Depression can strike at any age, but menopausal women are especially vulnerable. It is estimated that as many as 15 percent of menopausal women suffer serious episodes of depression.
Maybe you cannot identify any particular event that sent you on a downward spiral, and from the outside your life appears quite satisfactory. No matter your life situation, there is one major event that has affected your life, and that is the changing level of hormones in your body due to menopause.
You were warned about the hot flashes and night sweats, but not prepared for the emotional roller coaster menopause can bring. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can lift your mood and help you retain your equilibrium. Natural BHRT allows the old you to re-emerge.
BHRT vs. Antidepressants
When a menopausal woman complains of depression to her general practitioner or psychiatrist, it is likely she will receive a prescription for an antidepressant. These drugs have helped a great many people, but also contain the potential for numerous side effects. These include:
- Loss of libido
- Weight gain
Ironically, many potential side effects of antidepressant are also side effects of menopause, and BHRT relieves these issues along with depression and anxiety. While relief from depression is important, do you want to trade sexual desire or gain significant weight in order to free yourself from incessant sadness?
Antidepressants only work well for about one-third of patients taking them. Menopausal women suffering from depression may find better results on a BHRT regimen, which is individually designed and compounded for her specific needs.
Menopause and Depression
Why are women going through menopause and in their postmenopausal years so depression prone? Estrogen possesses mood-enhancing properties, so loss of this hormone can result in depression. Other menopausal problems, such as night sweats and general insomnia, leave women tired from lack of sleep.
This constant fatigue can lead to depression. Women who do not receive treatment for depression are at greater risk of developing cardiac problems and osteoporosis, or bone loss.
Menopause is generally a process taking several years to complete. If a woman becomes menopausal quickly because of a hysterectomy or chemotherapy, she is at even greater risk of depression and other menopausal side effects because her body has not had a chance to adjust to hormonal changes.
In addition to estrogen use, natural thyroid hormone replacement plays a major role in treating depression.
How BHRT Helps
BHRT restores the hormones lost through menopause, relieving menopausal side effects. This type of hormone replacement therapy consists of plant estrogens bio-identical to the molecular structure of hormones produced by a woman’s body. Many antidepressants work by boosting the amount of serotonin in the body. Estrogen is a natural serotonin booster, and it also promotes good sleep. Progesterone helps with calming.
BHRT not only helps women feel better emotionally, but aids in preventing heart disease and osteoporosis. It also reduces the odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration and diabetes.
Along with BHRT, the doctor devises an individual diet and exercise plan for each patient with the goal of optimal physical and mental health. The therapeutic process may also include vitamin and nutritional supplements, again based on a patient’s individual needs.
Contact Dr. Jacobson Today
If you suffer from depression and would like to know whether BHRT can help, call the offices of Dr. Edward Jacobson today and arrange a consultation.