Hormonal imbalance occurs when chemical messengers which regulate our body's systems are no longer functioning properly in the way they should.
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1Is hormonal balancing available at all Health Renewal branches?
- 2What is Hormonal balancing?
- 3How do hormones work?
- 4What can happen if hormonal imbalances develop?
- 5What dangerous conditions can occur if hormonal imbalances happen in men?
- 6What is the origin of hormonal balancing?
- 7What are the causes of hormonal imbalance?
- 8What effect does oestrogen dominance have?
- 9What risks are there for conventional / traditional Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?
- 10What is Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy(BIHRT)?
- 11What are bio-identical hormones?
- 12How are bio-identical hormones different from other hormones?
- 13Where do bio-identical hormones come from - what is the source?
- 14What are the benefits of bio-identical hormone replacement?
- 15Why is it important to be monitored by a knowledgeable Integrative practitioner?
- 16Do hormones cause cancer?
- 17Does oestrogen cause endometrial cancer?
- 18Why is it important to balance hormones at a far earlier stage than menopause?
- 19Did the Women’s Health Initiative show that hormone replacement causes cancer?
- 20What is the connection between oestrogen and breast cancer?
- 21If one has a cancer that is stimulated by hormones, can one take hormones of any kind?
- 22Why do women need Testosterone?
- 23What are the benefits of testosterone in men?
- 24Why should you choose Health Renewal to balance your hormones?
- 25What is the recommended practice for Bio-identical hormones?
Hormonal balancing is available in Johannesburg at the Sandton, Fourways, Parkhurst, Illovo, Bedfordview and Morningside branches and Pretoria at Brooklyn and Irene as well as in the Western Cape at Claremont, Cape Quarter, Constantia, Willowbridge, Somerset West and Stellenbosch and in KwaZulu Natal at Hillcrest and Umhlanga.
This dysfunction can lead to an overproduction or an underproduction of specific hormones. The primary hormone that causes these changes is oestrogen.
There are many endocrine glands situated all over the body with the main ones being the pituitary gland, thyroid, thymus, adrenal glands, and the pancreas. There is only a small amount of hormones needed, which can cause significant changes throughout the body. Both men and women produce hormones in the same areas with one exception, the sexual organs. Additional male hormones are produced in the testes while women's additional hormones are produced in the ovaries. It is vital to treat hormone imbalances as not doing anything about them can result in serious medical conditions, like diabetes.
There are approximately 6,000 endocrine disorders that result because of hormone imbalance. An imbalance of hormones can be experienced at different times during life, i.e. as the body changes from childhood to adulthood, puberty is experienced by both male and females. Additionally, women will then again experience a change in hormone levels later in life, after their childbearing years have passed.
As hormone levels decline with age, the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease increase. Vascular endothelium and smooth muscle cells have sex steroid receptors. Research studies have found that bio-identical hormone restoration of the main hormones oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone, can be used in the management of blood pressure and overall cardiac health. Sex hormones stimulate endothelial cell growth; inhibit smooth muscle proliferation contraction and relaxes the vascular endothelium, via nitric oxide and prostacyclin. When hormones are present in youthful concentrations as an ideal state, vascular function in patients with high blood pressure may be modulated. Likewise, in males, low testosterone levels are predictive of hypertension and cardiovascular disease risk. At Health Renewal we suggest that aging men maintain free testosterone levels of 20 – 25pg/ml for optimal health.
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) measured blood estradiol in 501 men with chronic heart failure. The findings stated that men in the balanced quintile–and subsequently the fewest deaths–had serum estradiol levels between 21.80 and 30.11 pg/mL. This is the ultimate range that Health Renewal Doctors recommend male patients to strive for.
