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    Hormone Replacement Therapy Aids in Weight Loss

    Hormone Replacement Therapy Aids in Weight Loss

    It’s common for women to pack on a few pounds around the time of menopause, but there are several ways you can lose that weight and maintain a healthier weight during and after menopause. Hormone replacement therapy can help in many ways with your weight loss goals if you’re suffering from symptoms of menopause. Several studies have found that menopausal HRT can have a big impact not only on weight loss, but also how much fat your body stores and where. Let’s talk about how hormone replacement therapy can help you lose weight.

    What Causes Weight Gain During Menopause?

    woman working out and using hormone replacement therapy for weight loss

    Hormone replacement therapy can make it easier to lose weight during and after menopause.

    Menopause brings about a lot of changes that can lead to weight gain and higher fat content in your body. As hormones like estrogen and progesterone fluctuate and decline, you might notice it’s harder to keep the weight off. There are several reasons for menopausal weight gain, including:

    • Body Fat Distribution: With low estrogen levels during menopause comes changes in how your body distributes fat and muscle. It can lead to your body creating more fat and also increasing fat in your stomach area.
    • Age: Our metabolisms and energy levels tend to get lower with age. As you approach middle age, which is also the average time of menopause, it can be harder to keep your weight under control.
    • Hormone Imbalances Affect the Metabolism: Your metabolism controls how many calories you burn at rest and during activity. Slower metabolism means you burn fewer calories overall and, therefore, are more likely to store those extra calories instead of burning them. Low estrogen levels due to menopause may slow down your metabolism and lead to weight gain.
    • Menopause Symptoms: Symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood changes, and fatigue can all play a role in weight gain. These symptoms make it hard to engage in healthy habits like exercise and maintaining a balanced diet.

    Therefore, there are many reasons why you might notice you’ve gained extra weight during menopause. The good news is that you can typically lose it with the right strategies.

    Six Ways Hormone Replacement Therapy Can Help with Weight Loss

    Hormone replacement therapy is a common treatment option for menopause. This essentially supplements your natural hormone levels during menopause to help ease many of the symptoms and health consequences of menopause, including weight gain. Here are six ways that hormone replacement therapy can help with weight loss:

    1. Hormone Replacement Therapy Improves Body Composition

    Because low hormone levels can cause changes in how your body stores and distributes fat, it can also lead to gaining extra weight. Hormone replacement therapy can prevent this issue by keeping your estrogen levels high enough to stop body composition changes.

    In fact, a recent study found that women who used HRT had one point lower on the BMI scale and also about three pounds less of body fat compared to women who didn’t use hormone replacement therapy. This is particularly important, as extra body fat, even if your weight stays about the same, is also associated with other metabolic changes like insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Not only does this increase your risk for becoming overweight or obese but can also lead to other health issues like heart problems and diabetes.

    2. Estrogen May Boost Your Metabolism

    Estrogen also plays an important role in your body’s metabolism. Metabolism is the rate that you burn calories at. There are many factors that affect your metabolism, including age and genetics. However, there is evidence that low estrogen levels can also slow down the metabolism, which can make it harder to lose weight. In these cases, the only option is to either exercise significantly more or to eat fewer calories to adjust for your slow metabolism. Basically, you either need to take in fewer or burn more calories.

    Hormone replacement therapy increases your body’s estrogen levels, which can prevent menopause related changes to your metabolism. This allows you to burn more calories both at rest and during exercise, so you don’t store them as extra pounds in your body.

    3. Menopause Treatment with HRT Can Increase Your Energy Levels

    Fatigue is a common symptom of menopause that can make it really difficult to lose weight. Feeling extra tired all the time can have you reaching for calorie-dense comfort foods in your body’s attempt to get more energy. Also, if you’re feeling fatigued, the last thing you want to do is go out and get a workout in. This often means you’re eating more calories while burning less, which can lead to weight gain.

    However, HRT is a menopause treatment that can help increase your energy levels. Most of your menopause symptoms are due to fluctuating and decreasing hormone levels. If you have fatigue due to menopause, hormone replacement therapy can help relieve your symptoms so you feel more energetic and can better manage your weight through diet and exercise.

