The Relationship Between Estrogen And Progesterone
Progesterone and estrogen are two of the most prevalent hormones in a womans body. When these two are in balance with one another, your body will be firing on all cylinders. When theyre out of balance, your body will start to react negatively.
Both of these hormones work to balance the other. The majority of their characteristics stand in opposition to one another, which is why a healthy woman needs the appropriate balance of each. Unfortunately, many women are unaware of their natural hormone imbalance and dont understand why their emotions and bodily functions are out of sync.
To understand the relationship between estrogen and progesterone, we must first take a look at the function these two hormones play in a womans body.
What Is Natural Estrogen Replacement
Natural estrogen replacement hormones are an alternative hormone replacement therapy for women going through menopause. During menopause, the body produces a much lower amount of estrogen and progesterone, and the woman no longer has a menstrual cycle because her ovaries have ceased releasing eggs on a monthly basis. Natural estrogen replacement therapy consists of consuming products and foods which stimulate or have a high level of phytoestrogen. Chemical estrogen replacement therapy is available, but there have been studies that have shown that these chemicals greatly increase the womans chance of developing breast cancer, so many women look for natural alternatives to chemical hormone replacement therapy.
Soy bean products are extremely rich in isoflavones, a group of foods that contain phytoestrogen. Tofu, edamame, soy milk, and supplements are the most popular food sources containing high amounts of soy beans. Soy bean consumption by menopausal women has been the subject of many studies, and it has been found to reduce the side effects of menopause while increasing the womans bone mineral density.
Hrt Does Not Cause Weight Gain
Weight gain at the menopause is related to age and lifestyle factors. An increase in body fat, especially around the abdomen, can occur during menopause because of hormonal changes, although exactly why this happens is not clear. Normal age-related decrease in muscle tissue, and a decrease in exercise levels, can also contribute to weight gain.
Most studies do not show a link between weight gain and HRT use. If a woman is prone to weight gain during her middle years, she will put on weight whether or not she uses HRT.
Some women may experience symptoms at the start of treatment, including bloating, fluid retention and breast fullness, which may be misinterpreted as weight gain. These symptoms usually disappear once the therapy doses are changed to suit the individual.
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Can Increase The Risk Of Blood Clots
Studies have shown that HRT may raise your risk of blood clots and stroke. This risk may be highest for people over 60 or who started menopause over a decade ago. The longer you take HRT, the greater the increase in your risk.
Because of this risk, health experts recommend the lowest possible HRT dose for the shortest period of time for people over 60 or who are 10 years past the onset of menopause.
Foods That Increase Estrogen Level
There are several estrogen-rich foods that may help boost your estrogen level. These foods contain phytoestrogen, which is a plant-based estrogen that mimics estrogen once it is processed by the body.
The following is a list of foods that are known for containing excessive amounts of phytoestrogens. It is important to keep in mind that estrogen rich foods may have unwanted effects in men.
Soybean products: Soy is a rich source of phytoestrogen and comes in a variety of easy to consume forms like soy milk, tofu, or edamame. Soy products are the greatest source of isoflavones, a class of phytoestrogen that can be easily consumed in your diet. Soy is also a great source of protein, making it an ideal meat substitute for vegans and vegetarians.
Flaxseeds: These little seeds contain up to three times the phytoestrogens of soybeans, but your body will not reap their benefits unless they are cracked or ground prior to consumption. Also high in fiber, flaxseeds will make you feel full and may aid in weight loss and in the reduction of cholesterol.
Sesame seeds: Whole seedsor even sesame oilcontain lignans that possess phytoestrogens. The seeds are also loaded with fiber and are a great source of minerals.
Beans: They are relativity high in phytoestrogens, but they dont get much attention. Beans are known for having a high fiber content, which helps to control cholesterol levels. Types of beans include peas, pinto bean, and lima beans
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Compounded Bioidentical Hormones Are Not Safer Than Mht
The reputation and use of MHT went into decline after the highly publicised Womens Health Initiative studies in 2002and 2004 led to confusion among women and doctors. This contributed to the rise of the compounded BHT industry.