An epidemic problem in aging male members is insufficient free testosterone, i.e. less than 20-25 pg/mL of serum. When this status is accompanied by excess estradiol (over 30 pg/mL of serum), it can signal excess aromatase enzyme activity in the body. In addition, as a patients belly fat increases, there is an increase in activity of the enzyme "aromatase", which converts testosterone in the fat cells to estrogen. Having less testosterone and more estrogen can deposit fat in areas of the body similar to women (breasts, hips, thighs). It also increases your risk of enlargement of the prostate and even prostate cancer.
Frequently as common practice, traditional medicine replenishes only oestrogen levels. Alternative / Integrative medicine practitioners feel it is important to supplement progesterone as well, as the balance between these two hormones are important. Oestrogen dominance, when there is too much oestrogen relative to progesterone, can cause various problems such as infertility, PMS, menstrual problems, abdominal weight gain, and possibly increased risk of breast cancer.
There are multiple causes for hormone imbalance, but the majority of cases are experienced due to oestrogen dominance (increased amounts of oestrogen in the body), and not enough of progesterone.
Common causes of these changes include the use of birth control pills, stress, overuse of cosmetics, and non-organic animal products. Other medical causes include genetics, obesity, and tumours. Furthermore reasons can be a lack of exercise, pregnancy, lactation, auto antibody production, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Of all of these causes, obesity (in men and woman) is the number one medical cause for hormone imbalance while pregnancy is the number one lifestyle change that causes the condition.
Oestrogen dominance, in which there is too much oestrogen relative to progesterone, can cause: Infertility, PMS, menstrual problems, abdominal weight gain, and possibly increased risk of breast cancer. See Menopause webpage
It is important to understand all the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Patients with a history of active or past breast cancer, blood clots, liver disease, pregnancy, or endometrial cancer should talk with a physician before using an over the counter or prescription therapy.
There are two main types of HRT.
The first is oestrogen replacement. At Health Renewal, Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BIHRT) is available in tablet form, cream, or as pellets. These hormone treatments can be administered alone and is given in the lowest dose possible to relieve symptoms.
Alternatively the second type of therapy is a combination of oestrogen and progesterone hormones (it is commonly known as HRT combination therapy). These two hormones are given continuously for the shortest time possible to reduce the risk for possible side effects. Side effects of treatment include irregular spotting, breast tenderness, fluid retention, headaches, dizziness, and blood clots or stroke.
Bio identical Hormone replacement is recognised internationally as the optimum approach for women and men facing either menopause or andropause. The great appeal of bio-identical hormones is that they are natural and our bodies can metabolize them as they were designed to do, thereby minimizing side effects for patients.
Synthetic hormones, which are commonly used, are not typically individualised per patient and can often produce intolerable side effects. At Health Renewal, compounded bio-identical hormones can be matched individually to each person's needs - something that's not possible with mass-produced products. Natural or bio-identical hormone therapy uses hormones found naturally in the human body to bring the body back to a healthful hormonal state.
Bioidentical hormones are hormones found naturally in the human body. Examples are oestradiol, oestriol, progesterone and testosterone.
Some commonly prescribed hormones are found in nature, but not in the human body, leading to potential side effects. An example is Premarin, which is horse oestrogen. Other products called hormones are not found anywhere in nature, an example is medroxyprogesterone (Provera). These chemicals have hormone-like actions, but they are not truly hormones. Bio-identical hormone replacement uses only hormones that are naturally found in the human body, thus making it more tolerable when on treatment.
Bio-identical hormones are made from precursors found in plants, typically wild yam or soy. The precursors are modified in a laboratory until they precisely match the hormones made by the human body.
Compounded bio-identical hormones (BIHRT) can be matched individually to each person's needs:
For menopausal women, replacing lost Bio-identical oestrogen and progesterone may:
- relieve menopausal symptoms,
- prevent osteoporosis,
- protect cardiovascular health,
- prevent mental decline
- For younger women:
- * it can restore normal menstrual cycles,
- and correct perimenopausal imbalances.
