Conditions Treated with Bioidentical Hormones
Kristina Janicas, N.P. has used bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to treat a wide number of conditions. Men and women have been able to replace deficient hormones and improve their overall health through the use of bioidentical hormones. Because bioidentical hormones are identical to the hormones produced in the human body, people can reap the benefits of these hormones without suffering from the negative side effects. Some of the conditions that can be improved with bioidentical hormones include:
Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome
This syndrome is a stress induced syndrome that is often characterized with a feeling of mental and emotional fatigue that inhibits daily functioning. Commonly, people that have chronic stress wear down their adrenal glands because they are forced to constantly secrete cortisol, which is a hormone that counteracts the inflammation caused from stress. Over time, the body begins to convert valuable sex hormones into cortisol in order to meet the body’s demands. People that have adrenal fatigue syndrome often suffer from feeling burned out, insomnia, salty or sweet cravings, difficulty getting out of bed, intolerance to stress, night sweats, and feeling more awake after 6pm.
Headaches are a common issue among both men and women, and they usually do not signify a larger health issue. Many women suffer from hormone related headaches during PMS, menstruation, perimenopause, or menopause, and they can occur when hormones fluctuate. Other common causes of headaches can occur from stress, dehydration, or not eating. Men may also get hormone related headaches or migraines. Balancing hormones can help to resolve hormone related headaches and prevent them from occurring on a regular basis.
Many people suffer from mood swings for different reasons, and both men and women can get hormone related mood changes. Women going through menopause or perimenopause often suffer from increased anxiety, depression, sadness or irritability. In men, male hormonal fluctuations can lead to increased aggression, anger, apathy, or depression. Balancing hormones can improve moods and increase a person’s overall sense of wellbeing.
Allergic reactions are a response that the immune system has a foreign substance attempting to enter into the body; however, hormone imbalances or adrenal gland deficiencies may also lead to an increased sensitivity in allergic reactions. Certain hormones, such as DHEA and cortisol, which is a hormone that is released during stress to counteract inflammation, helps to reduce allergies and inflammation in the body. When these hormones are deficient; people can experience increased sensitivity to foreign substances and have an increased amount of allergies.
Hormones are chemical messengers that carry signals from one part of the body to another, and they work to control almost all primary physiological processes in the body, such as reproduction, sexual function, digestion, metabolism, growth, and energy and heat regulation. When hormones become deficient or imbalanced, numerous symptoms can occur in the body, which may include mood changes, night sweats, hot flashes, low libido, reduced sexual function, hair loss, wrinkling skin, and weight gain. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy can help to reduce these issues and restore the quality of life to the individual.
Night sweats usually indicate a deficiency of hormones that help to control temperature. They usually occur in women during perimenopause or menopause, or they can occur in younger women before the menstrual cycle when estrogen drops to lower levels. Men may experience night sweats before or during andropause or in response to stress. Balancing hormones can help to reduce night sweats and improve sleep.
Certain types of alopecia are autoimmune, and in alopecia men and women can experience hair loss on parts of all of the scalp or body. Typically, women begin to notice that their hair is thinning around the age of 35, which is close to perimenopause and the time in which estrogen and progesterone begin to decline. Men may lose their hair as early as the 20’s, and it can also be due to hormone loss. In men, when healthy free testosterone is lacking, another form of testosterone rises up and causes hair follicles to die away. Balancing hormones can help improve hormone related alopecia, and it can improve the immune system in cases of autoimmune related alopecia.
While hot flashes are typically thought to be an issue that only affects menopausal women. Men and women of all ages can suffer from hot flashes. A hot flash involves a sudden feeling of warmth or extreme heat that can lead to sweating, flushing, or a dry mouth, and this can be caused from an imbalance within the hypothalamus. When hormones fall out of balance, the hypothalamus, which regulates body temperature, can receive mixed signals, and this can lead to wild fluctuations in temperature. While hormonal fluctuations are the most common reason for hot flashes, stress, illness, or thyroid issues can also cause hot flashes.