We now have a much better understanding of the risks and benefits of MHT, as more information has been collected and the WHI studies have been reassessed.
Today, there are many treatment options using regulated MHTs with known and tested quantities of hormones. These are available in many different combinations and forms such as tablets, transdermal patches, gels or vaginal treatments. Doctors can now tailor MHT for each womans personal health situation to give the best possible results with the lowest possible risk.
- compounded BHT preparations have not been tested for quality, safety or negative side effects
- there is no way to know if compounded BHTs are contaminated with other additives
- compounded BHTs are not regulated and standardised like pharmaceutical-grade MHT.
Does It Cause Weight Gain
Some people worry that hormone treatment might lead to weight gain, but there is no evidence to support this.
Eating a healthful diet and getting plenty of exercise can help manage the weight gain that commonly affects both females and males in midlife.
provide different combinations and amounts of hormones.Common types include:
Estrogen-only HRT: A doctor may recommend this if a person has had their uterus and ovaries removed, in which case progesterone is not necessary.
Cyclical, or sequential, HRT: This may be a good option if symptoms occur before menopause the dosage can align with the menstrual cycle.
Continuous HRT: After menopause, a doctor may prescribe a continuous combination of estrogen and progesterone.
Local estrogen: Vaginal tablets, creams, or rings can help with urogenital symptoms, including vaginal dryness and irritation.
The doctor will prescribe the lowest possible dosage that addresses the persons symptoms, and arriving at this dosage may take some trial and error.
Ways of delivering HRT include:
When a person no longer needs the treatment, the doctor will describe how to stop it gradually.
Various lifestyle adjustments can help manage the symptoms of menopause.
Also, it is a good idea to ask the doctor about nonhormonal treatment options.
The Food and Drug Administration do not recommend or regulate herbal treatments. A person cannot be sure what a product contains or whether it is safe or effective to use.
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What Are The Signs That You Need Hormone Replacement Therapy
As with any potential treatment options, there are particular signs and symptoms indicative of what kind of treatment you need. If you are wondering what the signs are that you need hormone replacement therapy, below we present a list of symptoms that are usually recognized as potential reasons to start taking HRT.
- Issues with the urinary tract
- Itching and burning in the vaginal area
All of these signs should be discussed with your chosen doctor, especially if you are going through menopause, before deciding to start hormone replacement therapy for menopause.
Safety Note About Natural Remedies
Always remember that natural does not necessarily mean safe. Many herbal, plant, and dietary supplements interact with medications or may have a negative impact on medical conditions. Natural approaches are not risk-free, and the more you know, the better you can choose treatments that will keep you safe and well.
Before deciding to use alternative and complementary remedies for your menopause symptoms, check with your medical professional and read up on possible side effects and cautions for any remedy you are considering.
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Best Natural Alternatives To Hormone Replacement Therapy
Some evidence shows that hormone replacement therapy may increase the risk of certain cancers. Because of this, many women are turning to natural remedies to ease their menopause symptoms. Check out the best ones to use here.
Hormone replacement therapy is often used to combat menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain.
Your doctor may have told you about synthetic hormones, but the associated risks are concerning for many women. Luckily, it may be possible to get some of the helpful effects from plant-based bioidentical hormones instead .
Bioidentical hormones are hormones that are derived from plants. Research shows that bioidentical hormones may be safer to use than synthetic hormones.
In this article, well explain what hormone replacement therapy is and why some women are choosing to go the natural route.
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What Does The Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy Program Involve
Once you decide to enter the Program, you will be sent an intake questionnaire prior to your first appointment. This will be reviewed by your physician so that we have an understanding of your current health issues, pertinent symptoms and wellness goals. This allows your first visit to be as meaningful as possible.