In men, supplementation with Bio-identical testosterone (along with improvement of estrogen metabolism) may:
- restore mood,
- restore vigor,
- improve muscle mass and
- improve sexual function.
To gain these benefits and avoid creating further imbalances, hormone replacement must be carefully monitored by a knowledgeable practitioner. Hormone replacement is powerful treatment tool and in all cases should be taken seriously, and closely monitored.
Natural hormones which are in balance, such as bio-identical hormones, do not cause cancer. Out-of-balance hormones, synthetic hormones and hormone-like chemicals which are not found in nature do encourage cancers. It is important to understand that cancers arise in the body all the time. The difference between a person who gets cancer (having a cancer growth that is large enough to cause problems) and a person who does not get cancer is that the second person’s body is able to destroy the cancers that arise before they grow.
Giving a women oestrogen without balancing it with progesterone is known to promote endometrial cancer. This is not a problem with oestrogen, it is a problem with out-of-balance hormones, and therefor is only recommended an monitored by a Medical Doctor.
When a woman has excess oestrogen it creates an unhealthy state of oestrogen dominance. Oestrogen dominance is common in the 10-15 years preceding menopause. This happens because progesterone production drops rapidly during these years, but oestrogen levels decline more slowly, creating an imbalance. This oestrogen dominance can cause a number of problems including heavy bleeding, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts. Natural hormone balancing re-establishes a healthy hormone environment and can prevent or improves these conditions.
It was found in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study arm that used horse oestrogen (Permarin) plus medroxyprogesterone that there was an increased occurrence of breast cancer, and the treatment was stopped. The arm of the study that only horse oestrogen did not increase cancer and was thus not stopped. This shows that medroxyprogesterone, a chemical not found in nature, was causing the problem. It is important to note the WHI did not study bio-identical hormone replacement or natural hormone balancing. Many feel that the results would have been very different - significant benefits of therapy would have been seen - if properly monitored and individualized bio-identical hormone therapy had been studied.
The connection between lifetime oestrogen and breast cancer is a solid statistic, but it doesn’t explain why the highest rate of breast cancer occurs after menopause, when women no longer make oestrogen. The balance between oestrogen and progesterone may be a vitally important factor, and how oestrogen is metabolized may also be important. Natural hormone balancing re-establishes healthy hormone balance and metabolism, creating homeostasis in the body.
Some cancers are fed by specific hormones such as breast, uterine or prostate cancer. The hormone does not cause the cancer, but it could encourage the cancer to grow.
A person who has been diagnosed with one of these hormone sensitive cancers may then choose to avoid hormone supplementation in the treatment of hormone imbalances. However keep in mind that, healthy, balanced hormones create an environment that helps the body to destroy cancers. In addition, making lifestyle changes such as consuming a balanced healthy diet, doing regular exercise, taking nutritional supplements, proper stress management and emotional habits, all have a powerful affect to assist the body in evading cancer and helping the body to destroy the cancer. If you have had breast, uterine or prostate cancer, the decision of whether to supplement with hormones should be made after considering all the ways you can support your body’s healthy defenses, and after thoughtful discussion with your doctor.
In all cases: Make sure you use ONLY Bio-Identical Hormones. It is also imperative that you Doctor carefully monitor your therapy and results
Testosterone is important in woman as it is the hormone that provides women with muscle tone, sharp cognitive functions and libido. Testosterone production tends to reduce with age, caused due to declining ovarian and adrenal function and as a result women begin to experience symptoms such as confusion, weight gain and poor muscle tone (despite regular exercise). Testosterone levels will drop more than 33% during a woman’s menopausal years. Balancing testosterone with oestrogen produces serotonin, which supports emotional balance. Without this, a woman could experience emotional instability, anxiety, irritability and sleep disturbance.
If a woman has an imbalance of testosterone it could result in muscle atrophy, osteoporosis and pain in muscles and joints. Health Renewal attempts to reinstate the woman’s pre-menopause state of body and mind, and to return her to what she was and how she felt before.
