Tag Archives: female hormones Minnesota

 

Hormone Checking in Minneapolis MN

 

Forgetfulness and cognitive decline are some of the most commonly reported symptoms of menopause. In fact, peri-menopausal women were 1.4 times as likely to report forgetfulness compared to pre-menopausal women in Minnesota, and this was independent of additional factors including reported stress. There are a number of mechanisms through which changes in hormones affect brain function and memory.
 

Estrogens have direct effects in the brain by increasing the number of synapses in the hippocampus, the region of the brain where transferring short term memories to long term memories is thought to occur. Estrogen and progesterone both help to protect the brain from exogenous and endogenous toxins including glutamate-induced excitotoxicity, and progesterone is a potent anti-inflammatory agent in the central nervous system, working to rebuild the blood-brain barrier, reduce edema and down-regulate the inflammatory cascade in the event of physical or ischemic trauma.
 

Another important mechanism through which hormones enhance memory is by increasing acetylcholine activity. Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter involved in learning and encoding new memories and its production is greatly decreased in conditions of compromised memory including Alzheimer’s disease. Estrogen increases the activity of the enzyme choline-acetyl transferase, which stimulates the synthesis of acetylcholine.
 

Maintaining optimal hormone levels throughout the menopausal transition can not only aide in the management of classically “menopausal symptoms” such as hot flashes and night sweats, but can prevent and treat memory loss and protect the brain from chemical and physical assault. As always, the correct balance of hormones is important, so it is important to test, not guess.

 

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Hormone Imbalance in Perimenopause Women In Minnesota

 

Perimenopause refers to the time period during which a woman’s body makes its natural transition toward menopause. Women in Minnesota start Perimenopause at different ages. Most often start during our mid to late 40’s, leading to menopause at an average age of 51 in the US.
 

Typical sign of perimenopause is that menstrual cycles may lengthen or shorten. When sex hormone levels fluctuate and imbalance, many women in Minneapolis and St Paul may also experience menopause-like symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood swing, sleep problems and vaginal dryness.
 

In perimenopause, hormonal imbalance results when women’s sex hormone levels fluctuate widely. Contrary to popular belief, many of the symptoms experienced during perimenopause are not due to estrogen deficiency, but rather are due to estrogen dominance. The term “estrogen dominance” can be confusing at times because it does not relate solely to the amount of circulating estrogen in the body, but rather to the relationship between estrogen and progesterone.
 

In the next blog, we will discuss the details on the relationship between estrogen dominance and perimenopause symptoms.

 

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What is the difference between bio-identical hormone replacement (BHRT) and conventional hormone replacement (HRT)?

 

Menopausal women in Minnesota may develop some symptoms when hormonal imbalance occurs as they age. The common symptoms of menopause are hot flashes, sleeplessness, mood swings, menstrual changes, fatigue, unwanted hair growth, weight gain, thinning skin, vaginal dryness, depression, irritability and bone loss. These symptoms of menopause are also related to your stress levels, poor nutrition, lack of exercise and the toxins your body that build up on a daily basis.
 

The good news is that there is a solution to help menopausal women in Minneapolis and St. Paul. One Stop Wellness Clinic offers physician supervised natural bio-identical hormone therapy in combination with nutrition and exercise. Bio-identical hormones will improve these menopausal symptoms and overall quality of life.
 

What is the difference between bio-identical hormone replacement (BHRT) and conventional hormone replacement (HRT)? Conventional HRT is best exemplified by the commercial drug Prempro. Prempro is a combination drug that has both estrogen and a progestin. The estrogens are derived from the urine from pregnant mares and the progestin is medroxyprogesterone, a synthetic hormone not found in nature. Prempro is taken orally once a day.
 

There are significant differences between conventional hormone replacement (HRT) and bio-identical hormone replacement (BHRT):

HRT BHRT
Hormones are identical to human hormones No Yes
Dosage customized for individual patients No Yes
Hormone balance is goal of therapy No Yes
Primary goal is improved quality of life Possible Yes
Primary goal is to prevent disease Yes No
May causes other diseases Yes No
Close monitoring is regular part of treatment No Yes

 

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Menopausal Women in Minnesota

 

When a woman hasn’t had her period for twelve consecutive months she is considered to be post-menopausal. Hormone levels do not suddenly drop at menopause ; gradual changes occur for as long as 12 years prior to menopause. These years are known as peri-menopause. During this time progesterone levels begin to drop significantly. Estrogen levels also change, but rarely in balance with the change in progesterone levels. Estrogen dominance is common during peri-menopause and leads to mood changes, hot flashes, irritability and memory loss. Both estrogen and progesterone need to be in balance for the body to function optimally. That is why it is so important to have your hormones tested and balanced.

