replacement therapy helped improve sleep, there are many other studies that seem to confirm this.
For instance, one 2019 study also found that hormone therapy can help with sleep quality. In the study, the women received combination hormone therapy, which includes both estrogen and progesterone. Compared to the placebo group, the women using hormones saw a significant increase in self-reported sleep quality. The results were immediate and long-lasting, with the women seeing sleep improvements in just one month.
Estrogen Replacement Therapy Can Alleviate Menopause Symptoms
If it’s your menopause symptoms keeping you up at night, estrogen replacement therapy can help with that, too. Estrogen is one of the most effective treatments today for hot flashes and night sweats, which often lead to poor sleep. Hormone therapy can also help with many of the other symptoms that interfere not only with sleep, but your everyday life.
Research from 2008 found that hormone therapy during menopause has many positive effects on sleep, menopause symptoms, and even joint pain. In the study, the women who used hormone therapy were less likely to experience sleeplessness, hot flashes, night sweats, and joint pain, all of which can negatively impact sleep quality.
Therefore, estrogen replacement therapy might be the right choice for you if you’re sleeping poorly during menopause.
Find Solutions for Your Sleep at HerKare
Our team at HerKare is here to help you improve your overall health. If you’re going through menopause and dealing with unwanted symptoms like insomnia, poor sleep quality, hot flushes, and mood changes, get in touch with our healthcare team. We identify and treat underlying causes of your symptoms to help you feel your best. Whether you need estrogen replacement therapy for menopause sleep issues or need CPAP therapy for sleep apnea, we are here to help you get a good night’s sleep. Make an appointment now at one of our convenient clinic locations to learn how we can help you start feeling better.
by Phoebee Johnson | Aug 26, 2022 | Aesthetics, Wellness
Rosacea is a common skin condition that causes redness, which leads to confidence issues for many people. If you’re constantly looking for the coverup to hide redness and other symptoms of rosacea, it’s important to know that there are treatment solutions to help you. Aesthetic treatments like laser therapy may help alleviate many of the symptoms of rosacea. In this article, we’ll discuss how our Cynosure laser treatments may be able to help you if you have rosacea.
Aesthetic Treatments for Rosacea
Laser aesthetic treatments can help with several symptoms of rosacea.
We offer many different types of aesthetic treatments to help with different concerns. One common skin condition that many people seek help for through aesthetic treatments is rosacea. With the right treatments, you may be able to reduce or even eliminate signs of rosacea on the face, neck, chest, and back for a smoother, more even complexion.
What is Rosacea?
Before we discuss how laser treatments might help people with rosacea, first let’s talk about what rosacea is. Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition that millions of Americans have. It can cause many symptoms, with the most commonly known being redness and flushing in the skin.
Some other symptoms of rosacea include:
- Thickening skin
- Acne-like bumps
- Patches of dry skin
- Enlarged pores
- Swollen nose
- Eye problems, including:
- Swollen eyelids
The cause of rosacea is unknown. However, there may be many different factors at play, including genetics, an overactive immune system, and environmental factors. Women are more at risk for rosacea, especially for women over 30. Other risks include a family history of rosacea, a history of acne, having fair skin that sunburns easily, as well as smoking.
While there is no cure for rosacea, there are many treatments available, including laser aesthetic treatments, which can help reduce the appearance of rosacea.
How Laser Aesthetic Treatments Help with Rosacea
If you’re suffering from rosacea, our Cynosure laser treatments may be able to help. Cynosure laser treatments use powerful heat and light energy to target many skin concerns, including some of the major symptoms of rosacea.
Laser aesthetic treatments from our professionals are a non-invasive option for reducing the appearance of redness, visible blood vessels, and thickening skin, which can detract from your appearance.
Laser Treatments Target Visible Blood Vessels
Rosacea frequently causes large, visible blood vessels in the skin, particularly on the face, due to inflammation. Blood vessels in the skin can become dilated for people with rosacea, making them visible through the surface of the skin.
