Find a Location

Find a Location

  Use My Current Location

    Progesterone Replacement Therapy and Blood Pressure

    Progesterone Replacement Therapy and Blood Pressure

    Progesterone replacement therapy is a type of hormone therapy that boosts progesterone levels to healthy ranges. Progesterone is an important hormone in your body that performs many different functions. Recent evidence suggests that progesterone may also play a role in blood pressure regulation. The risk for high blood pressure goes up after menopause, which is when progesterone is typically low. Researchers are now looking into whether progesterone may help reduce blood pressure risks, with promising results.

    woman checking pulse after beginning progesterone replacement therapy

    Some studies suggest progesterone replacement therapy may help your body regulate blood pressure.

    Blood pressure is an important marker of health. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can put you at risk for many different health issues. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can increase the risk for heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and even kidney disease. High blood pressure can damage arteries, blood vessels, and organs over time. Despite all these health risks, high blood pressure often causes zero symptoms on its own. Because of the many negative effects of high blood pressure, experts are exploring many ways to help people reduce their risk for hypertension.

    How Progesterone Replacement Therapy Affects Blood Pressure

    In the past, many believed that both the female hormones estrogen and progesterone increased blood pressure. This was because many women taking hormone-based birth control and hormone replacement therapy for menopause experienced high blood pressure as a side effect. However, recent research shows that estrogen is the likely culprit for increased blood pressure. Progesterone, by contrast, may have the opposite effect. As a natural diuretic, progesterone may actually lower blood pressure for some women.

    Progesterone replacement therapy is often paired with estrogen to treat menopause symptoms. Every patient who still has a uterus is prescribed progesterone alongside estrogen. This is because progesterone helps prevent the uterine lining from becoming too thick, increasing the risk for endometrial cancer. Therefore, in the past many researchers had difficulty separating the effects of progesterone and estrogen for women taking both at the same time. However, progesterone replacement therapy on its own is getting more and more attention. For example, some studies have found progesterone-only therapy may help with menopausal hot flashes.

    With more research into progesterone by itself, some have begun to look at the relationship between progesterone and blood pressure. Research is still ongoing, but many studies have found that progesterone replacement therapy either has no effect on blood pressure, or that it may help lower blood pressure. It’s important to discuss your specific circumstances with our treatment providers, but this is encouraging evidence for women who may want to take bioidentical hormone therapy with progesterone for menopause symptoms.

    Progesterone May Lower Blood Pressure

    Progesterone does many things in the body. It’s responsible for preparing the uterus for potential pregnancy, regulating your menstrual cycle, and keeping estrogen and other hormones in check. Progesterone also seems to help with blood pressure regulation.

    Many medical professionals are interested in the relationship between progesterone and blood pressure. After all, blood pressure tends to be quite low during pregnancy, when progesterone levels are high. By contrast, post-menopausal women have a higher risk for high blood pressure, which is when the ovaries start producing significantly less progesterone. There have been several studies into the link between progesterone and blood pressure that indicate it may have a lowering effect on blood pressure.

    One 2001 study found that progesterone was independently associated with vascular effects. This essentially means that, outside of estrogen, progesterone may affect the blood vessels. The researchers also found that progesterone changed the blood pressure response to norepinephrine, which typically increases blood pressure. This isn’t the only study to show a positive effect on high blood pressure from progesterone. A small study from 1985 looked at people with hypertension taking progesterone replacement therapy. Researchers looked at six men and four post-menopausal women and saw that blood pressure dropped significantly after taking progesterone. Therefore, these studies suggest progesterone may reduce the risk for hypertension.

    How Progesterone Replacement Therapy May Lower Blood Pressure

    The hormone progesterone can act as a natural diuretic, which is essentially something that helps your body get rid of extra salt and water through your urine. Diuretics like water pills are also a common treatment option for high blood pressure. This is because they can help reduce the amount of water in your blood, which means there’s less fluid in your veins causing excess pressure. Because of this effect of progesterone in your body, some believe that progesterone replacement therapy may also help lower blood pressure for women with low progesterone.

    However, there may be other explanations. For instance, a 2021 study published in the journal Hypertension found that progesterone had three effects that may help reduce blood pressure. This study looked at short-term effects of progesterone on blood pressure. They concluded that progesterone may have a direct impact on blood vessels in the body.

    The researchers found that progesterone dilated blood vessels, which can reduce the amount of pressure on the vessel walls. The study also found that progesterone helped prevent an increase in blood pressure that usually comes with exposure to adrenaline-like hormones. Another effect of progesterone the researchers in the 2021 study found was that progesterone helped block calcium intake in the smooth muscle cells. This may work similarly to calcium channel blocker medications, which are also commonly used to treat high blood pressure, as calcium can cause the blood vessels to squeeze tighter and increase blood pressure.

    Of course, there may be other potential ways progesterone affects blood pressure. For instance, some believe progesterone may have an indirect effect on blood pressure through BMI. Progesterone replacement therapy may reduce the risk of weight gain and high BMI, which are associated with high blood pressure.

