Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How Hormones Work In the Body

I spend a huge portion of my day explaining to women how hormones work in the body. So from the top of my head, I'm going to try and explain it to YOU in simple terms. It first makes sense to replace hormones physiologically by mimicking a healthy women's cycle. And that would be young, healthy, cycling, fertile females. Normal ranges of estrogen in this population ranges from 150-550 pg/ml during a 28 day cycle. Estrogen has two peaks, one on Day 12 and another one (although much less of a peak) just under the progesterone peak on Day 21. A menstrual cycle occurs on Days 1-5 with a gradual ascending curve of estradiol to a peak blood level on Day 12 of 350-550 pg/ml. Estrogen then descends to a lower range in the 100-200 pg/ml the rest of the 28 day cycle. This can be mimicked with transdermal creams used in cyclic dosing. If your blood levels are below the normal range, then we start with a standard dose of creams and gradually follow the cyclic pattern until we reach the desired blood ranges of both estrogen and progesterone. When given this way, your body responds in a very healthy way and restores lost energy, sleep deprivation, rids you of hot flashes and night sweats, improves mind function and memory, improves libido, gets rid of daytime fatigue and many other aging symptoms that we begin to experience in late 30's and 40's on into 50's, 60's, and 70's.

The first twelve days of the hormone cycle with just estrogen is creating the scenario for progesterone to work. Progesterone is effective when the receptors are created by estrogen in the first 12 days of the menstrual cycle, otherwise progesterone will fit into alternative receptor sites and cause side effects, such as drowsiness or water retention to occur. So getting blood levels in the desired range of 150-550 pg/ml is the key to this protocol working effectively. Menstrual cycles should occur on Day 29 and that then becomes Day 1. A normal 5 day menses should follow and the cycle is repeated over and over again. It really is an amazing discovery of using bioidentical hormones.

Hormones are our immune protection. Estrogen and Progesterone "control" cells. They don't "cause" cells to do anything. They are chemical messengers in our body that act as signals to turn actions on and turn actions off throughout the body. Without these important messengers, we lose a very important part of our immune system and autoimmune function is then heightened in some people and you will see skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis, lupus, arthritis, etc. Some people will go down other hormone deficiency paths such as heart disease, alzheimers, osteoporosis, cancer, etc.

It doesn't make sense to give hormone replacement in any other way but to mimick what our bodies have always done with this hormones. Cyclic, ascending and descending doses of estrogen days 1-28 and progesterone days 14-28 in ascending and descending dosing. I wouldn't give insulin to a diabetic patient in alternate ways then how the body uses insulin. Why do we give estrogen and progesterone in alternate ways?

Call my office to set up an appointment or email me 815-476-5210 or jones.gretchen@gmail.com


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Thanks for joining my revolution to educate women about their hormones! Let's work together.