Reader’s Question: I’m 51 and am going through the “change of life.” I’ve always been careful about what I eat and I go to the gym almost daily. But my cholesterol has been climbing and nothing I do seem to work. I’d really prefer to stay off of medications.
Dr. Glenn Rothfeld: Believe it or not, what you’re going through is very normal. And hopefully there’s a simple solution.
You see, when women go through menopause — or the change of life, as you called it – their levels of key sex hormones like oestrogen start to taper off. What many women don’t realize, however, is that cholesterol is a key building block for our sex hormones.
So here’s what happens — your levels of sex hormones dip, and your body sends a signal to make more. That causes your liver to release stores of cholesterol to help build the hormones.
But, of course, the cholesterol stays in your bloodstream and your blood level counts start to skyrocket.
The solution isn’t to take cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins. Aside from their side effects, which run the gamut from extreme muscle pain to diabetes, statins do nothing to address the root cause of your problem.
The answer for lots of women is hormone replacement therapy. Once you start replacing the hormones you’re losing through menopause, your body will stop releasing cholesterol in an effort to make more. As always, I recommend bioidentical hormones, which are safer and more closely mimic the actual hormones our bodies produce.
And don’t forget to keep sending me all your great questions! Just email me at email@example.com and I may just choose your question for an upcoming issue of Health e-Tips!Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing