Hot flashes are the most common (and annoying) symptoms of menopause. Often the subject of jokes, hot flashes are anything but funny to the woman who has to endure them.

Menopause is a period of time when the production of estrogen is coming to a screeching halt. The body is trying to adjust to the loss of this powerful hormone and as it does, all types of unusual reactions occur. We may feel mentally foggy, have mood swings, have trouble falling asleep, be forgetful, anxious, and experience those night sweats and hot flashes. All these symptoms and many others are related to the loss of estrogen.

The good news is: these symptoms improve very quickly for most women after giving the body the estrogen it’s missing. It’s not unusual for women to feel better within an hour or two of starting estrogen therapy.

Estrogen replacement therapy is extremely effective. At LivingYoung Center, we only use Bio-identical Hormones which are exact replicas of the body’s naturally-made hormones. This prevents the negative side effects often associated with synthetic versions of estrogen.

Women experience these symptoms due to an imbalance in their hormone levels. Previously, it was thought that being too low in estrogen was the problem. But today, we understand the cause may also be too much estrogen and too little progesterone, or other hormone imbalances in your body that come from the adrenals, ovaries, thyroid pancreas or gastrointestinal tract. There’s a fine dance to keeping all these systems in balance, which becomes especially challenging as women go through midlife changes. But there are several things you can do to help maintain that delicate balance.

For women who haven’t had their uterus removed, estrogen is typically prescribed along with progesterone or progestin (progesterone-like medication). This is because estrogen alone, when not balanced by progesterone, can stimulate growth of the lining of the uterus, increasing the risk of uterine cancer.

Menopause and Estrogen

Since hormones interact, the low or high level of estrogen hormone in the body can start to cause problems with other hormones, namely progesterone. Often, early perimenopause symptoms are characteristic of progesterone deficiency rather than low estrogen. This imbalance is one of the main causes of the menopause symptoms that women experience. Progesterone and estrogen counteract and balance one another out, any kind of deficiency or excess of either hormone may cause unpleasant results.

Low Estrogen: In Need of Estrogen Replacement Therapy

Menopause is characterized by widely fluctuating estrogen levels. This often causes the common symptoms of hot flashes and breast tenderness. As the ovaries fail in later menopause, estrogen levels may start to decline, causing difficulty with sleeping, hot flashes, memory issues and breast tenderness. Over the course of our lives, our bones naturally break down. Normally, estrogen repairs this breakage with new bone growth. However, with declining estrogen levels, there is less bone growth and an increased chance of osteoporosis.

Low natural estrogen also causes low libido or diminished sex drive because vaginal walls become thinner and drier with the lack of the hormone; thus resulting in painful intercourse. Orgasms also become harder to reach and less intense. A lack of estrogen can also cause other skin changes in women. Reduced estrogen causes a reduction in collagen (which is responsible for building skin and connective tissue) and that can lead to thinner, dryer and wrinkled skin. Bioidentical estrogen replacement therapy is the prescribed solution for this condition.

These, and many other aspects of aging, are considered inevitable when in fact, they can be managed or relieved through hormone therapy. Aging is a symptom of hormone imbalance. Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and memory loss are among the other symptoms of too little estrogen.

Estrogen Dominance

Too little estrogen is not always the issue in menopause. Often, the body has too much of the hormone, causing natural estrogen dominance. This is often due to dietary, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Certain foods include xenohormones (hormones taken outside of the body) which can throw of hormone balance. Xenoestrogen is a big contributor to estrogen dominance. Low progesterone, which can be attributed to high stress, is also a typical issue in estrogen dominance. When your body is stressed, it produces higher amounts of the hormone cortisol in an effort to control the stress on the body. The increased cortisol reduces progesterone levels which can cause estrogen dominance.

Symptoms of too much estrogen include anxiety, allergies, breast tenderness, fatigue, headaches, weight gain and more.

The Solution

BodyLogicMD bioidentical hormone therapy starts by measuring the estrogen hormone levels in your body using a comprehensive saliva, blood, urine and serum test. By determining your baseline levels, our highly trained physicians will customize a natural hormone therapy replacement plan specifically for each woman based on her individual needs. If your body lacks normal levels of estrogen, your BodyLogicMD bioidentical hormone doctor will start you on bioidentical estrogen replacement therapy. In an optimal situation, your body’s hormones work together in concert; a change in one hormone inevitably changes others. By determining your exact hormone levels and using bioidentical hormone replacement, in combination with a fitness and nutrition program, many of our patients enjoy success.