    4. Hormone Replacement Therapy Alleviates Hot Flashes

    Hot flashes are another menopause symptom that can interfere with your weight loss plans. Hot flashes can strike at any time and often make it feel like your body is on fire. Naturally, that can make it difficult to go get a workout in. In fact, exercise can even be a trigger for hot flashes, since a good workout will increase your core temperature.

    Hormone replacement therapy is one of the most effective treatments for vasomotor symptoms, which is the medical term for hot flashes and night sweats. Therefore, taking HRT during menopause can relieve your hot flash symptoms and make it easier to burn that extra fat through a healthy exercise regimen.

    5. HRT Can Improve Mood Changes & Depression Symptoms

    During menopause, you might also be struggling with mood swings and even depression, both of which can make it hard to maintain healthy diet and exercise for weight loss. Depressive symptoms in particular can make it hard to get out of bed, let alone exercise. Depression can lead to overeating for many people, which can lead to weight gain.

    If your mood changes are due to hormonal changes during menopause, then hormone imbalance treatment with HRT can help. Keeping your hormones in check with hormone replacement therapy can also help stabilize and even boost your mood so you can eat healthy and workout for weight loss.

    6. Hormone Replacement Therapy Helps with Sleep Disturbances

    Another issue many women face during menopause is sleep changes, particularly sleep disturbances. You might experience insomnia, disturbances from night sweats, and other issues that make it almost impossible to get a good night’s sleep. This, in turn, can make it hard to lose weight.

    If you’re constantly tired because of sleep deprivation from menopause, your body is more likely to crave fast energy sources that also happen to have a lot of calories, like sugary foods and drinks. Also, if you’re tired and can’t sleep well at night, it’s significantly less likely you’ll hit the gym after work. Hormone replacement therapy can help solve many of these sleep issues during menopause, which can help you with weight loss by making it easier to make healthier diet and exercise choices.

    Hormone Imbalance Treatment from HerKare

    Our team at HerKare is here to help you feel your best during menopause. Our hormone replacement therapy solutions are personalized to you to help you feel your best and treat your symptoms. We work with you to improve your overall health, including maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough sleep, and ensuring that you get the preventative care you need. We help you take care of your body so you can take care of those you love. Contact us now to book an appointment and learn how our providers can make a difference for your health and life.

    Managing Hormone Replacement Therapy in Dallas

    Managing Hormone Replacement Therapy in Dallas

    Women in perimenopause and menopause may need hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to alleviate symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and mood changes. When you start hormone therapy, it’s important to work closely with doctors to manage your treatment and overall health. Therefore, you need to find a team to partner with to monitor your treatment. Our Dallas Fort Worth clinics offer comprehensive hormone replacement therapy management so you can feel your best.

    Why Visit Our Dallas-Area Clinics to Discuss Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Woman on hormone replacement therapy in Dallas smiling

    Our clinics in Dallas offer total hormone replacement therapy solutions for your menopause symptoms.

    Hormone therapy is an effective option for menopause treatment and can help with many symptoms that disrupt your life. It may even reduce some of the health risks associated with menopause. However, treatment for every person is different, so you need a team who can personalize your treatment plans and health care to your exact needs.

    Unfortunately, many women find that they’re never offered HRT even when their symptoms are really bothersome. Also, many women might be prescribed HRT by their OB/GYN and not get any follow up beyond maybe a quick question during their annual exam. When beginning a hormone replacement therapy regimen, it helps to have providers that really care and tailor treatment to you.

    If you’re considering starting hormone replacement therapy in Dallas, our team is here to help. We have locations throughout the Dallas area, including in Fort Worth, Mansfield, Southlake, and Frisco. Our clinics offer quality, customized care for your needs. Our teams can help you throughout menopause and beyond to stay healthy and feel great. We are there to help you determine if hormone therapy is right for you and offer ongoing monitoring and care throughout treatment. For truly comprehensive care, visit a HerKare location near you in Dallas.

