How to avoid becoming an invisible woman

The menopause is a time of change that can strip away your femininity and youthfulness, leaving you feeling like an invisible woman.

However, the hormonal turbulence that comes with the menopause can be treated entirely naturally as can all those nasty symptoms that come with it.

Restorative medicine can help you find hormonal harmony: it is now possible to safely and efficiently  re-balance your hormone levels with bioidentical hormones that avoid the risks of conventional HRT, helping you shine on into a new and liberating stage of life.    

What is it about the menopause that can make you feel invisible?

Ageism

Ageism affects everyone, but we women really feel the sharp end of it. Last year, Business Champion for Older Workers Dr. Ros Altmann found that “talent progression stops for women around age 45”. You only need to switch on the TV and work out the ratio of older male/female presenters and news reporters. Unfortunately, while older women have done more than enough to show they’re just as valuable to society (one might be in the White House by the end of the year), negative perceptions have been slow to change.   

Body image

Much of this ageism is tied up in body image – something that an untreated menopause can affect greatly. But, our changing body image also challenges our own perceptions of who we are. Hormones are the life-giving force for all  of our body’s systems, that even a slight imbalance can cause changes in the body that polish off our shine and leave us feeling a shadow of our former selves.

Weight gain

Especially common during perimenopause, weight gain is caused by a combination of a switch in our minor/major hormone production, and stress. Hormonal stress can affect the DHEA-to cortisol ratio, leaving us with cortisol dominance, and the body’s natural response is to store fat. And, if your thyroid functionality drops off, no amount of diet or exercise will help you re-sculpt your midriff, as your body will start turning calories into fat instead of energy.  

Skin

Our skin tells our story, whether we like it or not. You can blame thinning skin on declining oestrogen levels, and a  saggy skin on low testosterone levels. An imbalance in testosterone, in some cases, can even cause an inflammatory skin condition called rosacea. And, if your testosterone levels are too high, you might end up with your first bout of acne since your sixth-form prom.    

It doesn’t have to be this way. Fight back with restorative medicine!

Keep those feminine curves

For the first time in your life, diet and exercise just aren’t enough to keep hold of that fabulous figure. And, it all starts with your ovarian hormones. Here’s how your levels of ovarian hormones dictate the part of the body that will gain weight:

Hormone ratio: How it affects your body:
High ratio of oestradiol (E2) (a type of oestrogen) to progesterone Weight gain around the hips
Low oestradiol (E2) with normal progesterone, testosterone and DHEA Weight gain around the middle

Both progesterone and oestrogen decline in menopause and are vital to our overall health. Progesterone is the first to decline, and to a greater degree. When this happens it can provoke an oestrogen dominance setup, which is not a good place to be, as it can present various health issues, including breast and uterine cancer. When the ratio of both these important hormones are off course, an expert in restorative medicine can create an individualised programme to restore optimal function in the body and correct the ratio of both these hormones.

Once your hormones have been restored and re-balanced, the levels of stress on the body will decrease. It will also help to optimise the DHEA-to-cortisol ratio, assisting your body to store less fat, along with decreasing your body’s propensity to break down muscle and, to become insulin resistant. Once you find your natural balance, it all falls into place.  

Give your skin a radiant glow

There’s a little trick that I want you all to know. Oestriol cream (a type of oestrogen), topically compounded with antioxidants, will breathe new life into your skin. A natural concoction of ingredients, this wonder-cream can make your skin thicker, firmer and more plump, wrinkles shallower and pores smaller.

Your skin should regain its natural elasticity within 2 – 3 months, and develop a healthy, pinkish glow. Avoid petroleum-based products for a more youthful look. Also, you’ll need a prescription for this product, so get that doctor’s appointment booked in stat!    

While the years may keep ticking over, there’s no need to accept becoming an invisible woman as an inevitability. With restorative medicine, you can carry on enjoying your youthful looks, energy and feminine charms for years to come!

Find out how restorative medicine could help you find your natural hormonal balance.   

What is the male menopause?