    Why Providers May Prescribe Progesterone Replacement Therapy

    Our treatment providers may recommend progesterone replacement therapy for a few different reasons. It’s common to use progesterone and estrogen in combination to alleviate menopause symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and mood changes. If you still have a uterus, our providers always prescribe progesterone with estrogen. Progesterone helps counteract the endometrial thickening properties of estrogen to reduce the risk of cancer. Therefore, if you’re taking estrogen for menopause, you will also likely be taking progesterone replacement therapy. In some cases, our medical professionals may also recommend progesterone alone to help with your menopause symptoms.

    Progesterone may also serve as a hormone imbalance treatment if you’re suffering from low progesterone. If you have low progesterone levels, other hormones like estrogen and testosterone may be thrown out of balance. This can lead to many concerning symptoms, such as:

    • Irregular periods
    • Fatigue
    • Frequent urinary tract infections
    • Frequent vaginal infections
    • Breast tenderness

    Therefore, there may be many reasons why our providers may prescribe progesterone replacement therapy for you.

    What to Do If You Have High Blood Pressure and Menopause Symptoms – Visit HerKare

    Our providers at HerKare take a holistic approach to healthcare. If you’re experiencing menopause symptoms, high blood pressure, or other conditions, make an appointment at one of our clinics. We offer personalized treatment solutions to help you feel your best. Our team works with you to find treatment solutions that work for you. For instance, if you have both high blood pressure and menopause symptoms, we may recommend a combination of lifestyle changes, bioidentical hormone therapy, blood pressure medications to address your whole health. Get in touch to learn how we can help you feel better again.

    Women’s Health Care for Low B12

    Women’s Health Care for Low B12

    Low B12 is a serious issue for your health and well-being. Therefore, it’s important to talk to a women’s health care professional if you think you have B12 deficiency. Fortunately, there are treatment options available to increase vitamin B12 in your body and reduce health risks associated with low B12. Let’s talk about B12 deficiency and available treatment solutions. 

    Why is B12 Therapy Important for Women’s Health Care?

    woman with more energy after our women's health care providers treated her low B12

    Our women’s health care providers can treat low B12 to help your symptoms and energy levels.

    Vitamin B12 is necessary for many functions in your body. B12 helps with red blood cell production, brain function, and nerve tissue health. It also helps your body absorb folic acid, which helps your body make healthy new cells and DNA. People over 14 years old should get at least 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily. Many people get this necessary amount of B12 from their diet. However, people with low B12 may require treatment with B12 therapy. This is essentially supplementing your natural B12 levels to ensure you have healthy amounts of this necessary vitamin. If you’re not getting enough B12 from your diet, visit our women’s health clinic to determine if you could benefit from B12 therapy. 

    Talk to Our Women’s Health Care Providers About B12 Deficiency

    An estimated 1.5% to 15% of people in the United States have been diagnosed with B12 deficiency. The number of people who are B12 deficient may be much higher, as many people go undiagnosed. Anyone can suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency, but some people are more at risk. For instance, because B12 naturally exists in meat products, vegans and vegetarians may be at a higher risk for B12 deficiency. In addition, people with gastrointestinal issues, such as Crohn’s disease, gastritis, or celiac disease, may also have low B12 because the body may not be able to absorb it properly. Finally, your risk for B12 deficiency also goes up with age, so if you’re 60 years old or older, you may have a higher risk for low vitamin B12. The good news is that your women’s health care provider can help find treatment options if you have B12 deficiency.

    B12 Deficiency Symptoms

    There are many different symptoms of B12 deficiency. If you notice symptoms of low B12, it’s important to talk to a women’s health care provider to explore treatment options to help you feel better and reduce your health risks. 

    Some common symptoms of low B12 include:

    • Depression
    • Confusion
    • Memory problems
    • Fatigue
    • Constipation
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Loss of appetite
    • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
    • Difficulty maintaining your balance
    • Anemia symptoms
      • Fatigue
      • Shortness of breath
      • Irregular heart beat
    • Pale or jaundiced skin
    • Glossitis (inflamed tongue)
    • Mouth ulcers
    • Blurry vision

    If you’re suffering from symptoms of low B12, our doctors may look for underlying conditions that may be causing your symptoms. In addition, we may test your B12 levels to determine if you have enough of the vitamin in your blood. If you do have low B12, we can explore treatment options personalized to you. 

    Long-Term Effects of B12 Deficiency

    In addition to the many worrying and difficult symptoms you may experience, B12 deficiency can cause many serious health effects. We’ve mentioned that vitamin B12 plays many necessary roles in your body, which helps explain the many negative effects that B12 deficiency can have on your overall health. Low B12 can lead to anemia and even permanent neurological issues. Those with B12 deficiency also have an increased risk for psychosis, mania, and dementia, likely due to B12’s role in brain health. People with low B12 may also be more susceptible to the effects of infections. 

