The 3 Best Anti-Ageing Skincare Treatments To Prevent And Reverse The Signs Of Ageing Skin

Posted by Agnes Lussier-Dow NP-PHC on 27 July 2021
The 3 Best Anti-Ageing Skincare Treatments To Prevent And Reverse The Signs Of Ageing Skin

Healthy Skin Is An Important Part Of Ageing With Confidence.

When you look in the mirror, chances are one of the first things you notice is the appearance of your skin. This is the case for most people and especially for ageing women. Feeling good in your skin is an important part of how you show up in the world.

Caring for your skin as you age is especially important for your self-confidence and overall wellbeing. Research has shown that feeling uncomfortable with the appearance of your skin due to signs of ageing and other conditions can affect your personal relationships and even promote social withdrawal. Therefore, investing in your skincare routine to ensure you feel confident and comfortable in your appearance is well worth your time and energy.

When you have healthy skin you are more likely to feel confident and like your best self.

Woman looking at herself in the mirror.

What Causes The Skin To Show Signs Of Ageing?

As you get older, it is only natural to see changes in your skin. This happens for a variety of physiological, hormonal and environmental reasons. For example:

  • Ageing skin experiences a decline in collagen production which reduces the skin's elasticity.
  • Cellular repair naturally slows with age which means older, dull skin cells linger on the surface longer. It can also contribute to the often thin appearance of older skin.
  • External factors like sun damage can cause "age spots" (areas of skin with a higher concentration of melanin) to form
  • Environmental toxins can also contribute to visible signs of ageing on the skin by reducing collagen and causing inflammation.
  • Your lifestyle affects the appearance and health of your skin. Factors like the quality of your sleep, your stress levels and your diet all have a role to play in maintaining healthy, youthful skin.

While these various factors may cause signs of age to appear in many different ways, fine lines, wrinkles, loss of volume and loose skin are among the most common signs of ageing that affect mature skin.

How Can You Support Healthy, Youthful Skin?

Ageing is a natural process and changes to your skin cannot be completely avoided. However, there are ways you can support the health and appearance of your ageing skin.

  • Protect your skin from the sun by wearing high-quality sunscreen daily.
  • Drink plenty of water. Hydration is an important part of cellular creation and repair and helps to maintain collagen.
  • Eat a nutritious and varied diet. The vitamins and minerals obtained through food are the building blocks of healthy, radiant skin.
  • Use toxin-free soaps, moisturizers and facial care products. The fewer chemicals you have on your skin, the better.

While these lifestyle choices will certainly help to prevent premature signs of ageing and help to maintain the overall health of your skin, reversing the signs of ageing can require a more active approach.

Woman receiving an anti-ageing skincare treatment injection in the forehead.

Anti-Ageing Skincare Treatments To Prevent And Reduce The Signs Of Ageing

If you have already started to notice the signs of ageing on your skin, don't worry. There is always time to act and support healthier more radiant skin. Taking care of your skin, lifestyle, nutrition and hydration are all helpful practices for healthy, youthful skin but sometimes you need to take a more active approach to see the results you are looking for. Fortunately, there are many non-surgical treatment options to help address different signs of ageing as they appear on maturing skin.

Mesotherapy

Mesotherapy is a minimally invasive skin treatment that rejuvenates, tightens and brightens your skin with micro-injections of vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, and plant extracts. The formulation used on your skin will be created specifically to address your needs. Mesotherapy can help refresh and nourish your skin by:

  • fading wrinkles and lines
  • tightening loose skin
  • lightening pigmented skin
The treatments are quick and typically take 30 minutes to complete and recovery involves little to no downtime.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatments

PRP Therapy is an effective treatment option to address the signs of ageing. PRP treatments involve collecting 15 ml of your own blood, separating the platelets, and other beneficial growth factors from the whole blood and then injecting the highly concentrated platelets into the affected areas.