Men have long thought that they had dodged the hormonal countdown with a simple mid-life crisis. A new hairstyle, sports convertible and some festival tickets, and they are sorted with no obvious symptoms of hormonal deficit. Unfortunately, guys, it’s not quite that simple.

Testosterone, a steroid hormone and androgen is generated in higher quantities in men, than in women. Men lose their testosterone over a period of 30 years, starting at about aged 30, whereas women lose all their sex hormones within a 5 year period, which would account for women‘s hyper-acute symptoms.

Although not as widely discussed as the menopause, perhaps because men’s symptoms are more insidious due to the incremental and less drastic decline, the andropause (or, ‘male menopause’) has been recognised for centuries as a period in men’s lives when a shift in hormones results in significant physical, psychological, social and sexual changes.

What are the symptoms of the male menopause?

Unlike the menopause, the andropause does not mean the end of a man’s reproductive ability, which can often last into their 80s. However, the hormonal shift is marked and comparable to that experienced by women, resulting in a whole range of undesirable symptoms.

As with the menopause, the decline in hormone levels is indicated by different symptoms as testosterone, along with other hormones, levels continue to drop off. The first thing you are likely to notice is a blunting of your libido, potentially leading to erectile dysfunction and symptoms of impotence. Muscle wastage and a diminishing of strength come as testosterone levels fall further, resulting in a lack of energy and ability to concentrate, depression, mood swings and even diabetes.

How restorative medicine can combat the andropause

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is a safe and efficient alternative to synthetic HRT, that corrects and optimises body function by rebalancing hormones, with the use of bioidentical hormones, a molecular structure that is an exact match to the hormones produced within the human body, together with specific vitamins and minerals that all interact with each other.

Certain foods we consume can enhance testosterone and are often known as aphrodisiacs. Low and declining levels of testosterone will inhibit sexual desire. Zinc is an important mineral for men’s libido, and is a proven enhancer of this hormone. Oysters have high levels of zinc, and for the vegetarian…baked beans and nuts. These sexy foods boost your libido. Exercise is, of course, paramount to enhancing testosterone levels as well. Together with bioidentical hormone restorative therapy, and a healthy and active lifestyle, you can restore your body, your quality if life, your libido, and slow the ageing process – all without the adverse side effects associated with a synthetic treatment.

What effect will it have on my symptoms?

An effective BHRT programme overseen by a qualified restorative medicine doctor can correct the symptoms associated with andropause, restoring your sex-drive, giving you clarity of thought, an enhanced mood and can even reduce the risk of more serious secondary conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.

How is it different from chemical-based medicines?

Chemical-based hormonal supplements cannot be correctly metabolised by the body, making them toxic and liable to cause or exacerbate other conditions, such as certain cancers, heart disease or sleep apnoea – hence, the longest treatment programme with these methods is just five years.

Unlike the synthetic hormonal therapies, BHRT programmes are geared towards using compounds suited to each individual patient and their unique hormonal blend. And, because of their exactness in molecular structure, bioidentical hormones can be prescribed and taken for a lifetime, with no adverse side effects. That is the beauty of this medicine, we can have optimal health even into our golden years, which then become our platinum years.

How do I investigate restorative medicine?

First up, you’ll need a comprehensive guide to restorative medicine and BHRT that you can use as a reference when considering dietary or lifestyle changes.

If you require medical advice, you should speak to a doctor who knows about restorative medicine and can design a BHRT programme tailored to your specific needs.

 

How to increase longevity and slow the signs of aging

We’re pre-programmed to resist the signs of ageing and take every step we can to maximise our lifespan. But, with all the distractions of modern life, it’s easy to fall into bad habits that can slowly start to shave years off your life expectancy.

Fighting back against the ageing process doesn’t mean cutting out everything that you love, but with a few minor lifestyle changes you can re-discover your natural vitality and look forward to a long and healthy old age.

Here’s the key factors to consider and how you can naturally optimise your longevity:

1. Sleep

Sleep impacts on all of your body’s systems and a lack of it can double the signs of skin ageing according to a US study, as well as making us feel less attractive.