Laser treatments for rosacea can help reduce the appearance of these blood vessels. Modern laser technology allows us to target and eradicate these skin imperfections. The energy from the laser penetrates deep into the skin, turning into heat as it reaches the visible blood vessels. The heat damages the blood vessel to help your body’s natural healing process get rid of the blood vessels. This effectively destroys them so they can’t reappear.
Many studies have shown the effectiveness of lasers for rosacea and visible blood vessels. Studies show that laser treatments can reduce the appearance of visible blood vessels by 50% to 75%. Some people even see a 100% elimination of visible blood vessels. Therefore, laser treatments may be a good option if you’re concerned about the look of blood vessels on your skin due to rosacea.
Laser Aesthetic Treatments Can Help with Thickening Skin
Another common symptom of rosacea is thickening skin. Usually this occurs gradually, starting with small bumps on the skin, eventually causing patches of skin to look swollen and even bulbous. One of the most common areas for skin thickening from rosacea is the nose, but it can happen in other areas like the cheeks and forehead.
Laser aesthetic treatments can also help reduce skin thickening from rosacea to improve the appearance of the skin. Using advanced laser technology, our aesthetic professionals can provide laser resurfacing on the skin, which is a controlled process of removing the top layers of the skin to promote a better complexion through normal healing and collagen stimulation.
After laser skin resurfacing for rosacea, you may notice that your skin looks smoother and softer. Laser treatments for thickened skin from rosacea typically work best when caught early, as the laser gently removes upper layers of skin for rejuvenation.
What to Know About Cynosure Laser Treatments for Rosacea
Cynosure is a type of laser aesthetic treatment that may work well for rosacea symptoms. This laser treatment option uses a pulsed dye laser, which means that the light is pulsed at a wavelength specifically optimized for your treatment with a dye to create pure yellow light that is effective at targeting imperfections in the skin that cause redness and other symptoms.
If you have rosacea, you might be considering Cynosure laser treatments. However, there are some important things to know before getting treatment. Talk to our providers to see if laser aesthetic treatments are a good choice for your individual circumstances. However, here is some general information about laser treatments for rosacea:
Not Everyone is a Good Candidate for Rosacea Laser Aesthetic Treatments
Laser aesthetic treatments have been proven to be an effective, non-invasive option for treating redness, visible blood vessels, and skin thickening. However, like any other treatment, it’s not the right choice for everyone.
Therefore, it’s essential to work with our professionals to determine if you’re a good candidate for the procedure. Much of this involves discussing your symptoms and other information with our providers. For instance, medical history and current medications.
One major concern is that medications commonly prescribed to help with rosacea may increase the risk for complications from laser treatments. For example, many patients with rosacea take isotretinoin (commonly known as Accutane) to reduce the size of the sebaceous glands in the skin. This can also make the skin more fragile and sensitive. Therefore, you may not be a good candidate for laser aesthetic treatments if isotretinoin is a part of your rosacea treatment plan.
You May Need More than One Treatment
While many people see results after just one treatment, typically you will need between three and six treatments with Cynosure laser for best results. Our providers can help you determine how many treatments you will need to achieve the results you want for your rosacea symptoms.
Generally, you will need to wait several weeks between treatments to allow the skin to fully heal. Once again, this is personalized to you and your situation, but usually you will wait three to four weeks before getting another treatment.
It’s Important to Follow Other Aspects of Your Treatment Program
Typically, rosacea treatment involves many different parts, such as medication, skin care routines, and laser aesthetic treatments. It’s important to follow all of the different parts of your treatment plan for best results. Stopping other parts of your treatment plan may even negatively affect your results from Cynosure laser treatments and may make your symptoms reappear.
It’s also essential to follow any aftercare instructions for laser treatments. Our women’s health care providers will give you instructions on how to take care of your skin after laser treatments, which might include staying out of the sun as you heal. However, usually you can return to your normal activities right after treatment.
Laser Aesthetic Treatments May Last for Years
Another benefit of choosing laser treatments for your rosacea is that results can last as long as three to five years. Therefore, you may only need maintenance treatments every few years to help with new dilated blood vessels, redness, and skin thickening.
