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Menopause Transition: Don't Miss This Important Preventative Health Opportunity

Menopause Transition: Don't Miss This Important Preventative Health Opportunity

Sometime between ages 45 and 55, for many women, gynecologic and related health issues begin to emerge. Menstrual cycles now seem different, mood swings and memory lapses appear, and sleep becomes more chaotic, coupled with warm flushes. And the weight! Why at the mid-section? These irritating acknowledgments belie a more ominous change. During this menopause transition, loosely referred to as “perimenopause,” events are unfolding that have an impact on a woman’s cardiovascular risk.

Let's Talk About Testosterone

Let's Talk About Testosterone

Some sports figures have abused it. Many men with “low T” have used it. But most women have been refused it. While over 25 testosterone products in the United States are available to men, for women, there are no FDA-approved testosterone products.  For vaginal atrophy and pain with intercourse, only estrogen creams or pills are recommended.

Is There a Window for Menopausal Hormone Replacement Therapy to Help Reduce the Risk of Dementia?

Is There a Window for Menopausal Hormone Replacement Therapy to Help Reduce the Risk of Dementia?

Dementia conjures up many images. As we age, we all worry that the momentary misplaced car keys or the questionable location of the parked car in a large lot may indicate early dementia. In reality, the early signs of dementia are more likely evidenced by putting the car keys in the refrigerator or forgetting how to drive to your familiar home.

Metabolic Syndrome and the Role of Estrogen

Metabolic Syndrome and the Role of Estrogen

Metabolic syndrome represents a cluster of adverse biologic events characterized by alterations in lipids, elevated blood sugar, and increased cardiovascular risk.  According to the National Cholesterol Education Program’s Adult Treatment Panel 111 Report, metabolic syndrome may be diagnosed when three of the following criteria are present: waist circumference greater than 88 cm, HDL-C less than 50 mg/dL, triglycerides greater than 150 mg/dL, blood pressure above 130/85 mmHg, or fasting blood sugar over 110 mg/dL. The greatest health risk of metabolic syndrome is cardiovascular disease, but this risk also is age related.  Sixty percent of postmenopausal women are affected by metabolic syndrome, whereas only 22% of the general population meet these criteria. These differences in prevalence underscore the dramatic physiologic changes that occur as a woman enters menopause.

The History of Estrogen

The History of Estrogen

The story of the history of estrogen illustrates the historical progression of medical knowledge, from laboratory and clinical observation, through basic and clinical experimentation, to current successful medical management, an interesting marriage of empiricism and technology.

Our bodies efficiently make our natural hormones. Cholesterol from our diet is converted into a family of progesterones, which then become our androgens, such as testosterone, androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Androgens are important since they are the substrate for all of the estrogens in our body. The ovaries alone convert testosterone to estradiol (E2), the most powerful of the estrogens. Fat cells can convert androstenedione to other weaker estrogens, including estrone (E1), only 40% as active as estradiol, and estriol (E3), only 10% as active as estradiol. Since menopausal symptoms seem to arise with falling estrogen levels, estrogen has been sought as treatment of these symptoms.

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