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Episode Info: Kelli Jaecks has been speaking nationally and internationally for ten years and is wrapping up work on her book Martinis and Menopause (out later this year). We’re discussing bioidentical hormones to help unshroud some of the controversy you may have heard about them. To start off, bioidenticals are made from plants. This means they cannot go through the same vetting process that chemicals made in a lab go through. The FDA does not grade and test them. Even so, Kelli is a believer and has used them for ten years on her journey through perimenopause and now during her postmenopausal state. Prescriptions vs. Over the Counter A key thing to keep in mind about bioidentical prescriptions is that they are not done through a “one size fits all” method. You usually have a blood draw which comes back with a detailed screen of estrogens, testosterone, and other hormones which your prescription is then tailored to. Your bioidentical is made on site at a compounding pharmacy specific to your prescription, which is vastly different than other prescriptions you may have. So what about over the counter bioidentical cremes? The main difference is in the dosages. The first thing Kelli tells women when discussing bioidenticals is usually to go pick up some from the store, like a phyto-progesterone crème. Just put some on your skin and see if helps you take the edge off some of your irritability. Another symptom these cremes can help alleviate is brain fog – that feeling you get when you can’t remember what you were just doing, writing, or even thinking. Thankfully this is a transient symptom and won’t actually cause any lasting harm, even though it may feel like it at the time. Remember, you’re not alone; there are about 158 women just like you going through perimenopause as well. Knowledge is Power What’s going on when your partner (or even your dog) looks at you the wrong way and you just want to bite their head off? Let’s demystify some symptoms and behaviors you may have experienced. You have estrogen receptors in your brain and if you don’t have enough of the hormone to fill them you can be left feeling extremely irritated. Serotonin, a feel-good neurotransmitter, is something that often has large level swings and can leave you very agitated when you don’t have enough of it. Doing something relaxing and tactile, like walking outside, listening to a water feature or a favorite wind chime are good ways to stimulate release of serotonin. You may not want to hug someone, but if you do you’ll jumpstart the release of more serotonin as well. Don’t be a hormone hostage! Be honest with your partner, that your irritability stems from you and not them. You’re working on understanding what you are going through better so you can learn to cope with the symptoms. Sex and Desire Kelli was surprised when her desire to have sex waned during perimenopause. Going from a very sensual partner to being consistently turned off was a shock, and somethin...
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