Why is Estradiol So Important to the Body?
In this blog, we will talk about estradiol, which is the most important estrogen in your body. As women get older, they often long to feel like they did when they were younger. Common complaints include weight gain, increased aches and pains, and hot flashes. Fatigue and lack of energy are other symptoms and are often caused by poor sleep. Thoughts of sex may be a bygone memory and the intimacy once shared with a beloved partner may have diminished. If this sounds like you, you may be experiencing symptoms of hormonal decline. Do you want to have more energy, more stamina, improved sex life, and a better sense of well-being? Bio-identical hormones may be just what you are looking for.
What does the estradiol hormone do for our bodies?
Women and men have the following hormones in their bodies (yes, both women and men have these): testosterone, estradiol, thyroid, and DHEA as well as many others. Estradiol is produced by the ovaries, adrenal glands, and visceral fat (the fat around the organs of your abdomen). It is one of the most important hormones for the female body and is also very important for men. Studies demonstrate that post-menopausal women who have optimized levels of estradiol demonstrate decreased levels of cortisol. Cortisol is inflammatory which contributes to aches and pains. Having an optimal level of estradiol in your body will help you feel better and decrease risks for diseases like heart disease (the number one cause of death in women) osteoporosis and other hormonal symptoms.
What are bio-identical hormones?
Some hormones are commercially available, created by drug companies using synthetic (man-made) materials. They are chemically and structurally different than what our bodies make. These synthetic hormones are widely used in the United States by clinicians. Insurance covers them BUT, there are studies that demonstrate that these synthetic hormones can be harmful to our bodies including increasing the risks of cancer, heart disease and stroke. Bio-identical hormones, however, are chemically the very same molecular structure as what our bodies naturally make. There are NO studies that show that bio-identical hormones cause any increase in heart disease, including stroke or cancer yet “big pharma” wants us to continue to use synthetically made products that increase risks. Many health care providers are not aware of the wonderful safety profile of bio-identical hormones.
What do the studies show about hormone therapy?
There is a lot of information about hormones in the literature but also quite a bit of misinformation. Some experts report they cause cancer and increase risks of heart disease; however, others say hormones are beneficial. Long-term randomized control studies, like the Elite Trial, published in 2020, demonstrated that estradiol reduced the risk of heart disease. In fact, the earlier estradiol is started, the better the benefits.
Have you ever heard of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI)? It was a large NIH sponsored study that studied hormone replacement therapy in women. The study used the synthetic hormones Premarin (a synthetic estradiol) and Provera (a synthetic progesterone called progestin) and evaluated the effects of those hormones on women. Investigators noted that women receiving the combined synthetic drugs PremPro (Premarin and Provera) as well as the Provera only group had increased rates of breast cancer and recommended ending the study. However, one of the investigators noted the women in the Premarin only group had a 33% decline in coronary artery disease but did increase breast cancer after 10 years. The beneficial effects were even better when starting therapy within ten years of menopause.
Who should consider getting estradiol as part of optimal health?
Women who have gone through menopause, either naturally or surgically, benefit from the use of estradiol. Remember, our office never uses synthetic hormones. The estradiol we use is bio-identical which has literature to back up the benefits to our female bodies.
Benefits of bio-identical estradiol:
- Decreased risk of…
- Heart disease and stroke
- Breast cancer
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cognitive impairment (dementia)
- Memory loss
- Visceral fat (fat around our internal organs)
- Decreased vaginal atrophy, urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections
- Improvement in…
- Bone density
- Balance, preventing falls and fractures
Frequently Asked Questions
- What if I have had a hysterectomy and my ovaries have been removed?
- Estradiol is beneficial to you. In fact, studies show an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in those women who are NOT treated with estradiol.
- How long should you continue to get hormone replacement?
- Everybody’s life circumstances are different, but most people can continue to have bio-identical hormone replacement for as long as they are able.
- What happens if you stop bio-identical hormones?
- You will lose the benefits of them and again feel how you felt before you started therapy.
What can Hormone Therapy do for you?
At Your Wellness Center, we take a holistic approach to your care. We work with you to help you optimize your health as you get older. We don’t just look at your lab results; we discuss how you are feeling and then mutually develop a plan that will treat your symptoms and hormonal imbalances. Your Wellness Center only uses bio-identical hormones, not synthetic hormones. Remember, bio-identical hormones have the same chemical structure as what your body makes. The use of these optimizes hormone levels you had when you were younger and more vibrant. The bio-identical hormones we use are compounded by a specialty pharmacy using only natural ingredients.
If you are interested in learning more about what your hormone levels are and are considering optimizing your levels to help alleviate your symptoms, fill out our initial consultation form and we’ll be in touch to get you scheduled.