BellaFem™ Hormone Replacement Therapy
What are hormones and how do they work?
The word “hormone” comes from the Greek work meaning to excite. Hormones are responsible for the amazing growth spurt from birth through adolescence, for the “roller coaster” years of puberty, for sexual desire and reproduction, and for day-to-day energy production and metabolism. Hormones are potent chemicals produced from cholesterol, amino acids, and proteins in your endocrine glands. These glands include the hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, adrenals, pancreas, testes, and ovaries. Your endocrine glands secrete hormones into your bloodstream where they are carried to specific receptor sites in other parts of your body. The hormones serve as messengers from your brain, telling your internal organs how to function.
Two endocrine glands, both located in the brain, serve as important regulators of the complex hormonal messages traveling from your brain to the rest of your body. The first is your hypothalamus. This walnut-sized gland is considered the hormone “master” gland because it is the central link between your brain and your endocrine system. It controls many of your basic instincts such as thirst, hunger, and sex. The pituitary, a pea-sized gland at the base of your brain, acts as a liaison between the hypothalamus and other endocrine glands throughout your body. It helps to translate messages the hypothalamus is sending.
Hormones are extremely powerful and found in a concentration of 1 hormone molecule for every 50 billion (and up) molecules of blood plasma. Over 50 individual human hormones have been identified and found to stimulate, regulate, and control our vital bodily functions. If our hormones become imbalanced, symptoms may develop that our bodies have never felt before.
Listening, understanding, and treating hormonal problems and imbalances is our specialty at the Health and Wellness Center. Helping our patients achieve hormonal therapy is very satisfying. How do we know which hormone is causing your symptoms? We listen to your unique description of symptoms and then prescribe the appropriate natural hormones to achieve hormonal balance in order to resolve your symptoms.
Drug companies do not promote the sale of natural thyroid, biologically identical male or female hormones, or biologically identical cortisol. The drug companies purchase the biologically identical hormones and make molecular changes so that their hormones are no longer biologically identical, but rather counterfeit. This enables the drug companies to patent and sell these counterfeit hormones under a proprietary name to make huge profits. Counterfeit hormones produced by drug companies have different molecular structures than the biologically identical hormones. They bind to the receptors in our cells in such a way that they are not easily metabolized and therefore cause a hyper-effect, which can lead to a host of side effects.
Very few physicians, including Ob-Gyn doctors, have been trained or have the experience to properly dose the biologically identical human hormones correctly. Most physicians who prescribe these hormones use much too high of a dose. Adverse symptoms may occur and may deter you from taking proper physiological doses of biologically identical hormones. It is important to seek the care of a physician who is experienced and successful in evaluating and treating female hormonal imbalances with biologically identical hormones.
After a hysterectomy and removal of the ovaries, an Ob-Gyn will prescribe counterfeit estrogen hormones or horse estrogen, such as Premarin, Ogen or Cenestin, but no Progesterone. Consequently, estrogen dominance worsens on the counterfeit hormones and progesterone deficiency continues.
Even though a woman has no uterus or ovaries, she still needs progesterone, contrary to the belief of many Ob-Gyn’s. This would be true if it was only the uterus that had receptors for progesterone. However, every cell in the body has receptors for progesterone – most importantly in the brain. Progesterone balances estrogen and opposes the stimulating effect of estrogen on the cells of the body. Progesterone is also the hormone which stimulates new bone formation and is needed to prevent further bone loss.
The counterfeit hormones include those hormones commonly used by mainstream medicine for hormone replacement therapy and for birth control. They do produce some effects similar to the biologically identical hormones in a woman’s body but are also associated with numerous side effects, many of which are serious.
Common side effects of the counterfeit hormones include headaches, including migraines, breast tenderness, mood swings, fluid retention, weight gain, and loss of libido. They are also associated with an increased incidence of breast cancer, heart disease, strokes and blood clots to the lungs. The numerous and severe side effects of counterfeit hormones are listed in the Physician’s Desk Reference. The counterfeit hormones also prevent the production of women’s own natural female hormones and pheromones making them less attractive to men.
There is no reason for any woman to poison her body every day with counterfeit hormones when safe and effective biologically identical hormones are available!!
Biologically identical hormones are derived from diosgenin, a plant molecule found in soybeans and wild yams. Diosgenin is extracted from these plants and converted into progesterone in the laboratory. Progesterone can then be converted into the three human estrogen hormones, estrone, estradiol, and estriol, and also converted into human testosterone, cortisol, dihydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and pregnenolone. These hormones are identical to the hormones which you own body manufactures.
The cells of our body have receptors for each of our biologically identical hormones. When we use biologically identical hormone supplementation we are replenishing the body with the same identical hormone molecules that our body has always made. Because these hormones are biologically identical, they bind quickly to the receptors and cause the appropriate effect. Our body has enzymes which breakdown the biologically identical hormones quickly and metabolize them so that they can be excreted from our system.
The doses of biologically identical hormones will vary depending a woman’s age, size, symptoms and weight. No long term or adverse side effects have been indicated when supplementing with biologically identical hormones at appropriate physiological doses. However, the biologically identical hormones may have an opposite effect if given in too high of a dose.
Remember, the aging process is caused by the gradual and insidious decline of our various hormone levels. In order to remain healthy and well, our hormone levels must remain in the physiological range indicated for us when we were in our 20’s.