Bio identical hormone therapy (BHRT) is an effective treatment for those facing the unpleasant challenges that come with hormone changes as we age. Our hormones affect many of our functional systems, so when they start to change or become imbalanced, our bodies can experience frustrating symptoms. Our medical professionals at Soza Clinic in Richardson, TX are committed to offering the best hormone replacement therapy treatments for both men and women.
What Are the Benefits of Bio Identical Hormone Therapy?
Since bioidentical hormones are not animal-derived or synthetic, they are generally well-tolerated. This treatment is a more “natural” type of hormone treatment because the hormones used are molecularly identical to the ones naturally occurring in the body. There are numerous benefits to this type of treatment.
Two of the most important benefits, however, are that research shows there may be fewer side effects with BHRT and more flexibility in adapting and changing doses than with traditional HRT. This allows for a quicker reduction in symptoms and a smoother return to improved quality of life.
Reduction of Symptoms
Hormone loss brings a number of uncomfortable side effects. Research suggests those who seek BHRT experience more manageable symptoms quickly once they begin treatment. By establishing a better hormone balance, patients report less anxiety, depression, fatigue, and other related symptoms of hormone imbalance.
Improved Quality of Life
With the reduction of symptoms and increase in energy most patients experience after starting BHRT, studies show they also find a new motivation to return to hobbies or work they once loved but abandoned when they began suffering from symptoms of hormone loss. Motivation improves, as does mental health and sleep, thus inspiring many to begin living a more active and healthier lifestyle.
Understanding Hormones and the Endocrine System
Now that you know a little about why bio identical hormone therapy can improve the discomfort of hormone loss, it is important to understand the science behind hormone loss and the effects it has on your biology. While hormone changes are a natural part of the aging process, too much or too little change can create a problematic domino effect in your body’s functional systems. Hormones regulate many important functions and guide the organs of your endocrine system by telling them when to activate, for how long, and at what percentage of energy expenditure.
Your hormones act as communicators between glands that make up the endocrine system. This communication regulates reproduction, growth, and metabolism. When this regulation breaks down due to health conditions, chemical interference, or the natural aging process, this is where BHRT can restore balance to the system and resolve the persistent symptoms hormone loss can create.
The Biology of the Endocrine System
Disruptions in the endocrine system can cause disruptions to all the organs that make up the system itself. These organs include the hypothalamus, pancreas, reproductive organs (ovaries and testes), adrenal gland, thyroid and parathyroid, pituitary gland, pineal gland, and thymus.
These glands are responsible for producing hormones for specific functions, and then sending them out into the bloodstream to reach their intended targets. If this process is impaired, it can affect the level of hormones reaching the bloodstream, and thus the amount actually being delivered to the organs and cells that need them.
What Causes Hormone Changes?
Aside from aging, there are health conditions that can cause hormone changes. Blood circulation problems can impair endocrine function since the bloodstream carries hormones to their intended destination. A healthy and strong blood supply is necessary to transport them. In addition, diabetes (the most common endocrine disorder) affects the pancreas, which is responsible for producing insulin.
As the body ages, we experience a decrease in hormone production, which then creates a decline in endocrine function. Because of this, the receptors that attract and bind these hormones become less sensitive, which leads to a further decline in endocrine function. This negative feedback loop can cause even more medical conditions that, left untreated, can have serious consequences.
While the aging process is a primary cause of hormone loss, sometimes chemicals in our environment can disrupt hormone production and affect the function of the endocrine system. These chemicals are linked to adverse symptoms and endocrine function, and unfortunately can be found in everyday items like plastics, detergents, and cosmetics. These products are hard to avoid, which is yet another reason BHRT is making a reputation as an important and necessary corrective treatment.
Hormone Changes: Men Versus Women
Causes and Symptoms in Men
Like women, men experience hormonal changes as they age. Some men can experience a decline in testosterone – a condition called andropause – which is often referred to as “male menopause.” However, this is a bit of a misnomer, as it’s not exactly a correct description. Only some men experience this decline in hormones, and it can be measured using a test ordered by a doctor.
Men may experience symptoms such as erectile dysfunction, low libido, energy loss, and a decrease in muscle mass. These symptoms can lead to depressive episodes, fatigue, and anxiety, so supportive self-care is important for anyone experiencing the symptoms of hormone disruption. Osteoporosis is also a risk, so regular bone density screenings are always a good idea.
Causes and Symptoms in Women
Menstruation, birth, and menopause are unique life changes only experienced by women. Along with these life changes come special hormones necessary for regulating the body’s anatomy and physiology during these processes. However, as the ovaries’ activity slows down over the years, their production of progesterone and estrogen decreases as well, causing unpleasant side effects such as hot flashes, insomnia, and fatigue.
As a result, menopause is the number one reason women seek BHRT. As progesterone and estrogen hormone levels decline, the body’s organs may try to overcompensate by producing too much of other, unrelated, hormones. For instance, the pituitary gland often overproduces follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) as a response to menopause, which is yet another reason women choose BHRT to help ease her way through these changes.
Bio Identical Hormone Therapy Treatment: What You Need to Know
How Are Hormone Deficiencies Diagnosed?
Our experienced doctors at Soza Clinic can easily diagnose a hormone disruption with a simple blood test. Our specialists are experts in diagnostics and know exactly the kinds of questions to ask to get to the bottom of your symptoms. We can help develop an individualized treatment plan just for you that will relieve discomfort and restore your quality of life.
Forms of Hormone Replacement Therapy
This form of therapy used to be the standard method of treatment, but newer technologies are making their way into doctor’s offices and becoming increasingly popular. Nonetheless, this tried-and-true treatment can be adjusted to the body’s needs and typically only requires taking one pill a day. It is a reliable method with proper use and is the most studied of all delivery methods.
This is arguably the most convenient of all treatment methods. It is a revolutionary new treatment that requires only a few minutes in a doctor’s office and has little to no downtime. Pellet implants (about the size of a grain of rice) are inserted just under the skin. The process is quick and painless with the use of a local anesthetic. The pellets release hormones in a consistent dose, making them a worry-free and reliable treatment method.
While not as convenient as pellets, patches are also an apply-it-and-forget-it treatment method. Hormone patches are placed onto the skin (typically on the stomach) where they stay in place and deliver hormones for several days. Since they are absorbed topically, these are a good option for people who have trouble taking oral medications or have stomach problems.
Gels and Creams
Another topical treatment, these options are safer for people with liver problems or cholesterol issues. These treatments are delivered through the skin and into the bloodstream and are effective with correct use. Since they operate through skin absorption, please store with caution away from children and pets.
Signs You May Need Hormone Replacement Therapy
Symptoms Are Persistent
If you feel like you have tried everything, including balancing your hormones using alternative methods but are still experiencing fatigue, insomnia, low libido, and stress that come along with hormone disruption, BHRT may be right for you.
Many find that bio identical hormone therapy is the key to a sustainable solution for them, and studies show that most patients get relief after just one or two weeks of treatment. Don’t wait to call our doctors at Soza Clinic – there is no reason to put your discomfort on the back burner any longer.
Aside from the symptoms typically associated with hormone changes, you may also find that you are experiencing weight changes and bladder or bowel issues. These are less common but also associated with hormone disruption. Our doctors will ask questions about the history of these changes, and what helps alleviate them. This will help our team develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs.
Often, it is difficult to tease out the reasons for why we may be feeling anxious or even experiencing depressive episodes. Most of us have busy schedules and experience irritability or frustration regularly. However, unusually lengthy depressive tendencies and/or intense mood changes are not something you should have to live with. A consultation with our team of medical professionals can determine whether or not hormone changes are at the root of your symptoms.
While it’s normal for many of us to feel fatigued after a busy work week or particularly stressful experiences in our lives, but a feeling of unusual exhaustion day after day is likely a medical concern. If you find yourself fighting to stay awake, or barely have enough energy to get through the course of an ordinary day, a hormone imbalance may be the cause. Our doctors can assess your symptoms and help determine your best line of defense.
Yet another casualty of the aging process is bone loss. As our bone density decreases, the spine becomes more at risk for damage and degeneration. Our vertebrae contain discs that act as shock absorbers for our bodies. When these discs become less supple and start to thin out, our risk of falls and fractures becomes exponentially higher. If you are at a higher-than-average risk for falls or fractures, BHRT may be helpful. Research shows that bio identical hormone therapy can help lower the risk of osteoporosis.
Don’t Wait for Relief
If left untreated, hormonal imbalances can wreak havoc on a person’s life and wellness. Don’t wait to take the next step in finding out if bio-identical hormone therapy is for you. Our experienced doctors are eager to help you put an end to your discomfort. Call Soza Clinic in Richardson, TX today for a consultation.