Hormone Replacement and Anti-Aging goes hand in hand. In order to have full beneficial results, all hormones need to be checked, monitored and balanced accordingly. We do not check just one level of a certain hormone. All levels need to be checked to ensure that each hormone level is accurately balanced. If not, than one unbalanced hormone can affect all other hormone levels in your body causing a domino effect. It is extremely important to have all your levels checked prior to starting a hormone regimen.
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HRT for Women
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is primarily used for women pre, post, or peri-menopausal; although, women of all ages may have issues with hormone imbalance that may need adjusting. Symptoms of imbalance in women may occur as early as the late 20’s to early 40’s and tends to increase as a woman ages, especially if ignored in the early ages.
Signs and Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance:
- Low sex drive
- Weight Gain or Loss
- Hair loss
- Changes in Mood, Alertness and Memory
- Changes in Menstrual Cycle
- Fibrocystic Breast
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Hot Flashes
Causes of Hormone Imbalance:
Many factors can affect women’s hormones. Birth control use, exposure to pollutants and chemicals, stress, processed food or food with hormones such as chicken, beef, eggs and milk. Some other causes are other health issues, hystorectomy or synthetic hormone replacement.
Risks of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Your doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of hormone replacement therapy. Benefits of hormone replacement may protect against osteoporosis. Other benefits may help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, and heart disease in young women. Primary benefits from HRT reduces symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, anxiety, vaginal dryness, and painful intercourse. It also has improved collagen levels in skin.
Most common risks include breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke, and sometimes gallbladder disease. These risks vary depending on the type of hormone replacement and the medical history and lifestyle of the patient. Any regimen that is started is closely monitored by the physician and intially a complete hormone panel is performed as well as reassessment after three to six months. Office visits are scheduled on a routine basis until your hormones are stabilized.
Bioidentical hormone replacement is hormones that are identical in molecular structure to the hormones women make in their bodies. They’re not found in this form in nature but are made, or synthesized, from a plant chemical extracted from yams and soy.
HRT for men
How do I know if Hormone Replacement Therapy is right for me?
Men of all ages can benefit from hormone replacement therapy. The following are the signs and symptoms related to hormone depletion in men. By performing simple lab tests, we can find out if you are depleted in any of your hormones. Most common hormone depletion in men is testosterone although, imbalances in other male hormones can cause the same or similar symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of male hormone imbalance:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Poor concentration and energy
- Loss of muscle tone
- Low libido or sex drive
Middle-Aged Men and Andropause
Andropause is a menopause “like” condition in middle-aged men which is related to the constant decline in the sex hormone levels in men. Hormones in men peak at age 25, after which there is a steady decline. Low testosterone, also known as, hypogonadism can also appear as the symptoms listed above. Aging naturally causes andropause in men and not all symptoms are necessarily related to andropause.
It is a known fact that with decline of hormones comes the rapid onset of aging. For this reason along with many others, it is very important to have your hormones checked and balanced.
Causes of Hormone Imbalance
- Aging: Hormone shifts occur due to aging as the body decreases testosterone production
- Environment: Pollutants releases toxins in the air that can negatively affect hormone secretion
- Diet: Many of the foods we eat today contain hormones (estrogen) such as chicken, beef, fruits, milk and eggs
- Steroid use: Abuse of steroids can cause hormone imbalances and causes negative reaction in men
- Other factors: Genetic conditions or anomalies, infection, injury or illness
- Alcohol: Daily alcohol consumption greater than two drinks per day, depletes testosterone levels. This occurs even in younger men.
Risks of Hormone Replacement Therapy
For the majority of patients, hormone replacement therapy is perfectly safe. The side effects are rare or potentially mild. Some possible risks include skin irritation such as acne, fluid retention, testicular shrinkage, sleep apnea, excessive red cell growth and enlarge prostate. It is possible hormone replacement therapy can accelerate prostate or breast cancer. Your doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of hormone replacement therapy. Keep in mind, these side effects generally do not occur with lower doses that are usually used in hormone replacement therapy. It is in excessive doses that these effects occur. Some question that testosterone replacement therapy can reduce sperm count. Again, this is only true for doses that exceed the recommended ranges. Other concerns that may arise is testosterone converting to estone or estradiol. Medications are given in conjunction with testosterone replacement to block testosterone from converting to estrone, a form of estrogen that can produce prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women.
In simple terms, bio-identical means it is similar to what your body produces on it’s own. These hormones bind to the proper hormone receptors in your body and promote activity in that tissue exactly as your own hormones do. Conversely, synthetic hormones can bind to these receptors and alter the cell’s DNA. This is how hormone replacement gets a bad reputation for producing cancer. Studies done have shown that synthetic not bioidentical hormones have these adverse effects.