Hormones in our bodies regulate multitude of functions. From the start in prenatal life until death hormones play a vital role in our lives. This role becomes visible when lack of hormones causes problematic symptoms.
Hormone deficiency can happen as a result of failure of any organ or gland producing specific hormones, this is uncommon. In normal lives aging is the main cause of decrease in hormone production.
A main function of human bodies is reproduction, thus some important hormones in men and women are produced by reproductive organs. In women, hormone levels fluctuate based on monthly reproductive cycle.
Around the age of 40 women’s ovaries cease to work and hormone production is limited. They will go through three main stages: pre (peri)-menopause, menopause and post-menopause. Women will experience an array of symptoms related to a drop in hormone levels.
Men have it a bit easier as men’s testicles can keep producing testosterone through a man’s entire life. A drop in production is not as sudden but when it happens the symptoms can eventually be as severe as those experienced by women.
The main cure in fighting hormonal imbalance is hormone replacement therapy. It corrects the cause, not the symptoms, by restoring correct levels of hormones.
Medicine has created bioidentical hormones from natural sources like yams and soy. The chemical structure of bioidentical hormones is exactly the same as in natural hormones found in the body. This, in theory, helps the body to assimilate them with greater efficiency and he body metabolizes them correctly.
The main hormones used by bioidentical hormone replacement therapy are the most important hormones. For women those are estradiol, estrone and progesterone. For men, primarily testosterone is used during treatment.
Many studies confirm the effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy, but every patient is approached as a separate case. Medical history as well as current hormone levels are an important baseline for the treatment plan.
The hormone-specialist doctor will decide on the best course of action and will prescribe specific therapy. In many cases the prescribed hormone cocktail is tailored (compounded) for a specific patient by our specializing pharmacy. Also doses may change to reflect naturally-occurring hormone peak cycles in women. Whatever the course of treatment is, it is also necessary to adjust individual lifestyle to support therapy.
Removing unhealthy habits and replacing them with new, healthy diet and exercise regimes, will help ease symptoms and support drug effectiveness. Many people undergoing hormone therapy improve beyond expectations. Many women who had experienced severe symptoms say they have claimed their lives back. There are also a number of related health benefits as a ‘side effect’ of hormone therapy. An example is the risk of certain age-related diseases gets lowered.
The best advice before starting any treatment is to find a certified doctor who specializes in hormone therapy and is up-to-date with the latest developments in this field. Studies have shown that certain old methods can carry a risk especially in prolonged treatment.
The main risk comes from incorrect dose, hence a patients needs to be supervised and doses adjusted to eliminate risk of complications. Finding the right doctor is the most important step to assure the success with any form of hormonal therapy.
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