Possible benefits of Estrogen Supplementation Could Include:
- Help protects against heart disease
- Help protects against stroke
- Decreases cholesterol
- Help protect against Alzheimer’s disease
- Improves memory
- Decreases symptoms of menopause
- Help prevents osteoporosis by slowing down the process
- Improves vaginal dryness and eliminates bladder problems
Why Women Need Bioidentical Estrogen (Estradiol)
By Mike Clark, Ph.D., Diplomate of Anti-Aging Medicine, Advanced Fellow of
Anti-Aging, Regeneration & Functional Medicine. Director of Education & Research, Natural Bio Health. March 15, 2013.
What is Estrogen?
Estrogen is a female hormone that has been shown to perform 400 functions in the female body. It consists of three hormones, estradiol, estriol and estrone. Estradiol is the most active form and the one most commonly replaced in postmenopausal women. Estradiol is often used to mean estrogen although is it only one of the three forms.
Estrogen has been prescribed for over forty years to women suffering from symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, insomnia, vaginal dryness, bladder problems, difficulty concentrating and anxiety. With time, many of these symptoms diminish.* Unfortunately, the disease processes, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s only increase in the absence of estrogen, particularly in the absence of estradiol.
Some women using estradiol have reported favorable changes in quality of life, wrinkles, hair texture, memory and sex drive.* Multiple studies illustrate that estradiol (sometimes with estriol) should be used not only as a treatment for menopause, but rather as a life-long therapy for the prevention of age related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and depression.*
Why Is Estradiol Important?
Estradiol is a hormone produced in both females and males although it is commonly viewed as a female hormone. This single hormone performs 400 functions in the female body. These functions include collagen production for the skin and protection against heart disease, memory loss, Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer. Estradiol has been scientifically shown to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, osteopenia, arthritis, macular degeneration, tooth loss, hair loss and many other maladies that affect us as we age.* Excess belly fat is another symptom of low hormones, particularly low estradiol.
Why Does Estradiol “Disappear” in Postmenopausal Women?
Typically, postmenopausal women have little or no estradiol. Perimenopausal women generally produce abundant estrogen in all of its forms, estradiol (the more active form), estrone and estriol. At menopause, the female body has completed its procreation stage and mother nature has concluded that estrogen is no longer needed for producing babies. The ovaries then slow down or stop altogether the production of estradiol.
When the ovaries quit producing estradiol, many women might suffer from hot flashes, poor sleep, increasing belly fat and other symptoms of low estradiol.
What Should You Do?
At Natural Bio Health, we have helped women with bioidentical estradiol for years — as have other clinics across the United States and in other countries. We recommend lab testing of all hormone levels followed by the use of bioidentical hormones to optimize your levels of all deficient hormones. We also recommend EDUCATION so you can make informed decisions about your health.
Healthy eating, regular and “smart” exercise, stress management, all are necessary to maintain or obtain an excellent quality of life.
Possible Side Effects:
Side effects with estrogen usually only occur with estrogen dominance as there is no progesterone to counter balance the estrogen or the progesterone level is too low in comparison to the amount of estrogen. Estrogen dominance can result in mood swings, depression, breast swelling, fibrocystic breast tissue, craving for sweets, sleep disturbances, uterine fibroids, weight gain, acne, and water retention.
Estrogen is best administered in the natural form as estradiol. It can also be administered as Biest which contains estadiol and estriol supplied as a capsule, cream, or sublingual.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How is natural estrogen different from Premarin?
Premarin is derived from the urine of pregnant mares. It is comprised primarily of horse estrogen’s that are not bio identical to the estrogens human make. The different forms of estrogen mentioned above are bio identical to what your body already makes.
Will I get any breakthrough bleeding?
Not usually, but sometimes your doctor may have to adjust the dosage of estrogen and progesterone. Breakthrough bleeding can occur if you forget to take your progesterone. Be sure to contact your physician if this happens.
Although they may have phytoestrogens, we believe the estrogens are not high enough to combat osteoporosis, heart disease, and other diseases of aging.
Estrogen is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands. Men also produce estrogen through a conversion of testosterone, although this is an extremely small amount. There are three types of estrogen found in a female’s body, estrone, estradiol and estriol. The levels of all of these hormones fall dramatically at the onset of menopause.
The rapid bone loss after menopause has been attributed to the decline in the production of estrogen, which is essential for bone growth. In addition the loss of estrogen can result in the development of heart disease, which is the number one killer of both men and women.
Natural estrogen has also been shown to lower total blood cholesterol and raises HDL, the good cholesterol. Not only can natural estrogen help protect vessels of the heart, it might also protect vessels of the brain and may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease.*
In Europe, most research trials have shown that natural estrogen, especially when taken in conjunction with natural progesterone, help protects against breast cancer similar to the way it helps protect against uterine cancer. In addition, the use of estriol, which is a weak estrogen, has been shown to lower the incidence of breast cancer. This article was first published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which indicated that there was enough presumptive and scientific evidence accumulated to prove that estriol is the safer estrogen as it has been shown to actually decrease the incidence of breast cancer.*
“This manuscript presents a protocol for hormone replacement therapy with natural estrodial, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and melatonin. Using the natural sex steroids which occur naturally in humans represents replacement to ensure attainment of pre-menopausal levels and adequacy of therapy. This is inexpensive therapy that gives relief of symptoms, is well tolerated, provides minimal side effects, protects the endometrium, and results in excellent compliance. This replacement of natural hormones is based on sound physiologic principles that have been demonstrated to be the preferred method of hormone replacement.” Infertility and Reproductive Medicine Clinics of North America; 1995 October; Vol. 6 (4):653-675.
