Though it used to be in vogue to prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat this fundamental imbalance, persistent links to breast and ovarian cancer, heart disease, and blood clots have caused most healthcare professionals to rethink this drastic option. Many agree that the most effective approach is to combine a few changes in lifestyle with alternative treatment options.
Although a number of studies over the years have pointed to elevated breast cancer risks among users of synthetic hormone replacement, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) was the first major clinical trial of its kind to study their impact on bodily health. Results revealed greater risk than benefit among HRT users in terms of heart disease, stroke, and blood clots and a 26% increase in breast cancer risk; the trial was abruptly halted. Naysayers were quick to point out that since only one type of hormone replacement was used in the study—PremPro, a synthetic estrogen and progestin combination that was the number one prescribed HRT for women—the results could not be applied to all forms of HRT use. And that further, the average age of women subjects in the WHI was over 60 so the results could not be representative of most women on HRT. These conclusions were swiftly challenged by the Million Women Study published in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, [HRT use and Breast Cancer, Cancer 2003;97:1387–92.] which found that, “use of HRT, by women in the UK over the past decade has resulted in an estimated 20,000 extra breast cancers.” Note to WHI naysayers: The women in this study were between 50 and 64 years of age and a full 15,000 of these cancers were associated with any combination of estrogen-progestin.
While extended cardio can be bad, short bursts of heavy lifting (kettlebells, deadlifts, squats, lunges) can be beneficial since they trigger a cascade of beneficial hormone reactions. Aim for a few sets (5-7) at a weight that really challenges you, but make sure to get help with form and training if you haven’t done these before as bad form can be harmful.
Many women have unknowingly been estrogen dominant for years, resigning themselves to tender breasts, heavy bleeding, painful cramps or PMS mood swings and depression as the monthly consequence of “the curse.” But behind this all-too-familiar symptom picture lurks the greater health impact of hormone imbalance. “For women with undetected estrogen dominance,” writes co-author Virginia Hopkins, in the popular John Lee books on menopause, “Being put on synthetic hormones when they reach menopause is like pouring gasoline on a fire in terms of breast cancer risk.”
Hi, I am a guy in my late 40’s, having a red rash on my face, thining hair and alopicia spot on the back of my head, was bald spot now growing back white, I get bumps on the back of my neck bordering the hair line, muscle soreness in my bicepts and tricepts, I was a late blooomer, I was 5’8″ when I was 19, and stopped growing at 25. I was never really hairy, but I am getting hairy legs, chest,and arms also. I have been back and forth between sleeping too much, and not sleeping for a couple of days – during the sleepless times my libido spikes like I am a teenager, but I also have headaches and brain fog (especilly inside my home and at the office), and I also feel confusion and I am forgetful. About a year ago I had a what I thought was a stroke, but I was told it was a panic attack – I litterally lost my memoty, it was hard to deal with, some memories are gone, l am not the same person, as before the attack. I can look at mathematical question and just know the answers, I am really calm and organized – and I no longer drink alcohol, not the me I used to be. I am heavily weighted on the IQ side as opposed to the EQ side. I have had constipation for weeks,then normal. I almost ner feel hungry, and have been loosin weight. I get pins and needles im lgs and hands, and have had anumb and sometimes painful spot in my left abdomin. It seems like I am all over the place, I have been cutting carbs and processed foods from my diet, and just want to stabilize.I often feel like I have been drugged. My wife and I have been separated, I think for good. I became a longdistance swimmer from 42, and I am trying to manage endophins also.
He explains that in a normal menstruating person, the first half of the cycle, (called the follicular phase) is dominated by estrogen. Then, the second half of the cycle (called the luteal phase) is dominated by progesterone. “The luteal phase has both estrogen and progesterone,” he notes. “If there is no pregnancy, the egg dies and the corpus luteum stops producing hormones, hormone levels drop to near zero and this triggers a period.”
