Let’s take a look at the female sex hormones and what they do.
Estrogen This amazing hormone maintains blood-sugar levels and protects against osteoporosis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, colon cancer, Parkinson’s disease, incontinence, and tooth loss. Estrogen receptors are throughout body and are plentiful in the brain, where they help the brain cells make connections, allowing our mind to stay sharp, our memory to be sound, and our emotions to remain stable.
One of its most important jobs is to prevent excess estrogen. Progesterone and estrogen give the best effect when they are balanced, which in turn creates fewer bleeding problems and more equilibrium going into menopause. Progesterone, or the lack thereof, begins to wreak havoc for women when the levels in the second half of the cycle are not prominent. Progesterone is the mood hormone, so a low progesterone level paves the way for PMS symptoms and emotional imbalance. In menopause, women are chronically progesterone deficient, predisposing them to mood instability and depression.
Testosterone is known as the forgotten hormone, especially in menopause, as
many medical providers do not pay attention to the signs of its decline. Menopausal and perimenopausal women who have fatigue, muscle atrophy, weakness, low libido, and low sexual sensation often have low testosterone. Present in both men and women, testosterone is produced in small amounts by the ovaries and the adrenal glands. Testosterone than women, it is a vital hormone that women rely on for energy, vitality, sex drive, and endurance.
Test Your Hormones
Hormone testing is the best way to establish a baseline. Although the “normal” values may change for each patient—and not every woman fits within ranges that are somewhat artificial—testing still provides a guideline from which the treatment plan is created and tested against in the future.
Each Woman Is Unique
Individuality is the name of the game with women’s hormone testing and treatment. Even though women may have similar complaints, each has her own hormone profile, unique responses to treatment, and a singular lifestyle to which the program must be adapted. I have learned that the one-size-fits-
all approach definitely does not apply, and I frequently remind patients that hormone balancing is a science and an art. Women often come to my office with their lives broken into fragments. We work as partners to fit the pieces back together so that the woman eventually sees her physical and
emotional sides merge as a harmonious whole. With successful testing and hormonal intervention many women have been able to stop other medications prescribed to clear up problems stemming from hormonal imbalances.
Nisha Jackson PhD, MS, WHCNP, HHP
Nisha Jackson is one of the nation's leading bio-identical hormone & wellness experts. She is the host of the nationally syndicated radio program "Just Ask Nish", columnist, lecturer, and continues to be in high demand in her Southern Oregon-based specialty practices. With no hidden agendas Nish (as she is known by her radio audience) is relentless to uncover health solutions that work. If it's effective and good for you, it's good medicine!