When it comes to women’s health, it seems every conversation can be controversial and somewhat confusing. And when it comes to hormones, nothing gets people more fired up than Bioidentical Hormone Therapy. Unfortunately, the option of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy has to be considered when one delves into the topic of menopause. Even Oprah is discussing it! Winfrey went on record recently saying she had suffered for over two years with pre-menopausal issues and just didn’t feel like herself. Her remedy? Bioidentical Hormone Therapy.
The Beauty Duo did a little research to find out what all the fuss is about. We sat down with Dr. Michael Galitzer, a nationally recognized expert in anti-aging medicine and Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, or BHRT, and the medical director of The American Health Institute, an organization dedicated to education and research in the areas of anti-aging medicine and cancer. He has been featured in many of Suzanne Somers’ books, including the newly released Knockout, a compilation of interviews with doctors who are curing cancer. He is also an advisor to Circ-Cell Skincare, and collaborated with Circ-Cell Skincare on Crème E.R.3, which helps fight the visible effects of age-related loss of skin equilibrium.
Read on to discover the many benefits of bioidentical hormones and how you can incorporate them into your own beauty regimen.
The Beauty Duo: Let’s start with the basics. What are hormones?
Dr. Michael Galitzer: The definition of “hormones” literally means to arouse or excite. Hormones are chemical messengers that are secreted into the bloodstream from endocrine glands. Hormones bind with the appropriate receptors, which are present in the cell membranes of their target organs, producing desired effects on both the metabolism and function of the targeted organs.
TBD: Which hormones contribute to the anti-aging process?
DMG: The most important hormones in anti-aging are Progesterone, Thyroid, DHEA, Cortisol, Growth Hormone, Insulin, Testosterone, and Estrogen.
TBD: What happens when you don’t have enough of a certain hormone?
DMG: The loss of hormonal balance, which occurs with aging, plays a large role in mental and emotional symptoms and in all illnesses. We age because our hormones decline; our hormones don’t decline because we age. The hormonal system has a direct correlation to the emotional person (as women I believe we know this well). It’s clear that the hormonal system responds to our outlook on the world. Ideally, restoration of this balance is can be achieved through BHRT.
Researchers have long known that one of the mechanisms involved in the aging process is the decline in naturally occurring hormones in the body, first manifesting in our 30’s, and then accelerating as we enter our 50’s, 60’s, and beyond.
TBD: What else can contribute to the loss of hormones?
DMG: Nutritional deficiencies, lack of exercise, and exposure to toxins, can all result in diminished hormone production that ultimately leads to diminished biological functioning. Chronic stress can also seriously impact hormone production. Other factors include malnutrition, sleep disorders, exposure to electro-magnetic fields (EMF’s), lack of sunlight, and the long-term use of over-the-counter and prescription medications.
TBD: So what is all the fuss about?
DMG: Since hormones affect literally every bodily process, low levels of certain hormones create havoc with all other body systems, including the immune, cardiovascular, detoxification, and gastrointestinal. Chronic illness is also frequently associated with the body’s decline in hormone production. Recent research suggests that proper replacement of bioidentical hormones will hold great promise in slowing the aging process, and as a treatment for age-related diseases.
TBD: What’s the difference in BHRT and the prescribed hormones my doctor gives me?
DMG: Progesterone and bioidentical estrogen are bio-engineered from natural plant products, and contain the same chemical structure as female sex hormones. In contrast, synthetic hormones are produced by altering the natural structure of the hormone in order to obtain a patent. This will not only change its structure, but also its effect on the body. It is a chemical with a certain level of toxicity, which is indigenous to all chemicals. Premarin does not contain the same estrogen levels that naturally exist in the body. Premarin actually contains 50 different forms of estrogen, among of which only three are known to naturally occur in humans.
TBD: How do I know if I have an estrogen deficiency?
DMG: The signs of estrogen deficiency include:
1) Hot flashes
2) Night sweats
3) Dry eyes, vagina
4) Sagging breast and loss of fullness
5) Mental fogginess, depression , and mood changes
6) Decreased sense of sensuality and sexuality
TBD: What forms of bioidentical estrogen can I receive?
DMG: Bioidentical estrogen comes in the form of cream, lozenge (troche), or liquid. They can be called Biest or Triest.
TBD: So what’s Progesterone?
DMG: The other major female bioidentical hormone is progesterone. Progesterone levels may start declining as early as age 35 in women. Progesterone is made by the corpus luteum in the second half of a woman’s cycle, and allows for implantation of the embryo on the uterus. Progesterone was naturally made from plants as early as 1938 by Russell Marker at Penn State University. It can be made into a cream, lozenge, liquid or capsule. When you take bioidentical progesterone as a capsule at bedtime, it promotes sleep.
Progesterone has the following effects:
- Natural diuretic
- Helps use fat for energy
- Is a natural anti-depressant
- Helps thyroid hormone work
- Normalizes blood clotting
- Normalizes zinc and copper levels( estrogen raises the copper levels, lowering zinc, which contributes to PMS)
- Normalizes cell oxygen levels
- Prevents fibrocystic breast disease
- Protects against Cancer of the Uterus
- Protects against Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer
- Restores normal sleep patterns
- Is a good skin moisturizer
- Stimulates new bone formation
- Restores estrogen receptor receptivity
Many pre-menopausal and menopausal women can also benefit from applying small amounts of testosterone cream, especially when there is loss of libido.
All in all, bioidentical hormones are essential components of the anti-aging approach to health. These hormones not only decrease inflammation, but they improve cardiovascular performance, prevent memory loss, and enhance brain longevity. Lastly, they promote regeneration, and maintain youth when given correctly in combination with proper nutrition, detoxification, exercise, and stress reduction.
For more on this interview, please visit SMSC Media Group.