Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)
Guest Blog by The Equilibrium Clinic, UK
Hormones are chemical messengers that circulate through the blood stream and control every function of our body. Bio-identical Hormones have the same molecular structure as naturally occurring hormones (such as testosterone, progesterone and oestrogen) produced in the body. They are derived from diosgenin which is sourced from the Mexican yam plant.
Synthetic hormones used in conventional hormone replacement therapy, have a chemical structure that may be similar to, but not exactly the same as, the hormones produced by the body. These chemical differences can mean that synthetic hormones act differently in the body and can produce different effects.
Bio-identical hormones can be very beneficial to patients who are experiencing hormone imbalances and are looking for treatment, or alternatively may have tried synthetic hormone treatments but had unwanted effects as a...
What is the difference between Peri-Menopause and Menopause?
It’s important to understand the difference between peri-menopause and menopause. I’d like to say that peri-menopause is your body's way of gently leading you into the next stage of life, but let’s face it, there is nothing gentle about it!
Peri-menopause can start as early as ten years before you are in full menopause, which is why it’s so easy to misdiagnose. The menopause itself occurs when the ovaries finally stop producing eggs altogether and is judged to be complete when a woman has not had a period for 12 months. The symptoms that cause so many women difficulty generally occur during the peri-menopause - the years leading up to full menopause.
We often hear stories where women feel they are too young to go through the menopause which makes it easier for us to accept it when a doctor diagnoses us with simple depression or anxiety, mistaking the symptom for the problem.
To the woman who woke up this morning and had to fight the urge to put her head back under the duvet. Who maybe groans a little when she rolls out of bed because everything aches.
To the woman who doesn't recognise the face in the mirror, who feels a little sad as she watches as the water runs down her body in the shower, whose hair is losing its colour and whose clothes suddenly feel a little tight around the middle.
To the woman who dashes about to get her family off to school/college/work, who puts on the radio while she works around the house so that she doesn't feel lonely. The woman who feels strangely invisible as she walks along the street.
To the woman whose career has lost its shine, who feels overlooked as younger colleagues are promoted above her. The woman who has a hot flush as she's giving a presentation and wonders if anyone has noticed, who struggles to concentrate at the end of the day:
To the woman caring for elderly parents, constantly...
Are you “there’ yet?
According to Menopause Specialist, Dr Louise Newsom, around a quarter of women report few symptoms associated with menopause, or if they have any, they do not impact their lives to any significant degree. Which means, or course, that 75% of us are affected by the natural, physical process of declining hormone levels as we head towards our 50s.
Symptoms associated with the menopause usually begin several years before menstruation stops.This transitionary phase, known as the peri-menopause, is when the ovaries begin to produce less oestrogen.
According to the NHS (the UK’s National Health Service), the average time symptoms are experienced is 4 years, though about 1 in 10 women experience them for up to 12 years.
The menopause itself occurs when the ovaries finally stop producing eggs altogether and is judged to be complete when a woman has not had a period for 12 months.
Common symptoms (“officially”...
How well do you sleep?
A change in sleep patterns is one thing that many of us start to notice as we enter peri-menopause. Whereas previously we might have slept happily for 8 hours a night, suddenly we start having trouble getting to sleep and/or trouble staying asleep on a regular basis.
“I used to sleep like a log from 11-7. Now I’m lucky if I manage 6 hours total, and that will be interrupted by at least one trip to the loo! It drives me crazy because it definitely affects my concentration at work.” Sally.