Functional Medicine determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual. The Functional Medicine model is an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. It requires a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data to direct personalized treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes. By addressing root cause, rather than symptoms, practitioners become oriented to identifying the complexity of disease. They may find one condition has many different causes and, likewise, one cause may result in many different conditions. As a result, Functional Medicine treatment targets the specific manifestations of disease in each individual.Inceptos Ridiculus Purus.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
There are two main reasons that women may consider hormone replacement therapy. The first is for symptom relief and the second is a much broader reason to include protection of cognition, bone health, heart health and its beneficial effect on insulin.
Progesterone is a wonderful hormone. Most of the symptoms starting in perimenopause are due to the imbalance between estrogen and progesterone. Progesterone begins to decline in the mid to late 30s, estrogen may do so as well, but the decline in progesterone is much more rapid than estrogen. It is because of this imbalance that women start to develop Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance which include but are not limited to: decreased sexual interest, depression with anxiety or agitation, water retention, headaches, poor sleep, panic attacks, swollen breasts, heavy or irregular menstrual periods, increased risk of breast cancer as well as autoimmune Disease.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism may develop because of increased binding of thyroid hormone and therefore less available free thyroid hormone. Finally fibrocystic breasts, irritability, mood swings, uterine fibroids and bloating are other symptoms of estrogen dominance. We also need to remember that in our current environment, we are all exposed to excess estrogen-like substances called xenoestrogens. Sources of Xenoestrogens include pesticides, plastics, cosmetics, synthetic hormones given to animals.
“As a traditionally trained medicine practitioner, I never appreciated that a significant imbalance in hormones in women certainly begins in their 40s. Then I did a Hormone Fellowship. I was previously a speaker for a pharmaceutical company for antidepressants; I certainly prescribed a lot of them in my career before I branched out into Functional Medicine. However, understanding this one simple principal significantly decreased my need to use antidepressants during this phase of a woman’s life. Simply replacing the naturally declining progesterone helps with many of the symptoms.
Natural progesterone has also been shown to be protective against breast cancer. And there is a difference between using natural progesterone and synthetic progestins. This has been studied and published in journals such as Menopause, Obstetrics Gynecology Journal, Journal Women’s Health Gender Based Medicine. And so, I feel, as do many others, that progesterone is a much under-appreciated hormone and is a wonderful addition to help women through this sometimes arduous period of their lives.”
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