Functional medicine wants to find out the root cause of patients’ hormonal symptoms as well as support the body’s natural mechanisms for healthy hormone balance, and that makes a lot more sense to me. Let’s go over some of the most common hormone problems that I see in patients, and that you may be going through right now. I’ll also explain which labs you may want to consider asking your doctor about.
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A variety of things may trigger headaches, but a decrease in estrogen levels is a common cause in women. If headaches occur routinely at the same time every month, just prior to or during a period, declining estrogen may be the trigger. If hormonal headaches are particularly bad, a doctor may prescribe birth control pills to keep estrogen levels more stable throughout the cycle. Try over-the-counter pain relievers to ease headache pain. If you need something stronger, a doctor may prescribe a triptan or other medication to treat and prevent headaches. Eating right, exercising, avoiding stress, and getting adequate sleep will help you minimize PMS symptoms and headaches.
Although a number of studies over the years have pointed to elevated breast cancer risks among users of synthetic hormone replacement, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) was the first major clinical trial of its kind to study their impact on bodily health. Results revealed greater risk than benefit among HRT users in terms of heart disease, stroke, and blood clots and a 26% increase in breast cancer risk; the trial was abruptly halted. Naysayers were quick to point out that since only one type of hormone replacement was used in the study—PremPro, a synthetic estrogen and progestin combination that was the number one prescribed HRT for women—the results could not be applied to all forms of HRT use. And that further, the average age of women subjects in the WHI was over 60 so the results could not be representative of most women on HRT. These conclusions were swiftly challenged by the Million Women Study published in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, [HRT use and Breast Cancer, Cancer 2003;97:1387–92.] which found that, “use of HRT, by women in the UK over the past decade has resulted in an estimated 20,000 extra breast cancers.” Note to WHI naysayers: The women in this study were between 50 and 64 years of age and a full 15,000 of these cancers were associated with any combination of estrogen-progestin.
Progesterone is a hormone commonly prescribed for women with too much estrogen relative to the level of progesterone produced by the body. Progesterone minimizes the stimulating effects of estrogen on coronary arteries, and when given alone or combined with estrogen, it may improve bone mineral density. Progesterone improves sleep, may increase libido, acts as a diuretic, lowers blood pressure, and improves the insulin-glucose balance to facilitate blood glucose control.
First off, thanks for this article. That part at the end made me tear up, I’m sort of having a bad moment. I ran across this because I searched google “if my hormones are imbalanced will it age me” long story short.. family history of endometriosis and hormone issues related to diet. . I follow a strict lifestyle of no meat, absolutely no preservatives, I go back and forth with allowing fish and dairy into my life when I’m feeling particularly gaunt.. I drink water or plain almond milk. I basically avoid refined sugars or anything processed at all. Anyway, my Ob/gyn who specializes in fertility and hormones started me on this charting thing to track my cycles and ovulation in order to begin me on a regimen of the “bio-identical” hormones. After doing a hormone panel at peak+3,5,7,9 he saw that my estrogen and progesterone dropped very low, so he prescribed estradiol and progesterone. I ended up refusing to take these because I don’t like to mess with my natural chemistry and I’m so anti- anything unnatural. But tonight looking at my face which seems to be aging, my disrupted sleep pattern and some minor depression.. I thought, could these pills help? Am I doing myself a disservice by NOT taking them? Most importantly at that moment, is it AGING me not to take them? Lol. Silly I know. If you could offer some advice I would heed it after reading what you’ve said. Thanks and thanks again, 🙂
SOURCES: Christiane Northrup, MD, author of The Wisdom of Menopause Journal (Hay House, 2007) and Women's Bodies Women's Wisdom (Bantam Books, 2006). Nanette Santoro, MD, director, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. Steven R. Goldstein, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Medical Center in New York City and coauthor of Could It Be Perimenopause? (Little, Brown and Company, 1998). Rebecca Amaru, MD, clinical instructor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
Sugar is a big one. "It’s empty calories and ever-more studies show just how bad for us it is. Look at how much is in your diet, are you regularly snacking with sweet foods, are you consuming a lot of processed foods? Look at the levels your low fat choices, which we’ve been educated to believe is the healthy option, because these products often substitute fat with sugar or low-sugar substitute, which your body will still believe is sugar!"
