We’ve all heard horror stories about the symptoms of menopause. Maybe we’ve personally suffered from them ourselves. Symptoms can be life altering ranging from night sweats that rob you of a restful night’s sleep to hot flushes that seem to be caused by a furnace blasting from deep within. With symptoms like this rearing their ugly heads, some of us may experience bouts of irritability that would give those Angry Birds a run for their money.

These symptoms are the unfortunate result of our body’s waning hormone levels. Menopause, however, does not need to be unpleasant or challenging. In fact, there are preventative measures you can take to better prepare yourself for this life changing experience. PlumbTalk knows how sensitive these issues are for women worldwide and sought out anti-aging specialist Kim Crawford M.D. to shed light on this seemingly confusing topic. PlumbTalk found that Dr. Crawford is no ordinary doctor. She’s one of the few Internal Medicine practitioners also certified by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) and is considered an “anti-aging and regenerative medicine expert.”

What is Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine?

Regenerative Medicine is the process of rejuvenating cells, tissues, and organs so they function as they should. Anti-Aging refers to using regenerative medicine techniques to slow down the aging process. Dr. Crawford said specialists with the A4M certification are able to do three things: “Alleviate symptoms, slow aging, prevent disease.” She uses integrative medicines, behavioral interventions, biomarkers, and bio-identical hormones to provide proactive health options.

Regenerative medicine is proactive because it treats your body before problems occur, allowing you to live longer, healthier, and more fulfilled lives. Osteoporosis, for example, can be avoided by using hormones such as DHEA, testosterone, estrogen, and HGH in concert with healthy eating and an exercise routine.

It takes years of further study to earn the A4M certification, but graduates leave the program armed with a much broader knowledge base of hormones than general practitioners. Dr. Crawford said the certification can be likened to other specialties like a cardiologist. Anti-aging and regenerative medicine experts know everything there is to know about hormones, including how hormones impact the aging process.

What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?

So, what’s the big deal about losing hormones? For starters, estrogen protects your heart; it protects your brain from dementia; it keeps your skin looking young and healthy; it helps prevent osteoporosis; the list goes on. Dr. Crawford says,

“Hormones are what keep us young. We get old because our hormones decline.”

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) restores your body with these essential chemical messengers. But not all therapies are alike.

An American study published in 2002 linked hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to an increased risk for breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke. The study focused on the pharmaceutical industry’s popular drugs that are often prescribed to treat symptoms of menopause. These drugs may also cause unpleasant side effects. But the truth of the matter is, many women still decide to take these dangerous medications because they can’t live with the awful symptoms that menopause creates.

Dr. Crawford says there’s another way, and it’s safe, effective, and free of unwanted side effects. “There’s no need for anyone to suffer through menopause,” she states.

Hormone Replacement on Dr. Crawford’s Terms

Dr. Crawford prescribes a cream called Bi-Est that’s made with a natural substance that the human body recognizes as its own. The remedy is customized to individuals depending on their personal deficiencies. It’s comprised of estradiol and estriol, two of the three hormones that make up estrogen.

Even though this replacement hormone is compounded in a pharmacy, it’s labeled as bioidentical because it mimics the hormones found within your body, so your body thinks it’s self-made. The pharmaceutical industry, on the other hand, uses chemicals. These are certainly NOT recognized by the human body as self-made.

There are no side effects from Bi-Est because your body isn’t dealing with something unnatural. But wanted effects will include a happier mood, better looking skin and hair, and increased energy.

By replacing low testosterone levels (yes, women need testosterone too), you will be able to shed unwanted pounds much easier and can actually lose fat and build muscle again. Your sex drive will be revved up as well.

Dr. Crawford says most of her patients stop suffering from hot flushes altogether within a week, and their sleep patterns become regular after a few weeks.

It really does sound like the clock can be turned back with regenerative medicine, but Dr. Crawford is quick to point out that she’s only one piece of the puzzle. Patients must still exercise regularly and eat well.

What About Over-the-Counter Alternatives?

Dr. Crawford says this about soy, yam based products, and black cohosh: “These may address symptoms, but not the underlying pathology.”

Over-the-counter products can make claims, but there’s no enforcement body and no proof. They can be completely made up of things that aren’t listed on the label, whereas pharmaceutical-grade products exceed 99% purity with full disclosure of ingredients. Simply put, you don’t really know what you’re getting when you buy over-the-counter products. All the products that Dr. Crawford and other A4M experts prescribe are pharmaceutical-grade.

It’s Your Decision

Aging is universal, and unfortunately we all have a shelf life, but thanks to advances in the alternative field of anti-aging and regenerative medicine, we can choose a healthier path that will increase our quality of life for years to come.

Ask your physician about alternative therapies to synthetic drugs, specifically Bi-Est. They may tell you to seek out the advice of an anti-aging and regenerative medicine expert, which is fine because Dr. Crawford emphasizes that an anti-aging regimen should be done under the supervision and care of an A4M professional.

Women who haven’t yet reached menopause can still seek treatment from an A4M expert, because they can prevent disease and discomfort from happening in the first place. You will feel like a new YOU! That’s music to my hormones.

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