    Our Treatment Providers in Dallas Help Diagnose Your Symptoms and Determine if Hormone Replacement Therapy is Right for You

    If you’re experiencing menopause symptoms, visit our women’s health clinics in Dallas to learn what your options are. Our providers are here to help you get to the bottom of what’s causing your symptoms and help you find relief through treatment.

    Menopause symptoms are frequently caused by declining and fluctuating levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone, which is why many women use HRT to help with their symptoms. Our providers can help you decide if hormone therapy is right for you based on many individual factors. It starts with a comprehensive health assessment where we talk about the symptoms you’re experiencing and your medical history, complete a physical exam, and also run tests to identify underlying conditions. This helps us get a full picture of your health and the root cause of your symptoms. From there, we can help you weigh the pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy based on your specific situation.

    Who is a Good Candidate for HRT?

    Not everyone is a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy. Like with any medicine, it may work well for some people and not for others. You might be a good candidate for hormone therapy if you’re in good overall health and experience menopause symptoms that disrupt everyday life. Hormone replacement therapy usually works best and with fewer risks if you start it within 10 years of menopause or when you’re under 60 years old.

    If you have certain conditions, hormone replacement therapy might not be a good idea. Some of these health issues include:

    • History of stroke
    • Breast cancer
    • Liver disease
    • Unexplained vaginal bleeding

    Symptoms Hormone Replacement Therapy May Alleviate

    Hormone replacement therapy can help with many of the symptoms of menopause, including:

    • Hot flashes
    • Night sweats
    • Sleep disturbances
    • Mood changes
    • Depression
    • Vaginal dryness

    In addition, hormone therapy during menopause may help with some of the health risks that increase at the time of menopause. While hormone replacement therapy isn’t recommended unless you’re experiencing disruptive menopause symptoms, it can come with some additional benefits to your health. For instance, for many women HRT may strengthen your bones, reduce bad cholesterol, and increase good cholesterol. Some studies have even found a lower mortality rate for women who use hormone therapy during menopause.

    Weighing the Benefits and Risks of Hormone Replacement Therapy

    All medications come with risks and benefits that you need to weigh with your doctor before starting treatment. Hormone replacement therapy is no different. If you’re experiencing menopause symptoms, our women’s health care providers in Dallas can help you understand the benefits and risks to help you make the decision whether to begin hormone therapy.

    For most women, hormone replacement therapy is a safe way to improve menopause symptoms. Hormone therapy can improve symptoms and overall quality of life for women in perimenopause and menopause. Just keep in mind it can also increase your risk for certain things, like blood clots, stroke, and breast cancer. Our clinics in Dallas can help you understand the benefits and the risks based on your individual circumstances so you can make an informed choice.

    If hormone therapy isn’t for you or you want to try other treatment options first, we’ll also discuss other ways you might be able to relieve your symptoms. For instance, many healthy lifestyle changes can help with your menopause symptoms. Getting plenty of exercise, eating a balanced diet, and maintaining a healthy weight can certainly help with some menopause symptoms. We may also recommend reducing stress, quitting smoking, and cutting back on alcohol, as these all can be triggers for hot flashes and other menopause symptoms.

    Our Dallas Team Helps You Decide Which Type of Hormone Replacement Therapy is Right For You

    Once you decide to start hormone replacement therapy, then you need to find the right kind for you. Our women’s health care providers in Dallas Fort Worth also help with this.

    There are several different choices when it comes to HRT for menopause. For instance, you can choose between systemic and local hormones. Local hormones are usually a cream or ring used only for vaginal symptoms like dryness. Systemic hormone replacement therapy gets into the bloodstream and is the most popular option because it can help with other symptoms like hot flashes.

    The type of hormones you take also depends on your health history. For instance, if you’ve had a hysterectomy, then estrogen replacement therapy is usually the better option. If you still have a uterus, however, then we generally recommend combined hormone therapy with estrogen and progesterone to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer.

    For combined therapy, you can either take both estrogen and progesterone every day, or you can choose cyclic therapy. This is where you take estrogen every day and progesterone only on certain days, usually between 10 and 14 days a month. Our team helps you decide which one is right for you.