At your first visit, you will go through a comprehensive assessment with your physician that includes:
- An initial questionnaire to evaluate your personal needs and goals
- Blood work to check hormonal levels
- Other tests may be scheduled depending upon your specific situation
- A follow-up appointment to discuss test results
During your time together, you will not only address the symptoms of menopause and andropause but also discuss a wide range of lifestyle choices that affect health and wellness, including nutrition, exercise and stress.
At the conclusion of your first visit in addition to receiving your first bio-identical hormone pellets if appropriate you will also be given a personalized integrative health diet and additional recommendations to maximize wellness and minimize health risks during midlife.
Your physician will also streamline access to other Brind Center programs and services, including Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Fitness and Lifestyle Programs, and Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
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Breast Cancer And Hrt
Women over 50 years of age who use combined oestrogen and progestogen replacement for less than five years have little or no increased risk of breast cancer. Women who use combined HRT for more than five years have a slightly increased risk. Women on oestrogen alone have no increased risk up to 15 years of usage.
There is no evidence to suggest that a woman with a family history of breast cancer will have an added increased risk of developing breast cancer if she uses HRT. The risk with combined oestrogen and progestogen is greater than with oestrogen alone, or with newer HRT agents such as tibolone , and may also depend on the type of progestogen used. Studies suggest that medroxyprogesterone acetate and norethisterone have higher risks than dydrogesterone and progesterone.
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Ht Indications Contraindications And Adverse Effects/risks
Indications for hormone therapy can be symptomatic or preventive. However, the application of HT to prevent sequelae of menopause is controversial, although some consensus has been reached regarding the use of HT to relieve symptoms.
The following are common clinical indications for prescribing HT:
To relieve vasomotor symptoms
To prevent osteoporosis
No absolute contraindications of HT have been established. However, relative contraindications exist in certain clinical situations, such as patients with the following findings:
A history of breast cancer*
A history of endometrial cancer*
* Note that many clinicians do not prescribe HT for women with a previous history of breast or endometrial cancer.
Adverse effects and risks
Possible transient adverse effects are as follows:
Bloating, weight gain , fluid retention
Potential risks of HT in postmenopausal women include the following:
Breast cancer: Use of combined HT study results inconsistent, but emerging consensus of slightly increased risk for breast cancer similar to that associated with natural late menopausecomes into effect after at least 5 years of continuous HT
Endometrial cancer and uterine hyperplasia and cancer: Use of HT based on unopposed estrogen
Thromboembolism: Use of combined or estrogen-only HT
Biliary pathology: Use of estrogen only or combined estrogen/progestogen HT
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What Is The Safest Natural Female Hormone Replacement Therapy
Menopause symptoms can be managed with hormone replacement therapy , also called menopausal hormone therapy, which is a treatment that replaces hormones that are at a lower level. The treatments current role is to relieve menopausal symptoms. These symptoms include hot flushes, mood swings, night sweats, reduced sex drive, and vaginal dryness.
So whats the safest natural female HRT? The two main types of natural HRT are bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and traditional natural hormone replacement therapy, and those two are the safest ones. The former is derived from plants and is chemically identical to the hormones that our body produces. The latter involves the consumption of supplements or plants that have compounds that could alleviate hormonal symptoms.
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Traditional Natural Hormone Replacement Therapies
Traditional natural HRTs involve consuming plants or supplements containing compounds that may alleviate hormonal symptoms.
Some plants and supplements that people may take to treat hormonal symptoms include:
- phytoestrogens, which are dietary estrogens found in legumes, seeds, and whole grains
It is also tricky for doctors to track side effects linked to BHRT medications because symptoms may take years to develop.
FDA also state that compounded BHRT medications tend to carry greater risks than non-compounded forms.
Because pharmacists mix compounded BHRT medications, the FDA cannot approve them for quality or consistency. They also carry health risks because the precise dosage and formulation depend on a pharmacists precision and accuracy. As such, it is not possible to guarantee their safety.