By stimulating your body's natural production of collagen and cellular repair, PRP facial rejuvenation helps to tighten, smooth and improve skin tone. It is a great treatment for acne scars, ageing spots, fine lines, sun-damaged skin, and under-eye rejuvenation.

Neuromodulators

Neuromodulators are injectable drugs that relax and soften your skin by relaxing facial muscles from contracting. They are commonly used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and to refresh and rejuvenate the face. Here at NP Optimal Health and Wellness, we have a variety of neuromodulators available including Botox, Dysport, Xeomin and Nuceiva. Of these, Dysport and Xeomin are known for yielding results more quickly than others - sometimes in as little as 3 days! They are safe, effective and a great option for addressing the signs of ageing.

Whether you invest in mesotherapy, PRP treatments or neuromodulators, there is a skincare treatment option available that will help you to slow or even reverse the signs of ageing on your skin.

Investing In Skin Care Is An Investment In Your Best Life.

How you feel about your skin affects how you feel about yourself in much bigger ways. Putting your best face forward increases your confidence and helps you to live a balanced and joyful life. Ageing skin is inevitable, however, ageing skin doesn't have to look old! With a good skincare routine, healthy lifestyle choices and the help of anti-ageing skincare treatments like mesotherapy, PRP and neuromodulators you can prevent and reduce the signs of ageing on your skin and present a fresh and rejuvenated face to the world. To learn more about anti-ageing skincare treatments here in Peterborough, contact the NP Optimal Health & Wellness clinic today.

Posted in:Skin CarePRPAgeing SkinMesotherapy  

Summer Skincare: Make Your Skin Beautiful From The Inside Out By Prioritizing Hydration and Nutrition

Posted by Agnes Lussier-Dow NP-PHC on 16 June 2021
Summer Skincare: Make Your Skin Beautiful From The Inside Out By Prioritizing Hydration and Nutrition

Skin Care Is Especially Important In The Summer.

The summer sun can give your skin that fresh sun-kissed glow, but the effects of UV rays and dehydration may not be worth it. The sun's heat can dry out and burn your skin as well as deplete its supply of natural lubricating oils. In short, too much sun can cause very real damage to your skin including reduced elasticity, premature signs of ageing and even skin cancer. While sunscreen forms a protective barrier on the skin and reduces its exposure to harmful UV rays, it isn't enough on its own to achieve and maintain healthy, beautiful skin - that happens from the inside out and starts with two very important elements: hydration and nutrition.
 

Plenty Of H2O Gives Your Skin A Healthy Glow.

Staying properly hydrated is not only important for your overall health and wellness, it is an important part of skincare, too. This makes sense when you consider that your body is made of up to 60% water. Staying hydrated contributes to healthy, radiant skin in two significant ways:

Improving Your Skin's Elasticity: Water is one of the key components of collagen and, as you may know, collagen is one of the primary contributors to your skin's elasticity. Unfortunately, as skin ages or when it is damaged by too much sun exposure, collagen production can slow down. Drinking plenty of water helps to restore your skin's elasticity and gives it a fresh, healthy appearance.

Helping To Flush Skin-Dulling Toxins: Whether you know it or not, you are exposed to hundreds of toxins on a daily basis. Your body has systems in place to eliminate these toxins and water plays a significant role in all of them.
 

How Much Water Is Enough?

For the average adult woman, drinking a total of about 2.5 litres of water daily is recommended for optimal hydration. While you will get as much as 20% of that total amount from the food you eat, the rest comes from drinks so make sure to fill up those water bottles throughout your day.

 

Two glasses being filled with water on a wooden table in the summer sun.
 

IV Therapy For Hydration And Summer Skincare

If you struggle to drink your daily 8 glasses of water, you're not alone. In the summer, when you may need a few extra glasses, staying properly hydrated can seem especially challenging. IV Therapy is a wonderful option for giving yourself a hydration boost - and more!