More importantly, it can be a real risk to our health, with a report from University of Warwick finding that people who sleep less than six hours per night are 12% more likely to die over a 25-year period than those who get the recommended amount of sleep. These deaths were often from heart-related conditions.

Most medical professionals advise that you aim to achieve regular, uninterrupted sleep sessions of six to eight hours per night in order to maintain optimal health and vitality.

2. Stress

Stress is often unavoidable, but could be wreaking havoc on your appearance and life expectancy.

Stress can damage our chromosomes and DNA, resulting in mutations that can increase your risk of overall immune distress, degenerative diseases (like Parkinson’s and Huntington’s) and even cancer. A study by Harvard and Stanford Universities quantified that consistent stress could knock as much as 33 years off your potential lifespan.

To avoid this and stave off those grey hairs a little longer, ensure that your hormones are naturally in balance, optimise your diet, cut out contaminants (like alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes) and try to be mindful about what causes your blood pressure to creep up.

3. Diet

Diet is another all-encompassing factor that can impact severely on your health and wellbeing.

No matter how much you think you’re looking after your body, a bad diet can wreck your complexion and leave you looking pale and peaky. Your diet can also impact on your overall life expectancy, with coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes (which, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, can shave six years off your life alone) are among the most serious risks.

Start taking regular exercise, avoid consuming high levels of alcohol, and eliminate trans fats from your diet. Trans fats are bad and increase your risk of heart disease. In fact, they are so bad that some countries have banned them outright. They also interfere with the body’s ability to produce its own DHA (an omega-3 essential fatty acid). Fill your new diet with wrinkle-fighting antioxidants, whole and non-farmed foods, and ensure your vitamin intake is optimised.

4. Essential oils/serums

Even with a balanced diet and regular exercise, there are certain conditions or individual variables that can prevent us from absorbing the right levels of essential nutrients.

Essential oils and serums have long been used as a way of distilling the essence of integral elements to ensure that we can regulate our intake to match our unique bodily composition. Rather than being a direct means of extending longevity, essential oils will help to maintain your overall wellbeing, boost your immune system, improve skin quality, help you sleep and much, much more.

Once an expensive lifestyle option, you can now easily mix your own essential oils at home using ingredients like jojoba oil, evening primrose oil, pomegranate oil, vitamin E and lavender oil.

5. Genetic mutations

Genetic mutations and free radical damage are most commonly caused by toxic elements entering our bloodstream via our diets, alcohol or cigarettes.

Each mutation has the potential to turn cancerous, or cause degenerative diseases that could dramatically decrease your life expectancy. A study by Treatment4Addiction found that each cigarette was equivalent to 14 minutes off your life expectancy (10 years if you’re regularly smoking 20 per day). But, there are unseen factors too. A nutritional imbalance and the presence of E numbers and other contaminants in our diet might be slowly degrading your overall health.

With cigarettes and alcohol, it’s easy to know exactly what you need to cut out. However, knowing how to adapt your diet can be a little more complicated. Simply revise the ‘Diet’ section above and you can start off on the right foot.

6. Hormones

Our hormones are the oil that keeps our finely tuned machines in proper working order, but decline dramatically with age, often resulting in the onset of numerous degenerative diseases.

This decline is likely to signal that the menopause is now in full swing, complete with the range of unpleasant side effects that this transition brings. Later, your risk of cognitive degeneration, mobility issues and bodily changes (weight gain, wrinkles, hair loss etc.) will increase significantly. And, even if you try to fight back with synthetic hormones, you’ll be increasing your risk of breast cancer and other conditions.

An alternative is bioidentical hormones restorative therapy (BHRT) to help improve your life and protect your long and short-term health.

Conclusion

The further medical research advances, the more we come to understand that many aspects of the ageing process are not set in stone and can be avoided with intelligent lifestyle choices. Follow these simple steps and look forward to excitement and energy in your later years.

