health brief

The Key to Aging Gracefully

Bio-Identical Hormones for Women

by Mary E. Miller Wilson

The Key to Aging Gracefully - contrastwerkstatt/AdobeStock.com

Many women find themselves on the threshold of menopause without ever having given the use of bio-identical hormones much thought. Other women are under the impression that hormones are used briefly for the overt symptoms of menopause (hot flashes, night sweats, interrupted sleep patterns), and when those symptoms dissipate and ultimately disappear, the hormones are stopped. That’s the furthest thing from the truth!

As women, we are definitely more hormonally complicated than men. We have three primary hormones that should be addressed during a woman’s healthspan; estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. While estrogen and progesterone disappear during menopause and often on the lead-up to menopause, testosterone has a steady decline in women between ages 30-35.

What is testosterone responsible for? ENERGY, the ability to build muscle, a sense of well-being and confidence, and sex drive/libido. As women, we have estrogen receptors in our brain, bones and heart that after menopause are no longer being satisfied.

Research clearly supports the premise that dementia, osteoporosis and heart disease escalate after menopause. WHY? The absence of estrogen. Estrogen matters. Because hormonal balance is critically important in all phases of a woman’s life, progesterone is a necessary component in that balance.

Progesterone and estrogen do a fine dance during our menstruating lives and that synchrony should extend into the menopausal phase of life. Progesterone is calming, sedating and it is sometimes referred to as “nature’s Valium.”

Let’s face it. Those of us that are invested in our health from a nutrition/exercise/sleep perspective will probably live until we are 100, which means we will spend as much time without our hormones as we spent with them! When you understand the importance of these hormones and their role in a woman’s body, replenishing and restoring them to support and promote health across the continuum is something most women are interested in. As women, we want to be the best version of ourselves. The use of hormones is the cornerstone of graceful aging.

Mary E. Miller-Wilson is an Adult Nurse Practitioner with over 20 years’ experience and Institute of Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner. She practices in Rochester and Bloomfield Twp., MI at Hormones and Health. For more information call 248-315-2286 or visit: HormonesAndHealthDetroit.com.

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