Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy – How do I know If I need it?
2. Who should consider using bioidentical hormones
3. What are bioidentical hormones
4. Why main stream medicine does not use bioidentical hormones
5. What are the benefits of using bioidetncial hormones
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement, in its core, is meant to make you feel, look and be younger. It essentially is meant to trick nature into believing that we are still young and full of life, and that we are basically still fertile. Once we hit the age of 25 our hormones start to decline and our bodies begin preparing us for death. We may not think this way when we are 25, but our bodies and nature have something else in mind. Nature thinks we have hit our peak and is now working on our death to make room for more young and fertile individuals. So, we have something else in mind, and we need to trick nature into believing that we are young and fertile so that it leaves us alone to get the best out of life.
As we get closer to menopause, our hormones are all over the place. Completely unbalanced, we suffer from physical and emotional symptoms, sometimes not too bad, sometimes so rough that they destroy our lives as we know it! Hot flashes can ruin our sex lives, mood swings can destroy our jobs and families, and physical changes can leave our jobs in jeopardy! What can we do?
This is where Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy comes in.
Hormone replacement should correct the deficiencies and ensure optimal levels of hormones, but should not go above that. It should be a balance between hormones. That means that all hormones should be checked and corrected, not just one.
Our first important question: can hormonal replacement suppress your natural hormone production? Yes it can. If you are getting too many hormones your own hormonal production will be shut down. But if you are getting hormones just to correct the deficiencies, your own hormonal production will be suppressed just a little bit (no more than 30 to 40 percent) to give your own endocrine glands some rest instead of exhausting them.
The important thing is that if you take bioidentical hormones, choose the best brand and the correct way to get to them. And get regular follow-ups!
Make hormones more efficient by eating good food. A Paleolithic diet of fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry and fish is the best option. Avoid dairy products, including yogurt and cheese. They create digestive problems because of lactose: we do not have enzyme lactase to digest it, therefore it remains on digested in your gut. Also dairy products can cause allergies resulting in damaging your gut and allowing bad stuff to go into your blood. Dairy products also help yeast overgrowth because of lactose in them. Some dairy products contain yeast ( like cheeses), etc. Also avoid grains because they contain carbohydrates that are bad for our endocrine system, especially pancreatic gland and its insulin production, and they create weight gain. Moreover carbohydrates are a very good food for yeast, therefore they promote yeast overgrowth.
Some grains especially wheat also contain protein called gluten that we cannot digest properly. It may go undigested and create inflammation of our gut, which has three consequences:
1. Inflammation shuts down our cognitive function – our brain.
2. It creates holes in the gut allowing bad stuff like bacteria, viruses and yeast as well as toxins to go into our blood.
3. Inflammation requires more Cortisol which is a steroid like Testosterone, Estrogen and Progesterone. To make Cortisol your body has to sacrifice the production of sex hormones above: phenomenon known as a “Cortisol steal”.
Foods with a high glycemic index, which means that those foods bring our sugar up too high too fast, bring down the levels of such important hormones as Growth hormone, Testosterone, Estrogen and cortisol, because those hormones bring sugar up also. Therefore, to bring sugar down our body does not have any choice but to suppress the production of Growth Hormone, Testosterone (5 — new), Progesterone (7 — new),Cortisol and possibly Estrogen. Needless to say that this kind of food can ruin all your hormone replacement therapy.
Alcohol and coffee are also problems. Alcohol interferes with digestion by slowing it down. Alcohol also increases the activity of enzyme aromatase, that increases the conversion of testosterone into estradiol. Therefore even if you aren’t getting enough testosterone, it could be converted into estrogen.
It is very important to get enough minerals, microelements and vitamins. Many enzymes have microelements in them, therefore, if you don’t have enough microelements, you do not have enough enzymes. The same applies to vitamins. Minerals are also very important, because such minerals as magnesium are responsible for cell electric potential. Problems with minerals, microelements and vitamins are: not enough in our food because of soil fertilization: our soil becomes exhausted of microelements, even though plants can still grow because of fertilizers.
