Naturally, both women and men notice a decline in hormone levels as they grow older. Hormone replacement therapy is a treatment containing either male or female hormones to correct a hormonal imbalance or restore depleted hormones, especially in females experiencing menopause. It can also help reduce fractures and prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women. Bioidentical hormone replacement in Lady Lake uses hormones with a chemical structure similar to your current hormones to restore depleted hormones. Since they are identical to your hormones which occur naturally, they pose no risks, unlike synthetic hormone replacement therapies.
Why Are Hormones Important?
Hormones act as messengers in the human body and control most of your bodily functions, some of which include the immune system, metabolic system, and reproductive system. Your body contains 50 different types of hormones. However, those you can replace through hormone replacement therapy include:
- Progesterone plays a crucial role in female reproduction.
- Estrogen is a female reproductive hormone but can also be found in men.
- Testosterone is a male sex hormone but is also present in women.
- DHEA helps with the production of other hormones such as testosterone and estrogen.
- The thyroid controls your body’s metabolism.
- Melatonin influences sleep and your internal circadian rhythm.
As women approach and go through menopause, hormones, especially estrogen and progesterone, drop significantly. Men also have a similar experience, andropause, which can start at thirty years of age when the production of testosterone drops.
How Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Work?
Ideally, all hormones share a connection, and they must have the perfect balance for you to enjoy a good life. During hormone replacement therapy, you will have a screening to determine the levels of hormones such as:
- Free T3
- Free testosterone
- IGF-1 (growth hormone)
- PSA (men only
Your doctor can recommend the hormones you need to replace for optimal health based on the test results. For women, you can have hormone replacement therapy if you experience symptoms linked to menopause. However, you may not qualify for HRT if you have an ovarian, womb, or breast cancer history. Additionally, a history of blood clots and liver disease can also stop you from getting HRT treatments. If you have untreated high blood pressure or are pregnant, you can also not get HRT treatments. A specialist can recommend alternatives to hormonal replacement therapy.
Side Effects of Hormonal Replacement Therapy
As you would expect with any treatment, hormonal replacement therapy comes with some side effects. However, most of them go away within the first three months of treatment. The common side effects include tenderness in the breasts, feelings of sickness, indigestion, headaches, abdominal pain, and vaginal bleeding.
Depending on how you respond to treatment, a specialist will determine how long you need to continue receiving HRT. Most women stop once the menopausal symptoms go away. A gradual stop offers better results because it prevents the resurgence of symptoms in the short term.
In summary, hormonal replacement therapies can help correct hormonal imbalances or replace depleted hormones in men and women. Hormones act as messengers and control most bodily functions. A specialist will conduct tests to determine the hormones you should replace. Depending on how you respond to treatment, they will also decide when to stop. You may experience some side effects, but they go away within three months of starting the treatment.