As you age, production of the body’s natural hormones declines. You are probably aware of estrogen and testosterone. Estrogen deficiency is associated with menopause in women. Testosterone deficiency (“Low-T”) is associated with andropause, the “male menopause.” Lesser known hormones include thyroid, cortisol, progesterone, DHEA, and insulin. There are hundreds of human hormones which have been studied. It seems that every day we discover yet another.
The challenge of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is to consider ALL of the hormones and re-establish the delicate balance. Hormones in your body are like a symphony. All the pieces work together to create the total effect. Focusing on one hormone (just the violin) profoundly limits the body’s ability to heal (produce harmonic sounds).
Hormone decline occurs in every tissue of the human body. It begins as early as the mid-30’s. The first step in hormone optimization is a simple test to assess your current level of hormone production. This is followed by hormone supplementation of the correct variety, quality and quantity. A comprehensive hormone optimization program has been shown to slow down the decline in quality of life due to deterioration of the heart, brain, blood vessels, and internal organs.
Furthermore, it is not as simple as just taking hormones to raise the level of hormone in your body. It is imperative that your hormone optimization program is supervised by a physician who has extensive training. In addition to measuring the level of the hormone in your body, you must assess which hormone byproducts are preferentially created by your body. This is influenced by dietary intake of various micronutrients and your individual genetic identity. Finally, you must have in place a means for minimizing the accumulation of the potentially cancer causing hormone metabolites. Less than 1% of all licensed physicians in the U.S. have received the formal training necessary to evaluate the above factors.