It is Important to realize that eating organic fruits and vegetables is not going to solve the problem, because of soil exhaustion.
Also if there is a digestive problem and you cannot absorb them, you do not have them enough, even though you may eat the best food in the world. Go organic and fix your gut. If your gut is not working properly, no matter what you eat, no matter how many supplements you take, they’re going to be wasted anyway.
Melatonin — the Hormone of Darkness.
Do you suffer from menopause related anxiety? Is it hard for you to get to sleep or stay asleep? Do you never relax at night and end up fighting through every day because you are tired and cannot function?
You might be melatonin deficient.
If you suffer from melatonin deficiency, you may notice that you don’t sleep well, that it takes you a long time to fall asleep. You may not have a restful sleep. You may become anxious or depressed and the change in seasons may have a more drastic affect on your emotional state (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Melatonin has been called the “Hormone of Darkness,” suppressed by blue light (daytime) and not suppressed by yellow light (nighttime fires) (1).
Melatonin was first discovered in 1917, but not named or isolated until 1958. The discovery that melatonin is an antioxidant was made in 1993. (2)
Interestingly enough, it was shown, that the affect of light was so important to our sleep patterns, that the use of blue-blocking goggles a few hours before people are going to bed has facilitated the production of melatonin to help them go to sleep (3).
It would be interesting to see if you wear glasses that block blue light: maybe yellow glasses could help you go to sleep.
Melatonin is made in pineal gland about pea size.
What it does is helps us to go to sleep, works as an antioxidant (4), immnomodulator (5), increases vivid dreaming by increasing REM sleep (6), reduces ischemic damage in experiments, improves learning and memory in experiments, possibly prevents Alzheimer’s in experiments (but not in humans), improves thyroid function and increases gonadotropin levels, restores fertility and menstruation and prevents menopausal depression (7). In cancer patients it reduces the incidence of death (8). It even helps to reduce weight (9), helps with headaches (10), and helps you to relax.
Treatment: melatonin pills and sublingual drops.
Warning: increasing melatonin dose too much can actually increase your problems, because melatonin works in very small doses.
How to boost melatonin production naturally:
1. During the day increase sunlight exposure, avoid alcohol, coffee, and smoking.
2. In the evening: no light in the bedroom whatsoever, including computers, alarm clocks, etc. No noise, no electromagnetic radiation: turn off fuses if possible, place aluminum foil under the bed, buy an electromagnetic shielded canopy, turn off electric devices (11).
Growth Hormone — The Body Builder
Do you have trouble losing weight? Do you feel like you have too much fat and are getting weak? Are you losing muscle mass? Do you look older than you should? Or may be you noticed that your sex organs are shrinking? Maybe you don’t have enough HGH
HGH, human growth hormone, does several things, but it is important to know that there is a lot of controversy surrounding the hormone. Although it is not illegal, and is used for several medical conditions, the hormone is also misused in the sports world. Because it increased muscle mass it is not allowed to be used in nearly every professional sport. And although it is not illegal, it’s use it very closely monitored.
What it does:
increases height in children
increases calcium retention thus improving bone mineralization
increases muscle mass
increases brain growth
increases glucose production by the liver — reduces appetite
increases immune system function
increases pancreatic function
increases fat breakdown
It was most commonly used initially in children to help with height.
In adults low HGH levels can lead to muscle mass loss, obesity, low energy, poor quality of life, hunching, thinning hair, premature aging, atrophy of sex organs, poor concentration, loss of control, exhaustion, inability to cope with stress. You eat less meat because HGH is the builder — if there is no building any more, you do not want meat, which is mainly protein, used for muscle building, etc. .
Tests: IGF 1, because HGH levels fluctuate during day time, HGH level goes up mostly during sleep.
Hormones, that increase HGH: Thyroid hormone, DHEA, Melatonin, testosterone, estradiol (11).