HerKare – Complete Women’s Health Care
Our team at HerKare understands that total wellness means feeling and looking your best. We offer a variety of aesthetic treatments to help you address cosmetic concerns and also reduce symptoms of skin conditions like rosacea. If you’re struggling with redness, uneven skin tone, fine lines, wrinkles, or other issues, work with our professionals to see how we can help you get the results you desire. Make an appointment today!
by Phoebee Johnson | Aug 19, 2022 | Gynecology, Menopause, Wellness
Receiving ongoing women’s health care services is an important part of staying healthy at any age. Many women see the same gynecologist from their teen years throughout their adult life. However, you may find yourself looking for a new provider if your current gynecologist retires or moves away.
It’s essential to have a women’s health care team at your side to help you stay healthy for you and your loved ones.
Finding a new gynecologist can feel pretty daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we’ll go over some of the factors to consider when looking for a new health care team as well as the many benefits of choosing HerKare as your trusted women’s health clinic.
Your Gynecologist is Important for Women’s Health Care Throughout Your Life
Your gynecologist is an important part of your health care team. When you think of a gynecologist, you probably think of gynecological care like pelvic exams and Pap tests. However, they often provide so much more.
Gynecologists often look at your overall health and can help with many diagnostic and preventative needs. They frequently help you understand what types of tests and screenings you need at each phase of life, discuss your risk factors for common conditions, and also provide ongoing care for any symptoms or conditions you have.
Therefore, it’s important to make sure you always have somewhere to turn for your health care needs. This can help you address and manage your health throughout your life.
How to Find a New Women’s Health Care Provider if Your Gynecologist Retires or Moves
If your gynecologist is retiring or moving, you might find yourself at a loss for where to turn for your women’s health care needs. In many cases, your current gynecologist may be the only one you have seen throughout your life.
When searching for a new gynecologist, it’s important to consider many different factors. This can help you choose the right person for your needs. Here are some tips we have for finding your new women’s health care provider:
Look for Great Reviews
One of the first things to check is how other people feel about your potential new providers. Checking out their reviews, both online and word-of-mouth, can help you get an idea of how they care for their patients.
Good reviews are typically a good sign that the women’s health care providers offer quality care and a good bedside manner. So, ask your friends and family members who they see and make sure to check reviews from other sources so you can get a sense of what to expect. Looking at other women’s experiences can also help you narrow down who to choose as your new providers.
Choose a Team that Makes You Comfortable
With any health care provider, it’s essential to choose people who help you feel comfortable. After all, your women’s health care team is who you will discuss many important aspects of your health with, including gynecological symptoms, menopause symptoms, and any conditions that you have.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking about your health or if you feel uneasy during exams, then it will be harder to get the care you need to stay healthy. Therefore, you want to choose providers that help you feel safe and able to talk about any part of your health.
Consider Your Current and Future Women’s Health Care Needs
One common mistake many women make when choosing a new women’s health care provider is selecting someone based only on their current health care needs. However, it helps to choose a team that can help you at every stage of life.
For instance, in your premenopausal years, you might need to discuss and manage birth control options. However, also consider that eventually you will need care for menopause through things like hormone therapy. Therefore, when choosing a new gynecological care provider, don’t forget to consider if they will be able to help you with menopausal care.
Why Choose HerKare Women’s Health Clinic As Your New Providers
There are many reasons women of all ages are choosing our women’s health clinic for their go-to source for health care. If your gynecologist retires or moves, consider our team for a continuum of care throughout your life. Here are some of the advantages of working with HerKare to address your health now and in the future:
Our Women’s Health Care Providers Offer Experienced Care for All Stages of Life, Including Menopause
Gynecological care is important at every stage of life, from puberty onward. Yet, your health care needs do change over time. One way we help women stay healthy is by providing customized health care that fits your needs at every phase of life.
Our team can help with everything from birth control management and breast exams to menopause treatment to help you at any age. This means you don’t need to worry about switching to different providers every time your health care needs change. We take care of you at any age.
