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.