IV Therapy was originally used in hospitals to deliver fluids and medications to the very sick. However, approximately 50 years ago the use of IV Therapy began to evolve with the creation of the "Myers Cocktail", an intravenous solution created by physician John Myers, that was used to treat health conditions like fatigue, infections, and depression. Today, IV Therapy infusions not only provide you with a significant boost in hydration, but they can also offer different combinations of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
 

Radiance: An Optimal IV Infusion For Healthy Skin

In my practice, we use a selection of IV solutions created by the team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and chemists at Farsk Health Canada. One of the IV infusions that is particularly effective for skincare is called Radiance. Radiance is formulated to include key components such as Vitamin E, D, B's, amino acid, selenium, zinc, glycine and proline and was developed to assist in improving dull skin, hyperpigmentation, issues with skin texture, acne and to reduce the signs of ageing.
 

Nutrition Has A Direct Impact Of The Condition Of Your Skin.

IV Therapy is the perfect example of how hydration and nutrition go hand in hand to create healthy, beautiful skin. By providing the cells with adequate water and nutrients they can thrive. The connection between nutrition and the condition of a person's skin is nothing new. It has been studied and observed by present-day scientists as well as ancient civilizations. 

When it comes to the health and appearance of your skin, Vitamin C, also named L-ascorbic acid, is of particular interest. Vitamin C plays a significant role in "stimulating collagen synthesis and assisting in antioxidant protection against UV-induced photodamage." This is why it is common to see Vitamin C added to topical face creams and serums, however, evidence suggests that getting enough Vitamin C through your diet is actually a more effective way of helping your skin become and remain healthy and refreshed. The following chart shows a variety of foods that are particularly rich in Vitamin C.

 

Graphic listing foods rich in Vitamin C

 

Applying Vitamins And More Directly To The Skin With Mesotherapy

Developed in 1952 by Michel Pistor, a doctor in France, Mesotherapy is a rejuvenation technique that uses micro-injections of vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, and plant extracts to rejuvenate and tighten the skin, among other things. The solution used in your treatment is formulated specifically for you to address your skin conditions. Mesotherapy is most commonly requested by clients looking to refresh and rejuvenate their skin by:

  • fading wrinkles and lines
  • tightening loose skin
  • lightening pigmented skin

Because mesotherapy allows for active ingredients to be deposited directly into the lower layers of your skin, it is very successful in correcting skin damage caused by underlying issues like poor circulation and inflammation.

Eating Well And Drinking Plenty Of Water Should Be Part Of Your Summer Skincare Routine

Wearing sunscreen and using high-quality, toxin-free skincare products is still an important part of summer skincare but, if you are looking to prioritize healthy skin this summer, you can start from the inside out by prioritizing hydration and nutrition. Eat the rainbow, focus on incorporating foods high in Vitamin C, and ensure you are getting enough water - especially on those hot days. If hydration and nutrition are tricky for you to manage through diet alone, consider giving your skin a summer boost with an IV Therapy or mesotherapy treatment.


Hydration and nutrition are two core building blocks of achieving healthy, radiant skin this summer. Are you looking for a boost to get that healthy, summer glow? Contact me today.

Posted in:IV TherapySeasonal HealthSkin Care  

Do You Have A Thyroid Problem? A Closer Look At A Small Gland With A Big Role To Play In Your Health

Posted by Agnes Lussier-Dow NP-PHC on 28 May 2021
Do You Have A Thyroid Problem? A Closer Look At A Small Gland With A Big Role To Play In Your Health

What Is The Thyroid?

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland situated at the base of your neck, just under the skin. Your thyroid gland secretes a metabolic hormone (often simply called thyroid hormone) that plays a significant role in a wide range of systems in your body, right down to the cellular level. Though often overlooked when diagnosing health issues, thyroid problems can be a key driver, trigger or root cause for many other states of disease and dysfunction in the body.

What The Thyroid's Role In The Body?

Despite its small size, the thyroid gland is critically important to your overall physical and emotional health and wellness. Not only does the thyroid control your body's metabolism (in partnership with cortisol) thyroid hormones influence the speed of everything metabolic in the body - including how your cells utilize energy.

