Menopause, Hormones and Health Health
Studies show that women are experiencing menopause at much earlier ages than expected. By age 40, most women are depleted of normal levels of estrogen and have lost nearly all their progesterone. Testosterone tends to stay within the normal limits but at 1/2 the level. Most women’s cycles are stopping at age 46.
The relationship of hormones and heart health:
- Research indicates a correlation between declining estrogen levels during menopause and an increase in the risk for cardiovascular problems.
- According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading killer of women.
- Women who have gone through menopause are two to three times more likely to develop heart disease.
- Estrogen is shown to support the blood vessels. Results from a 1991 study indicated that after 15 years of estrogen replacement, risk of death by cardiovascular disease was reduced by almost 50 percent and overall deaths were reduced by 40 percent.
- Testosterone also supports the cardiovascular system in women as well as men. This will be fully addressed in another article.
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Vs. Synthetic Hormone Replacement:
While hormone therapy can help protect the heart health of menopausal and aging women, the key to effective treatment lies in the type of hormone and administration method.
How do Bio-identical Hormones Compare with Synthetic Hormones?
Conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are synthetic compounds developed and patented by pharmaceutical companies. Synthetically made hormones are not human-identical. Synthetic hormones are limited in their actions within the body. They are able to replicate some of the processes of human hormones, but lack in fully replicating all of the processes. Human hormones are extremely complex and their functions within the body are numerous. Bio-identical hormones are able to mirror natural human hormones and their complex nature within the body.
Numerous studies cite the potential benefits of bio-identical estrogen and testosterone:
- Reduce harmful LDL and total cholesterol
- Increase protective HDL
- Decrease triglycerides
- Assist in retaining the ability of the coronary arteries to dilate and remain pliable
Evidence from a 2013 study by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports the “timing hypothesis,” which shows that women in the early stages of menopause are more likely to experience additional cardiovascular benefits from HRT treatment than women who have been menopausal for 10 or more years.
Another study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that 32 percent of heart attacks and cardiac deaths were reduced in women age 60 or younger who had received bio-identical hormone treatment.
When should you start testing your hormones?
The practitioners at Hood to Coast Healthcare recommend that women start checking their hormone levels with saliva or urine testing around ages 35-40 to correct hormonal imbalances. This can help to protect your hearts and to avoid many unpleasant health problems that occur during menopause, such as thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, depression, breast cancer, brain fog and fibromyalgia.
Bio-identical hormones, taken in early menopause, may actually help prevent coronary heart disease and many of these issues.