Blame it on the hormones. Moody, achy, sleep concerns, your menstrual cycle is off, can’t stop eating chocolate, teary and weepy, weight fluctuations, or perhaps you just can’t concentrate.
These can all be symptoms of hormone imbalance. These symptoms can be anywhere from mild to severe and can cause not only discomfort in our lives but they can be symptoms of something much larger, indications of health problems and side effects of our bodies changing.
Our hormones are connected to all aspects of our lives and therefore are affected by changes we go through stress, aging, weight loss or gain, so understanding how they all connect allows us to have control over them and prevent the more severe symptoms.
Stages of Hormone Imbalance
The fairer sex, my fat, crabby aunt! It starts when we are just girls, some can start menstruating as early as nine or ten years old. We finally get the breasts we always dreamed of, but no one told me they would hurt! Hormone imbalance, start your engines!
being a teenager is all about the mood swings, our bodies are thrown into a whirlwind of hormone change and our moods are all over the place. Our bodies grow hair, as well, and that’s really exciting. The first time.
This is a great stage for testing our patience and the patience of those around us. Sore, and tender, weepy and excited, and it doesn’t end with the pregnancy. The constant and weird food craving, the lack of sleep and general uncomfortableness doesn’t help.
There are changes after the baby is born, and these can be even bigger issues than the pregnancy. Women need to be particularly careful during this time, there is a big drop in estrogen and that can make mother derepressed. Hormone imbalance, in full swing.
Menopause Hot flashes, lowered sex drive, night sweats, new hair growing in places you don’t want and losing it in place that you do.
It’s also a time where skin loosens, there may be joint or muscle pain and of course, mood swings and possible weight gain.
There are other stages there but these are the main ones that have the biggest effect on us due to the changing hormones and the hormone imbalance that occurs. Hormone imbalance, rears it’s head, again.
Let’s take a closer look at menopause and perimenopause, as they tend to last the longest. Perimenopause is a stage leading up to menopause and can last up to four years as the ovaries begin to lose estrogen. That’s a long time to cope with hormone imbalance.
Menopause doesn’t begin until after a woman has gone twelve consecutive months without a period. The symptoms can go on for several more years after that. That can mean several long years of discomfort, depending on the individual.
These symptoms can be mildly annoying to downright uncomfortable. How these symptoms affect you can have several variables. If you are hoping that because your mother or your sister had an easy time of it, that you will, as well, that just isn’t so.
The Joys of Menopause
Yes, you read that right. Sometimes we just have to embrace the less than perfect aspects of our lives to make them bearable. We think about menopause with a touch of with dread because of the physical symptoms, but it doesn’t have to be.
Once the kids are grown or woman moves out of the childbearing years, they find a lot of new opportunities and potential for personal and professional growth.
They now have the time for professional and personal relationships and allow women to find deeper friendships. Plus, all the friends you have had throughout your life are all going through it at the same time, so you have someone to commiserate with.
You also have friends, with the same or similar issues with whom you can share ideas and talk about ways to make living with menopause better. A problem shared is a problem halved.
Like puberty and pregnancy, you need to find a way to cope with the hormone imbalance. If it does get difficult, you will have friends or other women who understand what you are experiencing and you can all embrace it with humor and love.
What can I do?
The symptoms can vary as widely as the severity of them. But what can you do to ease the more severe effects of menopause? There are many methods employed throughout the years, but mostly it is an individual case.
Taking care of ourselves is a big part of that, just like it is for the other areas of our lives. Controlling our hormone imbalance is just one of these areas.
Learn as much as you can. Talk to your medical professional, ask your friends and family who are experiencing the same issues and read up about new, breakthrough treatments that are coming into their own each day.
There are support groups for everything that people are going through if that’s a way you are comfortable with. Continue to learn about what is going on to keep moving forward with coping with it.
Our diets have a big effect on all aspects of our mental and physical beings, so that is one area that can help with symptoms. A properly balanced diet, lots of water, cutting back on sugar, alcohol, and caffeine can help.
High fiber diets, less heavy meats and dairy and avoiding processed foods is a great start. More green and more grains, and you may want to consider more natural relievers, like vitamins and essential oils.
Moderate exercise can make you feel better in general and can ease some of the other symptoms that menopause causes. If you don’t feel better after a good workout, at least you can blame the hot flash on your aerobic workout.
Even a good walk every day can make a big difference in how you feel and how you cope with your hormone imbalance. There are other treatments, as well, like massage and acupuncture.
Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, is a therapy treatment used to help replace the natural hormone level, of estrogen or estrogen with progesterone therapy, EPT.
Women may need HRT if they have a hysterectomy, early menopause and for gender reassignment surgeries.
It has been known to help with the night sweats, hot flashes and the other symptoms of menopause. These can be in a pill form, liquid, injections, and a topical lotion, all effective for controlling your hormone imbalance.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
You may see a lot of treatments on the market or recommendations by others, but only you can decide what works best for you. One therapy for hormone imbalance is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. BHRT.
BHRT is used for men and women, however, it’s most popular use is for women in menopause and perimenopause.
These are made from plant estrogens that chemically the same as the ones our body produces.
These bioidentical hormones are often made by drug companies, and some, known as compounded bioidentical hormones are made by a pharmacy, specifically to a prescription, to address a particular issue or individual.
These bioidentical hormones are different from traditional ones as the traditional ones are made with synthetic components. Many supporters of the BHRT like that natural ingredients and feel they are safer to use.
Benefits of BHRT
These natural hormone therapy treatments are used for the standard symptoms of menopause, night sweats, hot flashes, weight gain, mood and sleeping problems.
They are also used as an after treatment for cancer patients who have their estrogen hormone imbalance affected. It also has shown to have a generally positive effect on after cancer treatments for other symptoms, like headaches, incontinence, and low libido.
It also seems to have a positive effect on cataracts, tooth loss, and diabetes. One study even showed it can even improve skin quality, thickness and reduce the signs of wrinkles.
Side Effects of BHRT
While helping your hormone imbalance, there are always two sides and there are also side effects noted from this treatment.
There is research that shows that BHRT can increase the risk for issues like blood clots and stroke, gallbladder disease, heart disease and breast cancer.
There are other concerns, as well, on a smaller but still worthy of noting scale, for bloating and weight gain, mood swings, increased facial hair, acne, and fatigue.
Types of BHRT
You can get this hormone treatment in creams and gels, in a patch to be worn, injections, and implanted pellets. That leaves a lot of options if you have concerns about certain types of methods.
Many claim bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is safer than the regular ones for hormone imbalance.
Is it Right for You?
You need to have that discussion with your professional health care provider, but there are so many options out there, you will find something that works best for you.
As this is a new treatment on the market, there are no long-term studies conducted on the negative effects of using BHRT, so the safety aspect needs to be considered before you begin this type of treatment.
We are here to answer any questions you may have, to help you understand the best way forward for you.