Your thyroid hormone and its relationship to other hormones in the body affect your:

  • Weight
  • Body Temperature
  • Skin
  • Cholesterol
  • GI Function
  • Immune Function
  • Heart Function
  • Menstruation (including PMS)
  • Sex Drive
  • Fertility
  • Mood, and more

From your body temperature to your cerebral function, your thyroid has a hand in virtually every system in your body. So, as you can imagine, when you have a thyroid problem you can experience any number of symptoms and conditions.

Model of a thyroid gland on a blue background

Too Much Or Too Little: Common Symptoms Of A Thyroid Problem.

A healthy thyroid gland will produce a balanced amount of thyroid hormone. Too much or too little hormone can negatively affect your overall health and create more general hormone imbalances. In either case, too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism), a variety of symptoms and conditions can manifest.

Some of the most common symptoms of a thyroid condition are as follows:

  • Slowed (hypo) or high (hyper) metabolism
  • Weight gain (hypo) or weight loss (hyper)
  • Frequent (hypo) or scant (hyper) periods
  • PCOS (hypo)
  • Intolerance to cold (hypo) or heat sensitivity (hyper)
  • Fatigue (hypo) or irritability/nervousness (hyper)

Hypothyroidism is a common, under-diagnosed and under-treated thyroid condition.

Unfortunately, an under-performing thyroid is all too commonly missed or ignored in traditional western medicine despite the fact that it affects many millions of people - especially women. Low thyroid function can be caused by a range of factors. These include poor diet, low iodine, and even environmental toxins.

Hypothyroidism can also be the result of an autoimmune dynamic. When this occurs it is called Hashimoto's disease or thyroiditis. In this case, the immune system itself is negatively affecting thyroid function, causing low hormone production and resulting in an ongoing imbalance in the body. Often food sensitivities, microbial imbalances in the gut, intestinal permeability and even nutrient deficiencies are at the root of this type of thyroid problem.

How Do You Know You Have A Thyroid Problem?

The short answer is thyroid problems are diagnosed by testing hormone levels. As we established above, the thyroid gland produces a hormone commonly referred to as thyroid hormones. But, let's take a closer look because, as you might have guessed, it is a little bit more complex than that.

The thyroid is responsible for using iodine and protein from our diet to create thyroid hormones (especially T4). Our tissues then convert that T4 into the powerful metabolic hormone T3. This is critical because every cell in your body relies on thyroid hormones for the regulation of its metabolism.

Often, physicians are only willing to test for TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone). This is a "ballpark" approach to assessing the health of your thyroid and, in my opinion, TSH testing alone is not enough.

To get a real understanding of thyroid function at a cellular level, it's critical to measure levels of T3 thyroid hormone. Unfortunately, it can be a challenge to persuade your physician to support you in ordering a complete thyroid panel that includes TSH, Free T4, Total T3, Free T3, Reverse T3, and both thyroid auto-antibodies TPO and Tg. But, pushing for this complete hormone assessment is worth it. By measuring all of these thyroid hormone components your health care provider can learn not only how much (or little) hormone is being produced, but how much is actually available for use on a cellular level.

Once testing has been done, and you know whether your symptoms are the result of a thyroid condition, you can begin to take steps to restore function and balance.

Blue gloved hand holding a vial of blood over paper work that indicates testing for thyroid hormones

Bringing Your Thyroid Back Into Balance: Lifestyle, Nutrition and Treatment.

Whether you are working to resolve hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, making changes to your lifestyle and diet is always a good place to start.

Lifestyle Changes

Reducing stress as much as possible helps to keep cortisol levels in check. This is important because high levels of glucocorticoids (such as cortisol) lower the levels of TSH in the blood and can suppress the immune system which has a direct effect on thyroid function. Some simple and effective ways to help reduce your stress levels include:


Dietary Changes

A fully balanced whole foods diet is key for a healthy thyroid. Many people struggling with thyroid problems, especially those who have an autoimmune thyroid condition, see real changes to their symptoms by making dietary changes. Paying attention to foods that cause inflammation, immune hyper-reactivity or that aggravate intestinal permeability are especially helpful. For many people that means reducing or eliminating gluten and dairy from your diet.

