Hormone Replacement Therapy is used by many women over the age of 47 or so to fight menopausal symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) works by providing extra estrogen to the body to replace the hormones that are now lacking in the body. For some people, it has been miraculous in how well it helps the body to manage the symptoms of menopause. However, a lot of women struggling with hormone imbalance will also have to battle candida because too much estrogen in the system will feed candida and cause it to grow. In fact, one of the primary side affects of premarin, a common HRT drug, is yeast infections.
The female body is not just about getting as much estrogen into your body as possible to counteract the affects of getting older, the female body is all about BALANCE of the hormones. Balance is often not easy to achieve. There are generally 4 categories that women fall in to if their hormones are out of balance.
The first category and most common type of deficiency for women is a progesterone deficiency although estrogen levels are near normal. This type of deficiency occurs in women of all ages. Too little progesterone makes the amount of estrogen in your system appear to be too much to the body even if the estrogen is at normal levels. This apparent elevation of estrogen in the body causes the body to create candida.
The second category are people with an estrogen deficiency. If your progesterone levels are all right a little extra estrogen can be very helpful. The balance here will cause candida growth to be minimal.
The third category are women with excess estrogen. If you have extra estrogen you will want to get off HRT with the help of your doctor. This extra estrogen will cause candida to grow like wildfire and may also be responsible for an increase in the risk of heart attacks, stroke, breast cancer and blood clots.
The fourth category are women with estrogen dominance. This occurs when you do not have enough progesterone to balance the estrogen in your body. So, even though you may have too little estrogen if your progesterone levels are even lower your body will think that you have too much estrogen as it looks at the ratio between the estrogen and progesterone in your body to determine where you are. Estrogen dominance makes the body think that you have too much estrogen and candida will grow yet again.
Hormone imbalance are described very well at John Lee’s site on Hormone Imbalance. There is a questionairre on this page that may provide some insight to whether or not you are struggling with a hormone imbalance of some kind. The only way to really know where your hormones are at is to take a saliva test that analyzes where your estrogen levels are. Since a woman’s body may cycle through the month (depending on your age), the very best test to get is one that tests saliva every few days over the course of a month.
I did a test like this a couple of years ago and found that I had a condition called PCOS. I had tons of extra estrogen, virtually no progesterone to balance the estrogen and a lot of testosterone, as well. It was no wonder that I had difficulty keeping my candida under control. Understanding that I had PCOS allowed me to make a number of changes (adding progesterone, taking some estrogen reducers, adjusting my diet to reduce the carbs I was eating, and taking supplements like iodine) to get the PCOS under control so I could get rid of the candida for once and for all.
HRT is usually a simple approach – add estrogen and you will feel better. But, our bodies are not that simple. HRT may actually be making things worse in the long run. Now-a-days doctors are beginning to recognize that HRT treatment should just be a temporary thing; consider taking HRT for only a couple of months instead of for the rest of your life.
Understanding what your hormones are truly doing may be surprising and will enable you to understand where chronic candida concerns are coming from and give you the knowledge to get your candida under control.