Natural hormones v HRT

Given the effects that follow a hormonal slump, it’s important for all of us to be aware of the facts before embarking on a treatment programme.

While the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has proclaimed synthetic HRT to be a safe treatment for those going through the menopause (in a study part funded by big-pharma giant Pfizer), there are still considerable questions about the health risks such as cancer and heart disease, and the treatment’s effectiveness.

Bioidentical hormone restorative therapy (BHRT) is an alternative and safe method to HRT. However, you must make sure that you chose an expert in this field if you want the best results and stay safe. Chose a qualified doctor!

Here is why natural or bioidentical hormones can help you rediscover your body’s balance:

1. Natural hormones are the right fit to be fully metabolised

Metabolisation of hormones in the body is like finding the right key for a lock. While synthetic hormones might be able to fit the keyhole they do not open the lock. Natural hormones, on the other hand, are the correct key to open that specific lock.

Whether hormones are naturally produced or received as supplements, the body automatically sweeps them into the circulatory system, flowing through an intricate network of capillaries until they find a cell with the right receptor.

Synthetic hormones such as progestins (fake progesterone, such as Provera®) and those derived from the urine of pregnant mares such as Premarin®, together known as PremPro®, have molecular compositions that do not fit into the lock-and-key setup in the body, they cannot correctly interact with the receptor sites. No one actually knows what happens to these molecules that do not ‘fit’ into the receptor sites. But what we do know is, it can take up to thirteen weeks to eliminate them from the body – these are chemicals that do not belong in the body and cause toxic by-products.

Natural or bioidentical hormones, on the other hand, are eliminated through the urine within one day – they are recognised, metabolised and expelled efficiently by the body, with no toxic by-product build-up.

Bioidentical HRT – a natural alternative for your body’s hormonal composition

Conventional HRT treatments are a one-size-fits-all solution. However, every woman (and man for that matter) metabolises hormones differently, so her (his) hormonal needs will be different! Bioidentical hormone restorative specialists will take the time to get to know your hormonal composition and prescribe a natural, effective treatment to restore your inner balance.

A link has long been established between HRT and heart disease, strokes and various forms of cancer. So although NICE has recently declared the treatment safe, both the compound itself and the dosage levels carry severe health risks that may be avoided with natural hormones.

With bioidentical hormone restorative therapy, the clinician will analyse the results of your blood tests and provide you with a treatment programme based on your specific hormonal levels to help restore your natural equilibrium, rather than just artificially inflating hormonal levels towards an arbitrary target. Your hormone levels will be monitored at regular intervals and the treatment tweaked to maintain optimal hormone levels, that correct the symptoms of the menopause, and at the same time, slow the ageing process.

Unlike synthetic hormone treatment – which is generally prescribed for a maximum 5-year programme due to health concerns with artificial compounds – natural hormone restorative therapy is a lifelong solution that offers you the possibility to maintain your health, zest and vivacity into your latter years.

Bioidentical hormone restorative therapy is a safe, effective and long-term alternative to conventional HRT treatment, assisting you in rediscovering your joie de vivre without having to worry about jeopardising your health. Find out how to get started with bioidentical hormone restorative therapy.

How attitudes towards the menopause and aging have changed

The menopause was once considered to be the first step on the road to becoming aged and less active. Not so today – now, modern healthcare techniques, lifestyle advances and a more equal social perception of mature women is making 50 the new 40!

These changes have filled our screens with female role models of a menopausal age that are living life to its fullest, such as actors Dame Judy Dench, Dame Helen Mirren and Emma Thompson, US politicos Hilary Clinton and Michelle Obama, or TV personalities like Oprah Winfrey and Carol Vorderman.

Restorative medicine is the natural way to live younger

So, what can we put this paradigm shift down to? Restorative medicine has played a leading role in helping women live younger, and especially in dispelling some of the body myths associated with the menopause. No longer must women choose between suffering the full hormonal collapse of the menopause, or finding a quick fix with generic synthetic treatments that carry concerning side-effects.

