Dr. Inna Lozinskaya, MD, is a physician, international speaker, author, mentor, wife, and so much more. She practiced traditional medicine for over two decades. Her own health challenges with fatigue, insomnia, and weight issues led her to discover functional medicine. Restoring her health and getting her life back completely transformed how she practices medicine. In her functional medicine practice, she helps hundreds of middle-aged men and women restore hormones, metabolism, feel great again, and live their best life possible. She is a Founder and CEO of Create Health, as well as the Founder and CEO of Midlife Wellness Institute. The WHO currently determines midlife as ages 35-69. Dr. Inna is on a quest to prove that optimized nutrition, detoxification, lifestyle habits, and hormones can make your midlife years the best time of your life and extend those even beyond.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is a therapy that uses bioidentical hormones rather than synthetic hormones. Hormones are the little messengers your body makes to run internal processes. As you get older, hormones change. They are always present in your body, but the balance and amounts change. Some hormones will start decreasing as you enter midlife around thirty-five, then there will be a noticeable difference by fifty. As hormonal balance shifts, so does the way you look and feel.
Many people want to be proactive about feeling better; thus, they explore bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. In traditional medicine, physicians use synthetic hormones that mimic structurally but aren’t the exact hormones for that specific individual. Alarmingly, some studies show that synthetic hormones can cause significant side effects and even risk for certain diseases. On the other hand, bioidentical hormones are safer and more effective because, structurally, the hormones are precisely how your body makes them. Therefore, your body knows what to do with the hormones once they receive them.
The benefit of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is your body gets back what it used to have to be well. BHRT slows down the process of aging and helps you perform better. It also enables you to deal with life’s stressors easier and combats the feeling of being out of balance due to inflammation.
It’s critical to understand is everything is related. That’s why working with a practitioner who understands the whole picture is essential. We are not just composed of one hormone but a beautifully created complex system where everything influences each other and works together. When one hormone is too low or too high, everything else cannot be balanced.
You have to restore your whole health, not just hormones. People’s hormone levels are often in balance but they still don’t feel well. Continually optimizing how your gut works, flushing out toxins, liver health, diet, and lifestyle can make the difference in feeling better. All of these things influence hormones.
There are approximately 600 hormones in the human body; each is important and has its own role. However, several hormones influence how you look and feel more than others, including cortisol, DHEA, insulin, thyroid, and sex hormones. The sex hormones are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. It’s important to note that men and women have both sex hormones. Of course, men will have more testosterone, while women will have more estrogen. Overall, these hormones play a crucial role in how we perform, feel, look, age, and respond to stress.
Cortisol is a stress hormone, also known as the survival hormone, and is perhaps the body’s most important hormone. Cortisol will react and increase when the body is under stress and inflammation, helping you get through in the short term. Adversely, suppose you are constantly under stress due to a chronic illness, hormone imbalance, poor diet, natural aging, or some other cause. In that case, your cortisol levels will spike and make you more inflamed.
With age and cortisol imbalance, your body combats it through insulin resistance. As insulin rises, so does inflammation, belly fat, and blood sugar. In fact, many people start having insulin resistance about 10 to 15 years before pre-diabetes.
The body makes less cortisol if you are under stress for long periods. There are various risks if your cortisol levels reach a low point, including increased belly fat, arthritis, achiness, and increased risk of cancer and autoimmune disease. If cortisol is out of balance, your immune system is out of balance.
Consequently, the immune system, which watches over and eliminates cancer cells quickly, cannot do its job. Replenishing cortisol levels through bioidentical hormone replacement therapy revitalizes your stress hormone and helps avoid these health risks.
The thyroid hormone determines your metabolism speed and efficiency. If you have a surplus of thyroid hormone, you are probably skinny and have a racing heart. On the contrary, if you have a low thyroid hormone level, you gain weight easily, get gray hair at a young age, bald quicker, are more susceptible to depression, and get cold easily. People with a low thyroid hormone level simply have poor metabolism. Increasing your thyroid hormone through bioidentical hormone replacement therapy helps boost metabolism and restore balance in the body.
Both men and women have estrogen, but it’s certainly much higher in the latter. When estrogen levels are in balance, it correlates to beautiful skin, luxurious hair, a healthy heart, strong bones, good breast and uterus health, regular cycles, and good fertility.
There are approximately 300 places in the body with estrogen receptors, including the brain. When women go through menopause, they lose a significant amount of estrogen. Consequently, they are at higher risk of dementia, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and hot flashes. Estrogen is also a natural antidepressant, which can result in behavioral changes during and after menopause.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy helps restore balance to estrogen levels, thus decreasing the risk of various health risks while improving mood and energy. In fact, there is a 42% reduced mortality risk if women replace estrogen with BHRT during menopause. Estrogen is also a “go-getter” hormone, increasing your desire to pursue and achieve what you want. Of course, it’s vital for your sex life, as well!
Progesterone is your “hakuna matata” hormone. It makes you calm and is a natural anti-anxiety. Progesterone is the first hormone that starts decreasing in women, typically in the early forties, but even as early as the mid-thirties.
Estrogen and progesterone always are interconnected, so balance is essential. Even if your estrogen is normal, when progesterone starts decreasing, you will have an estrogen predominance. That’s when women start having mood swings, gaining fat in the lower half of their bodies, having heavier periods, and overall not feeling well.
Decades ago, in tradition, the notion was that if a woman doesn’t have a uterus, she doesn’t need her progesterone replaced. This misconception led to many risk factors among women without a uterus. Now physicians know it’s essential to replace progesterone levels regardless of whether a woman has her uterus.
The FDA believes testosterone is critical to replace in men but not necessarily women. However, if you look at testosterone levels in middle-aged women, it is five times more than estrogen, so it’s crucial for both genders. Testosterone is essential for bone strength and prevents osteoporosis. It is vital for your brain and acts as your driver to get things done. It also influences everything sexually related, including libido, lubrication, and sexual drive.
When men and women start losing their muscle mass in their fifties, it directly correlates to lower testosterone levels. If you go to the gym the same amount of time per week as when you were younger, but results are lacking, it’s probably due to low testosterone.