    Where Does Vitamin B12 Come From?

    B12 is a vitamin most people get enough of from their diet. It is naturally available in meat, fish, and some dairy products. For example, some foods that are high in vitamin B12 include animal liver, clams, beef, and tuna. Also, many other foods are often fortified with B12, such as many cereals, plant milks, fruit juices, nutritional yeasts, margarines, and tofu. However, as we have mentioned, many people don’t get enough B12 from their diet, or their bodies don’t absorb B12 very well, leading to B12 deficiency. In these cases, our women’s health care providers may recommend B12 supplementation through B12 therapy.

    How Women’s Health Care Providers Treat B12 Deficiency

    There are many different options for vitamin B12 therapy. It’s important to note that B12 therapy is different from multivitamins with B12, as B12 therapy typically features higher levels of the vitamin to help increase levels to healthy ranges for people suffering from B12 deficiency. Three common options for B12 therapy are B12 pills, injections, and sublingual tablets. One type may be better for you than another, so it’s important to discuss your specific circumstances with one of our women’s health care professionals. 

    B12 Pills

    One common option for B12 therapy is taking B12 pills. Once again, these are different from multivitamin supplements. These pills contain a man-made form of vitamin B12. Several studies have found that vitamin B12 pills can be as effective as B12 injections. However, it’s important to note that B12 pills aren’t the best option for everyone. For instance, if you have low B12 due to gastrointestinal conditions, your body may not be able to absorb enough of the vitamin from B12 pills for treatment. Therefore, in these cases, our women’s health care providers may recommend injections or sublingual tablets. 

    B12 Injections

    If B12 pills don’t work for you, typically doctors recommend B12 shots. These are intramuscular injections that help send vitamin B12 to your bloodstream. B12 shots may work well if you have a deficiency linked to malabsorption for the vitamin. Also, many women’s health care providers recommend B12 injections when your levels are seriously low and need quick intervention. B12 shots may offer faster results than oral supplements. Also, injections can often offer higher doses of B12 compared to pills and sublingual options. Therefore, if you need significant doses of B12, our providers may recommend injections for B12 therapy.

    Sublingual B12 Tablets

    Some people also do well with sublingual B12 tablets to increase B12 levels. These are tablets that you place under the tongue and allow them to dissolve. This allows you to absorb the vitamin through the tissues in your mouth. Sublingual B12 therapies are also an effective way to supplement your B12 levels. This option may help improve absorption for people suffering from poor B12 absorption. However, keep in mind that many people need to take sublingual B12 tablets every day to supplement their normal B12 levels. Some people find it easier to remember their B12 injections compared to treatment with sublingual tablets. Therefore, talk to our women’s health care professionals about which type of B12 therapy may work best for you.

    Visit Our Women’s Health Clinic for Vitamin Optimization

    Our health care professionals at HerKare are here to help you feel your best. We offer vitamin optimization treatments to help you improve your health. We work with you to identify vitamin deficiencies and find customized treatment solutions for you. Our team can help you address your nutritional needs and also offer supplements when you need them for vitamin deficiencies. Make an appointment to address your health today.

    Can Estrogen Replacement Therapy Help with Exercising?

    Can Estrogen Replacement Therapy Help with Exercising?

    We all know exercise is important for health. Yet, many people don’t get enough exercise on a regular basis for one reason or another. Several surveys and studies have also found that women are typically much less active after menopause than before menopause. Many scientists believe this may be due to hormone changes during menopause, particularly lower estrogen levels. Researchers are still studying the relationship between estrogen and activity levels. However, some studies suggest estrogen replacement therapy may help you feel more motivated and may even increase your capacity to work out. 

    Why Exercise is Important During and After Menopause

    woman exercising after beginning estrogen replacement therapy

    Many women exercise less after menopause, but can estrogen replacement therapy help with exercising?

    Before we learn more about how estrogen affects exercise, let’s talk about why exercise is so important as we get older and approach menopause. There are many reasons to be physically active throughout your life, including weight management, increasing muscle tone, getting stronger, and improving your overall health. Regular exercise is even more important as you reach menopause to help counteract certain health risks that increase around this time.

    As hormone levels begin to decline, bone density and lean muscle mass begin to decline as well, while body fat can increase. Around this time in a woman’s life, there’s also a higher risk for many chronic diseases as well as cardiovascular disease. Engaging in an active lifestyle can help reduce these risks for many people. Regular physical activity helps promote bone health and muscle mass and can also help with body fat management. Exercise in later life can help improve and preserve flexibility and mobility and can also improve heart health. Regular exercise has also been linked to fewer instances of chronic diseases common as we get older. 

    In addition to physical health, exercise can also be helpful for other areas of well-being, such as mental health. Being physically active can also boost energy and mood and can even help combat some of the symptoms of menopause, such as insomnia. Overall, exercise can be an important part of maintaining quality of life as we get older. 

