Journey Through Menopause: Understanding Oestrogen, Hormone Testing, and Bioidentical HRT – By Dr. Maroof

1. Understanding Menopause: The Crucial Role of Oestrogen on Brain, Heart, Skin & Bone

Menopause, a term most of us are familiar with, often stirs thoughts about hot flashes, mood swings, and an end to the reproductive era. However, this natural biological process, which typically affects women between the ages of 45 and 55, has deeper implications tied to a significant decline in oestrogen levels.

Oestrogen is not just a hormone that plays a role in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. It is a powerhouse that oversees over 400 functions in our bodies. Today, let’s delve deep into understanding the profound effects of oestrogen on four major organs: the brain, heart, skin, and bones.

  1. The Brain: Oestrogen has a profound effect on our central nervous system. It enhances brain circulation, which in turn helps to maintain cognitive functions. Additionally, it plays a significant role in mood regulation, helping to reduce the onset of anxiety and depression. Most crucially, oestrogen acts as a protective shield against neurodegenerative diseases like dementia.
  2. The Heart: Our cardiovascular health also owes a lot to oestrogen. This hormone aids in elevating the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and reducing the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). By doing so, it acts as a protector against life-threatening conditions like heart attacks and strokes.
  3. The Bones: Osteoporosis, characterized by fragile bones, becomes a significant concern as we age. Oestrogen plays a pivotal role in maintaining bone density, thereby reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
  4. The Skin: Ever wondered about the secret behind youthful skin? Look no further than oestrogen. It stimulates the production of collagen in the dermis (second layer) of the skin, ensuring elasticity and preventing wrinkles.

In the world of medicine, understanding the types and effects of oestrogen becomes crucial, especially when considering treatments like bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).

2. Understanding Oestrogen Types: Roles and Impacts on Cancer Risk in Hormone Replacement Therapy

In previous section, we touched upon the basics of menopause and the role of oestrogen. As promised, in this section, we shall delve deeper into the different types of oestrogen and their implications on breast cancer risk and overall health.

Three Types of Oestrogen:

  • Estrone (E1): Often labeled as the ‘bad oestrogen’, estrone becomes the predominant form of oestrogen post-menopause. Studies indicate that it might marginally increase the risk of breast cancer.

  • Estradiol (E2): An indispensable type of oestrogen, estradiol stands out as the most potent form. It remains neutral concerning cancer causation but plays a pivotal role in brain and heart health.

  • Estriol (E3): Recognized as the ‘good oestrogen’, estriol is believed to offer protective benefits against cancer.

The synthetic oestrogens that many are prescribed usually contain a combination of E1 and E2. This is where the slight increased risk of breast cancer arises. But, there’s a glimmer of hope in this situation.

The Promise of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT):

BHRT offers a personalized approach, allowing one to select specific types of oestrogen. By opting for a combination of the protective E3 and the neutral E2, one can potentially circumvent the slight breast cancer risk associated with conventional HRT.

As we navigate the complex world of hormones, understanding their nuances becomes crucial. In our upcoming discussion, I will share insights into how we evaluate and test hormone levels, ensuring that you remain at the forefront of knowledge in this domain.

3. Saliva Hormone Testing: The Key to Personalized Bioidentical HRT Dosage

Building on our previous exploration of hormones and their significance, let’s delve deeper into an essential aspect of hormone therapy: the method of hormone testing. When prescribing topical bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, the accuracy of the test becomes paramount. It ensures that the treatment is not only effective but also tailored to an individual’s unique needs.

Why Saliva Hormone Testing?

Saliva hormone testing stands out as the only precise and recommended method for this purpose. Why? Because it offers a comprehensive insight into the current state of your hormones, enabling medical practitioners to prescribe the most appropriate dosage.

The Simplicity of the Process:

Contrary to what one might assume, saliva hormone testing is straightforward and hassle-free. It entails collecting five saliva samples over a span of 24 hours. These samples, once analyzed, provide a window into various hormone levels in the body. This includes the three types of oestrogen (E1, E2, and E3), progesterone, testosterone, cortisol (the stress hormone), DHA, and melatonin (the sleep hormone).

Once the results are in, which typically takes about two weeks, they serve as the foundation for a detailed discussion. This discussion revolves around hormone replacement therapy, ensuring that the treatment prescribed aligns perfectly with the test results

4. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT): Personalization at Its Best

As we progress in our journey of understanding hormones and their significant roles, let’s now touch upon a specialized treatment option: the bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).

Tailored Treatment After Saliva Testing:

Following the saliva test results, a pathway to treatment becomes clear. This allows for a more personalized approach, ensuring that therapy aligns with an individual’s unique hormonal landscape.

Transdermal Delivery: The Optimal Choice:

When it comes to delivering estrogen, the transdermal route – applying directly to the skin – emerges as the safest and most effective method. This ensures optimal absorption while minimizing potential side effects.

The Flexibility of BHRT:

The allure of BHRT lies in its adaptability. Patients have the liberty to opt for beneficial oestrogen types, such as E2 and E3, in desired proportions, be it a 50-50 or a 70-30 split. Moreover, it’s not just about oestrogen. Other hormones, like progesterone and testosterone, can also be incorporated into the same cream, offering a holistic treatment approach.

Informed Decisions & Consistent Monitoring:

Before embarking on the BHRT journey, we believe in transparency. Patients are engaged in comprehensive discussions about the potential risks and benefits of BHRT. We stress the significance of regular follow-ups to monitor progress and make necessary adjustments. Every step is taken with informed consent, ensuring that patients are at the heart of decision-making.

Upon agreement, a three-month supply is prescribed, meticulously prepared by a Compounding Pharmacy. A follow-up session is then scheduled three months later to assess the therapy’s effectiveness and make any necessary adjustments.

For those curious to delve deeper or considering BHRT for themselves, Zen Healthcare offers free 10-minute consultations with our seasoned clinicians. This is an opportunity to address queries and understand if BHRT is the right fit for you.

Thank you for staying with us on this enlightening journey. Your health and well-being remain our utmost priority.


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