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Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Natural Hormone Replacement in Carlsbad, CA

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Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy

Today millions of men and women worried about aging and preserving their quality of life are receiving hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Hormone-related problems- such as mood swings, PMS, infertility, endometriosis, fibrocystic breasts, weight gain, low libido, vaginal dryness, frequent bladder infection, heart disease, and osteoporosis-- can be alleviated by achieving a proper hormone balance. In considering the benefit-risk ratio, it is important to consider alternatives to conventional therapy.

Why Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Alternatives to traditional HRT include using natural plant-derived bio-identical hormones with the same chemical makeup as those produced by the human body. Synthetic hormones and hormones from animal sources do not allow the body to produce the full range of other hormones which are required to operate at full capacity, and thus are more likely to produce side effects.

If you haven't heard much about natural hormone replacement, you're not alone. Because natural hormones can not be patented for the same reason you can not patent natural air, water, or vitamins, there's little or no incentive for the pharmaceutical industry to spend millions of dollars to develop, test, and submit to the FDA for approval, and market these hormones.

What Hormones Are We Referring To?

Natural hormone replacement isn't just estrogens and progesterone. Natural estrogens and progesterone are just part of a complex and closely interlinked hormonal system that includes many other hormones such as testosterone, DHEA, pregnenolone, and melatonin, to name just a few. Many of these hormones have been found to decline with age. Restoring them to normal levels with natural replacement versions can have an incredibly rejuvenating effect on our hearts and immune systems our moods, energy, and sex drive.

Natural Estrogens

Estrogen is not one hormone, but a set of similar hormones with varying levels of activity. The three most vital estrogens are estrone, estradiol, and estriol. Estradiol is the main estrogen produced by the ovary, and estrone is made by conversion of estradiol. The most favored form of estrogen replacement remains conjugated estrogens (containing many estrogens that are natural to horses, but few that are natural to humans). In the intestinal tract, these are converted mostly to estrone. Synthetic Ethinyl estradiol is also commonly used in estrogen supplements. Estrone and estradiol are the estrogens predominantly linked to breast and endometrial cancer.

New regimens have been developed that use natural estriol in the greatest concentration along with other naturally occurring estrogens in a properly balanced ratio. Estriol produces very little endometrial proliferation and rarely causes postmenopausal vaginal bleeding. Estriol may also be effective at reducing the risk of blood clots in the veins or lungs. Estriol is produced in very large amounts during pregnancy and is believed to be protective against breast cancer. High levels of estriol are found in vegetarians and Asian women, who have a much lower risk of breast cancer.

Natural Progesterone

The hormone progesterone participates in almost every physiological process, in both men and women. The stabilizing action of progesterone is especially noticeable in muscle tissue, such as the uterus, blood vessel walls, the heart, the intestine, the bladder, and bone cells. Less visibly, progesterone supports and normalizes nervous, secretory, immune, and growth processes.

Natural progesterone comes from yams and soybean. It matches precisely the chemical structure of the body's progesterone. Synthetic progesterone, or progestins, are chemically produced from progesterone and respond differently in the body resulting in undesirable side effects such as salt build-up, fluid retention, low blood sugar, breast tenderness, weight gain, and depression. The role of natural progesterone in preventing and treating osteoporosis, helping to clear endometriosis and fibrocystic breast, and treating vaginal dryness, infertility, and menstruation irregularities is receiving considerable attention in the medical and lay communities. In men over 55 natural progesterone is being used to increase sex drive, as well as to treat osteoporosis.

Natural Androgens

Sometimes, it is important to take into consideration the inclusion of the androgens, testosterone, or synthetic methyltestosterone, in a woman's hormone replacement regimen. Generally thought of as a male hormone, testosterone is also produced by the female ovaries as well as is vital to normal sexual development. Testosterone plays an important part in maintaining sexual desire, in addition to the strength and integrity of skin, muscle and bone, lowering cholesterol levels, and improving cardiovascular circulation in both men and women.

As a woman enters the changes of menopause, circulating androgens start to decrease as a result of age-related decreases in adrenal and ovarian secretion. After menopause, a woman's total androgen production decreases by as much as 50%. It is possible to supplement a woman's testosterone deficiency with the same natural testosterone she has produced most of her life. Synthetic hormones with even the smallest alterations can produce side effects not found with the natural hormone.

DHEA, Pregnenolone, and Melatonin

Not just estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, but several other hormones, including growth hormone, melatonin, DHEA, and pregnenolone, reach peak levels before or during the third decade of life and then begin a steady decline of about 2% each year. Research clearly indicates that substituting inadequate levels of these vital hormones can, among other favorable effects, help protect the heart, improve mental alertness, make bones stronger, and revive a lagging sex life. We are only beginning to understand the health benefits that can be accomplished by restoring levels of these vital hormones to their youthful peak.

Hormone Testing

Because steroid hormones play such a vital role in the maintenance of health, knowledge of an imbalance in any one or more hormones can help clarify the source of health problems and supply a rational basis for correcting the imbalance through diet, exercise, or hormone supplementation.

Steroid hormone levels can be measured through blood and saliva testing. When the various glands make the steroids they are released into the bloodstream bound to carrier proteins. Just a small portion (1-5%) of a given amount of steroid hormone breaks loose from the carrier protein in the bloodstream and is able to enter target tissues. Blood testing measures both the bound and unbound steroid hormones. Studies show that there is a strong correlation between the levels of steroid hormones in the saliva and the bioavailable (unbound) levels of steroids in the bloodstream.

Levels of all steroid hormones can be determined one by one by both blood and saliva testing. Blood testing requires a prescription from your doctor. Saliva testing kits can be obtained through compounding pharmacies involved with natural hormone replacement.

Customize, Don’t Compromise

As many as two-thirds of women that start HRT quit within two years. One main reason they stop is because of side effects, especially the irregular bleeding that can last anywhere from a few months to a few years.

So how do you reap the benefits of HRT and bypass the side effects? Customize. HRT needs to be carefully initiated by your physician after a personal history, family history, and current medical situation are assessed. Everyone is unique and will respond to therapy in their own way: therefore the selection of hormone(s), dose, and dosage form should be specific to each person. Close observation is important to guarantee correct dosage changes and prevent unnecessary side effects. Compounding pharmacists can make natural hormones in a variety of doses, regimens, and preparations developed to make you more comfortable with your therapy while receiving long-lasting benefits.

For further information about Dr. Stengler’s practice and his clinic in Carlsbad, California, please visit our website at or give us a call at (760) 274-2377

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