It is important to note that pharmacists and drug companies are not obliged to report any side effects associated with compounded BHRT medications.
The chemicals in non-compounded BHRT may also cause side effects. These chemicals may differ across medication types and brands.
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A Higher Risk Of Certain Cancers
A 2020 study found that past use of HRT was linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. This elevated risk was associated with both estrogen-only and combined therapies.
There is some debate about the risk of ovarian cancer. Some studies suggest that both estrogen-only and combined therapies raise your risk of ovarian cancer. Other say ovarian cancer is only a risk with estrogen-only therapy, but not with combination therapies.
Estrogen-only HRT may also increase the risk of endometrial cancer . A of 28 studies concluded that the following HRT regimens may all increase the risk of endometrial cancer:
- estrogen-only, sequential combination therapy
- micronized progesterone
Because of the risk, these therapies are generally recommended for women who no longer have a uterus.
How Do The Hormones Used In Mht Differ From The Hormones Produced By A Womans Body
The hormones used in MHT come from a variety of plants and animals, or they can be made in a laboratory. The chemical structure of these hormones is similar, although usually not identical, to those of hormones produced by womens bodies.
Non-FDA-approved hormone products, sometimes referred to as bio-identical hormones, are widely promoted and sold without a prescription on the Internet. Claims that these products are safer or more natural than FDA-approved hormonal products are not supported by credible scientific evidence. The FDA provides more information about these products on its Menopause page.
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Hrt Alternatives: Do Natural Remedies Really Work
Hormone replacement therapy is widely used to treat a number of menopausal symptoms. It works by delivering synthetic oestrogen and progesterone hormones that gradually decline in menopause.Although it is effective for most women, not every woman chooses HRT or can have HRT to help their symptoms of the menopause, due to personal preference or previous medical history. For this reason, some women turn to natural remedies such as dietary changes,complementary medicine, or supplementation, although its not always clear if these alternative therapies are truly effective. Below well explore a range of HRT alternatives to help you decide on the best option for you.
Bioidentical Or ‘natural’ Hormones
Bioidentical hormones are hormones made from plant sources.
They are promoted as being similar to human hormones.
Some people claim these hormones are a ‘natural’ and safer alternative to standard HRT.
The balance of hormones used in bioidentical preparations is usually based on the hormone levels in your saliva. But there’s no evidence that these levels are related to your symptoms.
Bioidentical preparations are not recommended because:
- they are not regulated
- it’s not clear how safe they are
- there’s no good evidence to suggest that they’re safer than standard HRT
- it’s not known how effective they are
Many standard HRT hormones are made from natural sources. They’re closely regulated and have been well-researched. This ensures they’re as effective and safe as possible.
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Best Menopause Supplements Of 2022
To help you choose the best menopause supplements, weve compiled a list of the best quality menopause supplements regarding manufacturer transparency, ingredients quality, and client satisfaction.
Here are the 7 best menopause supplements on the market today:
Amberen is manufactured by Lunada Biomedical, which is a company with an overall good rating. This product was also designed to address the common menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, irritability, and low libido weight gain, joint pain, headaches, stress, and fatigue.
Amberen is different from your regular menopause supplements in that it contains natural metabolites instead of herbs. The product does not contain synthetic hormones, such as estrogen, but instead relies on natural substances that can assist a woman in dealing with the symptoms that are caused by menopause. Furthermore, the product does not contain soy and has been manufactured with top-quality ingredients.
The aim of the formula introduced by the users body through Amberen is to restore a natural balance of hormones, but without utilizing any synthetic hormones, as these are known to contribute to the development of adverse effects. Some ingredients found in Amberen include a series of amino acids, as well as vitamin E, and several beneficial minerals.
Additionally, numerous reviews claim that the benefits of the product can be experienced, but at a mild level.