How to boost HGH naturally:
1. Get enough sleep: HGH is produced mainly in the first 2-3 hours of sleep: go to bed early with sundown!
2. Amino acids: glutamine, arginine, lysine, meats, etc.
3. Paleolythic diet, organic foods
4. No fat on your body, but still get enough calories!
5. Avoid tobacco, street drugs, alcohol, caffeine, wheat and other gluten containing products, dairy products.
In 1990 The New England Journal of Medicine published a study where it growth hormone was used to treat a dozen men over 60. All of them benefited in the anti-aging wonders of Growth Hormone. A later study at the Stanford University School of Medicine showed also that it helped elderly patients. But the article noted that they felt this was merely an increase in water since other factors like bone density and cholesterol levels were not affected (12).
The interesting thing about this article is that it states that the human growth hormone has multiple side effects like swelling, arthralgia, carpal tunnel syndrome and gynecomastia, but those are symptoms of growth hormone overdose, like swelling, which is an accumulation of water. May be that’s what they assumed happened to muscles: increase in mass, but no increase in strength? Could it be a human growth hormone overdose?
Thyroid Hormone — The Chief of your Metabolism
Are you putting on too much weight? Are all your attempts to lose not successful? Are your thoughts not as fast as before? Is it difficult for you to get out of bed in the morning? Are you getting puffy? All of these problems are suggestive of low thyroid hormone levels.
The main thyroid hormones are T3 and T4. They are responsible for your metabolism. They increase energy production, increase blood sugar levels, increase fat breakdown, increase temperature and heart rate. They are regulated by pituitary hormone TSH. So the more TSH, the more T3 and T4. T3 and t4 inhibit TSH production. So high TSH usually is suggestive of low thyroid except pituitary tumor. To make thyroid hormones your body needs iodine, selenium and other microelements. What it means is: you cannot make thyroid hormones if you are low in iodine or selenium. It might be a problem, because you may not be eating enough seafood or selenium rich Brazil nuts.
The problem with conventional treatments of low thyroid, which is called hypothyroidism, is that they usually check TSH only, instead of checking the most important acting hormone, which is T3. Another problem is: they usually give medication called Synthroid, which is T4. T4 itself can inhibit TSH and make it normal. But it does not mean that T4 is actually converted into T3, which is actually the acting thyroid hormone. The reason for this is: T4 can be converted into T3, which is active, as well as into reversed T3, which is inactive. The solution may be: to take those T3 and T4 in natural proportion to support your thyroid gland.
To demonstrate the bias in the official medical press let us take a look at the article, published in the most respected medical journal in the United States, which is the New England Journal of Medicine. The study concluded that patient’s satisfaction was higher when they were taking a combination of T3 and T4 than taking T4 alone. But even though it is a proven fact, almost every doctor is giving Synthroid, which is T4, and not giving T3. The funny thing is: after this article there was an editorial (14) that concludes that both hormones (T3 and T4) are not recommended to use. Is making patients feel better doesn’t count?
Symptoms of low thyroid: low-energy, swelling, overweight, frequent ear nose and throat infections, always being cold, snoring, daytime sleepiness, no thirst, dry, brittle hair, brittle nails, bloating, joint pain, slow thoughts, apathy.
How to boost your thyroid hormone production naturally:
1. Get enough sleep,
2. Eat a Paleolithic diet, eat enough red meat for iron, seafood for iodine, Brazil nuts for selenium, organic foods.
3. Avoid processed foods, alcohol, vinegar, milk products, cereals, caffeine, chronic stress, lack of sleep.
Clinical Pearl: Dry palms and no hair in the outer thirds of your eyebrows are suggestive of low thyroid. Wet palms may suggest high thyroid or anxiety.
Cortisol — the Hormone of Stress
No energy at all? Are you so tired in the morning that you can’t function without a cup of coffee? If yes, then you may be low on adrenal hormone Cortisol.
Cortisol is made in the small glands just above kidneys called adrenals. Cortisol production is stimulated by the pituitary hormone ACTH. It is good as a response to stress and gives us the ability to respond to stress properly.
