Menopause is a time of incredible hormonal upheaval. Crucial hormones slow production resulting in plummeting energy levels, skyrocketing stress levels, and a whole bevy of physical symptoms. Some days, menopause can make you feel like you’re a spectator inside a new body.
Since the average age of menopause is 51, menopause happens during an incredibly productive season of life for many women. Unfortunately, increased productivity often means increased stress. When this is combined with menopause, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and a bit angry. At ThriveMD, we’re here to help you channel your frustration into more constructive directions.
Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT is one of many treatment options we have to help you manage menopause and get the most from your health in the next season of life. Although HRT has many benefits, we believe there are three benefits demonstrating why this treatment is so helpful for many of our patients. The following overview will help you understand these top three HRT benefits.
Relief for Your Menopause-related Symptoms
Menopause causes a variety of physical and mental symptoms that have a profound impact on every area of your life. Whether it’s your career or relationships with those you care about most, the hormonal fluctuations of menopause exert a powerful effect. When considering menopause, we want you to know that the hormonal fluctuations are responsible for your symptoms. This is our underlying rationale for prescribing replacement hormones.
The hormones most associated with menopause, the estrogens, and progesterone, have influenced your health throughout your life because they are also the hormones related to menstruation and reproduction. When it’s time for the reproductive system to slow down, the body makes less and less estradiol, the type of estrogen that is most common during childbearing age. Another form of estrogen, called estriol, is produced during pregnancy. As menopause progresses, the body shifts production until it exclusively makes estrone, the only type of estrogen created in your body after menopause.
Since estradiol levels diminish and eventually reach zero, dramatic hormonal shifts occur during menopause. Just as increasing estradiol levels cause upheaval in your teenage years, declining estradiol levels cause a multitude of issues during menopause. When you began puberty, estradiol changed your body from that of a girl into that of a woman, complete with the ability to bear children.
When estradiol levels decline, similarly dramatic changes occur. For this reason, menopause symptoms affect every body system.
Some common menopause symptoms include:
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood fluctuations
- Unusual periods
As you can see, menopause symptoms can affect every body part. Fortunately, HRT can help you experience a more gradual decline in levels of these crucial hormones. When we supplement your body with replacement hormones, the shift to menopause occurs more gradually, smoothing the rocky terrain of shifting hormones and calming your symptoms.
Improve Your Quality of Life
Reading over the above list of common menopause symptoms and how we can help is enough to make you feel better. It’s true that these impact the quality of your life. After all, who doesn’t want to sleep better or not have to worry about an unexpectedly or unusually heavy menstrual period?
As wonderful as all of these benefits sound, there’s another way HRT boosts your vitality. Estrogen impacts brain health. More specifically, changes in estrogen levels affect brain health. In addition to menopausal mood changes, such hormonal fluctuations occur for many women as premenstrual syndrome.
While researchers believe that changes in estrogen levels are responsible for mood changes, estrogen has several beneficial effects on the brain. Estrogen prevents nerve damage and might even stimulate their growth. It also has a positive impact on the neurochemicals that make you feel good, including serotonin and endorphins. Serotonin helps regulate moods, sleep, and many other body processes, while endorphins help you manage stress and pain. As a result, estrogen can help you experience a better quality of life.
Boost Your Health
Estrogen does more than relieve symptoms or make you feel good now. It also puts you in a position to enjoy several health benefits. One of these is enhanced brain health. Researchers have found that increased exposure to estrogen throughout your lifetime can stave off the gray matter reduction that occurs with menopause. This is important because the grey matter-containing portions of the brain are also linked with Alzheimer’s disease development. This protective estrogen can come from giving birth multiple times or having a longer reproductive span, defined as having more years between the beginning of menstruation and its end. You can also boost your estrogen exposure through HRT.
In addition to the brain, several other body parts are impacted by estrogen. These include the skin, lipids, and many other areas. Taking HRT can ease the transition to menopause, giving you valuable time to find a new style for gradually thinning hair or learning how to care for changing skin. While these might seem like minor matters, they are more than just appearance. The skin, for example, is the body’s most extensive immune system barrier and deserves the best care you can give it.
In terms of health, HRT is also linked with a reduced risk of osteoporosis. Since this treatment is also linked with a reduced risk of tooth loss and broken bones, HRT can help you stay active and enjoy a healthier diet. Many diseases and other health conditions can benefit from maintaining a healthy diet and exercise program. Fortunately, research has revealed that HRT can help reduce your risk of developing diabetes and colon cancer.
Hormone Therapy Benefits for You
Reading about medical advancements is exciting, but nothing compares to experiencing them firsthand. If you’re headed toward or are in the midst of menopause, our ThriveMD team wants to help you navigate this challenging season and help set you up to optimize your health for the next season of life. Give us a call at (720) 534-2333, or fill out our online form for more information or to schedule an HRT consultation.