Try to incorporate the following types of foods in your diet regularly if you can:

  • Sea vegetables (edible seaweed)
  • Seafood (especially anything with a pink colour)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Quality sources of protein and iron in diverse forms including fish, poultry, eggs and - if you do well with them - beef and organ meats
  • Unfermented soy products in moderation
  • Lightly cooked cruciferous vegetables (as opposed to raw)
  • Lots of water

 

BHRT Treatment

Biological Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is an effective treatment option for restoring balance to your hormone levels and helping improve your thyroid function. After assessing your specific hormone levels, a customized BHRT formula can be created to supplement a wide range of male and female sex hormones as well as adrenal, pituitary, and thyroid hormones. By taking a "big picture" approach and asking the questions to discover the root causes of your thyroid condition, BHRT can help you to heal.

Treating A Thyroid Problem Is Possible.

The thyroid is a small but important gland closely linked to your overall hormonal health. Its function - or disfunction - can affect you at every level. Traditional western medicine has too often overlooked the importance of thyroid health and hormones when diagnosing and treating other conditions and states of disease - especially in the case of women. Fortunately, through changes to your lifestyle and diet, significant improvement can be made to many of the symptoms caused by a thyroid problem. Likewise, hormone treatments like BHRT offer another avenue of healing for the thyroid.

If you would like to delve deeper into your symptoms and discover if they are connected to a thyroid condition, contact us today. Together we can bring you back into balance and set you on the path to optimal health and wellness.

Posted in:women's healthBHRThormonesThyroid  

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP): The Natural Skin Tightening Treatment You'll Love To Reduce Loose Skin And Dark Circles

Posted by Agnes Lussier-Dow NP-PHC on 28 April 2021
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP): The Natural Skin Tightening Treatment You'll Love To Reduce Loose Skin And Dark Circles

Feeling Confident In Your Skin Is An Important Part Of Ageing Well

As you age your body changes. Systems slow down and your body's ability to restore and heal itself is affected on a cellular level. For many women, some of the first noticeable signs of ageing are changes to the skin - dark circles under the eyes and loose skin on the neck and jawline being two of the most commonly reported changes. If these physical signs of ageing are causing you to feel uncomfortable or self-conscious about your appearance then they are detracting from your overall health and wellness. How you feel matters. For optimal wellness, you need to consider the body, mind, and spirit. All three aspects are connected and affect each other.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments offer a safe and natural way to reduce the physical signs of ageing while safeguarding your body from the hidden toxins found in so many off-the-shelf skincare products. PRP skin tightening treatments allow you to refresh your outer appearance and feel good about how you are doing it.
 

What is Autolagous Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy?

Autologous Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a natural, non-surgical personalized cell therapy treatment that uses your own blood platelets to stimulate collagen production, cell repair, tissue regeneration and cell growth.

In the comfort and safety of the clinic, 15 ml of your own blood is drawn from your vein into a sterile syringe. The syringe is placed in a centrifuge (a machine that spins at extremely high speeds) which separates and concentrates the platelets (and other beneficial growth factors) from the whole blood. That is then collected in a syringe and injected into the treatment site.

The whole process takes no more than 30 minutes, is virtually pain-free, and because the platelets are collected from your own blood (autologous means "of cells or tissues obtained from the same individual") it is exceptionally safe. To see optimal results for skin tightening or reduction of dark circles or puffy undereye skin (sometimes called "bags") most patients will receive 3 treatments done 30 days apart.
 

Agnes Lusier Dow Np-PHC in her Peterborough health and wellness clinic

What Makes PRP A Safer Option For Skin Tightening And Dark Circle Treatment?

