By Pat News, RNC, NP, MSN
As more women enter peri-menopause and because more menopausal women are living longer, many questions exist about hormone balance and hormone replacement. The first of these questions is whether or not to take hormones at all. Certainly much information has been in the media limelight due to the WHI study that was halted due to an increase in breast cancer, strokes and heart attacks in the study participants receiving the medication under study. Since then several rebuttal articles have been published, but the long range scare to the population is already in place.
Despite the benefits of hormone balance or hormone replacement, e.g., relief from hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood swings, painful intercourse or frequent bladder/vaginal infections, many women are hesitant to take hormones. For those who feel the benefits outweigh the risks, the choice of WHICH KIND of hormones to take feels like another monumental decision.
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Most of the research and available information is on synthetic hormones due to their ability to be patented by a pharmaceutical company that is willing to provide the dollars to conduct such research. Synthetic hormones are actually preparations which do not duplicate our own hormones exactly but only resemble them and, therefore, may carry side effects which cause many women to discontinue these medications.
Natural hormones made from plant sources are preparations which mimic our own hormones and, therefore, may have fewer side effects. If out of balance, they may cause symptoms such as breast tenderness, sleepiness, bloating and food cravings to name just a few, but fine tuning the dosage usually helps to resolve the nuisance symptoms.
Bio-identical hormones are manufactured from wild yam and soy ingredients that are manipulated in the lab to look exactly like the estrogens, progesterone and testosterone that our bodies produce. They are available only from a “compounding pharmacy” and are available in creams, drops, lozenges or pill form in any dosage ordered by a health care provider. These dosages are determined by blood or saliva test results and are customized to each patient’s individual needs.
For a personal evaluation regarding your hormone health call Pat News Health Care at 661-799-7000 or visit www.patnewshealthcare.com 
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