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Tired of suffering from weight gain, dry skin, hot flashes, mood swings, and even vaginal dryness? Symptoms of menopause can not only cause irritability and discomfort- as we age and our hormones begin to fade, our health, vitality, and skin quality begin to decline.

But there is a safe and effective way to reverse hormone loss as we get older. Dr. Erika Schwartz, a leading national expert in the fields of natural hormone therapies, anti-aging, and disease prevention, recommends bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to take control of how you look and feel as you age. She says that while we can exercise, eat the right diet, and take supplements to address the health risks of aging, we won’t make any real progress until we understand the importance of balancing our hormones.

Unfortunately, many doctors still don’t fully understand and are skeptical of the role of hormones in disease prevention and wellness. A study by the National Institutes of Health in the 1990s found that synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was harmful to women, leading the NIH to state that HRT could be dangerous. But, as Dr. Schwartz points out, synthetic hormones that are not recognized by the body are very different from bioidentical hormones, that act like hormones our ovaries naturally produce. And when our hormones are balanced, we don’t need to diet excessively to manage creeping weight gain, take sleeping pills, or resign ourselves to a decline in cognitive function as we age. Instead, we can turn to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to look and feel 20 years younger.

Bioidentical hormone therapy is often called “natural hormone therapy” because bioidentical hormones mimic hormones our bodies naturally produce. Bioidentical estrogen and progesterone are pharmaceutically made from a plant chemical extracted from yams and soy and can be found in drugstores or prescribed by your doctor, who can order them from specialized compounding pharmacies and formulated for your individual needs. While bioidentical hormones have been shown in trials to relieve menopausal symptoms and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis, hormones from compounding pharmacies haven’t yet been tested in clinical trials, leading some medical experts to remain skeptical in prescribing them. Other experts, including Dr. Schwartz, continue prescribing bioidentical hormones based on the fact that no study has ever shown them to be dangerous and they help women feel great while protecting them from age-related diseases.

Wondering if bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is right for you? Talk to your doctor if you’re over 50 and experiencing:

  • Wrinkles
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes
  • Weight gain
  • Low sex drive
  • Urinary tract infections

If you decide to try bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, find a doctor who is experienced and knowledgable about the role hormones play in healthy aging. You can take control of your health as you get older by replenishing hormones to keep your energy levels up, weight in check, a healthy sex drive, and even protect your bones and heart from disease.

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