    We Help Find the Right Dose of Hormone Replacement Therapy for Menopause Treatment

    The providers at our Dallas clinics also help find the right dose for you to help you manage your menopause symptoms. Generally, we aim for the lowest dose possible that still offers symptom relief. In the past, many providers prescribed one dose for everyone. However, customize doses can help ensure you get enough hormones to reduce or stop your symptoms without taking more than you need.

    Our treatment providers tailor hormone replacement therapy to you, so we work hard to make sure you’re getting an appropriate dose for your symptoms and body. When you begin hormone therapy, our team may see you more often to talk about your symptoms and dial in your personalized dose.

    Our Providers in Dallas Offer Ongoing Monitoring for Your Symptoms and Health

    Even after we find the right dose for you, our teams at the HerKare locations in Dallas Fort Worth also provide ongoing monitoring and management for not only your treatment plan, but overall health. We want to make sure that your treatment is still working and monitor you for any changes in your menopause symptoms or your health as a whole. We even offer other health care services at our Dallas clinics to fill all your health care needs in one place. So, you can get preventative care, treat other health conditions, and get ongoing monitoring for hormone replacement therapy all in one place to help you feel good and stay healthy.

    We Help You Decide When, Whether, and How to Quit Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Many women do not take hormone replacement therapy for their entire lives for menopause symptoms. For most women, the symptoms do go away with time and allow you to quit hormone therapy. Our team is here to help you determine whether it’s a good idea and how to do it. For instance, we may recommend lowering your doses to see if your symptoms come back. If they don’t, then it might be time to stop HRT. Usually, we will recommend tapering off of the hormones to reduce the risk of your symptoms returning. If your symptoms do return, then we may recommend waiting to stop hormone therapy until you can do so comfortably and without reducing your quality of life.

    Get Top Quality Care from Our Dallas-Fort Worth Clinics

    For complete menopause care, choose our providers at HerKare. We are a women’s health clinic operated by women for women to help you improve your health and well-being. We have locations throughout Texas, including several in the Dallas Fort Worth area to help women with all their health care needs, from menopause treatment to diabetes management. Our teams truly care and understand what you need to provide the best quality care. Make an appointment today to learn how we can help you feel like the best version of yourself!

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy May Improve Sleep Quality

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy May Improve Sleep Quality

    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

    Happy woman after improving her sleep with estrogen replacement therapy during menopause

    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
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • 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:

    • Irritability
    • 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
    • Diabetes
    • Heart attack
    • Heart failure
    • Stroke
    • Obesity
    • Depression

    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.

    Could Hormone Replacement Therapy Save Your Life?

    Could Hormone Replacement Therapy Save Your Life?

    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.

    Group of happy women using hormone replacement therapy

    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:

    1. Heart disease
    2. Cancer
    3. Chronic respiratory diseases
    4. Stroke
    5. Alzheimer’s
    6. Injuries
    7. Diabetes
    8. Flu & pneumonia
    9. Kidney Disease
    10. Sepsis

    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!

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy May Reduce Colon Cancer Risks

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy May Reduce Colon Cancer Risks

    Estrogen replacement therapy is commonly prescribed to women to help alleviate menopause symptoms. Many studies also point to positive health effects for women taking hormone replacement therapy for menopause. For example, one finding in many studies is that estrogen replacement therapy may reduce risks for colorectal cancers, such as colon cancer.

    Women talking about how estrogen replacement therapy can help improve their health

    Estrogen replacement therapy may help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

    Currently, estrogen replacement therapy is only recommended to help fight common menopause symptoms associated with low estrogen levels. However, there may be several ancillary benefits to using estrogen replacement therapy as well. If you think you could benefit from hormone replacement therapy, talk to our providers about your health and symptoms.

    Why Use Estrogen Replacement Therapy After Menopause?