    Despite knowing that exercise is helpful for many areas of health, many women have a difficult time exercising on a regular basis, particularly after menopause. There may be many reasons for this, but some researchers believe hormonal imbalances may be a factor. Many studies are researching hormones, exercise, and whether estrogen replacement therapy after menopause can help improve activity levels for some women.

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy Improves Menopause Symptoms that Make it Hard to Work Out

    Menopause can cause many symptoms that can make everyday life difficult or even downright impossible. Hot flashes, insomnia, fatigue, and depression are all common symptoms of menopause that affect your quality of life. These also frequently make it difficult to exercise, which may explain why many women are more sedentary after menopause. It’s easy to understand why you might have a hard time going to the gym when you’re experiencing such troublesome symptoms. Working up a sweat can be anxiety-inducing if you’re already suffering from frequent and severe hot flashes. Insomnia and fatigue can leave you feeling worn out, making a workout sound plain exhausting. Menopause depression can zap your motivation for getting your heart pumping with a quick exercise routine. This is one theory behind why lower activity levels tend to coincide with declining estrogen levels during menopause

    The good news is hormone replacement therapy relieves many women’s menopause symptoms. Hormone therapy helps replace some of the hormones lost during menopause, which may improve your symptoms. As menopause symptoms improve, many people find it easier to take part in regular exercise for your health and well-being. This may be one explanation behind why menopausal women who use estrogen replacement therapy tend to be more active than those who don’t according to research.

    Hormone Replacement Therapy with Estrogen May Act on the Brain to Increase Exercise Motivation

    However, there are other theories behind how hormones affect exercise after menopause. Some believe estrogen may have a more direct effect on exercise. A new study suggests estrogen may act on the brain to improve motivation for exercise. The study looked at estrogen levels and physical activity levels in female mice to determine if hormones play a role in exercise. 

    The urge to exercise begins in the brain. You feel motivated to exercise, so you act on that motivation. There are also many estrogen receptors in the brain, which may affect your impulse to work out. The study looked at how estrogen affected brain processes through a specific gene. Melanocortin-4 receptor gene (Mc4r), is a gene that plays an important role in energy regulation, food intake, body weight, and the motivation for physical activity. Estrogen binds to the Mc4r receptor and can help activate it. With higher estrogen levels, Mc4r caused increased protein production for the mice in the study. Those mice with higher estrogen levels tended to be more physically active than the mice with lower estrogen. 

    Researchers are still studying the effects of estrogen on the brain. However, the scientists in the study believe this may offer some evidence that estrogen is important for exercise motivation. The researchers noted that while the study involved mice, humans have similar anatomies, physiologies, and genetics. Therefore, they believe estrogen in humans may have similar effects on exercise and physical activities. They noted that their research may suggest that estrogen replacement therapy may help improve motivation levels for exercise for menopausal women. 

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy Can Increase Exercise Capacity

    Menopause can also affect how difficult exercise is, which may explain why many women are less active after menopause. Research shows that menopause may reduce exercise tolerance and oxygen consumption during exercise. This can make it feel harder to exercise, often leading to feeling more breathless, feeling muscle weakness, and other symptoms of low exercise tolerance, which can be discouraging and lead many women to exercise less than before menopause. 

    One study looked at exercise capacity for women before and after menopause. The researchers looked at many different factors to determine exercise capacity, which is the maximum amount of activity you can keep up. Some of the factors included the dilation of blood vessels, maximum workload, and peak oxygen consumption. Some of the group received estrogen replacement therapy for three months. The study found that estrogen significantly increased exercise capacity based on the factors they measured. The HRT group even achieved similar results to the pre-menopausal women in the study after just three months of hormone therapy. Therefore, this is just one other way estrogen may help with exercise after menopause. 

    Hormone Imbalance Treatment and Menopause Care at HerKare

    Our team at HerKare is committed to providing quality healthcare for women at all stages of life. We help with everything from hormone imbalance treatment to well woman care for patients of all ages. We believe in empowering women to take an active role in their health. Our clinic is owned and managed by women for women. We understand the need for convenient care from healthcare professionals that listen to you and take time to understand. Let us help you feel like yourself and feel good again. Book an appointment at one of our clinic locations to get started with the HerKare process.

    What to Know About Vaginal Yeast Infections

    What to Know About Vaginal Yeast Infections

    An estimated 75% of women will experience at least one vaginal yeast infection during their lifetimes. Some women experience yeast infections more frequently during and after menopause, often due to hormone changes. In some cases, other conditions you might experience during menopause can also increase the risk for vaginal infections like yeast infections. If you’re experiencing yeast infection symptoms, schedule a gynecological services appointment with our team to discuss diagnosis and treatment. Let’s go over some information you should know about yeast infections to help protect your health. 

    What is a Vaginal Yeast Infection?

    woman smiling after getting gynecological services for chronic yeast infections

    Vaginal yeast infections are an overgrowth of yeast. Gynecological services can help with diagnosis and treatment of yeast infections.

