What is HRT Therapy?
What are hormones and why do I need them?
Hormones are the chemicals that coordinate all the biological activity that occurs between every cell in our body, Including out brain. They are the body's chemical messengers, orchestrating our metabolic processes by stimulating changes in our cells. Our hormones decline through menopause, aging, disease, or trauma. When this occurs the aging process accelerates, resulting in deterioration of both physical and mental characteristics.
Many experts agree that the diseases that occur with aging such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, bone loss, loss of memory, mental function, and more are a result of the loss of vital hormones, which can be prevented or held off by keeping the hormone levels in a balanced, optimal state as long as possible.
What are bio-identical hormones and how do they differ from synthetic HRT?
Bio-Identical hormones are identical to the specific hormone that your body creates. Although they are compounded from natural plant products, they are compounded down to the exact same compound that your body makes. So they are an exact fit for your body's receptors for that hormone. Synthetic hormones (like Premarin, Prempro), are not an exact fit for your body's receptors, so when they enter the body they break down into particles that your body does not recognize. Thus, you may end up with unwanted side effects. With bio-identical hormones, side-effects are rare if given appropriately.
What are the benefits of hormone replacement?
Our hormones are the most delicately balanced system in our body. Hormonal imbalance can take a strong body and make it weak.
Hormonal problems do not have to be seen as an inevitable part of aging, or as something we have to accept. Whether it is PMS in our 20s or 30s, menopausal symptoms in our 40s or 50s, or osteoporosis in our 70s, women don't have to accept these health problems as a normal part of aging. Likewise a man who has entered andropause (a decline in testosterone) in his 40s, 50s, or 60s should not have to accept this as normal.
Returning the body to hormonal balance has many benefits, such as protection against heart disease, cancer, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, osteoporosis, insomnia, depression, and decline in mental acuity, and memory. Hormone supplementation can prevent or halt the loss of muscle mass, increase in body fat, aches and pains, lack of energy, vaginal atrophy, painful intercourse, and decline in libido that occurs with hormonal imbalance. Many patients who take bio-identical hormones say they have more energy, better sex lives, stronger immune systems, more vitality and more confidence.
What are the goals of hormone replacement?
- To restore the protective benefits originally provided by naturally occurring hormones.
- To alleviate the symptoms caused by the decline in the body's production of hormones.
- To restore the body to optimal hormonal balance, similar to when we are in our 20s and 30s.
How do I find out more?
Find a healthcare provider who has a special interest in bio-identical hormone replacement and who will spend time with you. Someone who keeps up to date by going to seminars, reviewing literature, and listening to lectures. The experienced practitioner will provide you will the safest, most appropriate dosages of a complement of hormones based on your individual needs.
How Therapy Helps Women
From the time their cycles start to the time when they end and beyond, proper hormone balance affects many aspects of a woman's life. Bio-identical hormones can help teenagers with irregular cycles and cramping, perimenopausal and menopausal women with relief from insomnia, irritability, and loss of libido, to name just a few.
Thyroid problems are also very common and often undiagnosed in women. Low thyroid symptoms can be similar to those of hormone imbalance and include slow metabolism, frequent headaches, fatigue, depression, dry skin, brittle nails, cold skin and feeling cold, constipation, joint pain, and weight gain. Accurate testing can help you tell the difference and bring welcome relief from symptoms.
How Therapy Helps Men
Testosterone peaks in most men during their 20s. Sometime after age 40 the hormone-producing cells wane, causing men to lose about 60% of their testosterone levels. It is often noticeable in loss of muscle mass, decreased sex drive, hair loss, weight gain, loss of energy, and fatigue. Testosterone is the hormone that keeps your muscles toned, your bones strong and your mind sharp. Many believe hormone replacement therapy is even more important for men than women. Studies show testosterone may helps prevent onset of Alzheimer's disease, heart disease and osteoporosis.