Too much cortisol can happen, if you have too much stress, too much caffeine, no sleep, no estrogen, if you are burned out, if you’re using contraceptive pills. It can hurt you, because too much cortisol increases your body fat, breaks down your tissues (like bones), decreases your immune response (making you more susceptible to infection), and harms your memory by damaging your hypocampus. Cortisol can also decrease your sex hormone production by using cholesterol for its synthesis instead of making sex hormones ( so called Cortisol steal phenomenon ), and decrease your serotonin production, which is responsible for your ability to adapt, by blocking conversion of tryptophan into 5 HTP and then serotonin. Too much cortisol can even cause insomnia.
On the other hand, low cortisol makes you fatigued, inflamed all over your body: sinuses, gut, throat, etc. Low cortisol can make you very weak.
How to decrease your cortisol level if it is too high:
1. Magnesium. Talk to your doctor before taking magnesium, because if you have certain medical conditions you cannot take magnesum without doctor’s supervision.
3. Marital Relations .
4. Omega 3 fatty acids.
5. Vitamin C. Talk to your doctor if you can take vitamin C because if you have certain conditions you cannot take vitamin C.
How to increase your cortisol level:
1. Get more light exposure.
2. Eat Paleolithic diet, eat frequently.
3. Avoid alcohol caffeine simple sugars, cereals, milk, chronic stress.
Cortisol replacement needs to be strictly monitored and should be taken exactly on time, defined by your physician. Playing with time can screw up your whole day/night cycle. If you’re taking cortisol supplementation, you cannot stop it abruptly, you have to taper cortisol down gradually.
Clinical Pearl: Cortisol usually works very fast, and if low cortisol is a problem, you’ll feel it soon after starting cortisol supplementation.
Estrogen — .
Feminine Dryness. Embarrassing hot flushes all the time. you’re your memory so bad now that you are afraid of making costly mistakes all the time? Is your energy and desire going down, your bones getting weak? Are you gaining weight mostly in your hip area and you cannot get rid of it no matter what you do? Your low estrogen may be the possible reason.
Estrogen plays a critical role in the body. It’s responsible for breast development, feminine lubrication, burning fat, maintaining bones, skin and vessels, bringing good cholesterol up and bad cholesterol down, etc. Because it works as an antioxidant, it protects your brain. No estrogen equals mood problems, memory problems, etc..
In order to bring up your estrogen naturally:
1. Eat enough calories.
2. Eat Paleolithic diet, eat organic foods.
3. Avoid sugar cereals caffeine, milk, lose weight, avoid tight underwear, avoid smoking and marijuana and other street drugs, avoid chronic stress. Limit dairy as well, as the estrogen levels in cows when they are milked are awfully high and bring up our consumption.
Safety of estrogen: you should check, if you have an increased risk of cancer because of estrogen by doing lab work. You need to figure out how your body is disposing of estrogen. It’s okay if your body is doing it right, but it can harm you if your body cannot dispose of estrogen properly.
Clinical Pearl: Decreased feminine moisture is suggestive of low estrogen level.
Progesterone — the Hormone of Calmness.
Are you anxious all the time? Cannot control yourself anymore? Yelling at your children and spouse? Do you not get a good night’s sleep anymore? Then your low progesterone level may the problem.
Confidence and strong desire should be balanced. Progesterone achieves that.
Progesterone can calm you down. Have you ever seen pregnant women? They are calm because they have plenty of Progesterone. Do you know that a cup of milk in the evening may help you get better sleep? What you may not know is that milk contains Progesterone and that can help calm you down, give you calcium and milk protein Casein. You should also know that the Casein in your stomach is broken to CasoMorphin, an Opioid (which acts like a street drug)?
Of course Progesterone is not Morphine, but it calms down, normalizes blood pressure, works as a natural diuretic and antidepressant. Its main job is to balance Estrogen.
In order to increase progesterone:
1. Stay away from non-organic meat, adhesives, car exhaust and almost all plastics.
2. Eat enough calories, eat Paleolithic diet, eat organic foods.
3. Avoid sugar cereals caffeine, milk, lose weight, avoid tight underwear, avoid smoking and marijuana and other street drugs, avoid chronic stress.