    First and foremost, you might be wondering what a vaginal yeast infection is. Many of us have heard of them or even experienced them without really knowing what they are. To understand what a yeast infection is, it’s important to understand that the vagina is like its own ecosystem. A healthy vagina typically has an acidic pH with a balance of bacteria and yeast. Those bacteria and yeast actually help keep your vagina healthy! However, if the balance between them gets thrown off for one reason or another, then the yeast cells can start to multiply and take over. When this happens, you experience a yeast infection. If you think you have a yeast infection, gynecological services can help diagnose the problem and one of our providers can prescribe treatment for the yeast infection.

    Symptoms of Yeast Infections

    There are many signs that can point to a yeast infection. Some common symptoms include:

    • Itching
    • Swelling
    • Redness
    • Pain during sex
    • Burning during urination
    • Soreness
    • Rash
    • White, clumpy discharge (like cottage cheese)
    • Watery discharge 

    However, it’s also important to keep in mind that other conditions can cause similar symptoms. This can make self-diagnosis tricky, which is why we recommend visiting one of our gynecological service providers if you’re experiencing yeast infection symptoms.

    Causes of Yeast Infections

    There are many potential causes of yeast infections. For instance, taking certain antibiotics can raise your risk for yeast infections because they can reduce the number of healthy bacteria in your vagina responsible for keeping yeast cells in check. Other common causes include stress, lack of sleep, and uncontrolled blood sugar if you have diabetes. 

    Hormone imbalances may also be a risk factor for yeast infections. Hormones can have a pretty big impact on your vagina’s delicate microbiome. Fluctuations in estrogen can lead to an overgrowth of yeast and eventually a yeast infection. Therefore, some women notice that they get yeast infections more often during perimenopause when hormone levels start to change. During this time period, vaginal atrophy is also pretty common, which can also increase your risk for vaginal infections. We’ll discuss these common menopause-related causes in more depth a little later. 

    In many cases it can be difficult to determine the exact cause of your yeast infection. Also, in some cases they may not be preventable. It’s important to talk to one of our gynecological treatment providers about your symptoms and what you can do to help avoid yeast infections. Some general tips involve following good hygiene practices, keeping your vulva clean and dry, and avoiding potentially irritating things like scented bath products. Our treatment providers can help determine other changes that may help your specific situation.

    Why Get Gynecological Services for Yeast Infections?

    Some women choose to self-diagnose and self-treat yeast infections with over the counter medications. However, our team generally recommends scheduling an appointment with a gynecological services provider if you think you have a yeast infection. 

    There are several reasons to visit one of our treatment providers for a yeast infection. Self-diagnosing a yeast infection can be quite difficult. Several studies have found that women frequently misdiagnose themselves with yeast infections. One study showed evidence that only 34% of the study participants who purchased over-the-counter yeast infection treatments had accurately diagnosed themselves with a yeast infection.

    Many other conditions can have similar symptoms to yeast infections. For instance, bacterial vaginosis, urinary tract infections, or even allergies from soaps or skincare products. Seeing a doctor can help rule out other causes of your symptoms and help verify that you have a yeast infection. One way to diagnose a yeast infection is to perform a lab test of your discharge to look for an overgrowth of yeast cells. 

    In addition, most over-the-counter yeast infection treatments are geared toward the most common type of yeast that causes yeast infections. However, some women may have a yeast infection from another type of yeast. Therefore, OTC treatments may not work for you if your yeast infection is due to another strain of yeast. In these cases, one of our providers can help identify the specific type of yeast and prescribe treatments specifically for that type of yeast infection. This can help you get the right type of treatment rather than deal with ongoing symptoms from using the incorrect anti-fungal treatments.

    Can Menopause Lead to Yeast Infections?

    Vaginal yeast infections can occur at any age. However, some women notice they get more yeast infections during and after menopause. Some common conditions you may experience during menopause can increase your risk for yeast infections. In addition, some of the symptoms of menopause can make you more vulnerable to yeast infections.

    Vaginal Atrophy

    We mentioned vaginal atrophy earlier as a potential risk factor for vaginal infections. Vaginal atrophy occurs when the tissues of your vagina become thin and dry. It’s pretty common with low estrogen levels during and after menopause. Vaginal atrophy may increase the risk for yeast infections, as it can change your vagina’s pH, bacterial levels, and yeast levels. These changes from vaginal atrophy can make your vagina more vulnerable to yeast overgrowth and yeast infections.

    Also, some women even mistake vaginal atrophy symptoms for yeast infections. Vaginal atrophy can cause itching, irritation, pain during sex, and several other similar symptoms to yeast infections. This can lead some women to believe they have a yeast infection when they don’t. Gynecological services such as a pelvic exam and lab testing of vaginal discharge can help determine if you have a yeast infection or if there may be other causes of your symptoms. 

