Hormones are chemical messengers, delivered to the tissues through the blood, that affect almost every bodily process, including growth and development, metabolism, mood, stress management, tissue regeneration, sexual function and reproduction. So imbalances in your hormone levels can really wreak havoc on your health – causing issues like insomnia, fatigue, headaches, heartburn, weight gain, bone loss, depression and more. And, unfortunately, the two most common causes of hormonal imbalance are unavoidable: aging and stress.

As you age, your reproductive system begins to shut down and your hormone production naturally declines. This is menopause, and it typically happens between ages 41-59. Women can suffer from myriad symptoms during this years-long process, including hot flashes, night sweats, feeling clammy, irritability, anxiety, mood swings, sudden tears, depression, insomnia, chronic fatigue, diminished libido, vaginal dryness, weight-loss difficulties, and more.

The hormones adrenaline, cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone [DHEA] are secreted by your adrenal glands and help with your stress response. Healthy adrenals respond to stress by increasing output of these helpful hormones. DHEA, a precursor to estrogen and testosterone, may protect against cancer, bacteria, viruses, fungus, yeast, parasites and allergies, among other things. Cortisol stimulates your liver to convert amino acids in your blood to glucose for energy, reduces inflammation and allergies, regulates blood pressure and helps you adapt to everyday demands. Adrenaline gives you speedy boosts of energy. When stress becomes chronic, the adrenal glands can’t keep up, and cortisol and DHEA levels deplete. This condition is called adrenal fatigue or adrenal exhaustion, and includes symptoms such as chronic fatigue, irritability, depression and digestive troubles.

Bioidentical Hormone Therapy

The use of bioidentical hormones – also known as Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, or BHRT – replaces lost hormones with identical replicas to help rebalance and restore your body’s systems. Unlike synthetic hormones, bioidentical hormones are produced from plants, like soy or yams, and are created at compounding pharmacies to exactly match the hormone molecules your body naturally produces. Compounding uses raw ingredients combined into a custom blend, strength and dose of bioidentical hormones, as prescribed by your practitioner. Compounding pharmacies are regulated by state pharmacy boards.

Julie Long, WHNP-BC has many years of experience and extensive expertise in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy [BHRT], adrenal restoration, and treating hormone-related “female issues.”