Low progesterone is usually suggested by poor sleep, bloating and swelling, because progesterone is a natural sleeping pill and water pill.
When progesterone level is normalized, you feel much more calm, your weight goes down, your sleep becomes much better and your spouse is happy.
Testosterone – Harvard professor Brown-Séquard’s “Rejuvenating Elixir”.
Do you have no more drive? Too many wrinkles, or chicken hands? No more energy? Then maybe your low testosterone level is a problem.
There should be something that gives us the energy and sense of well-being, as well as ability to maintain our muscles, mental and muscle energy and libido. It is hormone Testosterone that does the job.
Testosterone is not only for drive and muscles. It is also to maintain your bones and protects you from Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease etc.
Low testosterone can cause low drive, mood problems, fatigue, and sleep issues.
Here are some natural ways to raise your testosterone levels:
1. Lose weight.
2. Eat foods high in protein and low in fat.
3. Be more active.
4. Eat more fruits, vegetables and nuts.
5. Drink less alcohol and make sure you get enough sleep.
6. Eat enough calories, eat Paleolithic diet, eat organic foods.
7. Avoid sugar cereals caffeine, milk, lose weight, avoid tight underwear, avoid smoking and marijuana and other street drugs, avoid chronic stress
Low testosterone is usually suggested by low libido and wrinkles and jawline drop. Classic sign – “chicken hands”.
Clinical Pearl: If you’re using testosterone cream, rotate the sites, because if you don’t, you may get excessive hair growth.
PMS — PreMenstrual Syndrome.
Are you moody and irritable during your cycle? Bloated and Fatigued? Do you get overemotional and depressed?
PMS is usually the result of either low progesterone in the second part of your cycle, or a relatively high level of estrogen in the second part of your cycle, because your gut maybe not disposing of estrogen properly or you are getting estrogen-like toxins from outside, which are endocrine disruptors.
What needs to be done: fix your gut first, eat organic, avoid contact with plastic including through your food and water, decrease your weight because some estrogen is made in fat tissue. If it doesn’t work, then you may need progesterone supplementation.
Do you suffer from painful periods or cramping? Are you irritable?
Like PMS, endometriosis is believed to be the result of low progesterone or high estrogen. Either way it needs to be balanced. Some natural ways to balance your hormones include: fix your gut first, eat organic, avoid contact with plastic including through your food and water, decrease your weight because some estrogen is made in fat tissue. If it doesn’t work, then you may need progesterone supplementation.
Uterine Fibroids are benign muscle tumors, originating from uterus. Their growth is dependent on Estrogen — Progesterone balance. Management of Fibroids is based on restoration of proper Estrogen/Progesteron ratio and is practically the same as PMS management.
Uterine Fibroids may require surgery if not controlled by conservative measures.
Do you have painful ovarian cysts? Do you get pain during periods? Spotting? Are you nauseous or vomiting?
Ovarian cysts can be due to several reasons: enlarged follicles, leftover tissue, cancer, benign tumors, etc. There are several types of cysts as well.
You can try to naturally prevent and treat ovarian cysts by eating organic, avoiding contact with plastic including through your food and water, decreasing your weight because some estrogen is made in fat tissue. If it doesn’t work, then you may need progesterone supplementation.
Benign prostatic hypertrophy – BPH.
Are you getting up to go to the bathroom often? When you have to urinate are you unable to hold it in? Do you have to go more frequently?
Benign prostatic hypertrophy is an increase in the size of the prostate. The symptoms are uncomfortable pain, and an increase in the urge and frequency of urination. It is important to get your prostate checked regularly.
How to get prostate support naturally:
1. Decrease your body weight, because your fat and muscles are the sites where your testosterone is converted into estrogen, which stimulates prostate growth.
2. Drink pomegranate juice.
3. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
4. Saw Palmetto is also beneficial, as well as fish oil.
Dr. Sergey Kalitenko - Anti-aging medicine