Testosterone has various roles in the body which include building muscle and promoting muscle tone, increased libido, bone strengthening, and in some, improvement of mood and metabolism. There is an abundant amount of information supporting and rejecting the supplemental use of testosterone in hormone replacement therapy for postmenopausal women. Theoretically it makes sense that replacing all hormones that are decreased during menopause, including testosterone, would be beneficial. Data has suggested that adding testosterone to conventional hormone therapy in postmenopausal women might reduce the hormone therapy-induced breast cancer risk in this group.
Further evaluation is needed to clearly determine the role of testosterone in postmenopausal women. Testosterone supplementation has not been conventionally recommended if there is a family history of breast cancer, although some physicians believe that there may be a benefit in maintaining normal levels through supplementation. In addition, testosterone supplementation is generally warranted in women complaining of low libido and sexual problems.
The introduction of hormone replacement therapy has provided almost immediate relief for many men assisting in the alleviation of multiple symptoms including:
- Reduced muscle mass,
- Loss of stamina,
- Erectile dysfunction, and
- Low sex drive.
See Andropause page
With proper treatment and monitoring men consistently report having:
- Increased energy,
- Improved mental clarity,
- Reduced depression and anxiety,
- Satisfyingly high sex drive, and
- Improved Erectile Dysfunction.
Health Renewal's compounded bio-identical hormones can be matched individually to each person's needs - something that's not possible with mass-produced products. Our bio-identical hormones are compounded at Reakiri, in the Cape (www.reakiri.co.za) and are available in pellets, topical creams and tablets. As each woman or man is unique in her/his hormonal make-up, the treatment is individually assessed by the Health Renewal integrative doctor and the appropriate dosage is compounded for each patient.
At Health Renewal we suggest that aging men maintain free testosterone levels of 20 – 25 pg/ml for optimal health. Low level ranges practised by mainstream medicine are not acceptable because as hormone levels decline with age, the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease increase. Vascular endothelium and smooth muscle cells have sex steroid receptors. Research has supported bio-identical hormone restoration of testosterone for use in the management of blood pressure and overall cardiac health. Sex hormones stimulate endothelial cell growth, inhibit smooth muscle proliferation contraction and relax the vascular endothelium via nitric oxide and prostacyclin. When hormones are present in youthful concentrations, vascular function in patients with high blood pressure may be modulated. In males, low testosterone levels are predictive of hypertension and cardiovascular disease risk.
- Initially your Health Renewal Doctor will request three monthly laboratory tests to assess hormone levels.
- Precise dosage of bio-identical oestrogens, testosterone and progesterone will then be compounded for the patient individually.
- Careful monitoring of the patient through regular follow-up symptom management and hormone panels to ensure symptom relief at the lowest possible dosage.
- Once the hormone balance is restored, 6 monthly screens will be done to ensure the balance is maintained. These Bio-identical hormones are more naturally metabolized by our bodies, thereby minimising side effects and maximising outcomes. The hormones are used in amounts and patterns that reproduce natural healthy physiology. Therapy is tracked through testing, and is customized and fine-tuned based on each person’s symptoms and health goals.
5 Reviews (average: 5 out of 5)See all reviews
This is a short story of my life:
Three years ago, i.e. in 2013 to be precise, I was introduced to Skin Renewal for weight loss. I’ve been struggling with my weight loss for ages. I have tried the vegie juice, which was indeed the best detoxing agent for me, but it had its own highs and lows.
Subsequent to my body detox I would be hospitalized. That’s when I decided to go to Skin Renewal for help. What impressed me the most was the medical supervision from the Nursing Sister/ Doctor. I then started with the weight loss program. Initially my weight was 76kg and my target weight was meant to be 55kg. During the first two weeks I lost 6.3kg. I was very excited and my weight dropped to 69.7kg. Thereafter I couldn’t lose any more weight.