Unfortunately, skincare products are often laden with hidden toxins. They may help you achieve the results you want externally, but there can be a cost to your health. Women are exposed to as many as 128 chemicals each day through their personal care products. Because companies aren't required to list everything in a product, your favourite undereye creams or shampoo may contain ingredients you would never choose to put on your body like:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Phthalates
  • Parabens
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • triclosan and
  • Benzophenone


While you are taking care of your body on the outside, these chemicals - specifically endocrine disrupting chemicals - can make their way into your system and cause all sorts of health issues.

Some of the most popular skincare products for women are "anti-ageing" skin tightening treatments and serums to elimintae those dark circles. If you are using these products daily, you may unknowingly be working against your health and wellness goals. This is why autologous PRP treatments are such a comparatively safe and natural option for treating loose skin and dark circles. With no synthetic additives used, autologous PRP relies on what nature gave you to heal you.

Why Do Women Experience Loose Skin And Dark Circles?

Leading up to and during menopause, women as young as 35 can experience lower collagen production, slower cell repair and a drop in estrogen levels. These things, in combination, can contribute to wrinkles, loose skin and dark circles under the eyes.

"As much as 30% of collagen can be lost in the first five years of menopause." - www.absolutecollagen.com

 

Chart showing the connection between estrogen and collagen as it affects the skin


How Does PRP Address The Root Causes Of Loose Skin, Dark Circles And Undereye Bags?

PRP treatments can help refresh and even reverse the effects of ageing by increasing the skin's firmness (by boosting collagen) and elasticity (by boosting elastin). This leads to tighter more supple skin, less pronounced "bags" under the eye and can help to reduce those dark circles, too. Simply put, Platelet Plasma is loaded with multiple growth factors that work together to act as a "powerhouse" for cellular regeneration and tissue growth.
 

Optimal Health Is More Than Skin Deep.

If you are noticing signs of ageing like loose skin or dark circles under your eyes and it is causing you to feel self-conscious about your outward appearance, you have options. Choosing skincare products that are transparent about their ingredients, like MONAT, will help to maintain your skin in the long term. Meanwhile, a series of PRP skin tightening treatments can kickstart a powerful regeneration that gets you visible results in only a few months. Because PRP treatments are minimally invasive and free from the hidden toxins in many off-the-shelf products, they are a safer and truly natural skincare option. Click here to learn more about PRP skin tightening treatments in Peterborough and book a consultation with me, Agnes Lusier Dow, NP-PHC.

Posted in:women's healthSkin CarePRP  

Managing Menopause With BHRT: Soothe Your Menopause Symptoms Safely And Effectively With Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

Posted by Agnes Lussier-Dow NP-PHC on 30 March 2021
Managing Menopause With BHRT: Soothe Your Menopause Symptoms Safely And Effectively With Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

You Have Options For Managing The Symptoms Of Menopause.

Menopause, or the end of menstruation, is a natural occurrence for women. The transition towards menopause can begin to affect you anytime between the ages of 35 and 55 years of age and the symptoms of menopause can start to present themselves as early as 10 years before menopause actually occurs. Therefore, finding a way of managing menopause is important for your optimal health and wellness.

The symptoms of menopause go beyond night sweats, hot flashes and mood swings. Reaching menopause is a gradual process, not an isolated event. The symptoms of menopause can affect you differently at different stages of the process and may be very different from the symptoms experienced by a friend or peer. Less commonly considered symptoms of menopause that you might be experiencing include:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Anxiety, depression and/or panic attacks
  • Loss of sexual interest
  • Hair growth on the face
  • Weird dreams
  • UTIs
  • Vaginal itching
  • Lower back pain
  • Bone loss and joint pain
  • Indigestion
  • Weight gain
  • Migraines and more

Because menopause is not discussed more broadly - in society and by our own healthcare providers - you may live for years in discomfort and distress with these less acknowledged symptoms not knowing that they are connected to menopause. What's more worrying is that, even if your healthcare provider does acknowledge these symptoms to be a part of menopause, you may not be offered much in the way of relief. Too often women have come to my practice having been told they will just have to "live with it". Fortunately, this is simply not the case. There are safe and effective ways for you to manage the symptoms of menopause.

