Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy Explained
Natural hormone replacement therapy (NHRT) is gaining popularity among women looking to alleviate the symptoms of menopause. For many, the onset of perimenopause—the phase before menopause—is met with dread. Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and other challenges can make this transition challenging. However, what if you could adopt some good habits prior to perimenopause to potentially delay its arrival or at least mitigate its impact? Let’s delve into how NHRT might be the answer.
Understanding Menopause and Perimenopause
Before diving into NHRT, it's essential to understand menopause and its precursor, perimenopause. Menopause marks the end of a woman's menstrual cycles, usually occurring between ages 45-55. Perimenopause is the transitional phase leading to menopause, starting, on average, around age 40. It's characterized by hormonal fluctuations that can result in various symptoms. The severity and duration of these symptoms vary widely among women, but they can be a source of significant discomfort and distress.
What is Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Natural hormone replacement therapy, often abbreviated to NHRT, is an alternative to conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT). NHRT uses bioidentical hormones derived from plant sources. These bioidentical hormones are molecularly identical to the ones produced in the human body, ensuring better compatibility and reduced side effects.
There are two main types of NHRT:
Bioidentical estrogen: Used to counterbalance declining estrogen levels, helping alleviate symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances.
Bioidentical progesterone: Prescribed to balance the effects of estrogen, especially in women with an intact uterus, as it can protect against uterine cancer.
Adopting NHRT Before Perimenopause
Promoting Balance Early: Beginning NHRT before the onset of perimenopause can help maintain a hormonal balance. This proactive approach might smooth out the transition into menopause by reducing the severity of symptoms.
Optimal Mental Well-being: Mood swings and depressive symptoms are common during perimenopause. By establishing hormonal balance earlier, women can potentially fend off or reduce these mood disturbances, promoting better mental well-being.
Supporting Bone Health: One of the lesser-discussed side effects of declining estrogen is reduced bone density, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis. NHRT can help maintain bone strength and reduce the risk of fractures.
How to Prepare for NHRT
Consultation: Before starting NHRT, it's essential to have a thorough consultation with a medical professional experienced in hormone therapy. They can provide personalized advice tailored to your unique needs and medical history.
Hormone Testing: Regularly checking hormone levels ensures that you're receiving the correct dosage, which can change as your body's needs evolve.
Lifestyle Integration: Alongside NHRT, adopt a holistic approach by integrating a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress-reduction techniques, and good sleep hygiene to maximize the therapy's benefits.
Natural vs. Synthetic Hormones: Know the Difference
It's worth noting the distinction between natural and synthetic hormones. While synthetic hormones, like those used in conventional HRT, can be effective, they can also have side effects due to their molecular differences from human hormones. Bioidentical hormones, on the other hand, are natural and identical in structure to those our bodies produce, often resulting in fewer side effects.
Hormone Therapy at Joi
Natural hormone replacement therapy offers a promising way for women to potentially delay or mitigate the symptoms of menopause. By adopting this therapy before the onset of perimenopause, you give your body and mind the best chance to adjust to the coming changes. As with all health-related decisions, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to understand what's best for your individual needs. Schedule a consultation with our team at Joi to determine if hormone therapy is right for you!Back to Blog