Significance of Low Estrogen

Low estrogen is the MOST common issue with menopause. Estrogen deficiency is real, and it leads to issues with:

  • Bone thinning
  • Blood vessel stiffening (increased risk of hypertension)
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Vaginal dryness (and eventual pain with attempted intimacy)
  • Accelerated skin aging
  • Cognitive decline

Of all these issues, cognitive decline is the biggest. Believe me… you DON’T want to outlive your brain!

Should You Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy?

If you are like most of my patients, that question brings up a little anxiety. Yes, of course you want to feel better, but isn’t hormone replacement risky?

Unfortunately, I think traditional gynecology has totally missed the boat on HRT. They acknowledge the difficult transition into menopause, with the declining estrogen leading to hot flushes and poor sleep. But that’s about it. They recommend hormone therapy for about 5 years, to ease the transition, but that’s it.

Traditional gynecology also lumps all hormone options into the same bucket, but there’s a HUGE difference! This was actually one of my “aha moments” as a gynecologist, that I needed to find a better way to do things!

Numerous studies tout the benefits of hormone replacement therapy for quality of life, slowing down aging, improving brain health (memory–why did I walk into this room, where did I park…).

I did a video discussing this. Click here to watch the video.

I’m a huge proponent that hormone replacement therapy, done right, is very beneficial for women.

But what is “done right”?

There are THREE components to HRT safety:

  • Use the RIGHT HORMONES. That sounds so basic! Use the ones that have the same molecular structure as what your ovaries used to make. This is BIOIDENTICAL. Please DON’T take fake hormones like premarin or provera. They are not the same. And PLEASE don’t take estrogen in a pill format. It is so much safer in a cream or a patch. Estrogen taken in pill form gets mutilated by the liver to lead to inflammation and THAT is what causes an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Use the RIGHT BALANCE. You have to monitor levels.Unfortunately, this is not something I was taught to do in my traditional training. I was taught to use any hormone, at any dose to relieve symptoms. Oh, but make sure to get off them in 5 years or they may cause problems…
  • Make sure your body DISPOSES of the hormones SAFELY. This is monitored with a urine study of estrogen metabolites. There are 3 different pathways for estrogen metabolism. Two are not harmful but one of them can cause harm. If you make too much of this ugly estrogen metabolite it can lead to estrogen problems. Luckily there are things to do to improve estrogen metabolism, but KNOWING the current pathways is the starting point.

If we follow the above three principles, then we can get all the benefits of hormone therapy, while minimizing the risk. We can maintain healthy brains to live our 2nd half of life to the fullest!

If You Need Help We’re Here for You!

If you are menopausal and interested in starting HRT please reach out! At Vitality Renewal Functional Medicine, we are experts at hormone replacement. Let us help you get on the right track! If you are interested in exploring this option, just reach out through this link and my team will set you up with a call to see if we are a good fit to work together.