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What You Should Know About Your Hormones and Correction Therapy

By Jan Nelson MSN, NP-C, ABAAHP


     Hormone response is as unique to each individual as their own fingerprints. Menopause can start anywhere from 35 to 55 years of age. Hormone correction therapy should be considered for relief of symptoms, i.e. hot flushes, prevention of memory loss, protection of heart health, improve bone production and growth and repair through out the body.

     After menopause, the metabolism of estrogen can change. As a result some women may respond differently to estrogen replacement. There are 3 major metabolic pathways of metabolism, 2-OH, 4-OH and 16-OH. Elevated levels of 4-OH and 16-OH have shown to be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. High levels are associated with obesity, hypothyroidism, pesticide toxicity, omega-6-fatty acid excess, and inflammatory cytokines. Premarin breaks down exclusively into 4-OH. These levels can be tested using a urine spot testing method. Encouraging your body to increase 2-OH can be accomplished with moderate exercise, eating cruciferous vegetables, high protein diet, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folate. Women who are overweight have an increased risk of breast cancer as estrogen production and storage occurs in fat cells. Alcohol also interferes with the body’s ability to detoxify estrogen and increases estradiol levels and the risk of breast cancer.

     Estrogen replacement via transdermal is a bioidentical derived from yams or soy where the molecular structure is modified to perfectly match the molecular structure endogenously made by the body. It is applied once or twice a day and can be adjusted easily to accommodate each individual’s needs.

     Pellet therapy is another option for replacement. They are about the size of a grain of rice, inserted in the hip subcutaneous. This procedure is performed in the office. Pellets in women can last 3-4 months depending on each person’s metabolism. They are absorbed via cardiac output.

     Estrogens given by mouth are very hard on the liver. While it is a pill easily taken once a day, one should be aware of the side effects. Increased blood pressure, increased triglycerides, increased estrone, can cause gallstones, elevate liver enzymes, lower growth hormone, increase risk of clots and increase carbohydrate cravings.

     Before beginning a hormone replacement therapy, educate yourself on the pro’s and con’s of each method. It’s your body and your hormones were designed to work together as a web or symphony. Making corrections involves more than just one hormone to achieve balance.

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