Hormonal imbalances can occur at any age—before, during, or after menopause—and for a variety of reasons. While most hormone-related problems are associated with menopause, fluctuating hormonal levels can also cause a variety of other conditions, and for some women, the effects can be truly debilitating. What You Must Know About Women’s Hormones is a clear guide to the treatment of hormonal irregularities without the health risks associated with standard hormone replacement therapy.
This book is divided into three parts. Part I describes the body’s own hormones, looking at their functions and the problems that can occur if these hormones are not at optimal levels. Part II focuses on the most common problems that arise from hormonal imbalances, such as PMS, hot flashes, and endometriosis. Lastly, Part III details hormone replacement therapy, focusing on the difference between natural and synthetic hormone treatments.
Whether you are looking for help with menopausal symptoms or you simply want to enjoy vibrant health, What You Must Know About Women’s Hormones can make a profound difference in your life.
Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH, is a diplomate of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Physicians and director of the Master's Program in Medical Sciences, with a concentration in Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine, at the University of South Florida School of Medicine. An authority on the subjects of wellness and anti-aging, Dr. Smith is also director of the Fellowship in Anti-Aging, Regenerative, and Functional Medicine. Currently, she is the owner and director of the Center for Healthy Living, with locations in Michigan and Florida. Dr. Smith is also the best-selling author of What You Must Know About Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & More and What You Must Know About Women’s Hormones.
Part I: Hormones
Part II: Ailments and Problems
C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Toxicity
Cervical Dysplasia (Abnormal Pap Smear)
Coronary Artery Disease
Diethylstilbestrol (DES) Babies
Fibrocystic Breast Disease
High Blood Pressure
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Irregular Menstrual Cycles
Low Blood Sugar
Painful Menstrual Cycles
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Premature Ovarian Decline (POD)
Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Vitamin C Deficiency
Vitamin D Deficiency
Part III: Hormone Replacement Therapy
What is HRT?
Hormonal Testing Methods
Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs)
Birth Control Pills
Nutrition and HRT
About the Author
How would you like to live to be 100 years old? Well, perhaps you can. We now have the scientific means to help you live to be at least 100 years of age, if not older. However, in order to live to that age, you need to be hormonally and nutritionally sound. I hope that my book will help you to achieve this. It was written to provide you with the hormonal aspects of staying healthy, along with a few nutritional aspects.
All the hormones in the body are a symphony. Much like an orchestra must play in tune, your hormonal symphony must be in tune throughout your life in order for you to have optimal health. Hormonal dysfunction can occur at any age—it is not exclusive to older people. For example, if you have PMS, postpartum depression, fibroids, or fibrocystic breast disease, there is a good chance that your progesterone-to-estrogen ratio is too low.
Treatment for these kinds of ailments (or any hormonal abnormality, for that matter) may involve hormone replacement therapy (HRT). In the past, no matter what the symptoms or hormonal levels were, every woman would receive the same one-size-fits-all treatment. Today, things are different.
This brings me to my second reason for writing this book: to herald a new age in medicine. With the completion of the Genome Project, a thirteen-year study completed in 2003 that was designed to identify the over 20,000 genes in human DNA, we now have the medical capability to develop and customize a treatment plan for each patient.
Medicine is at a crossroads. Now, instead of just treating the symptoms of a disease, a new model of medicine is emerging that looks at the cause of the problem. For example: why might a person suffer from depression? Antidepressants are wonderful medications—if you need them. Their purpose is to treat the symptoms of depression—not to uncover the cause of depression. In the new specialty of Metabolic/Anti-Aging Medicine, the reason why a person has depression would be looked at. Depression may be a symptom of hypothyroidism, which is low thyroid function. Or, it may be a result of the sufferer’s body no longer making enough estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone. There are many different factors that can cause depression, and Metabolic/Anti-Aging Medicine aims to find and alleviate the cause instead of just treating the various symptoms. Just because two people are suffering the same symptoms does not mean they should receive the same treatment. Metabolic/Anti-Aging Medicine recognizes this and treats patients accordingly. To find a Metabolic/Anti-Aging specialist, see the Resources section.
The pages of this text will explore the intricate web of your body’s hormonal system, tying together my reasons for writing the book by explaining the hormonal aspects of staying healthy and examining how individualized HRT can prevent some ailments from occurring.
Part I of the text looks at the different hormones in your body, their functions, and the different side effects that can occur if these hormones are not at optimal levels. Additionally, the importance of hormonal levels and the ratio between them will be revealed. You will also learn the different etiologies that can cause hormonal imbalances, which may help you eliminate a problem before it gets too serious. The correct levels of all of your hormones are needed for you to achieve optimal health.
I have organized Part I, the hormones, in the order I felt would be most useful to women. While the order of importance for every woman may be different, understanding each hormone is key.
Part II focuses on the most common ailments and problems that arise from hormonal imbalances, such as perimenopause and menopause, PMS, postpartum depression, and endometriosis, to name a few. You’ll learn that even diseases that seemingly have nothing to do with hormones—like heart disease and osteoporosis—can be affected by a hormonal imbalance. Keeping your hormones at optimal levels is beneficial in preventing an array of ailments, even the ones you wouldn’t suspect.
Part III focuses on HRT. You’ll learn the difference between synthetic and natural HRT, and how to get started should you decide HRT is the option for you. Different ways to have your hormone levels measured are discussed, along with a few different examples of HRT. Finally, you will learn how proper nutrition can benefit and boost the effects of HRT.
Fortunately, we do not have to suffer in silence like our mothers did! Science can help us. Not only can we have our symptoms resolved, but we now have a better chance of helping maintain our vision, memory, and mobility. This is not “Star Trek” medicine. It is here and available now. You too can have individualized and customized care. This book will help you discover how.