Hyperthyroid occurs when the thyroid gland produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormone, which is a hormone that works to regulate many aspects of metabolism. A high amount of thyroid hormone can lead to symptoms that include increased bowel movements, intolerance to heat, heart palpitations, a faster heart rate, bulging eyes, anxiety, panic attacks, and poor sleep.
Outbursts of anger can be caused by a chemical imbalance that can occur with hormone fluctuations, neurotransmitter deficits, drugs, or medications. In women, increased anger may occur during menopause or perimenopause, as estrogen levels can drastically affect moods. In men, testosterone imbalances may lead to increased aggression or anger. Balancing hormones and regulating the bodily system can help men and women to have healthy emotions and resolve anger outbursts.
Anxiety or Depression
Many people suffer from different ranges of anxiety and depression. Chemical imbalances, stress, drugs, or neurotransmitter imbalances can all cause different ranges of anxiety and depression. Emotional disorders can also be a result of hormonal fluctuations, which usually occur during perimenopause, andropause, and menopause. Correcting hormone imbalances and rearranging lifestyle habits can reduce anxiety and depression to give a person an increased sense of wellbeing.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome usually is characterized with alternating constipation and diarrhea, and it is usually exacerbated with stress. Sometimes, a person can experience diarrhea multiple times a day, and it can cause a person to have constipation for over a week. This syndrome can also have symptoms of bloating, gas, indigestion, and a poor appetite.
High amounts of stress, alcohol, drugs, lack of exercise, poor diet, and smoking can cause a person to age prematurely. While a person’s chronological age may be a particular number, the person’s biological age may be different than the actual numerical age. The body ages at a different rate for each person, and some people may show signs of aging more quickly than others. Taking steps to reverse or eliminate the signs of aging can help to slow premature aging.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is an autoimmune condition that is characterized with a constant feeling of fatigue or exhaust that lasts more than 24 hours. This syndrome leads to both mental and physical exhaust, and while physicians are not sure exactly what causes chronic fatigue syndrome, some evidence shows that hormone imbalances may exacerbate the condition. This is because hormones influence immunity and energy metabolism, and when they fall out of balance, people can experience immune dysfunction or fatigue. Other symptoms of chronic fatigue may include a chronic sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, body aches, general malaise, insomnia, and a low grade fever.
Many adults suffer from the inability to sleep, and they may have issues falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up many times during the night, or waking up early in the morning and not being able to fall back asleep. A lack of sleep can cause fatigue during the day and lead to a decreased overall quality of life. Many women experience sleeping issues during menopause and perimenopause, and men experience this issue during andropause. Hormone imbalances may be at the root of sleep disturbances, and many people have been able to improve sleep through balancing hormones.
There are a number of thyroid disorders that are usually caused by either a lack of thyroid hormone or an excessive production of thyroid hormone. The thyroid hormone is one of the most important hormones in the body because it controls nearly all aspects of metabolism. Hypothyroidism is a result of a lack of thyroid hormone production, and it can lead to a number of symptoms that greatly reduce the quality of life. Some of the issues that can occur with hypothyroidism may include sudden weight gain, thinning hair, irregular periods, constipation, and intolerances to cold, fatigue, cold limbs, and slower metabolic functions. Hyperthyroid occurs when the thyroid gland produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormone, which is a hormone that works to regulate many aspects of metabolism. A high amount of thyroid hormone can lead to symptoms that include increased bowel movements, intolerance to heat, heart palpitations, a faster heart rate, bulging eyes, anxiety, panic attacks, and poor sleep. Hashimoto’s thyroid it is another condition that can occur when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland and this condition can have fluctuating thyroid hormone levels, which causes symptoms of both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
A low sex drive can occur at any point during a man or woman’s life, and its several factors can play into low libido. During the 20’s and 30’s, stress or overwork may lead to a reduced sex drive. When men and women enter into the 40’s and 50’s, low libido may be caused by hormone decline. For men going through andropause and women experiencing menopause or perimenopause, low libido can be improved through balancing hormones. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy may help to replenish deficient sex hormones and restore libido to normal levels.