    Estrogen replacement therapy is one of the most common types of medications to help women suffering from menopause symptoms. It is currently one of the most effective treatments available for hot flashes, which are common among menopausal women. Estrogen replacement therapy may help with menopause symptoms like:

    • Hot flashes
    • Night sweats
    • Mood changes
    • Low sex drive
    • Vaginal dryness
    • Fatigue
    • Difficulty sleeping

    Women can experience these symptoms during perimenopause (the years leading up to menopause) or after menopause (after you’ve gone 12 consecutive months without a period). For many, these symptoms disrupt daily life and can cause a lot of stress. If you’re experiencing menopause symptoms, there are treatment solutions available.

    Low Estrogen Levels Can Cause Symptoms & Health Risks

    While there are many things that can cause similar symptoms, low estrogen is the most common reason behind menopause symptoms. During perimenopause, our ovaries begin to slow down as they transition into menopause. This can lead to wide fluctuations in hormones, especially estrogen and progesterone which are produced in the ovaries. These changes can lead to many of the symptoms associated with menopause.

    Once you reach menopause, the ovaries produce significantly less hormones than during pre-menopause. This leads to low estrogen and progesterone throughout the body. Low hormone levels are also associated with menopause symptoms, which can continue even for years into post-menopause.

    Low estrogen levels are not only responsible for many of your menopause symptoms, but they can also have negative effects on your health. For instance, menopause is associated with increased risk for many health conditions, like heart disease and osteoporosis. What many women don’t know is that low estrogen levels from menopause may also increase the risk for developing colon cancer.

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy May Reduce Risks for Colorectal Cancer

    Several studies have found that women who use estrogen replacement therapy have reduced risks for colorectal cancer. Many researchers believe that female hormones like estrogen may provide some protection against colorectal cancer. There are several reasons for this. For example, pre-menopausal women are less likely to develop colon cancer than men of the same age. Also, the risk for colorectal cancer increases around the average age of menopause. Various studies provide evidence for this protective effect against colorectal cancers as well.

    Risk Factors for Colon Cancer

    Before we explain how estrogen replacement therapy may help reduce the risk for colon cancer, let’s first discuss what increases your risk. Women have about a one in 25 chance of developing colorectal cancer in their lifetime. It’s also the second leading cancer-related death for people in the U.S. (lung cancer is the first).

    There are many potential risk factors for colon cancer. For instance, your lifestyle can increase your risk for colon cancer, such as living a sedentary lifestyle or having a diet that is low in fruits and vegetables. Age is also a common risk factor. Most people who develop colon cancer are age 50 or older. Hormone changes from menopause may also increase your risk for colorectal cancers.

    Signs and Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

    Many women who develop colon cancer don’t have any symptoms, which is why doctors typically recommend regular screenings based on your health and family history. However, here are some symptoms that may indicate colon cancer:

    • Changes in your bowel habits
    • Blood in the stool
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Feeling like your bowels don’t empty all the way
    • Abdominal pain that doesn’t get better
    • Unexplained weight loss

    Screenings for Colon Cancer

    Most people should start getting screenings around age 45. However, this depends on many things, like your health history, family health history, and other risk factors. Screenings can include stool tests, colonoscopies, or even CT colonoscopies. These can help with early detection of colon cancer and precancerous polyps so you can get treatment as soon as possible.

    Many Studies Show Lower Risk for Colon Cancer for Women Who Use Menopausal Estrogen Replacement Therapy

    Because of the potential link between low estrogen levels during menopause and colon cancer, many researchers have studied the effects of estrogen replacement therapy on colorectal cancer risk. While research is still ongoing, many studies have found positive results. Increasing estrogen levels in menopause may help decrease the risk for developing colon cancer and may have positive effects on outcomes for those who do develop colorectal cancer.

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy May Reduce the Risk of Developing Colon Cancer

    Many studies have found that women who use estrogen replacement therapy for menopause also have a lower risk for developing colon cancer. Some of the first results of this kind were seen in the Women’s Health Initiative study on hormone therapy from the 1990s, which looked at the long-term effects of using menopausal estrogen replacement therapy. The researchers in that study did find that the women who used hormone therapy had lower rates of colon cancer.