You can now take your life back into your own hands, balancing your hormones naturally at a level that’s right for you, helping to reduce or remove a whole host of menopausal symptoms, including:

Keeping your hormones at the right levels for your body has also been shown to decrease the likelihood of health concerns associated with ageing, such as heart disease and strokes. Restorative medicine lets you maintain your natural balance by using compounds that are bioidentical to those found within the body, coupled with a healthy and active lifestyle.

What is the new model menopausal woman?

Now that you’ve found a way to look and feel fabulous, what can a new-age menopausal woman expect?

1. Rediscovering romance
When you combine the freedom of kids fleeing the nest and retirement with the supple frame, enhanced look and sex drive that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can offer, you’ve got yourself a recipe for love.

You can get back to spending quality time or holidays with your partner or, if you’re single, take up dating again with a new confidence and verve – changing social dynamics mean there are a lot of good 50+ dating sites now available.

2. Pursuing that dream
Whether you’ve always planned to set up your own business, write a book, or just want to indulge a new interest, the clarity of thought and mobility that restorative medicine can offer are key to maintaining your performance at its best. It is now common to see lists in Forbes of ‘50+ entrepreneurs’ – evolving social attitudes to age are giving mature women increased opportunities.

3. Getting fitter
Restorative medicine recommends putting your increased energy and improved health to good use by keeping fit. There’s now a whole host of gym classes designed specifically for women over 50, or you can give the young guns a run for their money in combined classes or running clubs too.

4. Being an inspiration
Whether you’re playing actively with grandchildren, or achieving something that will be respected by friends and family alike, the sharp wit and dynamic energy that restorative medicine can help you keep will prove an invaluable asset to all of your endeavours.

With so much opportunity to make 50 the new 40, why not find out how you can use restorative medicine to get the most out of your active and fulfilling later life?

Menopause and the mind

menopause-forgetfulness

Hormonal imbalances cause a whole host of unwelcome changes throughout the menopause. While the physical changes can have dramatic and often unexpected consequences, it is the cognitive effects of hormonal imbalance that can often prove the most disconcerting for women of a menopausal age.

This can take the form of anything from forgetfulness to fatigue – but there is an answer that naturally restores balance to your mind and body, without the concerning health risks of HRT, and that’s restorative medicine.    

So what are the potential psychological effects of the menopause if left untreated?

1. Anxiety

Reduced levels of oestrogens circulating in the bloodstream can cause intense anxiety during the menopause. A lack of these hormones causes irregular production of serotonin and dopamine – the neurotransmitters that control your emotions. This might cause you to experience an anxiety attack, or a series of attacks in succession that can then lead to depression if left unchecked.   

2. Mood swings

Mood swings are a fact of life for many, but can be greatly exacerbated by the hormonal imbalance that affects you during perimenopause and menopause. Even if triggered by something innocuous, the feeling is very real and can be debilitating. Again, this is caused by reduced oestrogens levels affecting neurotransmitters, but can also be worsened by other menopausal symptoms.   

3. Fatigue

The debilitating feeling of fatigue is a sure sign of hormonal imbalance. During perimenopause and menopause, your energy levels may drop, making you feel weak and listless – like a light has been switched off. A whole range of hormones are associated with fatigue: progesterone and oestrogens control mood and sexual desire, while the relation of cortisol levels to Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) can cause increased stress.

4. Foggy memory

You’ve probably heard of a ‘menopausal moment’, and while this falls some way short of a compassionate and supportive outlook, foggy memory is the reason this saying gained popularity. The signs can be subtle: you might start misplacing items, forgetting people’s birthdays or losing your train of thought. Whatever the signs, memory lapses are caused by a decline in oestrogens and the de-stabilisation of stress hormones.

5. Insomnia

Insomnia during the perimenopause and menopause is a vicious circle. Affecting women up to seven years before the menopause truly commences, insomnia is caused by hormonal imbalances – but sleep is the only process by which the hormones you need can be regenerated. Insomnia can have dramatic effects on daytime functionality, as well as raising the risk, in the long-term, of secondary health conditions such as heart disease.

