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Feb 15

Should You Try Bio-Identical Hormones for Menopause Treatment?

It’s a common belief that hormone replacement therapy should be the go-to solution for women suffering from the estrogen deficiency associated with menopause. Many women understandably begin to research natural and safe methods to alleviate their symptoms. 

While hormone replacement therapy can make a world of difference for many patients, not all hormone sources are created equal. That’s why we frequently recommend bio-identical hormones for their safety and effectiveness.

What is Different About Bio-Identical Hormones?

Often called natural or human-identical hormones, bio-identical hormones can provide safe and effective relief from menopausal symptoms. Bio-identical hormones are identical in molecular make-up, shape, and structure to the hormones that are naturally made in the human body. This is why bio-identical hormones are effective; their compatibility with the human body allows them to be safely absorbed and effectively utilized.

This stands in contrast to hormones like Premarin and Prempro, which are made from conjugated mare urine. While each of these contains natural hormones from horses, ultimately they are not bio-identical to humans. Any typical HRT drug like Provera and the combination drug Prempro, that list ingredients such as progestogens, progestins, or esterified estrogens are also not bio-identical.  The names may sound similar, but their molecular structure is very different.

Compatibility is important because the cells in our body respond to a specific hormone structure. When hormones that aren’t bio-identical are used, some patients may experience a variety of side effects ranging from minor to serious. Bio-identical hormones are exactly the structure of human hormones, and this is why they work effectively without the accompanying range of side effects.

How Abundant Life Health Care Can Help

The most effective way to diagnose hormone imbalances is through saliva testing. This gives us the most accurate snapshot of the “active” hormone levels currently in your body. Based on the plan developed between patient and provider, these test results will assist our provider in prescribing the appropriate treatment using bio-identical hormones.

Abundant Life Health Care works with a local compounding pharmacy right here in Boise. Our providers prescribe individualized doses of bio-identical hormones to correct any underlying hormonal imbalances and these individualized treatments are made specifically for that patient by the compounding pharmacy. These treatments often include creams, triturates, troches, and capsules.

At Abundant Life Health Care, we understand that treating hormonal imbalances means addressing more than just your test results or your symptoms. In order for you to have the best outcomes, we address all of the factors that contribute to your wellness. 

It’s our goal to help you discover your optimal energy and wellness. Request an appointment to start your journey toward abundant health today.


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Jan 29

Hair Loss in Menopause: Why It Happens, What You Can Do

When women undergo the hormonal changes of menopause, everyone expects the common side effects of mood swings, sleep loss, and especially hot flashes. It can be surprising to discover that for some women, hair thinning can occur during and after menopause.

When women’s hormone levels decline naturally over time, the protective effects of female hormones can also decline. Depending on your genetic risk and sensitivity, androgens can progressively weaken your hair follicles and cause some form of hair loss. 

There are other contributing factors to menopausal hair loss and it is important to identify and treat the root of the problem, rather than symptoms alone.

Menopausal Hair Loss Contributing Factors

While declining hormone levels may be the most obvious culprit, there may be other factors in play. These can include the following:

  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Certain autoimmune disorders
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Unmitigated stress
  • Genetic predisposition

It’s understandable why preventing hair loss is important. For many women, hair is an important part of identity, confidence, and self-esteem. When loss of hair impacts your self-esteem, it can certainly have psychological effects like depression, anxiety, or social withdrawal. 

There can be a financial cost, too. Many women spend hundreds of dollars (or more) trying various shampoos, scalp treatments, and supplements which claim to stop and reverse hair loss.

No matter what is causing your hair loss, there are options and solutions available to you. Abundant Life Health Care will work with you to identify any hormonal changes or to determine if there are other underlying causes for your hair loss and help you regain your confidence.

How Abundant Life Health Care Can Help

When suffering hair loss, it’s important to identify the root of the problem rather than simply treating symptoms. While hormone replacement therapy can relieve symptoms of menopausal hair loss, we have found great success at correcting hormonal imbalances using bio-identical hormones, nutrition, dietary supplements, and positive lifestyle changes. 

Self-care is always important and can help you manage your stress as you find solutions to your hair loss. It’s our goal to help you discover your optimal energy and wellness. Request an appointment to start your journey toward abundant health today.


