Menopause is the inability of the ovaries to produce eggs. When eggs are no longer produced, Estradiol and Progesterone are no longer produced. In the perimenopausal time there is a sporadic production of Estradiol which causes the symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, decreased libido, brain fog, fatigue, headaches, emotional lability with tearfulness, poor sleep, plantar fasciitis, and decreased mental clarity. In menopause the symptoms can be even more pronounced with the inability to multitask, alcohol cravings, fat gain around the middle, skin laxity and thinning, hair thinning and nail weakness. The lack of sleep can further pronounce the aging process as sleep is a regenerative time. The question then arises; do I accept nature and this natural decline in health, energy, vitality, and longevity? Or, do I take advantage of all that modern medicine has to offer? If your coronary arteries were nearly blocked, would you just accept it and wait for the heart attack? Or would you have stents placed or coronary artery bypass surgery? We try and cheat "nature" any chance we get! Why would we treat female hormones any other way?
The overall risks and benefits of female hormones are somewhat controversial at the moment. Most of the studies have been done on synthetic hormones and not bio-identical hormones. Suzanne Sommers does an excellent job in The Sexy Years evaluating the studies and putting them into perspective. The potential benefits are enormous and the risks are minimal. Dr. Diana Schwarzbein shares the belief that replacing hormones as closely to nature is the most appropriate way to replace hormones. Just like thyroid hormone, the female hormones should be replaced, if missing, with the identical hormone, cycled if that follows nature, and results tracked with blood testing to assure the correct dose is given. That also means that each woman in menopause will need her own individualized dosing plan that works best with her body. Our philosophy is to not only treat the symptoms, but the whole person.