Restorative medicine

How can it help?

Bioidentical Hormone Restorative Therapy not only helps you to regain your optimal hormonal composition, it also enables you to avoid the health risks associated with synthetic treatments.

Achieving this chemical balance helps to address all of the hormonal symptoms of the menopause, not just physical conditions like weight gain, hot flushes and a reduced immune system, but also cognitive faculties.  

What are the benefits over conventional treatment?

Bioidentical hormones are an exact match for compounds found within the body and so can be fully metabolised, but synthetic hormones are an alien chemical make-up that cannot be read, fully understood, used and excreted by the body. A whole series of studies have found that synthetic HRT compounds create an unacceptable risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease, as well as failing to work as effectively as restorative medicine.

While the maximum length of treatment for conventional HRT is just five years as a result of these risks, bioidentical hormones can be used for life with no secondary side effects. Synthetic hormones are designed by drug companies as a one-size-fits-all solution, but in contrast, restorative medicine is tailored by specialists to each individual’s hormonal composition, helping to restore the real you.

Find out how you can use restorative medicine to re-discover your balance and avoid any loss of control over your head space.

How restorative medicine can overcome migraines

Your body needs balance within its interlinking systems in order to function normally. If an imbalance occurs as a result of stressor factors (from emotional stress to the physical stress of poor diet or lifestyle), it can result in symptoms such as migraines.

Migraines can occur in young adults, adults and mature people, and can be very debilitating, with pain ranging from mild to severe, acute or even chronic, and with symptoms recurring in some cases for years.

But restorative medicine can help you regain your body’s natural balance, together with a whole host of other benefits for your overall health and wellbeing, including overcoming migraines.

What is the bodily imbalance which causes migraines?

Almost all your organs are controlled simultaneously by the two nervous systems: the sympathetic nervous system, which is an energy-giver that controls ‘fight or flight’ and stress reactions; and the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to calm your body back down and bring rest.

These in turn are influenced by four other systems: the neurohormonal system; the pineal gland (which balances production of the hormone melatonin and the neurotransmitter serotonin, both key to migraines); the digestive system; and the balance of magnesium ions (requiring a critical ratio of magnesium and calcium).

Migraines happen as a result of hormonal imbalance within the four subsystems, which then cause the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems to go out of tune. This causes nerve endings in the nociceptive system (the brain sector that controls the feeling of pain) to become irritated, reducing your pain threshold and making you prone to migraines. When you restore balance to these critical systems, your nervous systems can in turn be harmonised and – hey presto – no more migraines!

It is worth noting that the searing pain of a migraine can also be an early indicator that the menopausal process has commenced (perimenopause), if you have not suffered from migraines previously. This is primarily due to the fluctuation of oestrogens and progesterone levels at this time; two important female hormones that have to remain within a specific ratio in order to maintain balance within the body.

How restorative medicine can get you migraine-free

As mentioned in Chapter 1 of ‘The Menopause Cure: Hormonal Health’, an effective and natural remedy based on restorative therapy and an enhanced lifestyle has been developed by Dr Dzugan, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of the Dzugan Institute of Restorative Medicine. Over 85% of his patients found complete relief of their migraine – even after 30 years of suffering. His cure also works to remove a host of other menopausal symptoms, improve quality of life and obtain positive longevity.

  • The migraine cure focuses on tweaking the four interlinked body systems, also adding lifestyle improvements to complete the cure.
    To tune up the neurohormonal and digestive systems, Dr Dzugan advises rebalancing specific hormonal levels using a bespoke bioidentical hormone restorative therapy programme, carefully tuned to each individual patient. Natural intestinal flora restoration and the cleansing of parasites is also paramount.
  • The pineal gland’s control of hormone and neurotransmitter production works on a natural cycle that needs to be re-set in order to restore balance.
  • Magnesium ion levels need to be tuned by balancing magnesium and calcium levels – both these critical minerals contribute towards migraines.

