Your hormones are the chemical messengers of your body, and they affect just about every process that goes on inside your body, not just your reproductive system. Weight, sleep, appetite, growth, even body temperature– all of these things are affected by changing levels of hormones in your system. You might’ve known this fact already, and maybe you’re familiar with other bodily processes that your hormones affect, but did you know that your hormones also play a role in your cardiac health? The different levels of estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone in your system can change how your heart functions and can even raise or lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Let’s take a look at how your hormones can affect your heart health.
While estrogen’s primary function is as the female sex hormone, it has a surpisingly strong effect on cardiovascular health. Studies show that leading cause of death in postmenopausal women is heart disease. Although this connection is still being studied, the evidence suggests a correlation between the increased risk of heart disease following menopause and the dropping estrogen levels that occur at the same time, which seems to line up with the various functions of the hormone. Estrogen can improve the ability of your blood vessels to dilate and respond to changes in blood pressure, and they also help you to avoid clots.
There have been some studies that would seem to disprove the theory that dropping estrogen levels are bad for your heart, where postmenopausal women who were undergoing hormone replacement therapy didn’t see any benefits from increased estrogen. However, in these studies, the women were taking orally-dosed estrogen that affects cardiovascular health in different ways and can sometimes cause more harm than good. Naturally derived estrogen that is delivered percutaneously (under the skin) like the kind offered by Renewed Vitality has been shown to have more positive effects on heart health.
Lower levels of testosterone are not only associated with cardiovascular disease, they’re associated with other conditions that can eventually lead to cardiovascular disease, such as insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Between 27 and 36 percent of men who experience heart failure are also testosterone deficient, so much like estrogen, the connection is still being studied, but a correlation between testosterone levels and heart health is certainly present.
Testosterone has some vasodilatory effects (the dilation of veins) just like estrogen, and also plays a role in fighting inflammation and influencing muscular strength. Because of all of these things, testosterone replacement therapy has been shown to have positive effects for heart failure patients, including female patients, increasing functional capacity and decreasing other heart failure symptoms without major side effects.
Progesterone’s relationship to heart health is a little complicated. Part of this is due to the role progesterone plays in the production of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone that also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. Heart disease means lots of inflammation, so cortisol is one of the tools the body uses to fight back The body uses progesterone to make cortisol, and in times of stress where lots of cortisol is needed, your body could become deficient in progesterone and experience a hormonal imbalance.
The other part of progesterone’s relationship to heart health has to do with a confusion in terms between natural and synthetic progesterone. The naturally occurring hormone has no negative effects on the cardiovascular system, but synthetic progesterone, or progestin, can be detrimental to the blood vessel walls and may increase clotting. This poses a problem, especially when a heart issue creates a progesterone imbalance due to high cortisol production. However, it’s been found that bioidentical progesterone hormone replacement treatment, like the kind offered by Renewed Vitality, doesn’t share the same risks as progestin and can be a useful treatment to help these imbalances.
As you can see, the relationship between your hormones and your heart is complicated and interconnected, with lots of studies still being conducted today. However, reliable bioidentical hormone replacement therapy has been well-established as helpful in cases of cardiovascular disease, so if you’re interested in learning more about how Renewed Vitality can help you, don’t hesitate to contact us.