Hormone Health & Management
Men and women of all ages may experience fluctuations in hormone levels caused by disease processes, environmental factors, weight gain, toxins, and poor diet and nutrition. If left untreated, hormone imbalances can lead to serious health conditions and poor quality of life.
Many things promote these imbalances in hormones, including a diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed food, insulin resistance, caffeine, hormones in the food supply in dairy products and meat, pharmaceutical drugs, stress, and estrogen-like toxins from pesticides, plastics, and environmental pollution.
At Willowbend Health and Wellness, we believe in balancing hormones with bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). These are plant-based, natural derived hormones that are identical in molecular structure to your own sex hormones. After a consultation with one of our providers, we will develop a plan that works best for you. Multiple forms of BHRT we recommend include transdermal, pellet, and oral therapy as indicated. The specific hormones and dosages can be customized and may include estrogens, testosterone, DHEA, and others.
Testosterone levels decline with age with peak levels for men at age 20. Low testosterone levels can affect your quality of life and presents differently in men and women. Testosterone is a hormone that improves overall cognitive function, libido, motivation, memory and mood.
Low Testosterone In Men
Difficulty with erection
Increased Body Fat
Lower Muscle Mass
Joint pain & muscle aches
Low/High Testosterone In Women
Increased Body Fat
Lower Muscle Mass
Increased facial hair growth
Menopause occurs when you have ceased menstruating for 12 consecutive months, and you are not pregnant or sick. It is a normal, natural part of every woman’s life cycle. Female sex hormone levels naturally decrease as you age. Your ovaries eventually stop releasing eggs, so you will no longer have periods or be able to get pregnant.
Most women go through menopause in their 40s or 50s, but that can vary widely. One study found that half of the women in the U.S. reach menopause by age 52. Some women may go through “the change” earlier if they have had surgery to remove their uterus or ovaries, or if they are having (or have had) certain treatments for cancer.
Menopause can often feel like an overwhelming and stressful ordeal. There are many symptoms that can be associated with menopause and they most commonly include irregular or skipped menses prior to cessation, sleep disturbance or insomnia, decreased sex drive along with vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. Hot flashes are a sudden feeling of warmth that spreads over the upper body and is the most common reported symptom. The loss of estrogen with menopause has been tied to many health problems that become more common as women age as well.
Other common symptoms of menopause include:
Mood swings and irritability
Depression or anxiety
Joint and muscle aches and pains
Common health problems after menopause include:
Poorly functioning bladder or bowel
Greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Poor skin elasticity (increased wrinkling)
Poor muscle power and tone
Cataracts and macular degeneration
There are several therapeutic treatment options for menopause – and each has their own risks and benefits. Fortunately, there are also many treatment options that can help lower the risks associated with the other health conditions.
Commonly prescribed medications for menopause include the following:
- Sleep medications
- Hormones – estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA
The problem with regularly taking many of the pharmaceutical medications listed is that these drugs often have untoward side effects and moderate risks. In fact, the side effects can be worsened if you are already taking other medications. Luckily, there are alternatives to manage your menopause symptoms including herbs and nutrient supplementation.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can be very effective at relieving moderate to severe menopausal symptoms and preventing bone loss and is low risk for most women. Be advised… if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions and you are considering BHRT, your health may be at increased risk:
- Do you have abnormal vaginal bleeding?
- Is there a history of breast cancer in a close family relative?
- Do you have a history of endometrial or uterine cancer?
- Do you currently have, or have you in the past had a blood clot?
Do you have chronic liver disease?
Do you or have you ever smoked?
Do you have gallbladder disease?
There is an array of natural remedies available to help you better cope with menopause. Natural treatments for menopause work in a completely different way than the prescription drugs mentioned above. But for your own safety, be sure to speak with an experienced medical expert before you begin taking any medications, supplements or herbs.
Dr. Gee has been practicing gynecology for over 35 years and has vast experience treating menopausal women with all modalities whether herbal or hormonal. She has also actively participated as a principle investigator in clinical drug trials to determine the effectiveness of some treatment options. Willowbend Health & Wellness takes a holistic integrative approach to treating menopause utilizing a combination of modalities best suited to your needs.
The prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland that sits underneath the bladder in men. The urethra passes from the bladder through this muscular gland. In the prostate gland, testosterone is converted to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High levels of DHT may cause the cells in the prostate to enlarge. A swollen prostate compresses the urethra and irritates the walls of the bladder, often interfering with normal urination.
It is estimated that half of men in their 50’s and as much as 90% of men in their 70’s may suffer from a growth of the prostate called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Symptoms of BPH include:
- Frequent and urgent urination, especially at night
- Dribbling of urine
- Weak stream or flow of urine
- Feeling that the bladder is not completely empty after urination
At Willowbend Health & Wellness we help support benign prostate care in an integrative fashion. Ask your provider for more information