Hormone 101: Back to Basics

Hormone 101: Back to Basics
Tanya Harmon, Pharm D.
SUCCESS Women’s Conference: October 28, 2016






(To download a PDF of these slides, click here: hormone-101-pt-slides-final)



Overview:


 	Perimenopause, Menopause, Male Hypogonadism, Andropause
 	Functions of Hormones in the… Read more

Hormone 101: Back to Basics

Tanya Harmon, Pharm D.

SUCCESS Women’s Conference: October 28, 2016



(To download a PDF of these slides, click here: hormone-101-pt-slides-final)


Overview:

  • Perimenopause, Menopause, Male Hypogonadism, Andropause
  • Functions of Hormones in the Body (Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone)
  • Symptoms & Causes of Hormone imbalances
  • Ways to Naturally Balance Hormones
  • Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)

Do You Feel Like You are No Longer In Control of Your Body?

  • Mood Swings   • Depression   • Feeling Isolated   • Extreme anxiety   • Insomnia   • Hot Flashes   • Night Sweats
  • Weight Loss Resistance   • Bloated   • Fatigued   • Brain Fog   • Hair loss   • Low libido

Perimenopause, Menopause, Male Hypogonadism, & Andropause

  • The imbalance of even one hormone causes imbalance in other hormones & leads to a domino effect.
  • Hormone response is as unique to each person as their own fingerprints.
  • Perimenopause & Menopause – According to Dr. Pam Smith, MD, MPD, Dir of the Fellowship in Anti-Aging & Functional Medicine, Menopause typically occurs between the age of 35-55. However, symptoms can appear as early as 5-10 years before that (perimenopausal symptoms)
  • Male Hypogonadism (low “T”)– Primarily a state involving lower than expected levels of testosterone, and traditionally this condition has been treated almost exclusively with testosterone supplementation. However, low testosterone can be a fairly complex myriad of body’s inability to produce enough testosterone, improper brain signaling, and excess estrogen.
  • Andropause– An absolute or relative insufficiency of testosterone or its metabolites in relation to the needs of that individual at that time in his life.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH PERIMENOPAUSE, MENOPAUSE, FEMALE HORMONE IMBALANCES

  • HOT FLASHES, NIGHT SWEATS, MOOD SWINGS, IRRITABILITY
  • Loss of sexual interest
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Vaginal itching
  • Painful intercourse
  • Arthritic pain (ankles, knees, wrist, shoulders, knees)
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
  • Frequent urination
  • Urinary leakage
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Indigestion
  • Weight gain
  • Snoring
  • Loss of memory & concentration, “tip of the tongue” syndrome
  • Bone loss
  • Lower back pain
  • Varicose veins
  • Skin feeling crawly
  • Palpitations
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Weird dreams
  • Sore breasts
  • Dizzy spells
  • Migraines
  • Hair loss
  • Facial hair growth

Female Disorders linked to Hormone Imbalances

• Breast Cancer   • Uterine Cancer   • PMS   • PMDD (Premenopausal Dysphoric Disorder)   • PCOS (PolycysLc Ovarian Syndrome)    • Endometriosis    • Vulvadynia    • PostPartum Depression    • Migraine Headaches   • Insomnia   • Anxiety

Signs & Symptoms of Low Testosterone

  • LOSS OF SEX DRIVE OR LIBIDO
  • ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
  • DECREASED INTENSITY OF CLIMAX
  • LOSS OF ENERGY, TIREDNESS
  • DEPRESSION
  • Low or negative mood
  • Loss of fitness
  • Decline in physical activities
  • Weight Gain
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Loss of memory or concentration
  • Anxiety or Nervousness
  • Feeling overstressed
  • Irritability
  • Anger or Bad Temper
  • Elevated Cholesterol
  • Backache
  • Joint pains
  • Joint Stiffness
  • Decrease in job performance
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Increased risk of Insulin resistance
  • Increase risk Diabetes
  • Increased risk Metabolic Syndrome

Good News!!!

If you are experiencing symptoms, there is a way to get your body back in balance as it was when you were in your 20s or 30s through vitamin & mineral replacement, proper diet, & Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT).

What is BHRT (Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy)?

**ESTROGEN, PROGESTERONE, TESTOSTERONE **

Bio-identical hormones have the exact molecular structure as those made in the human body, producing the same physiologic responses as those of the body’s natural hormones. BHRT uses hormones chemically processed from soybeans & yams, and because they come from nature, they cannot be patented.

SYNTHETIC HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY

(Not the same as BHRT)

Synthetic hormones are not identical in structure or function to the bio-identical hormones they are intended to replace. Side chains are added to a natural substance to create a synthetic product that can be patented by a manufacturer. They do not fit, as natural hormones do, into the body’s hormone receptor sites, and do not follow the normal metabolic pathways. These Structural differences between human, synthetic, and animal hormones may be responsible for side effects and delayed elimination experienced when using non-BHRT.