    Other Common Conditions During Menopause that can Lead to Yeast Infections

    Also, there are other conditions you might experience during menopause that can increase your risk for yeast infections. For instance, many women experience frequent urinary tract infections during menopause due to low estrogen levels and vaginal atrophy. The most common treatment for UTIs involves taking antibiotics, which, as we mentioned earlier, can increase the risk for yeast infections. If you’re struggling with frequent UTIs after menopause, you may also experience more frequent yeast infections due to the antibiotics. 

    In addition, poor sleep can lower your immune system and increase your risk for yeast infections. Many women experience poor sleep during menopause due to hot flashes and night sweats. Frequent sleep issues during menopause may lead to vaginal yeast infections as well. Therefore, there may be many factors at play if you’re experiencing yeast infections during menopause, such as menopause symptoms that can affect your health. 

    Gynecological Services Can Help Address Underlying Causes of Yeast Infections

    Sometimes yeast infections just happen, but symptoms should go away with treatment. However, if you have four or more yeast infections per year, you might have chronic yeast infections. This is important to discuss with one of our women’s health care providers, as there may be underlying causes to chronic yeast infections.

    Treating underlying conditions may help reduce the number of yeast infections you get. For instance, if you’re struggling with vaginal atrophy after menopause, we may recommend estrogen or vaginal creams to help moisturize and thicken vaginal tissues, which may help reduce the number of yeast infections you experience. In other cases, our providers may recommend taking yeast infection medications for a longer period of time to help with chronic yeast infections.

    One of the first steps toward getting help for frequent yeast infections is scheduling an appointment for gynecological services from our team. Our providers can go over your medical history, symptoms, and perform examinations and tests to determine if there may be underlying causes to your yeast infections. 

    Quality Women’s Health Care and Gynecological Services at HerKare

    Our professionals at HerKare are here to help you feel your best, whether you have chronic yeast infections or need preventative well woman care. We are a women’s health clinic owned and managed by women. We take time to listen and understand what you’re feeling to help provide quality care for a wide range of conditions, from gynecological concerns to menopause symptoms. Make an appointment today to discuss how we can help you address your health.

    Low Estrogen May Increase the Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

    Low Estrogen May Increase the Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

    Low estrogen levels during menopause may put you at risk for type 2 diabetes. Hormone changes during menopause can cause a lot of worrisome and frustrating changes, from disrupting symptoms to higher risks for certain health conditions. Diabetes is a common but serious condition that can impact your overall wellbeing, and estrogen may play a role in your risk factors for this health condition. In this article, we’ll explore the connection between estrogen and diabetes. 

    Low Estrogen During Menopause May Affect Your Health

    woman with low estrogen smiling because of treatment solutions from HerKare

    Low estrogen can cause many symptoms and health risks, but treatment solutions are available from our providers.

    Menopause is a natural stage of life for women, but that doesn’t mean it comes without any risks. Unfortunately, declining and fluctuating hormones during menopause can lead to many symptoms and health risks. 

    For instance, some of the symptoms you may experience because of low estrogen and progesterone during menopause include:

    • Mood changes
    • Hot flashes
    • Night sweats
    • Vaginal dryness
    • Sleep problems
    • Weight gain
    • Brain fog

    Each of these symptoms can affect your physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. Many believe hormone levels are the cause of menopause symptoms. 

    Decreased estrogen can also affect your health in many different ways. After menopause, your risk increases for many health conditions. Some of these include heart disease, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes. Let’s look at how estrogen affects your risks for diabetes after menopause. 

    Low Estrogen May Increase Your Risk for Developing Type 2 Diabetes

    What many women don’t realize is that their risk for type 2 diabetes increases after menopause. Everyone’s risk for diabetes goes up with age, regardless of gender. However, women may be more at risk for diabetes after menopause. Researchers have theorized for years that hormone changes during menopause may play a role in that risk. Several studies suggest there may be a link between type 2 diabetes and low estrogen levels. There may be several factors at play in the connection between estrogen and diabetes. Research is still ongoing, but there are some potential explanations backed by scientific study.

    Estrogen May Affect How Your Body Uses Insulin

    Diabetes is a condition where your blood sugar is too high. With type 2 diabetes, this is typically because your body makes less insulin and because your cells become more resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps your cells use sugar, but if your cells are more insulin resistant, glucose (sugar) may stay in the blood unused for energy instead. Recent research led by a team from Texas A&M University found that estrogen may affect how your body responds to insulin

    Several studies have found a potential link between low estrogen and type 2 diabetes. Yet, many couldn’t explain why. The researchers found this may be due to estrogen’s effects on liver-specific FOXO1. FOXO1 is a protein that basically binds to DNA and helps turn certain genes on or off. This particular protein helps your body regulate insulin to control blood sugar. Estrogen may help reduce how much sugar your body produces by acting on this protein. As your estrogen levels decline during menopause, FOXO1 proteins may not work as effectively to control insulin levels, which may explain the increased risk for type 2 diabetes after menopause. 

