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Struggling with Symptoms? Here’s What You Need to Know About Hormone Replacement Therapy

November 10, 2022

Hi, I’m Angela
I'm a functional medicine practitioner & hormone expert working primarily with women in their 40's and 50's to create lasting health.
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Are you experiencing debilitating symptoms that are impacting your quality of life? You’re not alone. Many women transitioning into and in menopause struggle with various symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and difficulty sleeping. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a common treatment option for those symptoms. However, there are important things you need to know about HRT before deciding whether it’s right for you. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the basics of hormone replacement therapy and help you decide if it might be right for you. We encourage you to speak with your trusted provider or reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns about HRT. Thanks for reading!

Recognize your Symptoms 

Transitioning into menopause can be a time of turmoil for many women in many different ways. Many women like you are struggling with symptoms of low energy, brain fog, and inexplicable, unwanted fatigue. The kind of fatigue I’m referring to is not just a kind of general low energy. It is the debilitatingly, low-energy fatigue that makes you feel like you’ll never get your energy back, no matter what you try. 

You might feel tired all the time and not be able to cope with things the way you used to. This can lead to you feeling irritable, moody, and snapping at your loved ones. You might feel like you’re not in control of what’s happening, even though you want to be. This can leave you feeling bad, sad, and guilt-stricken afterward.

Additionally, you may also be experiencing panic attacks. These are anxiety-related symptoms that seem to just come out of the blue. It never used to happen to you. It’s something that has come up as you get into your 40s to early 50s, and you’re wondering what is going on. You may feel like you have no control over what’s happening to you. Your symptoms might change a lot, get worse around certain times of the month, or be there all the time.

Either way, I’m sure it’s upsetting your life significantly. I’m also in my mid-40s, so I understand personally some of these changes that you might be experiencing. I know it can be very disruptive to your everyday life, especially with your family life and your relationships. 

What can be done? HRT? 

Something that is commonly offered if you see one of your local practitioners is hormone replacement therapy. This is something that I find to be a very controversial topic. I have utilized HRT to try and help my health in the past as well.

Some women find HRT helpful because it makes them feel more energetic, happier, and in balance. It might also improve their sexual drive and make them feel more alive.

I get that. But I also see a lot of women who try this as a symptom-based approach to how they’re feeling. Unfortunately, they don’t get anywhere with it. Often, what happens to these women is the longer they use it, the more they start to get some of the side effects that can be experienced with using HRT, whether it be synthetic or bioidentical (a more natural form of HRT). Either way, if it’s not working for you, you can create symptoms.

Some of those symptoms that are very common are weight gain, bloating, and digestive upset. This shows the therapy is not improving your symptoms enough to make you want to stay on it. Some women report getting acne and even enlarged, painful breasts. Many women report they just don’t feel the benefits of being on it, and now they are wondering why they are doing this in the first place.

Why HRT won’t work (for some)? 

Those symptoms are some of the things I experienced personally too. The reason I and many other women experienced them is that we didn’t have the baseline lifestyle principles in place to help keep some of the systems of our bodies balanced, allowing hormonal replacement to do its job properly.

For example 

  • You bring in those hormones, and your body is not able to utilize them. The body was not able to break them down, process them, and detoxify them to get rid of the excess that no longer needed to be used.
  • If your bowels aren’t moving properly, you’re not able to eliminate not only excess hormones but any other excess toxins that could be in your body.

All these could influence your hormones and the therapy you are trying to do. This just isn’t going to work; truly, it creates an even bigger mess. It makes some symptoms worse and also causes new symptoms.

The conundrum of what’s left to do if HRT isn’t working

“Am I just left to put up with it and just hope things get better the longer I’m working to transition towards and beyond menopause?” 

We can hope for that since there is a chance this could happen. Most likely though, you’re going to have to do something else about it. Usually, when the hormones are out of balance and you’re experiencing hormone-based symptoms, it also means that other systems in your body have gone haywire.

If we do not have the basics in place, like eating properly, exercising, sleeping well, and being stress-free, these imbalances can perpetuate hormone imbalances. OR If we get these things right, they can help to improve hormone imbalances.

In my work as a holistic health practitioner, I focus on helping women improve their general well-being. We start by taking an in-depth look at the woman’s lifestyle habits to make sure she is meeting all of her basic needs. This gets combined with functional lab tests which are necessary so we know what systems need rebalancing. 

Stabilize Lifestyle Principles 

Let’s get the lifestyle principles in place.

Eat properly. Sleep well. Exercise accordingly. Practice stress management techniques. 

Proper functional lab testing will help us see what’s happening in the systems of your body that could be creating some of these symptoms. Keep in mind that it’s never going to be just the hormones, even though it is a hormone-based symptom. Other systems of the body work in conjunction with your hormones to keep everything in balance. When we do functional lab testing, we can understand this in much more detail.

There is no magic pill. There is no magic hormone replacement therapy or anything else that’s going to help us get and stay symptom-free if we don’t have the rest of our body in balance, along with some of these holistic approaches. 

Balance the Body First

I, along with many other women, believe hormone replacement therapy can be helpful. This is when their body’s systems are already in balance, which allows the hormones to work properly.

There are options, either way, to use hormone replacement therapy or not. But one way or the other, we still have to make sure we get all of the rest of the body in balance first before this becomes effective for us. 

There is also a time and a place to not use HRT. It’s certainly not something every woman needs as they transition toward and into menopause. 

The body is meant to stay in balance as we get older. Our hormones are not supposed to stay the same as when we were younger. We are supposed to have a decline in our hormones, and then they will stabilize at a lower level.

The key is to make sure our body’s systems help us stay balanced when we are changing. We don’t want to feel terrible when we’re changing, so we need to get our systems back into balance. Sometimes we need to think about what we can do to get our whole body and all of its systems back into balance so we can feel good not just for a little while, but for a long time.

Reach out, help is available 

There are many benefits to having a professional help you navigate the world of hormones. Not only will we guide and counsel you, but we will also do lab testing so that your body’s imbalances can be repaired for long-term wellness.

If you’re struggling with symptoms, it’s important to get the facts and understand all of your treatment options. Hormone replacement therapy is a common treatment for hormone imbalance, but it may not be the right choice for everyone. We hope this article has helped give you some insight into hormone replacement therapy and its potential benefits and drawbacks. If you’re still not sure what to do, we’d be happy to help. Our team can provide personalized advice based on your unique situation. Contact us today to schedule a discovery call and learn more about how we can help you find relief from your symptoms.

Hormone replacement therapy has been proven to be effective for women experiencing mood, energy, and weight-related issues. If you are unsure if this is the right choice for your situation or would like some professional help in understanding what options exist then don’t hesitate any longer! I’d be happy to schedule a discovery call with you. During this call, we can discuss your symptoms in more detail and come up with a plan tailored specifically for you.

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DISCLAIMER:  The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional

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