perimenopause

Perimenopause – The Change Before The Change

Well, sisters, this probably means you are perimenopausal. That’s just a fancy word that means you are approaching menopause. It can begin anytime after age 35 or so, but most frequently occurs when a women is in her 40s, leading up to menopause (the complete lack of menstrual periods for 13 months) at age 50 or so.

By the way, I learned to call those hot flashes “power surges.” It made me feel better.

We talked in previous articles about natural ways to approach menopausal symptoms. I’ll remind you again that menopause is not a disease. It is a natural life process. The symptoms of menopause can be uncomfortable, and, in rare cases, life-altering.

You can rest easy. There are safe and natural ways to duplicate your declining hormones exactly as your body manufactured them at its prime.

Your doctor probably won’t mention bioidentical hormone replacement  (BHRT) to you because it’s likely he or she doesn’t know about these natural hormones that have been available for about 40 years in the United States since the 1940’s in Europe.

Since they are substances natural to the human body, natural hormones can’t be patented, so there’s little incentive for the pharmaceutical industry to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars required to research and develop them in order to get FDA approval and charge extortionist prices for them.

While the early forms were somewhat difficult to use, new technology has made them bioavailable in pills, creams, gels, patches, drops, suppositories and sublingual tablets.

Bioidentical hormones

Bio-identical plant-derived progesterone, estradiol, estrone and testosterone are available through compounding pharmacies that actually formulate the mixture that is best for you based on your blood and or saliva test results.

You can get BHRT only by prescription, and their manufacture is standardized. It is regulated by the FDA, contrary to the erroneous beliefs of many doctors.

These hormones are made from highly purified chemicals derived from soy and wild yams through a complex manufacturing process that transforms them into a carbon copy of the hormones you had at your peak of hormone production.

Of natural origin

They’re not plant or herbal extracts, and they’re called natural because of the origin of their chemical structure.

Many major pharmaceutical companies are now producing bioidentical hormones, among them the estradiols Estrace, Climara, Vivelle and Estraderm and progesterones Prometrium and Crinone.

You’ve made some headway if your doctor wants to prescribe one of these for you—but while they’re bioidentical to a hypothetical 35-year old woman, they aren’t customized to your individual hormone profile like the ones you’ll get from a compounding pharmacy. Find a compounding pharmacy near you.

Eliminate free estrogen

Your body has a lock and key hormonal structure. To put it simply, your body either manufactures hormones or you take them as supplements and they fit perfectly into receptors, like keys.

Bioidentical hormones fit exactly into those receptors, protecting you against the many dangers of unbalanced hormones.

Synthetic hormones don’t fit the key and lock structure precisely and some can stay too long or not long enough in your body, worsening your symptoms and your long-term risks of cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Benefits of natural hormone replacement

Dr. Jonathan Wright, one of the pioneers of BHRT offers these benefits in his book, Natural Hormone Replacement:

  • Prevention of osteoporosis and restoration of bone strength
  • Reduced hot flashes and reduced vaginal dryness/thinning
  • Better maintenance of muscle mass and strength
  • Protection against heart disease and stroke
  • Improved cholesterol levels
  • Reduced risk of endometrial cancer and breast cancer
  • Reduced risk of depression
  • Improved sleep and better mood, concentration and memory
  • Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
  • Improved libido (sex drive)
  • Many fewer unwanted effects than synthetic hormones

If you’ve begun experiencing symptoms of perimenopause, talk to your doctor. Have your hormone levels tested and consider BHRT. You’ll be glad you did. I am.

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