You can shake off the shackles of migraines by using bioidentical hormone restorative therapy in tandem with a healthy and balanced lifestyle. This requires a good diet, low stress and toxin levels, as well as an environment that is conducive to overall wellbeing.

Restorative medicine, when combined with a well-managed lifestyle, will not only remove debilitating migraines, it will correct menopausal symptoms, slow – and, in some cases, reverse – the ageing process, and help stave off chronic disease, letting you live life just the way you want to for a very long time!

Andropause – The Male Menopause

Men can suffer the menopause too!

Andropause is the male version of menopause – Men suffer from hormonal loss just as women do, but at a later stage in life.

On the whole, mother nature, or father nature in this case, has been good to men: they do not have menstrual cycles, have babies, or seem to be suddenly struck by total hormone disruption when they hit forty or fifty. However, they do have their own version of menopause, which translates into andropause, and which it is tightly controlled by testosterone levels.  

Testosterone

Men’s testosterone levels are at their peak at around 21. (Do you remember those days?) Thereafter, levels incrementally diminish at about a rate of one to two percent per year, so by the time a man reaches sixty testosterone decline becomes a key concern. An important point to remember is that men lose their testosterone over a 30 year period whereas women lose their sex hormones over a five year period, which can cause sudden, and in some cases, assertive symptoms. A man has more insidious symptoms and may realise that something is ‘not quite’ right, but he can’t figure out what. He is most likely totally unaware of the steady but slow decline in optimal hormonal function.   

Below the belt

Testosterone has always been linked to a ‘below the belt’ discussion for most men, but issues such as low libido and erectile dysfunction usually become apparent later on (after sixty). In actual fact, an array of hormonal changes, similar to a woman’s menopausal symptoms, happen before we see erectile problems evolve.

Symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, anxiety, concentration problems, fatigue, mood swings, depression, irritability, constipation, hair loss and baldness, and even weight gain. With decreasing proportions of testosterone we see more insulin resistance, and the ‘pot belly’ effect.

Risks to the heart

Men may suffer from aches and pains, increased and rapid heart rate, and other heart problems. Testosterone is a potent vasodilator*, as it is stimulates nitric oxide. With increased loss of testosterone, we will see high blood pressure and a gradual reduction in blood flow throughout the body, to such important organs as heart, brain and penis. In fact, declining and low testosterone levels are the greatest independent risk factor for coronary artery disease regardless of his family history, total cholesterol, and lifestyle habits, including smoking.    

Low libido and difficulty with erections can make life difficult, affecting not only their life but that of their family too. And of course, most men will certainly have urinary problems such as hesitancy – benign prostatic hypertrophy, an enlarged prostate gland, creating the inability to evacuate urine completely.

Both men and women have testosterone and oestrogens, only at different levels. Women have less testosterone to that of oestrogens, whereas men have more testosterone to that of oestrogens. When testosterone levels decline in men it creates an imbalance between this ratio – there will be more oestrogens to testosterone. This increasing proportion of oestrogens to testosterone increases blood clotting factors, and narrowing of the coronary arteries, leading to an increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. On the other hand, too little oestrogen(s) predispose men to bone fractures and osteoporosis. Balance is what is needed!       

Restore your body to optimal levels and avoid all the risks and symptoms of a hormonal imbalance.

*Vasodilators are agents that open (dilate) blood vessels. They work directly on the muscles in the walls of your arteries, preventing the muscles from tightening and the walls from narrowing.

Reasons not to follow the new guidelines for HRT

Fifty six articles and we’re still counting the number of articles proclaiming HRT to be safe based on the new NICE guidelines.

I am wondering how such information can be so ‘superficially’ pushed around to promote HRT for menopausal women, when there is no clear evidence that it does not cause cancer.

As previously discussed, the drug company-funded PR campaign to encourage HRT in October used an unpublished study to support its claims. The pharmaceutical / PR spin supporting wider prescribing of HRT in the UK used a study that is not valid. This particular study looked at body composition, and where women had accumulated fat, if they put on weight during their course of HRT, rather than cancer.

