Lifestyle

Women's balancing act

Maureen Calear in her colourful consultation room.
Maureen Calear in her colourful consultation room. Terra Sword

LISMORE herbalist and hormone consultant Maureen Calear has specialised in hormonal conditions for 16 years.

She says difficulty losing weight, osteoporosis and chronic low energy can all be hormonal.

"I like to explain to people what has happened and why, and what their treatment options are," she says.

Maureen has a special interest in bio-identical hormones - hormones which are identical to those naturally produced by the body, rather than synthetic hormones produced by pharmaceutical companies.

But she stresses not all hormone-related conditions require hormone treatment.

"Often it just takes minor adjustments to diet or lifestyle and there are wonderful herbal and naturopathic treatments which will do the job."

 

We asked her about hormone-related health issues and their treatment.

Q: Hormones obviously play a vital part in women's health yet many women post menopause are depleted of estrogen. Do you think it is always necessary to have some kind of hormone replacement or can changes in diet or lifestyle keep the skin, bones, and so on healthy?

A: In my experience it is not common for women to need additional oestrogen during peri or post-menopause. Diet, lifestyle changes and naturopathic treatments are often all that's needed. Where supplemental hormone does need to be introduced I have found that bio-identical progesterone has been successful in alleviating menopausal and menstrual cycle symptoms, without the side effects or risk factors associated with oestrogen. Progesterone is a hormone produced from ovulation for the last two weeks of the menstrual cycle and balances oestrogen activity. A reduced level of progesterone production during the menstrual cycle can result in what we call 'oestrogen dominance', which is often responsible for PMT/PMS symptoms and hormonal conditions. With reduced ovulation during peri menopause and cessation post menopause there is a corresponding reduction in progesterone production.

 

Q: What is the difference between pharmaceutical co hormones and bio identical hormones made by a chemist?

A: All hormones produced by pharmaceutical companies are synthetic. Unfortunately the body does not recognise synthetic hormone in the same way as our naturally-produced hormone. It can work at a more potent level, it can be active for longer or, in the case of progesterone, it can work quite differently from the natural hormone and rather than providing the balance and protection of progesterone, synthetic progestins can increase many of the symptoms or risk factors associated with oestrogen. Specialist compounding pharmacies produce bio-identical hormones, that is hormones which are identical in molecular structure to those our bodies produce. A medical prescription is required for all hormone in Australia.

 

Q: When would you consider bio identical hormones may be of use?

A: Where naturopathic treatment has not been sufficiently successful, where perhaps there continues to be menstrual cycle problems, excessive flushing, bone loss in osteoporosis or continued hypo or hyper thyroid symptoms, then bio-identical hormone treatment should be considered. Also, let's not forget men here too. Like women, their hormone production can start to reduce from their mid-40s, often resulting in fatigue, moods, depression, lack of motivation, reduced libido, even flushing.

>>More Health News

TREATMENTS

  • Bio-identical hormones can be incorporated into a cream, absorbed across the skin and go directly into the circulation, bypassing the digestive system.
  • It is crucial to have the right dosage. Initially this involves a saliva test, which measures levels of unbound, active homone.
  • The dosage must be monitored through follow-up testing. This generally occurs two to three months after the bio-identical hormones have been prescribed.
  • A compounding chemist needs to make the hormones and a prescription is required.

Topics:  women's health



Strange Politics: Follow Pauline on high and low roads

No need to choose - Pauline takes the high and low roads.

Enter Pauline Hanson - the political phoenix

Behind-the-scenes on the Northern Rivers

Olivia Newton-John and Gregg Cave at Gaia Retreat & Spa. Photo Contributed

The latest goss from our region

PHOTO GALLERY: Lego Brick Event, Lismore City Hall

Shaun Patrick (centre) shows patrons the Minecraft Lego display at the Lismore City Hall on Saturday.

Did we snap you at the Lego display on Saturday?

Local Partners

High achievers honoured at Australia Day Awards

FIFTEEN new citizens to be welcomed and 27 exceptional citizens and groups honoured.


What's fresh at your local farmers' market

Chillies should be available at your local farmers' market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Chillies, figs, finger limes, eggplants are ripe for the eating

'More sick people will be jailed': Confusion over medical cannabis

There is ongoing confusion about the legalities surrounding medical cannabis.

Is it legal? Where can you get it? What are your rights?

This week's Northern Rivers markets list

CASINO: McAuliffe Park in Hickey St is the venue for the new markets.

Check out the new Casino Riverside Markets this weekend

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

What's fresh at your local farmers' market

Chillies should be available at your local farmers' market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Chillies, figs, finger limes, eggplants are ripe for the eating

Buderim man strips off for speed dating with a twist

RAW AMBITION: Buderim local Jackson pictured with his blind date Candice in a scene from SBS's new dating show Undressed.

People have done stranger things for love

Agents desperate for stock as homebuyers circle region

Coorabell houses had a whopping median sale price of $1.4 million.

Lower price ranges stand out as Coffs property best sellers

7 quirky Airbnb homes on the Northern Rivers

Broken Head Bodhi Treehouse

Stay in a shipping container or treehouse for your next holiday

Controversial Iron Gates development renamed

Raine and Horne

Peaceful, pristine and perfect is the new motto for Iron Gates

'That’s the nature of commercial reality': Lismore council

GAME CHANGER: The $13 million proposal by Quest proposal is for a three-storey complex featuring 41 serviced apartments, 53 on-site carparks, 24-hour on-site management, a gymnasium and modern guest facilities.

"It's a shame the development is no longer on the table"

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!