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Jan 22

Menopause & Depression: Understanding the Connection

Menopause marks a time of unpredictable hormonal fluctuations for women. Hormonal levels are closely connected to mood and overall well-being, and this is why some women may be at an increased risk for depression as they reach middle-age.

“Women going through the menopause are four times more likely to suffer from depression than women who are younger than 45,” according to Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, the executive director of the North American Menopause Society.

During perimenopause, women’s estrogen levels gradually decrease. These hormones are responsible for maintaining the proper function of your body and when one is dramatically reduced or increased, there are consequences to your physical and emotional wellbeing.

Mood Swings & Depression

Mood swings are a common symptom for women in menopause, and it is normal to occasionally or briefly feel sad, down, or otherwise “blue.”

These mood swings can progress into depression as a symptom of other problems or ordeals in life, though is typically short in duration. There are a combination of factors that can contribute to mood swings and worsen depression and these can include overall stress levels and feelings about body image, aging, and sexuality. 

Depression is considered clinical when it is long-lasting and caused by a chemical imbalance, and should be treated accordingly. Some women may be more likely to suffer from depression due to family history and other contributing biological factors.

Common Depression Symptoms

Changing levels of estrogen during the perimenopausal period can have noticeable effects on your health. Common symptoms of menopause-related depression include:

  • Decreased interest in activities you normally enjoy
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in sleep patterns

Not all women will experience symptoms in the same way. If you’re suffering from depression and believe it may be related to menopause, it may be time to get help from our experienced and compassionate team at Abundant Life Health Care.

How Abundant Life Health Care Can Help

When suffering from depression, there are several important things that can help you begin to find relief from symptoms and improve your quality of life. Treating the whole person is what’s most important and identifying the root of the problem, rather than simply treating symptoms. 
While hormone replacement therapy can relieve symptoms of menopause, including depression, we have found great success at correcting hormonal imbalances using bio-identical hormones, nutrition, dietary supplements, and positive lifestyle changes. Self-care is always important and can help you manage your stress and cope with and even overcome depression.

It’s our goal to help you discover your optimal energy and wellness. Request an appointment to start your journey toward abundant health today.

 

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Jan 10

Menopause and Sleep Disturbance

 

For women already experiencing the myriad of changes that accompany menopause, sleep disruptions can prove to be particularly troubling. Changing levels of estrogen and progesterone can cause several menopausal symptoms that influence quality and duration of sleep, like hot flashes and nighttime sweating. 

 

Women’s sleep cycles are maintained through a complex balance of hormones, and the fluctuating levels of progesterone and estrogen before, during, and after menopause can cause sleep disturbances.

 

Common Menopausal Insomnia Symptoms


There are three different stages that insomnia can appear: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. Menopause related insomnia can be worsened or combined with a variety of related symptoms including:

 

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Changes in libido

Perimenopause can begin as many as ten years before menopause. During peri-menopause is when progesterone and estrogen levels begin to decline to an extent that may trigger menopause-related symptoms like hot flashes or nighttime sweating. Experiencing these symptoms can give you temporary sleep disturbances and in some cases insomnia.
You have typically reached menopause after a full year (12 months) without a menstrual cycle. Symptoms may be more pronounced and frequent during menopause. 


What Can Help Me Get Better Sleep Quality?


Aside from treating hormone imbalances, there are several ways you can improve your sleeping environment, minimize the impact of your symptoms, and potentially improve the quality of your sleep. These can include:

 

  • Stick to a comforting nighttime sleeping routine or schedule.
  • Avoid alcohol or tobacco before sleep.
  • Avoid bright screens of electronics before sleep.
  • Keep your room cool and comfortable.

When these aren’t enough to help you catch your well-deserved sleep, it may be time to get help from our experienced and compassionate team at Abundant Life Health Care.


How Abundant Life Health Care Can Help


In many cases, doctors choose to treat what they believe to be the primary cause of your insomnia: menopause. While hormone replacement therapy can relieve symptoms of menopause, we have found great success at correcting hormonal imbalances using bio-identical hormones, nutrition, dietary supplements, and lifestyle changes.


It’s our goal to help you discover your optimal energy and wellness. Request an appointment to start your journey toward abundant health today.

 

 

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Nov 29

Biotin (Vitamin B7) and Blood Test Interference

Biotin (Vitamin B7) interferes with certain blood tests.  Could your test results be less than accurate because of biotin?


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