|Hormones from HELL !|
A common scenario from patients I see in my office is a woman being treated with post menopausal hormones from her gynecologist. I don't know why gynecologists don't know more about post menopausal hormones, but many of them are pretty clueless as to what works best and what women need after hitting the "menopausal wall". A recent case I saw was a woman given a lozenge to suck on that contained three different hormones blended together. There were many problems with this formula that perplexed me as to how any knowledgeable doctor could prescribe hormones this way.
There are three problems with this modality of hormone administration.
First, oral estrogen has been shown to increase the risk of blood clots that could lead to heart attacks or stroke. Invariably the hormones in the lozenge, although designed to be absorbed in the mouth, get swallowed in saliva and end up in the stomach. Secondly, there was no rhythem to the hormones that in any way replicated the normal hormone cycle before menopause. And thirdly, there was no testosterone. Testosterone is so vital for women for maintaining muscle tone, metabolism, brain function, down regulating breast estrogen receptors, preventing osteoporosis and improving cholesterol.
Her hormone program was simply directed at one thing, Symptoms. There was no attention paid whatsoever towards physiology or metabolism in her body.
This is the most common mistake I see in my patients who have been treated by a previous practitioner.
When I replace hormones for women, I take into account 'the whole picture'. It is easy to get rid of menopausal symptoms. But what I am most concerned with is improving metabolism and helping the person be as healthy as possible as she ages. This is the true mission of "Anti Aging Medicine". It is not to stop the ageing process, but to assure continued good health as the individual ages.
When women go into menopause the risk of many diseases dramatically begins to rise due to the loss of hormones. These include the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, breast cancer, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases and diabetes, to name a few.
The goal for replacing hormones for women in menopause is not just about getting rid of those nasty annoying hot flashes and night sweats(which is relatively quite easy to do) but to prevent the occurence of age related disease.
There are a number of different protocols available now as we learn more about hormone replacement safety. It is no longer a matter of 'one style fits all' like in the past. Every woman has her own unique metabolic requirements which can be determined by a careful history and focused blood testing. A customized hormone 'menu' should then be prescribed that is continually assessed, reevaluated and adjusted to assure that the intended goals are being attained.
We are living in a scientific information age that affords us the benefit of utilizing new knowledge as it becomes available to improve our lives.
If you feel that you are not being properly evaluated or you don't feel as good as you hoped, then we should talk!
If you are interested in maximizing your health please call the office and schedule a consult with Dr. Liebowitz to discuss your options for hormone replacement therapy.