AAH specializes in alternative and conventional healthcare, including osteopathic manipulative medicine, cranial osteopathy, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and hypnotherapy

Updated: 01-Apr-2011

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Hormone Replacement Therapy

There is a great deal of conflicting information in the media about menopause and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Do the benefits of HRT outweigh the risks? How long should a woman be on HRT? These are questions that can be answered only after careful consideration of an individual's health, family history, lifestyle, and the physical and emotional changes she experiences. Some symptoms of menopause or andropause can amount to short-term annoyances, while others persist or have a longer-term impact on a woman's or man's health.

Dr. Douglas will discuss your symptoms and health history to determine if you are a candidate for HRT. The risks and benefits will also be reviewed so you can decide if you would like to try HRT. Hormone replacement is not appropriate for every individual.

Menopause

Most women will enter menopause (cessation of the menstrual cycle) sometime between the ages of 45 to 55. The average age is 51, and with the life expectancy for women falling between ages 75 and 80, most women can look forward to 30 or more postmenopausal years. During menopause, however, hormone levels can fluctuate causing symptoms such as:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Poor concentration and/or memory
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Osteoporosis
  • Weight gain
  • Reduced libido (sex drive)
  • Headaches or body aches
  • Mood swings

Andropause

Men also experience hormonal changes as they age. Andropause is the gradual decrease in testosterone (T) levels in men. This typically begins after age 50, but can also occur earlier. T is important for proper metabolic function, energy, mental clarity, and stamina. During andropause, decreasing T levels can cause symptoms such as:

  • Hot flashes
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Poor concentration and/or memory
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Loss of muscle mass and strength
  • Reduced energy and libido (sex drive)
  • Weight gain

Bioidentical HRT

Bioidentical hormones use natural plant-derived hormones instead of animal-based hormones. BHRT balances your body's natural hormones levels by replacing depleted hormones with natural hormones derived from plant-based sources, including wild yam or soy. These hormones are friendly to your body's organs, such as the heart, bones and brain.

Since we use natural hormones at the lowest level to achieve symptom resolution, the body experiences fewer side effects than with the common synthetic hormones. Depending on your individual needs, BHRT for women may include estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, or DHEA. For men, BHRT includes testosterone and may include DHEA.

More information

We recommend using Grove Pharmacy. Grove Pharmacy is a Springfield compounding pharmacy with an established history of excellence. They have several compounding pharmacists that work with Dr. Douglas to properly balance your hormone levels. To visit Grove's website, click here: Grove Pharmacy

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