Benefits of BHRT

• Alleviate symptoms of hormone imbalance   • Improve Quality of Life   • Proper Functioning of many Body Systems

• Disease Prevention

*** See Functions of Estrogen, Progesterone, & Testosterone ***

FUNCTIONS OF ESTROGEN

(Estrogen has 400 functions in a woman’s body)

  • Stimulates production of choline acetyltransferase, an enzyme that prevents Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Helps maintain memory
  • Increases reasoning & new ideas
  • Increases metabolic rate
  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • Prevent muscle damage & helps maintain muscle
  • Improves sleep
  • Reduces the risk of cataracts
  • Prevents macular degeneration
  • Enhances the production of nerve-growth factor
  • Enhances energy
  • Helping to maintain elasticity of arteries
  • Improves blood flow
  • Dilates small arteries
  • Acts as a natural calcium channel blocker to keep arteries open
  • Reduces homocysteine
  • Inhibits platelet stickiness
  • Decreases accumulation of plaque on the arteries
  • Enhances magnesium uptake and utilization
  • Maintains the amount of collagen & the elasticity of the skin
  • Decreases wrinkling
  • Increases the water content of the skin, & responsible for its thickness & softness
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Decreases risk of Colon Cancer
  • Helps prevent tooth loss
  • Helps with fine motor skills
  • Increases sexual interest
  • Helps maintain bone density
  • Increases HDL (good cholesterol) by 10-15%
  • Reduces the overall risk of heart disease by 40-50%
  • Aids in the formation of neurotransmibers in the brain (for example serotonin), which decreases depression, irritability, anxiety, and pain sensitivity.

ESTROGEN DOMINANCE

(men & women)

Occurs When:

  • Estrogen levels are too high
  • Estrogen: Progesterone ratio imbalance
  • Obesity: Estrogen can be produced by fat cells

** Has negative consequences if left elevated/unbalanced**

CAUSES OF ESTROGEN DOMINANCE:

(men & women)

XENOHORMONES: Environmental Factors that increase estrogen levels

Dietary Factors:

  • Lack of nutrient intake needed to properly metabolize estrogens (high 16-OH estrone)
  • Intake of foods that increase estrogens
  • Lack of foods that decrease estrogens
  • Non-organic meats & vegetables
  • Intake of GMO foods (buy non-GMO)
  • Low Grains & Fiber diet
  • High Intake of Processed foods

Environmental Exposure:

  • Plastics
  • Pesticides
  • Toxic cleaners
  • “False” fragrances

MEDICATIONS:

  • Avoid all synthetic sex hormones (birth control, synthetic estrogens, progestins, synthetic testosterone).

STRESS (emotional or physical):

  • Stress elevates Cortisol (stress hormone)
  • Elevated Cortisol causes “Progesterone steal” decreasing progesterone levels, allowing estrogen to go “haywire”

EFFECTS OF ESTROGEN DOMINANCE & XENOHORMONE EXPOSURE:

• 50% decrease in sperm count since 1938   • Increased Incidence of testicular & prostate cancer   • Stimulating effect in Breast Cancer   • Increased risk of Breast Cancer   • Stimulating effect in endometriosis   • Endometrial Cancer
• Fibrocycstic Breasts   • Estrogen Dominance Syndrome    • Increased risk of developing autoimmune diseases
• Increased risk of developing Uterine Cancer

ESTROGEN DOMINANCE SYNDROME SIGNS & SYMPTOMS:

• Bloating, water retention  • Fatigue   • Headaches   • Hypothyroidism (increases the binding of thyroid hormone, which causes low thyroid levels)    • Depression with anxiety or agitation    • Decrease in sexual interest  • Cervical Dysplasia
• Irritability   • Mood Swings   • Poor sleep   • Panic attacks    • Elevated SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) – binds testosterone making it unavailable for the body to use   • Weight gain   • Uterine Fibroids (non-cancerous tumors of the uterus)

FUNCTIONS OF PROGESTERONE

(Not to be confused with progestin=synthetic)

  • Helps balance estrogen
  • Improves sleep
  • Natural calming effect
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps body use & eliminate fats
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Offers some protection against breast cancer
  • Increases scalp hair
  • Helps balance fluid in the cells
  • Increases beneficial effects of estrogen on blood cells
  • Increases metabolic rate
  • Functions as a natural antidepressive & diuretic

“PROGESTERONE STEAL”

(secondary to stress & elevated cortisol)

