Hormones are often maligned and misunderstood. They’ve got a long rap sheet that includes teenage acne and acting out, PMS, and of course—the full gamut of unpleasant symptoms that sometimes accompany perimenopause and menopause.
But without them, we wouldn’t grow or reproduce. We wouldn’t think, breathe, walk, or sleep. Hormones, in fact, are needed for every function the body performs. They make the heart beat, regulate blood pressure, repair cellular damage, and keep cancerous cells from growing. Pretty amazing, if you ask me.
In short, hormones are our bodies’ software. A computer doesn’t function unless its battery is charged and its software is loaded, and the same is true of the body. Naturally, as our bodies age, they produce less of the critical hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, leading to sickness and loss of vitality. But the good news is, we can bring those hormones back to youthful levels when we make healthy lifestyle changes and intelligent use of bioidentical hormones.
As I explain in my new book, Radiant Again & Forever, bioidentical hormones are not the same as synthetic hormones like Premarin that were once—and are still—routinely prescribed by some doctors. In my early career, I was one of them, but my patients and I did not like the effects. They gained weight, felt bloated, and didn’t feel any better while on these medications. I stopped prescribing them altogether almost 15 years before a 2001 Women’s Health Initiative study showed a marked increase in incidences of breast cancer, heart attacks, dementia, blood clots, and strokes among women who took artificial hormones.
Here are a few things I’d like you to know about your body’s software, and what you can do to keep it running smoothly, no matter your age, using bioidentical hormones: