Most women beginning in their mid-to-late 40s can identify with this image. These are the all-too-familiar hot flashes that accompany mid-life transitional changes for most women. And while this is a very common phenomenon that is perfectly normal given the physiologic and hormonal changes taking place, any woman losing sleep and suffering with excessive hot flashes, changing menstrual cycles and an emotional roller coaster can tell you that normal doesn’t make it nominal. But the additional symptoms that accompany perimenopause and the options for dealing with them can be confusing territory to understand and navigate.
Being able to collect appropriate hormone-based history, family history, current symptoms and concerns is important in taking the next step to determine what testing may be needed and ascertaining whether treatment is warranted. Hormones can be assessed most commonly via either bloodwork or saliva collection. Finding a doctor who is knowledgeable about hormones makes this whole process much easier. Being a doctor who has helped many women find some relief from hormonal imbalance has been an extremely rewarding part of my practice.
When hormone replacement is reasonable and beneficial, bioidentical hormones are really the best option. Bioidentical hormones are derived from natural plant-based hormones that are biochemically the MOST like our own endogenous hormones, rather than the synthetic hormones that are chemically altered and sometimes many times more potent than our OWN endogenous hormones. These bioidentical hormones can be dose-adjusted to individual levels and symptom-control, rather than a 1-dose-fits-all. This allows us to use the lowest possible dose that controls symptoms, thereby limiting other potential consequences from overly aggressive hormone replacement. Does every woman need hormone replacement to get thru menopause? Certainly not. But if you find yourself struggling with questions navigating perimenopause, you are not alone and we would love to help.
Dr. Jackie Hone has made women’s health and bioidentical hormones a part of her practice for the last 8 years and has gained valuable insight and experience in this area of medicine. She is accepting new patients through the DPC practice structure for hormonal consultation or evaluation. Feel free to bring your hormonal questions or refer friends or family struggling thru this transition.