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Achieving Balance


Hormones are powerful chemical messengers and affect the activity of every organ in the body — the cardiovascular, nervous, immune, and sleep cycles. Any hormonal deficiency can compromise vitality. Some people require natural hormone replacement to combat obesity or fatigue, to recover from disease or depression, or simply to achieve optimal health.

Many women in their 40s, 50s and beyond live in a state of hormonal imbalance brought on by birth control pills, menopause, poor diet, stress, illness or exposure to toxins. According to Mark Stengler, NMD of the Encinitas-based Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine, “the result is an array of problems, ranging from the annoying (hot flashes and memory lapses) to the energy-sapping (insomnia, fatigue, and weight gain) to the debilitating (osteoporosis and depression).

Men are also prone to hormonal imbalances, Stengler points out. “An article published in the Annual Review of Medicine concluded that approximately 30 percent of men in their 60s and 70 percent of men in their 70s have low levels of free testosterone.” This makes men more prone to weight gain, bone loss, fatigue, depression, low sex drive, and sexual dysfunction.

Synthetic hormones — as the name implies — are not natural. They’re cre­ated in a lab and aren’t identical in struc­ture or function to the hormones that our bodies make. Therefore, our bodies may not recognize them or use them in quite the same way as nature intended.


Bio-identical or natural hormones, on the other hand, are identical in struc­ture and function to the hormones our bodies naturally produce on their own. This means our bodies recog­nize and use them in the same way as nature intended. Unlike synthetic hormones, they are not patentable.

Stengler advises: “Remember, you do have natural, safe, and effective choices for dealing with your menopause symptoms. Making the commitment to go natural with hormone replacement therapy is one of the best gift s you can give yourself. Your best bet is to seek out a doctor who’s trained in the safe and proper use of bio-identical hormones and who will work with a compounding pharmacy that can tailor your hormone regimen to your body’s exact needs.” (760/274-2377, www.markstengler.com)


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