Menopause is part of the natural cycle of life, which every woman in Minneapolis and St Paul will go through. However, the aging side effects that can accompany changes in hormone levels can be avoided. Natural bio-identical hormone therapy for menopause can help women in Minnesota deal with these symptoms, reclaiming the vitality of your youth and freeing you to enjoy this new stage of life.

 

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Female Sexual Dysfunction and Hormone Balancing in Minnesota

 

Female sexual dysfunction is defined as a lack of interest in or enjoyment of sexual activity that is distressing to a woman in MN. It can result from a loss of sex drive (libido), an inability to become aroused or to reach an orgasm, or pain during intercourse. A combination of many personal, interpersonal, and medical factors may contribute to sexual dysfunction.

Physical causes of sexual dysfunction may include health issues such as: diabetes, heart disease, nerve disorders, or hormone problems. While some women may lose their libido, they find that when and if sexually active their bodies are still very responsive and able to reach orgasm. Other women will experience a slowing of their physical responsiveness.
All the sex hormones play a role in sexual arousal and libido in Minneapolis. Loss of libido is a common complaint with both men and women and becomes more prevalent with age. Though libido is often related to low testosterone, less than half of women will recover their libido through testosterone therapy.

For most women with diminished sex drive, deficient testosterone is not the only problem. When testosterone deficiency is not the cause of low libido, other hormone deficiencies or imbalances must be explored. Low sex drive is often a combination of several hormone changes influencing sexual drive and responsiveness. This can include estrogen to progesterone imbalance, low thyroid hormone levels, or hyper or hypo function of the adrenal gland. Understanding the multiple hormones involved can help explain why a woman’s sexual responsiveness is so powerfully influenced by mood, energy, well-being, and other psychological mechanisms.
When returning to pre-menopausal levels, estrogen increases vaginal circulation, helping to restore the vaginal lining and increase lubrication and elasticity of the vaginal tissue; progesterone may help with uplifting mood factors and energy. Addressing adrenal fatigue can positively influence a woman’s desire to have sex. Sometimes it takes a little time and tweaking, but once the right balance of hormones is accomplished, most women experience a renewed sexual vitality. A hormonal imbalance may or may not contribute to any one woman’s low sex drive. But if a woman does have a hormonal cause for sexual dysfunction, treatment can include bioidentical hormone therapy with One Stop Wellness Clinic.

 

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Cortisol Levels and Allergies in Minnesota

 

Are you noticing increased fatigue, headaches, itchy eyes, sneezing and congestion? Allergies are one of the most common concerns in Minnesota and United States with hay fever being the 5th leading chronic disease in the country. According to recent statistics, this chronic disease is to blame for almost 4 million missed or lost work days yearly for a total of more than $7 million in lost productivity annually. Frequently thought of as an incurable disease by practitioners and patients alike, successful management of seasonal allergies is attainable and extends beyond antihistamine and decongestant use. One Stop Wellness Clinic in Edina, MN can help provide optimal adrenal function for regulating allergy symptoms this spring. The adrenal glands’ ability to maintain optimal cortisol output significantly influences the severity of allergy symptoms.

Histamine is the mediator governing inflammatory responses in the body from injury and the common cold to insect bites and seasonal allergies. Its actions on the H1 receptor result in hives, itching and allergic rhinitis. Cortisol production from the adrenal glands is a key factor in controlling the body’s histamine levels. Cortisol levels that are suboptimal or deficient, as seen in many patients with adrenal dysfunction, allergy symptoms tend to be more severe. In addition to decreasing mast cell degranulation and activation, cortisol inhibits histidine decarboxylase (the enzyme responsible for the histamine cascade) thus inhibiting production and accumulation of histamine in tissues. Given this, it comes as no surprise that histamine levels tend to be highest around 3 AM – hours after cortisol reaches its lowest diurnal level.

