The effects of hormones in the body was the focus of the monthly “Food & Fitness Lunch Session” on Nov. 2 at the Armed Services YMCA-Wellness Center at 110 Mountain Lion Road.

Stephanie Tomasek, a nurse practitioner ​at Wellstone Health Partners, presented a brief overview to a group of 10.

“Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers controlling everything from your heart rate, to metabolism, mood, sex drive, appetite and more,” Tomasek said. “As you age, your hormones decline, so those messages are not getting through.”

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) replaces the hormones that a woman’s body no longer produces due to menopause. The symptoms of men​opause are different for each woman but often include weight gain, fatigue and hot flashes, among others.

The two main hormones used in HRT are estrogen and progestogen, a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone.

HRT is available in several ways. Tablets are the most common method usually taken once a day. Skin patches stick to the skin and are replaced every few days. Estrogen gel is applied to the skin once a day and is absorbed by the body. Implants use a small pellet inserted under the skin, which is numbed with local anesthetic.

The implant releases gradually over time and stays in place for several months before needing replacement. BioTE ​Medical ​is ​a brand of the pellets.

Michelle Elza, 47, is using a natural diet program, Inspired Wellness, as her therapy, resulting in a weight loss of 26 pounds in three months and eliminating her menapause symptoms.

“The presentation today was interesting, but I know a lot of this information already, so I’m staying with what I have,” Elza said.

For the Dec. 7 session, Wellstone Registered Dietitian Carey Stites will present “Healthy Holidays Lunch & Learn.”

Stites will cook up some of her favorite holiday treats and will feature holiday survival tips for diabetics and healthy eating tips for all.

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