I was frustrated and the sister asked me to record everything I ate. I was scared to put my diet on paper as I thought I wasn’t following the instructions. Then the sister gave me a surprise call. I had lied to her and told her that I ate Nando’s instead of boiled chicken. I got frustrated as I thought nothing seemed to work for me. I subsequently decided to quit Skin Renewal. I went into a severe depression. One day I asked myself why did I quit Skin and Body Renewal. I couldn’t get an answer.
A year later I decided to go back. My conscience spoke to me that quitters don’t win and winners don’t quit. I had to get to the bottom of my yo- yo diets. This time around I was extremely cautious. I then made my first appointment with the Skin Renewal. I followed through till I couldn’t lose any more weight again. I recorded everything I ate and I just couldn’t lose any more weight. I then requested the nursing sister to book an appointment with the Doctor. This is when I was introduced to Dr. Burt and all my problems unfolded. He gave a questionnaire to fill in. All the questions on that questionnaire were about everything that was happening in my life at the time. The long and short of this was that I was suffering from the following without even realising:
- Chronic constipation –Had trombone haemorrhoids and had to undergo a surgical procedure
- Severe fatigue – Taking energy supplements and nothing worked
- Severe depression – Been on anti-depressants and ended up having water retention in my body.
- Memory loss- I would literally look for something that was in my hand
- Bad eye sight – Had to wear my spectacles since everything would be blurred without them
- Poor libido - Never intimate with my husband for the past three year. Always having excuses.
- Suicidal – I was highly suicidal but scared of a failed attempt.
- Low self-esteem- Was very withdrawn and kept to myself.
- Panic attacks etc.- forever scared and thinking the worst was going to happen to me.
- Bad sleeping patterns- scared to go to bed. Couldn’t sleep before 23h00 or 24h00 daily.
- Spinal Injury- Confined to my bed for two months with a very slow healing process.
- Sore body- Every part of my body was very sore. I would scream when my husband tried to give me a body massage. My body felt empty with no substance or matter. It felt like an empty painful shell with so many invisible cracks within. My life was deteriorating every single day.
My answers, based on the above, were all positive and couldn’t disclose this to anyone as I trusted nobody. It took a while before I could open up to Dr. Burt. He then assured me that everything will be fine. I looked at him and I thought to myself ‘yeah right’. My scepticism got the better of me. He then requested me to go for blood test. I got a shock of my life when my blood results were revealed to me.
As of today I can proudly confirm that there is light at the end of the tunnel and I’m feeling much, much better. Can’t wait to be back on my weight loss program and to prove to the nursing sister that I am neither a cheater nor a quitter and I can do it.
Thank you Dr. Burt for playing such a huge role and for contributing so much in my life, and, being my BFF in my journey. Love you too much and may the Lord bless you and give you more strength to save more patients like me. I’ve been given a second chance in life and hopefully you and I will be able to translate this story in a book someday, to save more troubled lives.
Dr. Jooste is going to change my life with correct medication and correct Hormone treatment designed for me! I am going to be a 'new' woman, thank you! Wonderful advise on general problems, he is caring and takes his time to explain everything.
I so appreciate the thorough and scientific approach to treating my particular problems with Dr Burt.
I have been very impressed with the information I have received within my initial consult with Dr Burt. His treatment plan is very conclusive and after 2 1/2 months of being on the BIHRT, I already feel a difference. I have highly recommended him to friends/clients who have already consulted with him.
I would like to acknowledge what a difference being on hormone replace treatment has made to my quality of life: Before seeing Dr Burt, I was often tired, felt bloated, my confidence was decreasing and I felt ‘stuck’ in my life...
Now that Dr Burt has assisted me in getting my hormones balanced, I am full of energy, sleep well at night, my hair skin and nails have improved, my appetite is good and I feel as though I’m participating in my own life again – many thanks, I’m extremely grateful to Dr Burt and his wonderful assistants for prescribing just what I needed!