While physiologic dosing of hydrocortisone in individuals with established adrenal gland dysfunction can help alleviate allergy symptoms, adjunctive therapies are necessary to optimize the adrenal glands’ potential endogenous production of cortisol. Considerations include addressing lifestyle factors such as sleep and stress management, supplementing co-factors necessary for cortisol production (vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin C and vitamin E) and the use of adaptogenic herbs. Frequently used adaptogens include: Rhodiola rosea, Ashwaganda, Glycyrrhiza glabar, Panax ginseng, Eleutherococcus senticosus, Cordyceps sinensis and Ocinum sanctum.

In conclusion, it should be no surprise to find a relationship between seasonal allergy symptoms and suboptimal or insufficient diurnal cortisol levels. Accurate assessment of cortisol levels and adrenal dysfunction is easily done with One Stop Wellness Clinic’s salivary cortisol testing in Minneapolis.

 

 

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Chronic Stress in Minnesota and Hormone Health

 

Stress for Minnesotans, whether it’s perceived or not perceived, can be physical, mental, emotional and environmental in nature. There are often events and periods of time in life that can be identified as particularly stressful such as a car accident, death of a loved one or job loss. Stress is not only negative but can be associated with positive circumstances as well, such as a wedding or job promotion. In addition to these major life events, there are many factors that add to an individual’s stress load including: infections, allergies, depression, chronic disease, overworking, guilt, sleep deprivation, toxic exposures, blood sugar fluctuations, medications and more.
Hormones, including cortisol and DHEA from the adrenal glands, are an integral part of the physiological stress response. While the body’s intricate hormonal system is adept at handling isolated stressful events, Minneapolis’s busy world equipped with cell phones, fluorescent lights, traffic and more, presents a taxing environment of consistent stressors. This state of consistent stress increases the body’s demand for adrenal hormones and often results in hormonal dysregulation.

Pregnenolone Steal

Pregnenolone, the primary precursor hormone to all steroid hormones, including cortisol, DHEA, estradiol, progesterone and testosterone, is essential in the body’s guest to maintain adequate cortisol levels during times of chronic and consistent stress. While pregnenolone can be directed toward the production of any of these various hormones, increased demand for cortisol due to constant stress results in the shunting of pregnenolone down the pathway that favors cortisol production thus leaving less of this pro-hormone available to produce the other steroid hormones. The hormonal imbalance that ensues further contributes to the overall stress burden of the body, further compounding the existing picture of chronic stress.

Estrogen Dominance

Estrogen dominance refers to a state where there is a greater influence of estrogen than progesterone on tissues. There are many situations and conditions that can contribute to this imbalance including increases in estrogen production, exposure to exogenous estrogens, and decreased progesterone production. Because the body can convert progesterone to cortisol, increased stress (and a higher demand for cortisol) often results in decreased progesterone production, thereby exacerbating the imbalance between the estrogens and progesterone.

Stress = Adrenal Fatigue

Our endocrine system is designed to handle an acute stressful event and allows us to protect ourselves from danger or flee from it. The constant barrage of micro-stressful events such as traffic, social stresses, infectious agents, chemical exposures etc. often result in a chronically stimulated adrenal response. While most other animals rest and allow their systems to calm after a stressful encounter, we rarely give our bodies the actual break we need. Over time, with continued stimulation, the stress response becomes less sensitive and the signal to produce cortisol lessens, often to the point of very little cortisol output at all; this is called Adrenal fatigue or exhaustion. Adrenal fatigue can happen to some people after a single stressful event, while for others it occurs after an accumulation of smaller stressors. We are all different, and the length of time we can “keep up the pace” is variable, that is why it important to get your hormones tested and balanced at One Stop Wellness Center in Edina, MN.

 

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Why Hormone Saliva Testing is better than Blood and Urine for Minnesotans

 

When deciding how to assess hormone levels it is important to do testing instead of guessing, and it is important to have ongoing testing and monitoring like One Stop Wellness Clinic in Minnesota does. Urine testing cannot measure progesterone directly, instead it just the metabolites of progesterone so it is not a sufficiently accurate tool for direct measurement for assessing deficiencies and subsequent treatment.