On the other hand, a major, and long-term study, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study in the US, along with the Million Women study in the UK, clearly demonstrates that the risks – breast and ovarian cancer, along with heart disease – greatly out weight any benefits synthetic HRT may offer.

Is HRT really worth the risk?

The WHI study clearly demonstrates that HRT does cause breast cancer, but does not produce the supposed benefits such as protection against cardiovascular disease (and actually increases CVD risk), stroke, or cognitive loss. Neither did it improve mood or sexual satisfaction – although it did help with hot flushes and night sweats – is it really worth the risk?

After only four years of taking Prempro (HRT) women showed a 26% increase in invasive breast cancer, and what is worse, the cancers that occurred in the 26% were slightly larger and more advanced, and were more likely to spread to nearby lymph nodes. Again, is it really worth it?

Who are they to say, “Go ahead dear, take HRT, your quality of life will be better.” It won’t! You might not have it anymore.

It’s our body!

It is our body, we are the only ones that can protect ourselves. We need a menopause mentor – someone that tells you the true facts. Lays it straight on the line.

More information on HRT Studies

No, HRT isn’t ‘harmless’ – there are risks as well as benefits, Cancer Research UK

Leading HRT experts not consulted over NHS menopause guidance, The Guardian

Beware ‘HRT is safe’ headlines

Please don’t ignore! HRT is dangerous and does cause breast cancer.

HRT manufacturers & the media

In October, the findings of unpublished research funded by Pfizer (manufacturers of HRT) were picked up by an unnamed account executive at the world’s 2nd largest PR company, Weber Shandwick.

Many of the UK newspapers, including, The Mirror, The Telegraph and The Guardian, reported that the study involved 80 women who took HRT and that the ‘women taking HRT were no more likely to develop breast cancer, heart disease or diabetes than any other women who did not take the treatment.’

Meanwhile, in the UK, Weber Shandwick released a survey funded by Mylan Pharmaceutical (who make HRT) stating 27 percent of 1,000 women surveyed stayed clear of HRT because of the health scare surrounding it.

Together, the unpublished Pfizer research and the Weber Shandwick survey made a big splash with the UK press where we saw bold headlines stating that HRT was safe.

Here is how the Daily Mail covered it, “Doctors said women can finally take HRT with confidence, after years of fear that it may cause serious side-effects.. NHS watchdog NICE is due to publish new advice next month, and is expected to order GPs to significantly expand the number of women they consider for the drug.”

Ridiculous coverage

The author of the Pfizer funded research, Lila Nachtigall, condemned the “ridiculous” coverage in the British press. She said the study had been about body composition, looking at where women accumulated fat if they put on weight during their course of HRT, and not cancer. She found it interesting that none had developed cancer, but “we made it very clear it was not a study. It was just an observation,” she said. See article quoting Lila Nachtigall, MD here.

Cancer fears remain

The Guardian, has now reported, the concerns and fears of scientists and cancer charities, including Prof Valerie Beral, who leads the Million Women study, and Cancer Research UK, who are deeply concerned that recent headlines are misleading.

“The study presenting a positive case for the use of HRT was by no means comprehensive, drawing on the experience of just 80 women who had been taking the drugs and had not suffered from cancer or any other side-effects. But the evidence that breast and ovarian cancer risks rise with HRT was the result of two far-reaching studies by the Women’s Health Initiative in the US and the Million Women study at Oxford, which is funded by the cancer charity.”

Professor Valerie Beral of Oxford University, runs one of the largest studies to look into HRT risks and can be heard discussing the findings on BBC’s Radio 4’s Today programme here (listen from 2 hours, 50 mins).

Changes to HRT guidance

Are the PR companies and media preparing us to to accept conventional HRT as a safe option for menopause? The new NICE guidelines will be published in November and will include recommendations based on the benefits and risks of treatment with HRT.

Do you agree with the Daily Mail? Will GP’s be ordered to significantly expand the number of women offered the drug?