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Natural Awakenings Hudson County NJ

Hormone Replacement Therapy

At some point, most women and many men have physical and/or cognitive/emotional symptoms that lead them to consider using hormone replacement as a solution. There are many variables to consider, and though there may be no objective right or wrong answers to some questions, it is important to consider these variables in making the best possible choices as to how to use hormones, or even whether to use them.

Our hormones work together as a group, in what some physicians call a “concert”. If someone is replacing estrogen or testosterone, simply using these treatments alone without testing the rest of the hormones that participate in this concert is to ignore how the body truly functions. The basic group to be considered includes estradiol (or perhaps the full spectrum of multiple types of estrogen), progesterone, DHEA/DHEA-S, testosterone, pregnenolone, (the so-called “mother hormone” to the others), HGH (human growth hormone), a full set of thyroid hormones (including “T3”) and cortisol.

Although men may think only of using testosterone alone, it is essential that their estrogen levels are checked to make sure that their low testosterone is not in some part a result of testosterone converting excessively to estrogen. If it is, this process can be blocked and corrected. Not only does this raise testosterone levels, often considerably, but it lowers estrogen levels, a major factor in causing prostate cancer. Men sometimes even need to take progesterone, not a lot, but a little; so all hormones must be investigated.

By the same token, not only do women usually benefit from the use of estrogen and progesterone at some point, but often need androgens, or male-style hormones like DHEA and testosterone to provide immune strength, heart strength, muscular strength and bone support, as well as supporting healthy libido. High androgen levels can cause undesirable effects in women such as hair loss on the scalp, facial and body hair, excessive musculature, acne, irritability and even masculinization of facial features. As with so many things, the right amount is essential, and too much is too much.

Hormones are far from a one-size-fits-all affair. When formulas are prescribed or changed, they should be carefully monitored with lab tests and tailored to each individual. Specialized compounding pharmacies are able to create customized formulas that are geared uniquely to patient needs. A prescribing physician should be able to recommend a pharmacist that can do the work. It is nearly impossible to target patient needs accurately and comprehensively sticking strictly with products available at standard pharmacies.

Other considerations include the difference between traditional and compounded hormones; when it is time to start hormones and when should they be stopped; whether bioidentical hormones are natural, and why they are they called bioidentical; if hormones safe; what the best practices are to use them most safely; what the best delivery system is for hormones (pellets, shot, cream or oral) and why; and what the various options for hormone protocols are.

Since her mentorship with Dr. Robert Atkins, Dr. Robin Ellen Leder has provided functional/holistic medical care to thousands of patients at her Hackensack office. She has taken numerous courses in the safe and effective use of bioidentical hormones to achieve long term health and well-being. Each of her patients is evaluated individually, and ultimately decisions are made by doctor and patient working as a team. For more information, visit

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