In addition, once a patient is started on a prescription of topical hormones the adjusted hormone levels cannot be accurately assessed through urine or blood — only saliva. This is because blood and urine will not show bioavailable hormone levels. Saliva, on the other hand, does reflect changes in hormone levels shown when a patient is on a topical hormone replacement and it is a proven method for adjusting and monitoring therapy. This is why we at, One Stop Wellness Center, tests estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and cortisol only in saliva. The only hormone not testing in saliva is a thyroid panel which is tested with a blood sample. Lastly, providers in Minneapolis who decide to use urine or blood testing will often find that it takes a long time to get prescription rates correct and existing symptoms continue while new symptoms may appear.

 

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Hormone Testing for Breast Health in Minnesota Women

 

Hormone balance plays an important role in maintaining healthy breasts for women living in Minnesota. The hormones progesterone and estrogen both impact breast tissue. Estrogen is important for cell growth and breast development. Progesterone is a protective hormone and will help slow tissue growth. When estrogen and progesterone are in balance, breast tissue is likely to be healthy. When the two hormones are out of balance, symptoms often appear in Minneapolis women. Symptoms include: breast pain, cysts or lumps, fibrocystic changes, breast tenderness, change in breast size, or nipple discharge.
Low levels of progesterone can sometimes cause breast tenderness in women. Estrogen Dominance is a common occurrence and manifests when there is too much estrogen in the body in comparison to progesterone. Peri-menopausal is the term for the years leading up to menopause, which can begin as early as age 40. Progesterone levels drop quite sharply during peri-menopause while estrogen levels can often stay high. Estrogen Dominance is more likely to occur in peri-menopausal and post menopausal women. High levels of estrogen, especially Estrone and Estradiol can be detrimental to breast tissue. Long term Estrogen Dominance is a significant risk factor for breast cancer.
Vitamin D, a powerful antioxidant hormone, and the mineral Iodine play key roles in maintaining healthy breast tissue. If these nutrient and hormones are out of balance you may have an increased risk for breast health issues. While exams are a vital part of overall breast care, keeping your breasts healthy involves keeping hormones balanced and tissues healthy. As we age, our production of sex hormones changes naturally. However, with proper monitoring and treatment by One Stop Wellness Clinic, these changes do not have to have a negative effect on your body.
It is important to do breast exams and mammograms to check for abnormal cells. It is equally important to test your hormone levels to identify possible risk factors for breast cancer. As many as 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime so being proactive with breast health is a wise choice. Hormone testing and follow up with our practitioners at One Stop Wellness Center is crucial for determining you optimal treatment program.

 

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How are hormones related to weight gain in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota?

 

Weight loss programs invoke images of salads, hours in the gym, and dessert deprivation. Hormone testing probably doesn’t come to mind. However as we age, estrogen and progesterone levels decline, while androgen levels (testosterone and DHEA) can increase in those living in MN. These changes not only increase the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, but they also shift how and where fat is stored in our bodies.

Attempting to lose weight without addressing the hormonal component is like going to the gym then eating a big piece of chocolate cake. Focusing on whole foods, reducing refined carbohydrates, exercising as prescribed by your doctor and treating any hormone imbalances will help you successfully lose weight and keep it off. Common weight related hormone symptoms include: increased waist size, bloating, decreased stamina, and difficulty maintaining weight loss.

As we age our basal metabolic rate (BMR) slows down, increasing the number of calories that are converted to fat. Estrogen is stored in fat cells, as estrogen levels drop, your body compensates by storing more fat. The body responds to this change in hormone level by accumulating fat around the abdomen creating more of an apple shape. The thyroid gland has an impact on metabolism. Iodine and vitamin D can impact how well the thyroid gland is functioning. Low iodine and vitamin D levels can contribute to underlying factors in the struggle to lose weight. Hormone changes redirect the body to store fat in an attempt to conserve hormone and energy stores. However, these stores are often counter-productive to health and well-being. Balancing your hormones can help facilitate lasting weight loss.

Hormone testing and follow up monitoring is a critical step in a successful weight loss program. Testing may involve reproductive, adrenal, and thyroid hormone testing. Due to the complexity of the endocrine system, issues rarely stem from a single hormone.

 

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