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Raging Hormones

Clifton Sheets, MD June 25, 2011hormone replacement therapy

“Women in their 30′s and 40′s don’t suddenly develop a Prozac deficiency”

That quote got my attention. It was made during a seminar on bio identical hormone replacement led by Dr. Patti, an OB/GYN who practices wellness medicine in Florida.

Perhaps as a woman you have noticed that you don’t feel as good as you did 5, 10, or 15 years ago. You feel anxious, less energetic, aren’t sleeping well and are losing your sex drive. Have you ever wondered if your issues could be hormonal?

Progesterone is one of the 3 major sex hormones. During a normal menstrual cycle, progesterone supports the lining of the uterus in preparation for pregnancy. If there is no pregnancy, then progesterone levels fall and a woman has her menstrual flow. Progesterone also is a major player in the support of pregnancy and it even gets it name because of the important role it plays in pregnancy; progesterone means pro gestation (pregnancy). Progesterone also promotes new bone formation and declining levels play a role in osteoporosis development in post menopausal women. Progesterone protects women from breast cysts, uterine fibroid formation, ovarian cysts, and heavy menstrual cycles. Bio identical progesterone was also found in the EPIC study to reduce the risk of breast cancer in pre menopausal women by as much as 10%.

Progesterone levels begin to decline in women in their 30′s and are down by as much as 75% by age 50. Progesterone deficiency leads to lighter sleep and insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, mood swings, irritability, cyclic headaches, swelling of the fingers and abdomen, breast soreness, heavier cycles, lower sex drive, hot flashes, insulin resistance and bowel changes.

Progesterone deficiency is easy to detect with a simple blood test. If you are still cycling the best time to test is 21 days after your last period ended. This should be the highest level you have all month. If you are postmenopausal or have have a complete hysterectomy anytime is OK to test.

If you are interested in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) then I suggest you speak with your doctor about bio identical hormones. I believe these have fewer side effects and give a more natural response to therapy. If you do not have a doctor, please feel free to submit a new patient application. Be sure to list “HRT” on your form and we will match you up with a provider who prescribes this kind of treatment.

Disclaimer: My blog posts on the Prime Care website are meant for informational purposes only and are not intended to be considered as medical advice or as a diagnostic tool. Seek prompt medical attention if you have health concerns. Dr Clifton Sheets, MD