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San Diego, CA

Natural Hormone Replacement in Rancho Santa Fe, CA

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Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy

Today countless men and women worried about aging and maintaining 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 alleviated 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 produced 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 needed to operate at full capacity, and thus 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 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. A lot of these hormones have been found to decline with age. Restoring them to normal levels with natural replacement versions can have a remarkable 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 degrees of activity. The three most vital estrogens are estrone, estradiol, and estriol. Estradiol is the primary estrogen produced by the ovary, and estrone is formed by the conversion of estradiol. The most favored kind of estrogen replacement continues to be conjugated estrogens (including many estrogens that are natural to horses, but few that are natural to humans). In the intestinal tract, these are converted mainly to estrone. Synthetic Ethinyl estradiol is also frequently 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 an appropriately balanced ratio. Estriol produces very little endometrial proliferation and rarely causes postmenopausal vaginal bleeding. Estriol might also be successful at lowering 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 practically every physiological process, in both men and women. The stabilizing action of progesterone is especially 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 composition of the body's progesterone. Synthetic progesterone, or progestins, are chemically developed from progesterone and respond differently in the body triggering unwanted side effects such as salt build-up, fluid retention, low blood sugar, breast tenderness, and weight gain, and depression. The role of natural progesterone in protecting against 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 raise libido, as well as to treat osteoporosis.

Natural Androgens

In some cases, it is necessary to consider the addition of the androgens, testosterone, or synthetic methyltestosterone, to a woman's hormone replacement regimen. Commonly considered a male hormone, testosterone is also produced by the female ovaries and is necessary for normal sexual development. Testosterone plays an essential role in maintaining sexual desire, as well as the strength and integrity of skin, muscle and bone, reducing cholesterol levels, and improving cardiovascular circulation in both men and women.

As a woman enters the transitions of menopause, circulating androgens begin to decline 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 changes 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 suggests that substituting insufficient levels of these important hormones can, among other positive effects, help protect the heart, improve mental awareness, make bones stronger, and restore a lagging sex life. We are just beginning to know the health benefits that can be attained by restoring levels of these vital hormones to their youthful peak.

Hormone Testing

Since steroid hormones play such a crucial part in the maintenance of health, knowledge of an imbalance in any one or more hormones can help illuminate the cause of health problems and provide a logical basis for fixing the imbalance through diet, exercise, or hormone supplementation.

Steroid hormone levels can be determined with blood and saliva testing. When the various glands produce the steroids they are released into the bloodstream bound to carrier proteins. Only a small fraction (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 connection 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 physician. 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 begin HRT stop within two years. One main reason they stop is because of side effects, particularly the irregular bleeding that can last anywhere from a few months to a few years.

So how do you receive the benefits of HRT and bypass the side effects? Customize. HRT needs to be carefully started by your physician after a personal history, family history, and current medical situation are assessed. Everyone is different 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 patient. 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 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 Rancho Santa Fe, California, please visit our website at or give us a call at (760) 274-2377

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