“Fear of breast cancer is the strongest factor limiting postmenopausal hormone use. The most powerful study to date definitively demonstrated that estrogen does not cause an increase risk for cancer. The increased risk was associated only with taking the progestin (Provera®) and not estrogen.” JAMA 2004;291(24): 2947-2958.
“Loss of hormones at menopause results in significant genital atrophy, vaginal dryness, introital stenosis, and painful intercourse.” Family Practice News 2005 March;58-59
“Estrogen deficiency greatly increases mortality from cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Over 90% of women will die from cardiovascular disease which estrogen can prevent”. Over 40 years of study have well documented the cardiovascular protective effects of estrogen”. Obstet Gynecol 1996 Jan;87(1):6-12
“The potential lethal consequences of osteoporosis are overwhelming. Estrogen is protective but only when certain serum levels are maintained.” Female Patient Oct. 2004;Vol. 29:40-46.
“Multiple medical studies have demonstrated estrogen’s protective effects against Alzheimer’s, memory loss, loss of cognition.
- Estrogen decreases colorectal cancer.
- Estrogen decreases cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Estrogen prevents tooth loss and gingivitis.
- Estrogen prevents urogenital atrophy, painful intercourse and stress incontinence.”
Biomedica Jan. 2000; Vol. 3(1):6-9
“We must not forget the dangers of menopause and the deleterious consequences of estrogen deficiency. Estrogen protects bone, heart, brain, blood vessels, urogenital tissue, teeth, eyes. Observational data from around the world show estrogen has beneficial effects on mortality from all causes”. Consultant 2001July;Vol. 71:1085-1086
”The largest study to date, the Nurses’ Health Study, demonstrated a 100% decrease in heart disease and cancer for estrogen users. It is never too late to initiate estrogen therapy to arrest the progression of osteoporosis and hip fractures.” Female Patient 2004 Oct;Vol 29: 35-41.
”In the final analysis of the estrogen only arm of the WHI; there was no increased risk of breast cancer or heart disease. There was a 35% decrease in hip fractures, 35% decrease in diabetes and a 60% decrease in urinary sepsis. This leads to a significant decrease in all causes of mortality. J Gen Internal Medicine 2004;19(7): 791-804
”New findings in 4 recent studies counter the results of WHI and HERS. Estrogen replacement results in a dramatic decrease in cardiovascular disease. There was no coronary artery disease deaths were reported in 6,000 women taking estrogen. The results of the WHI do not apply to younger women.” Family Practice News 2003 June;Vol 33(11):1-2.
”Estrogen reduces the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease by 50%. JAMA 2002; 288:2123-2129.
“Estradiol and progesterone demonstrated no increased risk of breast cancer. Synthetic estrogen (Premarin® ) and synthetic progestins (medroxyprogesterone and noresterone) all dramatically increased the risk of breast cancer. This was a ten year study of over 100,000 women, the largest and longest study to date comparing natural hormones to synthetic hormones”. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2007;101:125-134
“The WHI trial had major design flaws that led to adverse conclusions about the positive effects of hormone therapy. The study included mostly older women that already had cardiovascular disease. The study utilized only medroxyprogesterone (Provera®) which we know negates any beneficial effect of estrogen, rather than the bio identical hormone, progesterone”. Multiple other studies with estrogen started early in menopause demonstrate beneficial effects.” Fertility Sterility 2005 Dec;84(6):1589-601
”Because of the design flaws, the WHI trial should be discredited as it used only 2 synthetic hormones that were already known to be harmful. The positive effects of many different hormone methods studied over the last 50 years should not be discounted due to one poorly designed and flawed study (WHI) trial.” Female Patient 2004 Oct;Vol 29:40-46.
“North American Menopausal Society (NAMS) position statement: The WHI results do not apply to the majority of women. The WHI trial does not negate 40 years of study demonstrating HRT benefit. Five recent studies demonstrate overwhelming evidence that HRT prevents atherosclerosis.” Family Practice News 2003 Oct;1-2.
”Estrogen lowers cortisol which in turn reduces abdominal fat.” Female Patient, 2001April; 26:18-24.
”Estrogen therapy alters the biology of the inner vessels (of the heart). HRT protects through vasodilation, anti inflammatory and anti-proliferative effects. HRT provides significant coronary artery benefits.” N England J Medicine 2000;343(8):572-574.
“Estrogen protects against neuron-degeneration, changes in mood, cognition and behavior.” Clinical Genetics 1998 May;6(5):15-19.