    Estrogen & Glucagon

    However, there may be other explanations behind why the risk for type 2 diabetes increases after menopause. For example, another study found that estrogen may actually target certain cells in your body that may help reduce diabetes risks. The researchers in this study found that estrogen may act on cells in the pancreas and gut that help improve your ability to use glucose. Some of the cells studied release a hormone called glucagon. Glucagon helps increase blood sugar to help prevent it from dropping too low, such as while you sleep, to help prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). However, if your body releases too much glucagon, you may have chronically high blood sugar levels, which can lead to diabetes. 

    The study actually found that estrogen affects the cells responsible for making and releasing glucagon. They saw estrogen helped reduce glucagon production and increased GCP1 levels, which help increase insulin in your body, block glucagon secretion, and can also help you feel full. This is another way estrogen may help keep blood sugar levels in check and reduce the risks of type 2 diabetes. However, since estrogen levels decline during menopause, women may lose some of this protection against high glucagon levels. 

    Low Estrogen May Increase Visceral Fat in Your Body

    You may know that obesity is a common risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. However, many don’t realize that how fat is distributed in your body may also play a role in your risk for diabetes. For instance, some researchers believe that large amounts of visceral fat increases the risk for metabolic syndrome, which can cause insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Visceral fat is fat found in the abdominal cavity around your organs like the stomach, liver, and intestines. You might be wondering what this has to do with hormones and menopause. Well, lower estrogen levels after menopause can affect how fat is distributed in your body. You may have more visceral fat if you have decreased estrogen levels, increasing the risk for diabetes and many other health conditions. 

    Gaining more visceral fat doesn’t even necessarily mean that you gain weight. Hormone changes during menopause may simply affect how your body distributes fat. So, even if you don’t gain weight, you may find that you have more visceral fat after menopause, which can also increase your risk for diabetes.

    Other Symptoms that Affect Your Blood Sugar

    In addition, several of the symptoms of menopause can affect your blood sugar, which may increase your risk for type 2 diabetes. For instance, many women gain weight during menopause. Being overweight or obese can raise your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, as it can make you more resistant to insulin. 

    Poor sleep is another symptom many women experience during menopause that may affect your diabetes risks. Sleep deprivation from issues like insomnia or sleep disturbances from night sweats can negatively affect your blood sugar levels.

    Therefore, there may be several different factors that affect your diabetes risk during menopause. Some of the symptoms you  might experience during menopause may indirectly affect your risks. 

    Can Hormone Imbalance Treatment Help Reduce Diabetes Risk?

    Fortunately, evidence suggests that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) during menopause may help reduce risks for diabetes. Several studies have looked at the effects of hormone replacement on diabetes risk with positive results. 

    HRT is a type of treatment many women use for symptoms of menopause. This treatment helps supplement your hormone levels as they start to decline during menopause. Generally, menopausal hormone therapy includes estrogen and progesterone, though women who have had a hysterectomy may only need estrogen. The goal of hormone therapy is to keep your hormone levels in ranges that help reduce menopause symptoms. 

    Another potential benefit of using HRT after menopause is that it may help reduce your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Several studies suggest that estrogen or combination therapy may actually help prevent diabetes and also help with glycemic control. While most medical professionals recommend using HRT only if you have troubling menopause symptoms, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes may be a secondary benefit for some women. Our treatment providers can help you weigh the benefits and risks and help you decide if hormone imbalance treatment is right for you. 

    Quality Care and HRT Solutions for Women at HerKare

    When you need holistic healthcare solutions, visit a HerKare clinic near you. We provide quality care for women at every stage of life. Whether you’re interested in discussing hormone therapy options for menopause or need preventative well woman care, our team is here to help. Our goal is to help you feel your best and help you prioritize your lifelong health. Make an appointment today to learn how our providers can help you address your health and wellness.

    Kick-Start Weight Loss with Lipotropic Injections

    Kick-Start Weight Loss with Lipotropic Injections

    The CDC estimates that over 73% of American adults are overweight. Most of us have heard of the many risks of being overweight, such as an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and even certain cancers. Carrying around extra pounds can also affect how many people feel about themselves, causing low self-esteem and other issues. If you’re ready to start your weight loss journey, you might wonder if there’s anything that can help you lose weight and shed fat. Lipotropic injections might be just the answer.

    What are Lipotropic Injections?

    woman running for weight loss with lipotropic injections treatmetn

    The vitamins and amino acids in lipotropic injections may help with your weight loss strategies.

    Lipotropic injections are a mix of vitamins and amino acids delivered by injection. This blend of vitamins and amino acids may help with weight loss. In most cases, lipotropic injections include a mix of B vitamins and amino acids that may help improve metabolism, energy, and the breakdown of fat in your body. The base for lipotropic injections is vitamin B12, which is an important vitamin for energy and metabolism. 

    While research is still ongoing for lipotropic injections and weight loss, many patients notice positive results after beginning a lipotropic injection treatment plan. Our providers generally recommend one injection each week for 12 weeks. It’s important to discuss the specifics of your situation with one of our treatment providers before beginning lipotropic injections.

