By Dr. Brooke Azie-Rentz
If you have been to AIM and are a woman, chances are you have discussed hormones with one of our docs. This is because hormones are a huge force in our bodies, driving everything from appetite, to metabolism, to sex drive, to mood… the list is long! Here at AIM we believe that deficiencies in some organ systems can cause deficiencies in other supportive organ systems. In other words, it is a chain reaction. For example, when you have a baby, your sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone) rise; once the baby is born, those same hormone levels drop, leaving other hormones like thyroid and cortisol to pick up the slack. As I frequently say: “You can’t run away from a tiger forever. If you don’t get up a tree, you will get eaten.” What this implies is that adrenaline and cortisol can only take you so far. You need to rest, recover and replenish what you use. This happens in a tiger attack, a child birth, and in everyday life. So what does all this have to do with hormones?
When we talk about women’s hormones, most people think of the loss of estrogen that happens when we hit “middle-age” and enter the dreaded menopause (pause for dramatic effects). I don’t think we have to wait until menopause to talk about women’s hormones. To me, women can have imbalances throughout their lives. Maybe it starts as irregular periods, hypothyroid symptoms including sluggish digestion and weight issues, acne, or infertility, but here at AIM we like to find the root cause of what ails you so that we can effectively support and bring balance back to your body.
Here are some fun facts:
- Conventional medicine says 13% of women between the age of 35 and 65 will be diagnosed as hypothyroid
- Average age of menopause today is 51
- Average age of breast cancer today is 52
- Average age of first heart attack in women is 70
- Average age of diagnosis of type 2 Diabetes in women is 55
- Average age of death for women is 81
- In 2011, Americans spent $10.4 billion on cosmetic surgery, seeking to look younger and healthier
- In 2011, men spent $1.6 billion on prescription testosterone
Long story short, we live a long time and in the last 25-30 years of our life we get old and sick! If you notice, the lowest age in the aforementioned statistics is the age of menopause, every other disease comes after that. So, I think it is safe to say that the common denominator is hormones. Once you lose them, it is all downhill from there. But there is a way out… bring back the hormones!
Whether it be thyroid or estrogen/progesterone, hormone replacement therapy can be a “fountain of youth.” Balancing all hormones in the body means better blood sugar control, metabolism, energy and mood – all of which lead to better diet and lifestyle choices, which in turn means we look and feel better, younger, and sexier! Hormone replacement is complex, and requires the guidance of an doctor who is experienced in current research on hormone replacement.
Dr. Brooke Azie-Rentz is the co-founder of Alpine Integrated Medicine. Dr. Brooke has a great deal of experience with hormone replacement, and is an active mentor to her associates at AIM.