We balance all hormones, not just estrogen: The results of age-related estrogen decline cannot be corrected simply by adding more estrogen to the body. This is why our female hormone imbalance treatment in Philadelphia PA addresses all the hormones that affect menopause and aging, such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, cortisol, DHEA, and growth hormone.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D almost acts like a hormone inside the body and has important implications for keeping inflammation levels low. This is why people who live in dark areas often suffer from seasonal depression and other health problems unless they supplement with vitamin D. Sunshine is really the best way to optimize vitamin D levels because your bare skin actually makes vitamin D on its own when exposed to even small amounts of direct sunlight. Most people should supplement with around 2,000–5,000 IU daily of vitamin D3 if they live in dark areas, during the winter, and on days when they’re not in the sun. (16)
Are you ready to take the next step towards healing and experiencing optimal health? Search by your city and state or zip code, and we'll provide a list of BioTE Medical providers near you. With thousands of BioTE Medical providers throughout the country, you'll likely have several options for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy providers near you.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding estrogen replacement, and unfortunately many doctors are still as confused as their patients on this subject. You need to see a doctor that really understands healthy aging for women and has kept up with all the latest advancements in the science of safe and effective female hormone imbalance treatment in Springville UT. This is what we offer at Renew Youth. Here’s what sets our treatment apart from the crowd:

But what about natural testosterone, made by our own bodies? Well, we know that one hormone doesn’t exist in isolation in the body. For example, in a study of breast cancer risk and natural hormone levels in postmenopausal women (J Natl Cancer Inst 2003;95(16):1218-26) risk increased as body mass index increased. However, even though testosterone levels were higher in the obese women, their estrogen levels were higher still. Fatty tissue converts testosterone into estrogens, using an enzyme called aromatase, so obese postmenopausal women tend to have higher estrogen levels than lean women. The study found that it was the higher estrogen levels that accounted for the increased breast cancer risk while the higher testosterone levels had a negligible impact on risk. Another study of natural hormone levels and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women (Br J Cancer 1997; 76(3):401-5) also found that estradiol levels were more strongly associated with breast cancer risk than testosterone. The same investigators had similar results when they studied premenopausal women, in whom high estradiol (the most potent of the estrogens) and low progesterone levels were more often seen than high testosterone levels in women who developed breast cancer. In addition, women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), who tend to have higher than normal testosterone levels, do not have a higher rate of breast cancer than women without PCOS. So the testosterone circulating naturally in our bodies certainly does not seem to be the prime culprit in breast cancer risk.


Strength training is your best friend when trying to boost testosterone! Magnesium is also a true testosterone booster. So make sure to eat plenty of dark leafy greens (spinach, swiss chard, kale, watercress and collard greens), pumpkin seeds, fish (mackerel, pollock, turbot and tuna are excellent!), avocado, unroasted nuts (Brasil, almonds, cashews, pecans and walnuts), bananas, and dark chocolate.
While extended cardio can be bad, short bursts of heavy lifting (kettlebells, deadlifts, squats, lunges) can be beneficial since they trigger a cascade of beneficial hormone reactions. Aim for a few sets (5-7) at a weight that really challenges you, but make sure to get help with form and training if you haven’t done these before as bad form can be harmful.

Simply put, PMS, menopausal symptoms, and other problems are all signs of imbalances in your sex hormones. They are not the result of mutant genes that destroy our sexual vitality as we age. Instead, they are treatable symptoms of underlying imbalance in one of the core systems in your body. Get your sex hormones back in balance, and these problems will usually disappear.


