Healthy Hormones – Understanding the Ageing Process
Despite most women living a healthy lifestyle focused on their wellbeing, many will experience significant menopausal symptoms which become quite debilitating.
ENTER a wellness approach that takes a whole-body approach of balancing the body through bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), thyroid, adrenal and traditional wellness therapy.
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The team at Elixir Compounding Pharmacy focuses on answering two questions with every patient who is experiencing hormonal symptoms: 1). what exactly is causing our hormones to become imbalanced in the first place, and 2). understanding the root cause of the imbalance, what is the most effective way to correct any hormone imbalance?
Why is this functional approach important?
There are a multitude of things that could be causing hormonal imbalances. For example, on average, the testosterone levels in both men and women are three to four times less in our mid-50’s than what they were in their mid-20’s. Therefore, most of the population, whether male or female, are unknowingly struggling with a hormonal imbalance.
So why the imbalance?
As we age, our hormone levels change, particularly as we transition through menopause. But there are external and environmental factors that are also at play!
Surprisingly enough, the most common cause of hormone imbalance is PVC piping, which was heavily introduced into residential and commercial buildings in the mid 80’s when it began replacing traditional copper piping. PVC, which stands for Polyvinyl Chloride, contains chemicals such as lead, cadmium, and phthalates which are designed to make the PVC more durable, but at the same time, can be quite dangerous. Of these chemicals, phthalates, are endocrine disruptors and block androgens. In turn, they can mimic or block hormones, and can interfere with the formation of testosterone in the body. Since PVC piping is found in almost every commercial and residential building; all the water you drink, cook with, swim in or bathe with is most likely flowing through PVC piping. Unfortunately, when the PVC piping begins to break down, those foreign and dangerous chemicals are released into the water supply and subsequently find their way into the body. In fact, The World Health Organisation (WHO) has seen testosterone levels in boys six to twelve years old decrease 24-34% in the last few years.
The second most common cause of hormone imbalance is BPA Plastics. Unfortunately, like PVC, BPAs are dangerous and nearly everyone faces exposure to them daily. BPA stands for Bisphenol-A. It’s an industrial chemical that’s used to make certain plastics. The biggest culprit of BPA contamination is water bottles. Unfortunately, as we are attempting to get in our daily recommended water intake, we are simultaneously poisoning our body with the dangerous chemicals found in the plastics that our water is held in.
Third, as Australia is one of the top medicated countries in the world, decline in hormone levels may be the result of certain medications we take. For example, those with heart disease and are often prescribed statins, a class of lipid-lowering medications designed to manage the disease. However, studies have shown that 35-50% of men will experience a decrease in their testosterone levels when taking statins.
The fourth most common cause of hormone imbalance is sugar consumption. Unfortunately, while a lot of Australians may think they have a healthy diet, a lot of are just eating “unhealthy health foods” that are high in sugar. For instance, there is more sugar content in a bowl of oatmeal than many soft drinks and a bag of Twisties. Consistent consumption of large amounts of sugar can cause a barrage of symptoms, including weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL, elevated triglycerides, high blood pressure, and increased uric acid levels. Most importantly, however, increased sugar consumption can cause Type-2 Diabetes, and those who suffer from that disease have a 57% decrease in their testosterone levels.
Fifth, a lack of sleep can cause hormone imbalance. Our bodies were designed to get consistent, quality sleep. When you don’t sleep well, it throws off your body, and one of the effects is a decrease in testosterone. When you are sleep-deficient, your body doesn’t replenish testosterone naturally, which can be a vicious cycle, because we need testosterone to enter REM cycles and to sleep well, but low levels of testosterone can also cause lack of sleep. We lose both ways!
The sixth most common cause of hormonal imbalance is from various environmental toxins such as air fresheners, perfumes, and pesticides. Just a few years ago, researchers in England surveyed the lakes surrounding pharmaceutical plants that produced or used high amounts of the chemical Atrazine, a herbicide used by farmers to control destructive weeds. They found that these lakes contained an abundance of Atrazine, and the male frogs in and around those lakes had all been converted to females during the embryo-genesis phase of their development. Unfortunately, Atrazine is the second most used pesticide in the behind Round up, and is used primarily in corn, sorghum, sugar cane, and other food production. So, they can wreak havoc on our systems.
Lastly, heavy metals such as aluminium and mercury are hazardous to humans and can also cause hormone imbalance when they build up in the body.
So why BHRT?
What sets BHRT apart from synthetic hormone treatments and the creams, shots, and oral treatments is its efficacy and adverse events or interactions. The all-natural bio equivalent hormone cream differs from a one size fits all commercial grade as it’s plant based (yam, soy, olive oil) and is bio equivalent to your body.
Our bodies function the same way. Over time, hormone levels decrease, and they must be renewed and restored. BHRT replacement therapy starts with an initial assessment of hormone pathology from which the correct dosage is calculated.
If you are like me, you want to have choices as you get older, which will provide the freedom to live life to the full. BHRT can dramatically improve the ageing process, allowing you to move as young as you feel … despite your age.
If you would like information or advice about your hormone health, contact Elixir today.