    How do Lipotropic Injections Work?

    Of course, many of us have fallen for weight loss scams that promise amazing results with little delivery. So, what makes lipotropic injections different? For starters, unlike the products we just described, these treatments are overseen by treatment providers at our clinics. 

    Studies have found an association between certain vitamin deficiencies and being overweight. For instance, some research indicates that low B12 may increase the risk for obesity. Therefore, some researchers theorize that boosting these common deficiencies may help decrease risk factors for being overweight. 

    In addition, while research continues for lipotropic shots, evidence suggests that the ingredients in lipotropic injections may help increase metabolism and energy levels, both of which can be beneficial for weight loss. 

    Increasing Metabolism

    One of the ways lipotropic injections may help with your weight loss goals is increasing metabolism. Specifically, the ingredients in lipotropic shots may help improve fat metabolism in the liver. These vitamins and amino acids may help the liver remove fat from the body, turn fat into energy, and also reduce fat production. Essentially, in some cases if your body doesn’t have the vitamins and amino acids it needs, the liver may not be very effective at processing fat from your diet. This can lead to unnecessary fat storage, which can increase weight and body fat percentage. Lipotropic injections can help improve this fat metabolism in the liver, which may aid with weight loss. 

    Boosting Energy Levels

    Also, some people notice they have more energy after beginning lipotropic injection treatments. This is important, as when you’re dealing with low energy levels and fatigue, it can be hard to follow a lifestyle that promotes healthy weight. 

    Think about the last time you had less-than-stellar sleep at night. It likely felt like you were dragging yourself through the day. You might have reached for some sweets or comfort foods to help keep you going. Also, you likely didn’t work out that day (or not as much as you had planned) because you felt tired. 

    When we’re tired and have no energy, it can feel almost impossible to eat right and exercise. Many people unconsciously grab for foods that aren’t as healthy for one reason or another. For instance, you might be more likely to eat processed foods rather than cook a healthy meal from scratch because of the energy needed for cooking. In addition, sometimes our bodies crave sugar or carbohydrates for a quick energy source when we’re feeling drained. If this is a frequent occurrence, it might sabotage your weight loss goals. And let’s not even mention how hard it is to exercise regularly and to the proper intensity for weight loss if you feel exhausted all the time. 

    Fortunately, many of the vitamins and amino acids in lipotropic injections can actually help boost energy levels. For instance, one of the main ingredients in lipotropic injections is vitamin B12, which is also known by some as “the energy vitamin.” Boosting energy can make it easier to follow your weight loss plan.

    Using Lipotropic Shots for Weight Loss

    If you’re interested in beginning lipotropic injections for weight loss, the first step is scheduling an appointment to talk with one of our treatment providers. They can help you understand what you need to do for treatment, potential side effects, and discuss the treatments more in-depth based on your individual circumstances. 

    It’s also important to understand that lipotropic injections aren’t a substitute for weight loss strategies. These treatments may aid with your weight loss journey. They may help you burn fat easier and faster. However, it’s still important to follow a weight management program. You can talk to one of our doctors about your weight and recommended weight loss strategies based on your health and lifestyle.

    Pairing Lipotropic Injections with Weight Loss Strategies

    In most cases, if you’re taking lipotropic injections, you’ll need to follow weight loss programs for optimal results. Once again, this may vary depending on your personal situation. However, for most healthy adults, losing weight the healthy way includes exercising and eating a balanced diet. The CDC states that people who lose weight gradually are often more successful at maintaining a healthy weight after achieving their weight loss goals. For most people, this means aiming to lose one to two pounds a week. 

    Therefore, if you’re interested in beginning lipotropic injection treatments, it’s important to understand that these injections won’t do all the work for you. Instead, make sure you have a healthy weight goal in mind and a plan to achieve it. Lipotropic injections may help you burn fat when paired with weight management programs.

    Are there Other Benefits of Lipotropic Injections?

    Most people who start lipotropic injections primarily do so to help with weight loss and to help jump start fat burning. However, there are some other benefits you might notice after beginning this treatment. In addition to the benefits we’ve already mentioned (helping improve metabolism and energy), lipotropic injections may also:

    • Boost memory and focus
    • Improve mood
    • Reduce water retention
    • Improve liver detoxification
    • Promote healthy hair, skin, and nails

    Therefore, if you’re interested in lipotropic injection therapy, talk to one of our treatment providers to learn more and discuss your individual circumstances. 

    Weight Loss Strategies from HerKare Women’s Health Clinic

    Our team at HerKare is here to help women improve their health. We believe in empowering women through quality healthcare. Whether you’re looking for lipotropic shots to help aid weight loss or need preventative well woman care, we’re here to help. Our team is here to help provide you with friendly, comfortable care so you can be proactive about your health. Book an appointment today at our women’s health clinic owned and operated by women for women.