by Phoebee Johnson | Oct 6, 2022 | Hormone Replacement Therapy, Menopause, Wellness
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
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
- 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!
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 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!
by Phoebee Johnson | Jun 6, 2022 | Hormone Replacement Therapy, 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.
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!