  • Stress (physical or emotional) elevates cortisol the “stress hormone”
  • Cortisol will not allow progesterone to bind & work properly
  • Low progesterone leads to estrogen dominance & hypothyroid
  • High cortisol can lead to insulin resistance
  • Adaptogenic herbs help balance cortisol levels
    • Ashwaghanda
    • Rhodiola
    • Cordycep mushrooms
    • Licorice root
    • Holy basil

FUNCTIONS OF TESTOSTERONE:

  • Increases sexual interest & sense of well-being
  • It helps maintain muscle mass & strength
  • It maintains memory
  • Helps keep skin from sagging
  • It elevates levels of norepinephrine in the brain, therefore, it has a tricyclic antidepressant effect
  • Helps maintain bone strength
  • Decreases excess body fat

CAUSES OF LOW TESTOSTERONE
“low T”

  • Infections (mumps, Epstein-bar virus, herpes, coxsachie virus)
  • Heredity
  • Age
  • Impaired Development (non-descent or late descent testes)
  • Trauma (Injury/surgery)
  • Alcohol (Alcoholics=low thyroid, low adrenal, low B vitamins, high estrogen levels)
  • Insufficient Nutrition
  • Temperature
  • Stress
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Decreased physical activity
  • Poor diet
  • Medications
  • Low Vitamin D levels
  • Microflora Imbalance

NATURAL WAYS TO BOOST TESTOSTERONE
(men & women)

  • Intermibent fasting
    • skip breakfast; 3 meals a day (12,3,6PM)
    • allows liver to rest, drink water, green veggie juice
    • can increase testosterone levels 400%
  • Heavy weight lifting
  • Add in healthy fat
    • Sat. Fat (coconut oil, yogurt, goat milk, kefir)
    • Omega3 FA (salmon, flax seed, chia, walnuts)
    • Monosat. Fat (avocado, olive oil, almonds)
  • Detox Liver
  • Get Rid of Anger, Resentment, Frustration
  • Nutrients
    • Vitamin D3
    • Adaptogenic Herbs
    • Fish Oil

BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY (BHRT)

BI-EST (ESTRIOL + ESTRADIOL), PROGESTERONE, TESTOSTERONE

Bio-identical hormones can be compounded specifically for each individual’s need. This allows for more flexibility in dosing and allows us to customize the medication.

Hormones can be compounded in the following dosage forms (alone or in combination):

  • Topical creams & gels
  • Sustained release caps
  • Vaginal suppositories
  • Troche/lozenges
  • Sublingual drops

POTENTIAL RISKS OF BIO-IDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT:

Your practitioner will take into account age, family history, lifestyle habits, and exposure to estrogen before menopause, unexplained vaginal bleeding, and present health status before considering BHRT.

Women with bladder problems, diabetes, fibroids, & previous cancers should discuss all risk factors with their provider(doctor or nurse practitioner) to evaluate the risk of having hormone supplementation. Before starting therapy, patients should have a thorough medical exam and up to date on baseline blood work, thyroid lab work, mammograms, & pap smears.

SUMMARY

  • Review symptoms of hormone imbalances
  • If you have signs or symptoms of imbalance, test
  • Improve Diet, Supplementation, & Exercise
    • Lean, green, & colorful
    • Avoid processed foods; organic when possible
    • MVI, Fish Oil, Probiotics
    • Vitamin D3, Magnesium (80% population deficient)
    • Adaptogenic herbs (balance cortisol)
    • Drink half your weight in water (ounces)
    • Exercise 30min 3 X week minimally (fat loss to decrease estrogen dominance)
  •  Detox Environment
    • remove “false” fragrances
    • remove toxic cleaners
    • filter water
    • avoid plastics (especially when healing foods)
  •  Avoid synthetic hormones
    • milk thistle, DIM (cruciferous vegetables) detox estrogen
    • saw palmetto (to decrease high testosterone levels)

REFERENCES:

  1. A Comprehensive Look at Hormones and the Effects of Hormone Replacement, Chapter 41. Pamela Smith., MPH Director of the Fellowship in AnL-Aging and Functional Medicine. Pg 229-238.
  2. Natural Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Handout, Burt Patterson, R.Ph., Alice Bates, RPH.
  3. www.holtorfmed.com/hormonal-imbalance-for-women/
  4. www.womenlivingnaturally.com/articlepage.php?id=177_
  5. Carruthers, M., “The diagnosis of androgen deficiency,” Aging Male 2002; 4:254.
  6. Treatment options for Male Hypogonadism. Bruce Biunado., RPh, FACA., PCCA Pharmacy Consulting Department. Pg 1-16.
  7. www. Draxe.com, 7 Steps to Increase Testosterone Naturally & Fast.
  8. Andropause, PCCA BHRT Seminar in Las Vegas Nevada. Pamela Smith., MPH Director of Fellowship in Anti-Aging & Functional Medicine. Feb 2015.
Author: Gardens Pharmacy

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