Many Gynecologists Don’t Receive Training for Menopause Care – Choose Providers Who Understand
It’s important to note that our team providers menopause care because so many healthcare providers lack training on menopause. Some studies have even found that one in four of the women who seek help for their menopause symptoms don’t receive proper treatment. This may be due to the fact that many education programs for health care providers don’t include much training on menopause.
As a result, many providers don’t feel comfortable with the topic of menopause, aren’t familiar with the symptoms, and aren’t up to date on the treatment options available. Since menopause can come with many debilitating symptoms as well as increases for serious, life-threatening health conditions like heart disease and osteoporosis, it’s crucial to choose providers who do have experience with menopause care. When you choose HerKare as your treatment provider, you can rest easy knowing we offer complete care for your perimenopausal, menopausal, and postmenopausal years.
We Address Your Health as a Whole
Gynecological care is important, but it’s not the only thing you need to worry about. That’s why we offer comprehensive health solutions for women. We take a holistic approach to health care, meaning we look for underlying conditions that may be causing your symptoms.
Our team offers treatment services for a wide range of health concerns, including sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Therefore, when you choose our women’s health clinic for your health care needs, we take care of your total health and well-being.
Never Worry About Being Left Without a Provider with Our Women’s Health Clinic
When an individual gynecologist retires or moves, their patients are often left in the lurch searching for a new provider. However, our patients continue to receive top quality health care solutions at every step of the way. If one of our providers moves or retires, then you get peace of mind that there will be someone else to seamlessly step in and continue to provide you with the care you need.
Get Women’s Health Care at Multiple Locations
We’ve talked a lot about gynecologists moving, but what happens if you need to relocate? The good news is that we have multiple locations to serve you with caring, quality women’s health care. You can find us in locations throughout Texas to continue to receive great care from our team.
Get Compassionate, Quality Women’s Health Care from HerKare
For your single source for women’s health care, choose our team at HerKare. We are a women’s health clinic dedicated to empowering women to take control of their health. Our providers make sure you feel heard and help you through personalized treatment plans. Take care of yourself today, contact us now to make an appointment at one of our convenient clinic locations.
by Phoebee Johnson | Aug 5, 2022 | Hormone Replacement Therapy, Menopause, Wellness
Hormone replacement therapy is commonly prescribed to help with menopause symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and mood changes. However, it may also have other positive effects on your overall health and quality of life.
Hormone replacement therapy may help protect you against many serious health issues.
In fact, there’s a lot of evidence out there that suggests it may help protect you from many serious health conditions, including top causes of death among women in the U.S. This begs the question, could hormone replacement therapy (HRT) actually save your life?
Of course, it’s important to weigh the risks and benefits of HRT for you personally with one of our providers. However, a lot of studies do show positive effects of taking hormones around the time of menopause. In this article, we’ll explore some of the research behind hormone therapy’s potentially life-saving outcomes for menopausal women.
Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause Lowers Risk of Death for All Causes
Several studies have looked at the association between hormone therapy and all-cause mortality, which is death by any cause. One 2018 study analyzed results from the Women’s Health Initiative, which was a large menopausal hormone therapy trial conducted in the U.S.
The researchers in the 2018 study looked for risks for all-cause mortality in an 18 year follow up of the women in the study. The researchers looked at one group who used hormone replacement therapy and another that didn’t.
In the study, the researchers found that menopausal HRT was not associated with a higher risk for mortality of any cause, including cardiovascular- or cancer-related death. In addition, the data showed that women taking hormones had fewer deaths from COPD and dementia.
One important distinguishing factor was that most of the women in the study used hormone replacement therapy for a relatively short amount of time and started taking hormones close to the time of menopause. The women the researchers studied took combination hormone therapy (estrogen plus progesterone) for about five years, while the estrogen-only group took hormones for about seven years.
Current evidence shows that, for most women, the benefits of hormone replacement therapy outweigh the risks as long as they begin therapy within 10 years of menopause and younger than age 60.
Hormone Therapy Can Help Reduce Risks For Top Causes of Death in Women
Additionally, hormone replacement therapy can help reduce many risks from health conditions, including some of the top causes of death for American women.
