Aging and Hormones--The Big Picture
Aging is not supposed to be good for us; it's Nature's way of killing us! Aging is a pre-programmed process of destruction.
Its aim is to remove individuals from the gene pool so the species can adapt to changes in its environment. The reduction in our
hormone levels is one of the mechanisms that bring about our death. As our various tissues deteriorate, so do our endocrine
glands and their feedback control systems. As a result, our bodies cease to regulate our hormones for optimal health. Eating
right and exercising will help maintain better levels of some hormones, but can't stop the age-related hormone losses and their
deleterious effects. Hormones that build tissues and improve immunity (DHEA, Testosterone, growth hormone) begin to
disappear after age 25 and by age 80 have been reduced by 50-80%. Progesterone in women starts to decline at age 30 and
essentially disappears when periods start to become irregular in the perimenopause--this is probably a significant factor in the
rise in breast cancer at this age. Estradiol levels drop 90% at menopause producing osteoporosis, heart disease, and dementia.
Thyroid hormone production and sensitivity decline with age. Insulin production and sensitivity decline leading to diabetes. The
truth is that we are imperfect and deteriorating biomolecular machines. Even if we are healthy, we cannot trust our
bodies to maintain optimal hormone levels after age 25. By the age of 50 we've already suffered 20+ years of hormone
The conventional view on aging and hormones is that the loss of hormones is adaptive–helps us to live longer. In this view the
persistence of youthful levels of hormones would cause more heart attacks and cancers as we age. So losing our hormones is
good for us!?! Notice that this fits nicely with the pharmaceutical corporations' agenda: Don't replace your hormones; instead
take patented drugs for every symptom and disorder. That's exactly why this view persists in spite of the evidence. How many
doctors know that higher testosterone levels help prevent heart attacks in men? How many doctors know that cholesterol levels
and atherosclerosis can be significantly reduced by improving a patient's thyroid hormone levels within the "normal" range?
Menopause is natural, but is highly deleterious for a woman's health and quality of life. It is an evolutionary
compromise--to stop women from having children at some age so that they can care for the children that they have had--raising
them to independence. Imagine the consequences if women could get pregnant until the day that they die! Menopause is
ovarian failure--complete failure of a major endocrine gland. In men, it is equivalent to having one's testicles removed at
age 50. Men would not tolerate that--and neither should women tolerate losing their ovarian hormones now that we have the
ability to replace them. Ovarian failure causes skin atrophy, bone atrophy, vaginal atrophy, cognitive dysfunction, sleep
disruption, hot flashes, and hair loss. It promotes heart disease, dementia and stroke. Menopause does not prevent breast
cancer--breast cancer incidence continues to rise throughout menopause.
Heart attacks, autoimmune diseases, some cancers, etc. occur years after hormone deficiencies begin and occur more often in
people with lower hormone levels. If higher hormone levels were bad for us, then studies of balanced bioidentical hormone
replacement should reveal rapid and obvious increases in all kinds of problems. However, such studies show only the expected
benefits and no proof of harm!! The known deleterious effects of non-bioidentical hormone-like drugs (ethinyl estradiol, Provera,
prednisone, etc.) do not apply to bioidentical hormones, of course, unless proven otherwise.
For Health and Quality of Life