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Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Natural Hormone Replacement in Oceanside, CA

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Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy

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

Why natural hormone replacement therapy?

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

If you have not heard much about natural hormone replacement, you're not the only one. Since 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 invest millions of dollars to develop, test, 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 complicated and closely interlinked hormone system that includes a lot of 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 a remarkably revitalizing result on our hearts and immune systems to our moods, energy, and libido.

Natural Estrogens

Estrogen is not one hormone, but a group of similar hormones with varying levels of activity. The three most essential estrogens are estrone, estradiol, and estriol. Estradiol is the primary estrogen made by the ovary, and estrone is created by conversion of estradiol. The most popular kind of estrogen replacement continues to be 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 established that use natural estriol in the greatest concentration along with other naturally occurring estrogens in a properly balanced ratio. Estriol generates very little endometrial proliferation and hardly ever causes postmenopausal vaginal bleeding. Estriol might also be successful at reducing the risk of blood clots in the veins or lungs. Estriol is made 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 practically every physiological process, in both men and women. The stabilizing action of progesterone is particularly visible in muscle tissue, such as the uterus, blood vessel walls, the heart, the intestine, the bladder, and bone cells. Less noticeably, progesterone stabilizes 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 formulated from progesterone and respond differently in the body causing the 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 menstrual irregularities is getting significant attention in the medical and lay communities. In men over 55 natural progesterone is being used to increase libido, as well to treat osteoporosis.

Natural Androgens

In some cases, it is necessary to consider the inclusion of the androgens, testosterone or the synthetic methyltestosterone, to a woman's hormone replacement regimen. Commonly considered a male hormone, testosterone is also produced by the female ovaries and is essential to normal sexual development. Testosterone plays a vital role 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 begin to decrease as a result of age-related decreases in adrenal and ovarian secretion. After menopause, a woman's overall 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 gradual decline of about 2% per year. Research clearly suggests that substituting inadequate levels of these essential hormones can, among other favorable effects, help protect the heart, improve mental alertness, make bones stronger, and rejuvenate a lagging sex life. We are only starting to know the health benefits that can be accomplished by restoring levels of these important hormones to their youthful peak.

Hormone Testing

Since steroid hormones play such an important part in 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 with diet, exercise, or hormone supplementation.

Steroid hormone levels can be measured through blood and saliva testing. When the different glands make the steroids they are released into the bloodstream bound to carrier proteins. Just a small fraction (1-5%) of a given amount of steroid hormone breaks loose from the carrier protein in the bloodstream and is free 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 measured individually by both blood and saliva testing. Blood testing requires a prescription from your physician. Saliva testing kits can be acquired through compounding pharmacies associated with natural hormone replacement.

Customize, Don’t Compromise

As many as two-thirds of women that begin HRT quit within two years. One major 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 get the benefits of HRT and avoid the side effects? Customize. HRT has to be carefully started by your doctor after a personal history, family history, and current medical situation are assessed. Everyone is unique and will respond to therapy in their own way: that is why the selection of hormone(s), dose and dosage form needs to be specific to each individual. Close monitoring is necessary to ensure proper dosage changes and avoid unnecessary side effects. Compounding pharmacists can make natural hormones in a variety of doses, regimens, and preparations designed to make you more comfortable with your therapy while receiving long-term benefits.

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

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