According to the CDC, the top killers of women include:
- Heart disease
- Chronic respiratory diseases
- Flu & pneumonia
- Kidney Disease
Hormone replacement therapy may reduce risks of development and complication for many of these common causes of death in women. Let’s look at some of the evidence:
Estrogen Replacement Therapy May Reduce the Risk for Heart Disease – The #1 Killer of Women
Currently, heart disease is the number one cause of death for women in the U.S. What many women don’t know is that menopause may increase the risk for developing heart disease, likely due to lower estrogen levels in the body.
Estrogen affects practically every tissue in the body, including in the cardiovascular system. Many doctors believe that estrogen plays a protective role for the cardiovascular system, which may explain why women on average develop heart disease much later than men.
Hormone replacement therapy can have many positive effects for your heart health, including increasing HDL (good) cholesterol, lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, and helping the blood vessels relax and reduce constriction. Therefore, taking estrogen during menopause may be beneficial for your heart health.
Though, there is a drawback as well. Estrogen may also increase the risk for blood clots. Therefore, it’s important to talk about specific risk factors to your cardiovascular health with our providers to determine if estrogen replacement therapy Is right for you.
Hormone Replacement Therapy May Preserve Lung Function As You Age
Chronic respiratory diseases are another common cause of death in women. HRT may also help reduce the risk of these serious conditions.
Lung function naturally declines as we get older. Our lungs essentially peak in our mid-twenties and then gradually decline over time. Women often see accelerated reduction in lung function after menopause, likely due to changing hormone levels.
However, studies show that HRT may improve lung function decline over time. One study from 2017 did a 20-year follow up to look at lung function for women using hormone replacement therapy. They found that the women who used HRT had better lung function scores compared to women who didn’t use hormones. The researchers concluded this may be particularly important for women at risk for chronic respiratory issues.
HRT May Reduce Risks for Neurodegenerative Diseases like Alzheimer’s
Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and Parkinson’s are all another risk to your health as you age. However, there is evidence that hormone therapy may be associated with lower rates of these diseases.
For instance, one 2020 study found that taking estrogen replacement therapy reduced the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease compared to women who never used HRT in the study.
In addition, other research has found that hormone therapy for menopause decreases the risk for several neurodegenerative conditions. In one study from 2021, researchers found that women who used HRT for six years or longer were 79% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and 77% less likely to develop any neurological condition during the study follow up.
Therefore, estrogen replacement therapy may help protect your brain as you age, which is essential, as conditions like Alzheimer’s are a common cause of death for women in the United States.
Estrogen Replacement Therapy May Lower Diabetes Risks
Type 2 diabetes is a serious disease that commonly causes early death. This is where you have chronically high blood sugar levels, which can lead to serious damage throughout your body, including to the nerves and blood vessels.
Medical studies have also found that HRT during menopause may help improve diabetes outcomes. Estrogen may reduce the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. It can also increase insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control for women with diabetes.
There may be many reasons for these positive effects, including that estrogen can help reduce body fat and improve body fat distribution. However, it may also aid with insulin secretion from the pancreas and help your body use insulin more effectively on a cellular level.
Hormone Therapy can Improve Kidney Function
Kidney disease is another serious concern for women’s health. Your kidneys are responsible for removing toxins from the blood, turning them into urine so your body can get rid of them. Chronic kidney disease is another leading cause of death for women.
Hormone replacement therapy may also protect kidney function after menopause. Research from 2015 found that women who used hormone therapy after menopause had better kidney function. Maintaining hormone levels through HRT may help reduce the development and progression of kidney disease for postmenopausal women.
Therefore, this is another way that hormone therapy may help protect your health in your postmenopausal years.
Health Care & Hormone Solutions for Women at HerKare
Our providers at HerKare are here to help you maintain your health at every stage of life. We offer hormone replacement therapy solutions for menopause to alleviate your symptoms and your overall health.
Our goal is to provide women with a space where they feel empowered to take charge of their health. That’s why we offer convenient, affordable health care for women. Contact us today to make an appointment at one of our clinic locations!