Can You Turn Back Time with Hormones?
Apr 09, 2011 03:47PM
● By Peter Holyk, MD, CNS
The subject of “Anti-Aging” has been prominent in the media recently. Clearly it is a subject that is of great interest to the “Aging Baby Boomer” generation, yet it is anything but simple. Aging and its symptoms stem from a wide variety of causes, one of which is our hormones.
Growth Hormone production in the human body declines with aging. The pituitary gland in the brain is responsible for the production of Growth Hormone, and it decreases output while we are still in our 20’s. Over the years the availability of Growth Hormone increased through the magic of gene-splicing. As availability increased, the once-strict guidelines that dictated Growth Hormone was only available to those with “Growth Hormone Production Deficiency” (such as dwarfs) have been relaxed. Growth Hormone has become available to many who seek to utilize this hormone to “slow the hands of time”
Many have now realized that it is not the decrease of this one hormone that is the sole problem. As a result, the field of expertise for hormone replacement that includes other “sex” hormones has grown. These hormones include testosterone, progesterone, and a variety of estrogens. However, the number of hormones that sometimes need to be addressed can be much broader.
As people have become aware of hormone decline and the numbers of people facing these declines has increased, demand has skyrocketed. Attempts have been made to make up this shortfall with synthetic hormones. Over time (years and decades) we have seen a growing number of side effects arise from the synthetics. Those of us who have worked with Human Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy have not seen the side effects, but we have also learned how finely balanced the hormones must be to have the maximum positive effect. Great care in balancing hormones will help to reduce or even prevent the outcropping at a later date of unwanted effects.
Hot Flashes are typically an imbalance of temperature regulation and the “dumping” of excess heat through the body’s cooling mechanism – perspiration. The “simple magical cure” introduced in the 1960’s was Premarin – synthetic estrogen, which has emerged as an unsafe approach for many women. About the same time Dr. John Lee in California began advocating the practice of giving Progesterone, sometimes in very large amounts, to women. Many began to follow this idea of hormone replacement. The demand for progesterone became so great that a large number of sources became available. Many of these sources had poor quality control. Products were being sold over the counter with little rationale for dosing other than symptom control. This practice still continues today. Frequently herbal remedies with no regulation at all were used. These dosing-control issues made the proper regulation of the progesterone level difficult. Even under better situations, levels before treatment were not tested, and nor where they tested after treatment.
More recently, when it was discovered that some breast cancers had receptors for progesterone (making them more likely to grow more rapidly in a high progesterone environment) the dangers of this situation became more evident. In the 1980’s Dr. Jonathan Wright pioneered the replacement of multiple sex hormones including estrogenic fractions, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA. Since then, the process of hormone replacement therapy has evolved even further. He reasoned that our Creator had blessed us with multiple different hormones, so how could it be better to focus on simply one hormone, be it “Estrogen” or Progesterone. He also showed that “Estrogen” was not merely one hormone, but a large group of hormones.
Few people realize that the symptom “Hot Flashes” can actually be the imbalance of a number of hormones including Estradiole, Estrone, Epinephrine, Follicle Stimulating Hormone, and Cortisol. So, sometimes simple “estrogen replacement” alone (with synthetic hormones, or even Human Bio-Identical Hormones) is not enough. Herbal supplementation to “increase estrogen effects” alone is not enough (e.g. Soy). So the number one key is balance. Those who utilize Human Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy make a great effort to re-approximate the hormonal environment of a younger time in our lives, helping us with just one of the components to anti-aging.
To learn more about anti-aging attend the Healthy Living Expo in Melbourne (www.HealthyLivingExpos.com ) to hear Dr. Peter Holyk discuss this topic further. Dr. Holyk is the medical director of Contemporary Health Innovations (CHI) located at 600 Schumann Dr. in Sebastian. He has practiced at CHI since 1997 using a variety of natural health techniques. Rather than treating merely symptoms, he embarks on a problem solving journey to expose the root causes of your illness. For more information or appointments call 772-388-5554.