Jill Davey is the founder of Menopause Woman, a website dedicated to raising awareness of women’s health during the transitions of menopause; perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause. She is a passionate women’s health advocate and author of the book, The Menopause Cure: Hormonal Health. Here Jill explains the role of bioidentical hormones in assisting with hormone decline and the related symptoms as we age.
I often ask myself why every menopausal woman (including perimenopausal and postmenopausal women), isn’t on bioidentical hormones, a therapy known as bioidentical hormone restorative therapy (BHRT). To me it is a phenomenon that just doesn’t fit. I’m perplexed considering the immense benefits they can give you, both short-term and long-term. Is it because they don’t know enough about this therapy? Is it because they’ve been conned into thinking it is dangerous or that it just doesn’t work? Could it be because they have never heard of it before?
It is true that we don’t often hear people, including doctors, debating or talking about bioidentical hormones in Europe. When we do it’s usually negative strangely enough, even though they have existed for over 30 years in America. That’s basically a long-term study right there for you. We need studies to give us scientific proof, facts, and truths. Long-term studies are the best for bringing out the truth and validity, whether it be a medicine or a plastic implant for joints. This long-term study on BHRT shows a resounding YES! It works. To give you a better understanding of bioidentical hormones and body physiology, let’s take a quick look.
Hormones decline with age, starting at about age 30. The decline is slow until we reach about 40ish, let’s say 45, where the majority of women enter menopause and there is a sudden and drastic drop in female hormones. This phase is known as perimenopause, and usually lasts from 5 to 10 years. Perimenopause is where women begin to suffer symptoms such as hot flushes/flashes, mood swings, brain fog, aching joints, sleepless nights, weight gain, and many more that I am sure you are aware of. When our hormones decline many women lose themselves…or at least I did. I was no longer the person I had once been. I lost my lust for life, my positivity, my stamina and Jill herself. She was gone. She has of course since returned, and better than ever thanks to BHRT.
When there is a hormonal imbalance, havoc erupts within the body and trouble begins. Basically, when hormones decline it creates problems within the endocrine system (where hormones are made) and follows on to other body systems, including immune, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems. You may have noticed you don’t digest foods as easily as you once did. That’s a sign (or even symptom) …listen to it!
If you want to be healthy both physically and mentally, and to continue to be healthy, you need to optimise and balance hormone levels so as to support your physiology. Hormones are vital for repair and are the most powerful agent in the regulation of an optimal physiology. Physiology simply refers to a healthy, well-functioning body and mind.
What Your Local GP Usually Has to Say
When symptoms occur and perimenopause hits women usually go to their local GP and ask if they are in menopause. Of course you are. Your age suggests it and your symptoms are telling you that you are. Your GP will most likely offer you HRT (synthetic), antidepressants, and sleeping tablets, pat you on the back and tell you all will be ok, and that it will pass. Hmmm…I’m not so sure about that! In fact, it doesn’t pass, hormonal decline only gets worse. Your symptoms will only pass once your body has adapted to its new hormonal environment – low hormone production. Hormonal decline doesn’t go away unless you begin to restore them. We are now moving towards total degradation and chronic disease, but that’s for another discussion.
Symptoms by the way, are actually withdrawal symptoms due to lack of hormones. It’s a hormonal revolt. It only makes sense the body is going to suffer if it is missing the major messaging molecule. Yes, hormones are our messaging machine – they make us, or they break us, simple as that.
Bioidentical Hormones and What They Can Do for You
What are bioidentical hormones? Why are they so good…GREAT really?
Bioidentical hormones are biologically identical to the hormones that are produced in our body. They are identical in molecular structure – hormone replicas. They come from soya, wild yam and other plant extracts. This is one of the reasons they are so well accepted by the body (because they are exact in structure), and therefore, can be used just as our own hormones are, for regeneration and repair.
Importantly, they make us feel great…fantastic in fact. They give us our life back. They are miracle-molecules. They nurture the brain and feed the body. One way of looking at it is, they are the body’s endogenous (made in the body) food. When perimenopause is upon us, we are in hormonal- starvation mode. Do we really need this when we can restore them so easily?
Hormones are the essence of life itself. They regulate every bodily function: sleep, growth, blood pressure, heartbeat, breathing, – without them we would simply die. They control muscle tone, build bone, make us fat or thin, maintain correct levels of sugar in the blood and tissue, control women’s menstrual cycles, make men males, rule the passage of time and the voyage into menopause. They make us happy or sad, they make us cry or laugh, they are us. They give us beautiful skin, nails and hair or vice versa. When hormones decline our skin begins to wrinkle and sag before its time. Hair loses its shine and thickness, and nails start to crack and become brittle, or even become soft. These are just a few examples for you.
Hormones and Immune System Support
Another major benefit of optimal hormone levels is they support our immune system and its function. When hormones decline so does our immune system. We are the ones that make the choices which strengthen or weaken it. Our immune system is the protector of our health and vitality, which enables us to feel good both physically and emotionally. If our immune system is weak, we are less able to handle stress and more susceptible to illnesses. When our immune system is suppressed over a long period, we are definitely more likely to suffer from far more serious diseases such as breast cancer, arthritis, autoimmune diseases and more.
I am protecting my protector. Are you? In short, without optimal levels of hormones our body slows down and becomes inefficient. We then deteriorate at a great rate and age at a faster speed. Why do that to yourself? Take this opportunity to live your best life.
If you would like to know more please read my book, The Menopause Cure – Hormonal Health.
To your health,