Treatment of Estrogen & Progesterone Deficiencies in Postmenopausal Women

 

HRT has been found to increase the risk of breast cancer and some other unwanted problems. Bio-identical Hormone Supplementation (BHS) does not do this and the following 2 articles from medical journals present the evidence for this.

 

The Bioidentical Hormone Debate by Dr Kent Holtorf MD

The Effects of Compounded Boidentical Transdermal Hormone Therapy on Haemostatic, Inflammatory, Immune Factors; Cardiovascular Biomarkers; Quality of Life Measures; and Health Outcomes in Perimenopausal and Postmenopausal Women by Dr Kenna Stephenson MD, FAAFP et al.

 

The first article looks at the scientific studies and concludes that the physiological data and clinical outcomes demonstrate that bio-identical hormones are associated with lower risks including risks for breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. He also concludes that they work better than their synthetic and animal-derived counterparts.

The second article looked at 75 women and measured their hormones and blood for indicators of inflammation and clotting. They also asked them questions about their quality of life with respect to mood, energy etc. They then gave the women estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA in a human-identical form mimicking our natural physiology. The quality of life scores improved as did their blood markers for disease.

Estrogen deficiency can cause the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Poor libido
  • Poor memory
  • Hot flushes (fluctuating estrogen levels)
  • Droopy breasts
  • Irregular periods
  • Light or absent periods
  • Uncomfortable intercourse due to poor lubrication
  • Decreased vitality of vulva & vaginal area
  • Recurrent bladder infections
  • Stress incontinence
  • Joint stiffness & discomfort
  • Dry eyes & mouth
  • Small sharp wrinkles above upper lip & corner of eyes

Estrogen deficiency is associated with the development of these health conditions:
Infertility, premature aging, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease

Progesterone naturally counterbalances the effects of estrogen.
Most of the symptoms of Progesterone deficiency are also symptoms of estrogen excess.

Progesterone deficiency (estrogen excess) can cause:

  • Muscle & nervous tenseness
  • Irritability (as in Premenstrual syndrome PMS)
  • Anxiety, anger, outbursts of panic or rage
  • Sleeping problems
  • Increased pain sensitivity
  • Premenstrual tension with breast tenderness & swollen breasts
  • Premenstrual abdominal bloating
  • Heavy periods
  • Reddish face/ swollen face
  • Enlarged breasts
  • Breast cysts
  • Swollen ankles

Note: a minimum level of estrogen is required for symptoms of progesterone deficiency to show up.

Progesterone deficiency has been associated with the following conditions
Breast cysts, uterine fibroids, enlarged uterus, infertility, breast cancer, PMS.

How to safely treat Female hormone deficiency

It is safe to supplement with bio-identical hormones for as long as necessary if the following are observed:

  • Use bio-identical estradiol & estriol (Biest)
  • Counterbalance with natural progesterone in the form of micronized capsules
  • Apply estrogens transdermally via a cream
  • Check & supplement for testosterone deficiency if needed (this has been shown to have a protective effect on the breast in one study and helps to keep up the muscle mass which declines as we age)
  • Regularly check for signs & symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
  • Stop treatment for 3 days each month. This allows the hormone receptors to retain their sensitivity.
  • There are no studies showing that these bio-identical hormones cause cancer but women with active untreated breast cancer are usually advised against taking this treatment.
  • Regular screening for cancer, cardio-vascular disease, osteoporosis

Note: The Women’s health initiative (WHI) study (2002) & the British One Million Women Study (2003) used nonbioidentical estrogens (premarin) taken by mouth.

The WHI study showed no increased risk of breast cancer or heart attack but an increase in stroke in those over 60 who took premarin. (estrogen taken orally and made from pregnant mare’s urine)

Those who took Premarin plus Provera (a synthetic molecule similar but different from progesterone) had increased risk of cardiovascular disease & breast cancer. This medication should be avoided.

Tips for using Biest Cream

  • Spread a thin layer on a large surface area
  • Non hairy, non fatty areas: upper chest, neck, inner arms, behind the knees. The face is also good because estrogen acts against fine wrinkles and facial hair.
  • Avoid other creams & lotions where the biest is applied
  • Avoid eating large amounts of cereal fiber (depletes estrogen)
  • Don’t stop when being treated for anything else like an infection