What is Hormonal Imbalance?
As we age, many things about our bodies change. One of the things that changes, is our hormones. Hormones help to determine how tall you grow and how you handle stress and, of course, they also regulate the functioning of your sex organs.
The normal aging process causes hormone production to decline in everyone, resulting in imbalances that have both physical and psychological effects.
The main hormones that regulate a woman’s body are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Any time on or more of these hormones becomes out of balance, a woman starts to experience change.
For women, this hormonal change is broken up into different stages:
- Premenopause refers to the time from a woman’s first regular menstrual to her last regular menstrual cycle. This is the period of “normal” reproductive function for a woman.
- Perimenopause is the next stage. This refers to the “transitional” stage, which varies from 2 to about 10 years, prior to complete cessation of menstruation. This is usually experienced by women 35 to 50 years of age. During this stage a woman can experience major hormone fluctuations which can cause typical symptoms, such as hot flashes.
- Menopause is the third stage and marks the natural end of a woman’s reproductive cycle. It is at this point that the body’s ability to produce estrogen and progesterone naturally, decreases substantially. The ovaries stop producing eggs and a woman is no longer able to become pregnant naturally.
- Postmenopause is the period of life after menopause. This phase is generally believed to begin after 12 full months have passed since the last menstrual period.
As a woman passes through each of these four stages, she will go through many physical and psychological changes as her own body’s ability to maintain proper hormonal balance diminishes.
Listen to your body. Is it trying to tell you something? Your body is an amazing thing. When something isn’t right, it will let you know! Hormone imbalance is no exception.
Some of the symptoms a woman may experience when her hormones are out of balance include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Unexplained weight gain
- Mood swings
- Urinary tract infection
- Decreased sex drive
- Difficulty concentrating
- Vaginal dryness
- Fibrocystic breasts
Long term complications from being hormonally out of balance are also a concern and can include:
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Loss of bone mass
- Decreased muscle tone
- Accelerated aging process
Any woman who has had a hysterectomy or endometriosis is also a very good candidate for natural hormone replacement therapy.
Fortunately, hormonal imbalance CAN be treated. By restoring the balance between estrogen, progesterone and testosterone in the body, the above mentioned symptoms can be alleviated and even eliminated.
At Olympia, we specialize in Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy. Meaning, the hormones made in our lab are an exact molecular match to the hormones your own body would naturally produce.
Because each woman is different, Olympia is staffed with several hormone experts that will work one on one with you and together with your physician to develop a custom treatment plan designed just for YOU! Once it is determined how much of each hormone you need to replace in your body to restore balance, you will have several options in which to administer the hormones. Your hormones can be easily taken by mouth in the form of a capsule, tablet or sublingual (dissolves under the tongue), or can be applied topically as a cream.
The goal of your treatment plan is to restore the balance of hormones in your body and help you feel good again by alleviating the symptoms mentioned earlier. Once your treatment plan is started, our staff will follow up with you every 6 to 8 weeks, for the first few months, to check on your progress.
Your medication may need to be slightly adjusted from time to time, especially during the first 3-4 months of therapy to make sure you are getting the most out of your treatment. It is very important to stay consistent with taking you hormones and reporting back to our staff or your physician, on your progress.
What is the difference between natural and synthetic hormones?
The term “natural” hormones simply means that the hormones are chemically the same as the ones the human body produces. These are also referred to as “bio-identical”. “Synthetic” hormones refers to those manufactured with a chemical structure that is foreign to the human body but mimics some hormonal activity. Examples of natural hormones would be Biest, Triest, Progesterone and Testosterone. Synthetic hormones would include Premarin, Prempo, Vivelle, Climara, Estratest, Estratab and all birth control pills.
Why do natural hormones require a prescription?
Natural hormones can ONLY be obtained from a compounding pharmacy. Compounding or formulating a customized dosage for an individual person is a function a pharmacist performs only with the permission of the physician. All of the ingredients may not require a prescription, however, anything that is compounded must be prescribed.
Where do these hormones come from?
Natural hormones are obtained from sterol analogues found in many varieties of plants, primarily wild yams and soybeans. The estrogen and progesterone powder is transformed chemically from the plant into the human bio-identical hormones.
What is the cost of the medication?
The cost varies depending on your particular needs. However, if you do not have insurance, the cost of the medication is typically between $30 and $80 per month.
Does insurance cover natural hormones?
While Olympia accepts all insurance plans, not all plans cover natural hormones. However, with or without insurance, we will work hard to help you maximize your benefits while minimizing costs.
What are possible side effects?Ideally, there are no side effects since the hormones are a molecular match to your body’s own hormones and they are given with the intent to restore normal hormone level. Side effects only occur if one hormone is out of balance with the others. It is important to realize that if you experience side effects, a simple adjustment will be made to stop the side effects. Our specialists are here to help you along with your physician and to adjust your natural hormone dosage until you feel like your old self again.
How Can I Get Started?
Bio-Identical Hormones require a prescription from a licensed physician. You should ask your physician if Bio-identical hormone replacement is right for you.
If you do not have a physician, your physician is not familiar with the benefits of Bio-identical hormone replacement, or you simply have more questions, please feel free to contact us.We have several experts on staff that will consult with you and your physician FREE of charge. If you are having trouble finding a physician, in most cases, we can refer you to a physician in your area.
You can get started by calling or emailing us below or by filling out the FREE hormone consultation form. This form will go directly to one of our in house hormone experts, who will review it and contact you back to go over the results.