For many women, night sweats and hot flashes are the first uncomfortable sign that something is amiss. This isn't the time to start hormone replacement therapy, but begin a food journal by jotting down what you eat and drink, how you feel physically, and any emotions that come up after. Many times our emotions are the trigger that increases internal temperature. The next time you feel the flashes coming on, stop and think about the thoughts swirling around in your mind.
Interventions at the third level involve the highest risk and often the highest costs. The most common drug therapy for treating mood swings in the U.S. is HRT. This may be a quick and intense way to combat the underlying hormonal imbalance; unfortunately, it entails serious side effects and increases the risk of different types of cancer among women, as the following study has proven.
He explains that in a normal menstruating person, the first half of the cycle, (called the follicular phase) is dominated by estrogen. Then, the second half of the cycle (called the luteal phase) is dominated by progesterone. “The luteal phase has both estrogen and progesterone,” he notes. “If there is no pregnancy, the egg dies and the corpus luteum stops producing hormones, hormone levels drop to near zero and this triggers a period.”

Supplement smartly. Fish oil and additional vitamin D and B vitamins help balance estrogen. Take these in addition to a good multivitamin and mineral with sufficient calcium and magnesium. Probiotics, antioxidants and phytonutrients (vitamin E, resveratrol, curcumin, n-actetyl cysteine, green tea, selenium), and the anti-inflammatory omega-6 fat (GLA or gamma linoleic acid) can help balance sex hormones. You can find these and other hormone-balancing supplements in my store.

Simply put, PMS, menopausal symptoms, and other problems are all signs of imbalances in your sex hormones. They are not the result of mutant genes that destroy our sexual vitality as we age. Instead, they are treatable symptoms of underlying imbalance in one of the core systems in your body. Get your sex hormones back in balance, and these problems will usually disappear.
My daughter had been on the birth control pills since she was 16 (8 years now) because of cysts in her ovaries. She has had lots of UTIs, about 2 a year since then. 2017 she had 4. The urologist looked closer into it and discovered that they all haven’t been UTIs after all. Most of the cultures came back from the lab as negative. He now saying she has interstitial cystitis. We have notice that most of her bladder flare ups are right before her period. She is in such pain during that time. And I started researching and it seems to me she might have a hormonal imbalance due to the birth control pills. I’m wondering if she gets off the pill if all her problems would go away or would getting off the pill make it worse? I’m thinking the pills has cause her problem? Tell me what you think?
Falling estrogen levels during perimenopause and a lack of estrogen after menopause may lead to vaginal dryness. This makes the wall of the vagina thinner. It can be painful to have sex. A doctor may prescribe synthetic hormones or bioidentical hormones to combat these and other symptoms related to menopause. It's important to take progesterone along with estrogen to decrease certain risks of hormone therapy. Some women are not advised to take it because of an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, gall bladder disease, breast cancer, and endometrial cancer. Hormone therapy may be associated with side effects that include headaches, breast tenderness, swelling, mood changes, vaginal bleeding, and nausea.
One of the first steps in protecting the health of our breasts and preventing breast cancer, is to recognize its hormonal risk factors and begin to reduce them. According to the experts, almost all risk factors associated with breast cancer are directly or indirectly linked to an excess of estrogen, or estrogen that is not sufficiently balanced with progesterone, as is the body’s accustomed way. Also known as estrogen dominance, the condition was defined by John R. Lee, M.D., as an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone in which estrogen levels can become too high relative to inadequate progesterone levels. Dr. Lee also emphasized that estrogen can become dominant whether levels are within normal range, high, or even low, if progesterone levels are even lower, relatively speaking. This is a common condition during perimenopause when hormone levels are fluctuating, and at menopause when ovarian hormone production ceases altogether. A growing number of experts believe that correcting this fundamental imbalance is at the heart of preventing and treating breast cancer.
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