    Another 2017 study also found that estrogen may help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. The study followed women for almost five years ages 55 to 79. Some of the women never used hormone replacement therapy, some used it in the past, and some used it during the study. The researchers found that the women who used estrogen replacement therapy during their lifetime had fewer instances of colorectal cancer. Therefore, estrogen may reduce the risk for women developing colon cancer.

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy May Improve Results After a Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis

    In addition, some researchers have looked at the effects of estrogen replacement therapy on women who do develop colon cancer. For instance some studies have found that women with colon cancer have longer survival rates when their estrogen levels remain high during the pre-menopause stage, but become shorter after menopause when they experience low estrogen.

    Another study from 2017 found that women who had used estrogen replacement therapy had better outcomes after colorectal cancer diagnosis. The researchers looked at 1,109 women with colorectal cancer between 2007 and 2012. The women who used hormone therapy after their diagnosis had a 24% decrease in their risk for mortality from colorectal cancer and a 30% decrease for mortality of any kind. They also found that the women who used estrogen replacement therapy before their diagnosis saw even lower risk for both colorectal cancer and all-cause mortality. Therefore, estrogen may also improve prognosis for colorectal cancer patients.

    Talk About Your Health Today at HerKare

    Our team at HerKare is here to help you bring your hormones back into balance. We understand how difficult menopause symptoms are and use bioidentical hormones to help treat your symptoms and help you feel like yourself again. We also help you address underlying health conditions to improve your overall health and well-being. Our treatment providers are dedicated to empowering you through quality, compassionate health care. We are a women’s health clinic operated by women for women. Contact us to make an appointment today to learn how we can help you improve your health and symptoms.

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy vs. Phytoestrogens for Menopause

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy vs. Phytoestrogens for Menopause

    If you have menopause symptoms like hot flashes and mood changes, you might be wondering what treatments are available. Many women use estrogen replacement therapy to reduce symptoms and side effects of menopause. However, some people wonder if phytoestrogens, also known as plant estrogens, are a good alternative to hormone therapy. We’ll explore this question and recent research on phytoestrogens in this article.

    woman in kitchen surrounded by foods with phytoestrogens, may still need estrogen replacement therapy for menopause symptoms

    You can find phytoestrogens in many foods, but they may not be enough to replace estrogen replacement therapy as a menopause treatment.

    What is Estrogen Replacement Therapy?

    Estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) is a common treatment option for women with menopause symptoms. As you reach menopause, your hormone levels start to decline, including estrogen and progesterone. This is what causes your periods to stop. However, low hormone levels can also lead to menopause symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood changes, and vaginal dryness. Lower estrogen levels during menopause can also increase your risk for other health conditions, like heart disease, osteoporosis, and strokes.

    Estrogen replacement therapy is a treatment where you take medications to increase the estrogen levels in your blood. This can alleviate many of the symptoms and health risks of menopause. In fact, ERT is considered one of the most effective treatment solutions for menopausal hot flashes.

    There are many kinds of estrogen replacement therapies or modalities to choose from. Medications can come in patches, pills, injections, and many other forms. You also typically have the choice between synthetic and bioidentical versions.

    What is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy?

    Our providers at HerKare typically use bioidentical hormone therapy to help with menopause symptoms. Bioidentical hormones are identical to the type of estrogen your ovaries naturally produce. Scientists use estrogens found in plants and alter them to match human estrogen. By contrast, synthetic estrogens are not the same molecular structure as natural estrogen, which means that your body uses them slightly differently. Many people prefer bioidentical hormones because they are molecularly identical to the natural hormones that your body produces on its own.

    What are Phytoestrogens?

    Phytoestrogens are estrogen-like chemicals found in plants. In fact, bioidentical hormones often start out as phytoestrogens extracted from different sources like wild yams, cactus, and soy plants. Professionals in medical labs then convert these to bioidentical forms of estrogen and other hormones.

    Phytoestrogens are similar to the estrogen you make in your ovaries but do have some differences. For instance, phytoestrogens can bind to the estrogen receptors in your body. However, they do typically have weaker effects compared to human or bioidentical estrogen.

