The Midlife Challenge
Every woman needs to make this decision for herself. With the right information, you can weigh the pros and cons to make the best choice for your own body. What's good for one woman may not be good for another. Working together with Dr. Bachman you can decide whether diet, supplementation, and exercise are enough for you--or whether your own risk for heart disease or osteoporosis makes hormone replacement the best choice.
One thing's for sure, though. Your body's chemistry has changed dramatically with menopause. You need to find out how your body's hormones are reacting to this new phase of your life.
If you decide to replace hormones after menopause, there are many kinds to choose from. Whatever you choose, you need to monitor your therapy regularly with an accurate test of hormone levels to maintain proper hormone balance with a "Comprehensive Menopause Profile." (see side table for details)
How Hormone Levels Change
After Menopause, levels of estrogen and progesterone decline in women. This drop in estrogen may increase a woman's rate of bone loss and her risk of heart disease. With less estrogen, her skin can age a little more quickly, and vaginal dryness can occur.
The decline in estrogen also affects levels of the other "sex" hormones, progesterone and testosterone. Progesterone is important because it helps keep estrogen from over-stimulating surface layers of tissue within the uterus. Testosterone does its part by encouraging lean muscle, the kind your heart needs to stay healthy.
Other Important Hormones
Cortisol is released from the adrenal glands when stress occurs. This can be a good thing when we need energy or are in danger. Too much can put a strain on the heart, suppress immune function, and exhaust the body's guardians against cancer. Some with long periods of cortisol over-production. DHEA works with the other hormones to prevent early aging. It balances out the stimulating hormones and helps prevent wear and tear in the body.
Melatonin is the great regulator. It declines with age, and low levels can interfere with the normal pattern of sleep. Supplementing melatonin can often help restore normal rhythms. Melatonin also functions as an antioxidant and has cancer-fighting properties.
Your Body's Trying to Tell You Something
The early signs of hormone deficiency and imbalance may not seem to be serious threats to your health now. You may even think they're a natural effect of getting older. But over time-and in combination with other conditions - hormone imbalances can lead to serious illness. Some of these illnesses, such as osteoporosis and cancer, only get your attention when it's too late to prevent them.
Restore Balance and Feel Better
Healthy hormone function isn't a miraculous fountain of youth. But, guided by accurate assessment using a Comprehensive Menopause Profile, you can maintain a healthy hormone balance to help protect your body.
The more you protect your body against premature aging, the longer you'll live. The longer you will enjoy life.
Comprehensive Menopause Profile
The Comprehensive Menopause Profile is a saliva test that measures the hormones undergoing the most change during this time in a woman's life. Some of these are considered "male" or "female," but both men and women actually need all of these hormones. That's because hormones work together as a team. These Include:
• The "sex" hormones- estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone
• The adrenal hormones-cortisol and DHEA, which influence balance of the sex hormones and the body's response to stress
• Melatonin, which is the chief regulator hormone