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San Diego, CA

Natural Hormone Replacement in San Marcos, CA

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Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy

Today millions of men and women concerned about aging and maintaining a quality of life are undergoing 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 consider alternatives to conventional therapy.

Why Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Alternatives to traditional HRT include using natural plant-derived bio-identical hormones which have the same chemical makeup as those produced by the body. Synthetic hormones and hormones from animal sources do not allow the body to generate the full range of other hormones which are required to function at full capacity, and thus are more likely to cause 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 produce, test, submit to the FDA for approval, and market these hormones.

What Hormones Are We Talking About?

Natural hormone replacement isn't just estrogens and progesterone. Natural estrogens and progesterone are just part of a complex and closely interlinked hormone 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 an incredibly revitalizing effect on our hearts and immune systems to our moods, energy, and libido.

Natural Estrogens

Estrogen is not one hormone, but a set of similar hormones with varying levels of activity. The three most important 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 favored kind 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 established that use natural estriol in the greatest concentration together with other naturally occurring estrogens in a properly balanced ratio. Estriol generates very little endometrial proliferation and seldom 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 quantities during pregnancy and is thought 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 make-up of the body's progesterone. Synthetic progesterone, or progestins, are chemically developed from progesterone and respond differently in the body causing the unwanted side effects such as salt build up, fluid retention, low blood sugar, breast tenderness, 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 considerable attention in the medical and lay communities. In men over 55 natural progesterone is being used to boost sex drive, as well to treat osteoporosis.

Natural Androgens

In some cases, it is necessary to consider the addition 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 as well as is vital to normal sexual development. Testosterone plays an essential role in maintaining libido, 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 changes of menopause, circulating androgens begin to decline as a result of age-related reductions 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 slightest changes can produce side effects not found with the natural hormone.

DHEA, Pregnenolone, and Melatonin

Not just estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, but lots of 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% each year. Research clearly indicates that substituting inadequate levels of these vital hormones can, among other favorable effects, help protect the heart, improve mental awareness, make bones stronger, and restore a lagging sex life. We are just beginning to understand the health benefits that can be achieved by restoring levels of these important hormones to their youthful peak.

Hormone Testing

Since steroid hormones play such a crucial part in maintenance of health, knowledge of an imbalance in any one or more hormones can help illuminate the source of health problems and give a rational basis for correcting the imbalance with diet, exercise, or hormone supplementation.

Steroid hormone levels can be determined through blood and saliva testing. When the different glands manufacture 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 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 measured 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 associated with natural hormone replacement.

Customize, Don't Compromise

As many as two-thirds of women who begin HRT quit within two years. One main reason they quit 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 avoid the side effects? Customize. HRT has to be carefully started by your physician after a personal history, family history, and current medical situation are reviewed. 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 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 gaining long-lasting benefits.

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

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