A high salt intake is usually the culprit for temporary water retention; however, chronic water retention may be the result of progesterone deficiencies. Progesterone is a natural diuretic, and it usually declines during perimenopause, which is the time before menopause in women, or menopause. In men, this hormone may decline during andropause. Water retention in other parts of the body, such as the feet, is usually known as edema, and it can be caused from heart issues, high salt intake, gout, or other mineral imbalances.
Low Grade Fevers
A low grade fever can be a sign of a connective tissue disease, such as rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, or lymph node inflammation, but it is also common during male or female hormone decline. The hypothalamus regulates body temperature, and when hormones that regulate the hypothalamus reduce, the body may become unable to control temperature, which can result in a low grade fever. Women or men going through hormone changes may also encounter hot flashes or night sweats, but temperature can be regulated by balancing hormones.
Weight Loss Resistance
Losing weight can be difficult to achieve, especially after the body has been at a certain set point for a longer period of time. Usually, eating a healthy diet and exercising can lead to weight loss, but for some people, these changes may have only a minor effect on weight loss. Weight loss resistance can occur due to hormonal changes, thyroid disorders, steroidal medications for anti-inflammation, or growths on the pituitary gland. Hypothyroidism can lead to weight loss resistance because a lack of thyroid hormone leads to a slower metabolism. In women, reduced estrogen may cause the body to hold onto body fat because fat contains estrogen, and in men, increased estrogen can suppress testosterone, which leads to increased body fat because testosterone speeds up metabolism and fuels muscle growth. Steroidal medications and pituitary growths can also disrupt hormone balance and lead to weight loss resistance. Overall, balancing hormones can lead to weight loss and help patients achieve their weight loss goals.
Gastrointestinal disorders can involve chronic constipation or diarrhea, indigestion, bloating, gas, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease. Typically, reducing stress and changing one’s diet can improve constipation or diarrhea, and it may reduce gas and bloating. Some GI issues may also be the result of allergic reactions. Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s are autoimmune conditions that may be improved with detoxification, hormone balance, and dietary changes.
Usually an undetected tick bite can lead to Lyme’s Disease, and the first signs of infection usually include a bull’s eye like rash occurring near the site of infection around 7 to 10 days after infection occurs. Early symptoms of infection can include flu-like symptoms, fever, rash, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and a stiff neck. If caught early, the infection can easily be fixed with antibiotics, but if it continues, it can leave lasting effects that include meningitis, Bells palsy, muscle and joint pains, shooting leg pains, inflammation of the spinal cord, dizziness, and headaches.
Many teens and women or men in the early 20’s can suffer from acne outbreaks. Women may also get acne before their menstrual cycle begins and during hormone fluctuations that occur during perimenopause. Eating a healthy diet that produces fewer toxins in the body can improve skin, and regaining hormone balance may also reduce the amount of oil produced in the sebaceous glands on the face, which can reduce acne outbreaks.
Eczema is an autoimmune skin condition that leads to scaling, red, dry, and itchy skin anywhere on the body, and it may become aggravated with certain foods, such as dairy, eggs, wheat, or chocolate. Many people suffer from eczema, and the itching and appearance of eczema can greatly reduce the quality of life for men and women. Finding the right therapy to deal with eczema can improve this condition and reduce its related symptoms.
Several men and women suffer from urinary issues for many different reasons. In men, an enlarged prostate may lead to urgent and frequent urination. In women, urinary incontinence or leaking can be caused from hormone decline leading to atrophy of the urinary bladder muscle. In both men and women, nighttime urination may caused by hormonal decline and a weakening of the bladder. Restoring hormonal balance and improving prostate health can help patients to resolve their impending urinary issues.
Many people suffer from chronic pain due to accidents, previous injuries, stress, or autoimmune conditions, such as fibromyalgia. Several treatment modalities can help to improve chronic pain, such as herbs, acupuncture, massage therapy, homeopathic medicine, and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Patients can naturally reduce chronic pain and inflammation without using prescription drugs and reaping the side effects. However, some conditions may require prescription drug use, but other therapies can complement the use of medications for a stronger pain relieving effect.