Woman resting her head in her hand and looking down into a cup of tea or coffee

Hormones And Menopause

The symptoms of menopause are triggered by changing hormone levels - specifically a decline in the natural production of estrogen and progesterone. That being said, it's about more than "just" a decline in estrogens. (Yes, estrogens - plural! You have more than one kind and each affects the body differently.) Hormones including your thyroid hormones, cortisol, DHEA, testosterone and insulin (among others) also play a role in how you may experience the symptoms of menopause. When one hormone level changes it affects the others and can throw your system out of balance.


"The menopausal response is as unique to an individual as his or her own fingerprints." - Dr. Pamela Smith, MD, MPH in "A Comprehensive Look at Hormones and the Effects of Hormones Replacement"


As you age, the decline of certain hormone levels is considered normal. However, that doesn't mean you can't help to bring your levels back into balance and restore yourself to a more optimal state of health and wellness.

Managing Menopause With Hormone Replacement Therapy

Menopause, as we have seen, is brought on by changing hormone levels. Likewise, many of the uncomfortable symptoms you may be experiencing can be linked to your hormones being out of balance. Therefore, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is an obvious treatment option to help restore balance, soothe your menopause symptoms and help you manage your menopause more comfortably. However, it is important to note that not all hormone therapies are created equal.

Synthetic Hormones and The Risk of Cancer

In the 1990s, HRT became very popular for treating the symptoms of menopause and was touted as a way to reduce the risk of postmenopausal health issues. However, in 2002, a report known as the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) was published which showed that the synthetic hormones used in the most commonly prescribed hormone therapies of the day could be linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke among menopausal and postmenopausal women. While there have since been reviews of the trials and studies included in this report, HRT fell out of favour as an option for managing menopause symptoms.

Bioidentical Hormones: A Safer Alternative

Not all hormone therapies are created equal. There is a significant difference between the synthetic hormone medications of the 1990s and the individually tailored hormone blends created with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Dr. Neal Rouzier, MD, a pioneer in the bioidentical hormone replacement field, "has dedicated his life's work to uncovering the medical literature that supports safe and effective protocols for unique and personalized patient care." Rouzier asserts that while synthetic hormones have been proven to increase the risks of certain cancers (notably breast cancer), heart disease and stroke, bioidentical hormones have not and remain a safe alternative therapy. Dr. Rouzier cautions his peers in the medical community not to "extrapolate the harm of synthetic hormones to bioidentical HRT." My years of experience as an NP-PHC specializing in women's health and hormones echo this finding. I have even experienced the benefits of managing menopause with BHRT myself.

 

Agnes Lussier Dow NP PHC standing in pink sweater next to plants in NP Optimal Health and Wellness Clinic Peterborough

Managing Menopause With BHRT

In addition to the fact that BHRT medications are identical to your own naturally occurring hormones, the combination of bioidentical hormones used in your therapy will be specially curated to address your individual needs and medical history. BHRT formulas can supplement a wide range of male and female sex hormones as well as adrenal, pituitary, and thyroid hormones. There is no "one-size-fits-all" cocktail when you are managing menopause with BHRT. As we have seen above, soothing your symptoms and decreasing your risk of postmenopausal health conditions is all about achieving the right hormonal balance.


Your initial assessment with NP Optimal Health and Wellness routinely includes full blood panels to evaluate your hormone levels. The holistic approach of functional medicine provides an opportunity for us to look at a more complete medical and life history. Details overlooked in previous medical assessments may lead us closer to the root cause of your symptoms. Together we will determine the best course of treatment for managing your menopause with BHRT supported by adjustments to your lifestyle and nutrition.


Yes, menopause and its symptoms are natural. But that doesn't mean you have to live with them indefinitely. Contact us today to learn more about how you can manage menopause and continue on your path towards optimal health and wellness.

Posted in:women's healthBHRThormones  
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