    Soy Offers Higher Levels of Phytoestrogens

    There are many sources of phytoestrogens, including flaxseeds, tea, fruits, and vegetables. Soy is a food that is high in phytoestrogens. Specifically, soy offers high levels of isoflavones, which is the most potent type of phytoestrogen.

    Many people believe soy has amazing benefits because cultures that typically have high soy diets also tend to have lower rates of heart disease, longer lifespans, fewer menopause symptoms, and other positive health markers. However, soy is still being studied and its effects on the body are complicated. There are still many questions when it comes to soy, including whether it’s beneficial or safe to eat it in large quantities.

    As far as how soy compares to estrogen replacement therapy for menopause symptoms, the evidence is inconclusive. We’ll get into some of the recent research done on phytoestrogens, but keep in mind that a lot of the evidence regarding soy and hot flashes is conflicting.

    Can Phytoestrogens Replace Estrogen Replacement Therapy for Menopause?

    The big question many have is whether you can simply eat more foods with phytoestrogens (or take phytoestrogen supplements) instead of starting estrogen replacement therapy. Scientists are still researching phytoestrogens and the role they play. However, a lot of the research has been disappointing. Here are some things you should know about the results of phytoestrogen studies for menopause symptoms:

    The Evidence is Conflicting on Whether Phytoestrogens Help Menopause Symptoms

    As we mentioned, research is still ongoing, but a lot of the studies have conflicting results. Some studies have found positive effects from phytoestrogens, with some women noticing improvement in their hot flash symptoms. However, other studies have found no difference between phytoestrogens and placebo. Also, even the positive studies often don’t offer similar results. For instance, while some have found over a 50% reduction in the number and severity of hot flashes with phytoestrogens, others have found small reductions of just one hot flash per day for women who suffer from on average 10 to 12 each day. Therefore, a lot of the evidence for phytoestrogens is up for debate.

    Phytoestrogens May be Anti-Estrogenic

    Another potential issue with taking phytoestrogens is that they can actually be anti-estrogenic. This basically means that they may block estrogen receptors or reduce how much estrogen your body produces.

    For one, phytoestrogens bind to estrogen receptors, which can block them from the real estrogen in your blood. Since phytoestrogens have much weaker effects than human estrogen, this could affect the cells in your body and your overall health.

    What’s more, too many phytoestrogens could lead to lower estrogen levels overall. To understand why, let’s go over a quick crash course on how your body produces estrogen: The hypothalamus is part of your brain responsible for controlling sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone. When it senses that you have low estrogen in your blood, it sends a signal to the pituitary gland, which releases follicle stimulating hormone. This hormone reaches your ovaries and causes them to increase estrogen production.

    However, phytoestrogens can actually disrupt this process. In some cases, your hypothalamus may not realize that your body needs to produce more estrogen because it believes that the phytoestrogens are human estrogen. Therefore, many women may experience even lower estrogen levels when eating a diet high in phytoestrogens or taking phytoestrogen supplements.

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy is Still the Recommended Treatment for Menopause Symptoms

    Because of the lack of evidence and conflicting research results, many scientists now believe that the benefits of phytoestrogens have been overstated. Currently, estrogen replacement therapy is still the go-to treatment option for women with hot flashes and menopause symptoms. ERT has been shown time and time again to be effective at reducing hot flashes, night sweats, and other symptoms of menopause. This form of hormone therapy has also been well studied for decades. As such, many health care providers recommend using estrogen replacement therapy for your menopause symptoms unless there is a reason you can’t, such as a history of breast cancer, liver disease, or having a high risk for blood clots.

    Of course, every woman is different, so it’s important to talk to our providers about your options. If you’re currently taking phytoestrogen supplements, let our providers know. Our team can discuss the benefits and risks to help you determine whether to keep taking them. Our goal is to help you improve your health as a whole and feel your best.

    Find Treatment Solutions at HerKare

    Our professionals at HerKare are here to help you find personalized solutions to improve your health. We offer health care for women at every stage of life. If you’re experiencing menopause symptoms, visit one of our convenient clinic locations to discuss your options and find treatment solutions that work well for you. Make an appointment today to get started!