Understanding the Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormones control every function in our body. They help control your reproductive organs and everything from your metabolism and energy to mood, sleep, strength, sex drive, graceful aging, and more.
Hormone levels typically peak in healthy adults between 20 and 30 and decline as we age. This drop in hormone levels associated with aging is unavoidable. But new research indicates that hormone replacement therapy may be a viable treatment option to counteract the adverse effects of low hormone levels.
Before you dive into hormone replacement therapy, it’s essential to understand the benefits and determine if it’s right for you.
What is hormone replacement therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy is a treatment option that incorporates individualized doses of hormone components that mimic hormones created by the human body.
Hormone replacement therapy is most widely known for treating the symptoms of menopause. Still, it has many more uses to correct hormone concerns for both men and women that can arise throughout your life.
What is a bioidentical hormone?
Bioidentical hormones are lab-made hormones derived from a plant steroid found in soy and wild yams that are molecularly identical to the hormones our bodies naturally produce. Sometimes referred to as natural hormones, bioidentical hormones are considered safe and effective for treating various hormonal concerns.
Bioidentical vs. Traditional Hormone Replacement Therapy
The main difference between bioidentical and traditional (synthetic) hormones is the chemical makeup. Synthetic hormones are chemically produced hormones that mimic our body’s hormones but don’t act exactly the same as human hormones do in the body.
Synthetic hormones typically do not offer the same effectiveness as bioidentical hormones, which can cause unwanted side effects. Ongoing research has identified that synthetic hormones can increase the rates of breast and uterine cancers. In contrast, their bioidentical counterparts are more breast-, heart-, and brain-friendly.
What conditions or symptoms can hormone replacement therapy help improve?
Both men and women may benefit from personalized hormone replacement therapy to address the following conditions or symptoms:
- Progesterone Deficiency. Women with progesterone deficiency can experience irregular menstrual cycles, anxiety and depression, insomnia, and difficulty losing weight which can all be addressed with hormone replacement therapy.
- Testosterone Deficiency. Testosterone deficiency is usually associated with men; however, women can experience testosterone deficiency resulting in weight gain, decreased energy, low libido, and depression.
- Thyroid Conditions. The thyroid helps regulate many of the body’s functions. Low or elevated thyroid levels can occur in both men and women, causing weight issues, anxiety or depression, irregular menstrual cycles, or changes in bowel movements.
- Adrenal Fatigue. Symptoms of adrenal fatigue, commonly caused by high levels of chronic stress, can be resolved by restoring adrenal hormone levels in both men and women.
- Fibromyalgia. Hormone replacement therapy can help reduce pain sensitivity common with fibromyalgia, an autoimmune disorder commonly occurring in women over 50.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Hormones like cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones play a role in digestion and nervous system regulation that helps move food through our gut and intestines. Hormone replacement therapy can help improve constipation and diarrhea associated with IBS.
- Sexual Dysfunction. Vaginal dryness and low libido for women and low libido and erectile dysfunction for men are common consequences of hormonal imbalances experienced during menopause or andropause. Rectifying hormone imbalances can help restore sexual function and a healthy libido for both men and women.
Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy
There are many benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, including:
Support for the Aging Brain and Nervous System
The brain’s structure and function naturally decline with decreases in estrogen or progesterone production. There’s substantial research that hormone replacement therapy can positively alter the brain structure and function, leading to improved verbal and visual memory, cognitive function, brain fog, and enhanced memory for both women and men.
The decrease in estrogen production also influences the nervous system function, impacting memory and cognition and increasing the risk of ischemic stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Hormone replacement therapy helps improve blood flow to the brain, providing anti-inflammatory effects helping to improve fine motor control, learning, and memory, along with decreased rates of neurological disease.
Decrease Risk of Osteoporosis and Increase Bone Density
Estrogen levels naturally decline with age increasing the risk, primarily in women, of osteoporosis and loss of bone density. Hormone replacement therapy helps balance estrogen levels, effectively preventing bone loss and reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis.
Alleviate Depression, Anxiety, or Mood Swings
Hormone replacement therapy helps stabilize the body’s hormone levels, effectively treating depression, anxiety, and mood swings by targeting the root cause.
Increase Healthy Muscle Mass
Testosterone, one of the primary hormones associated with creating muscle, decreases with age leading to decreased muscle mass and difficulty losing weight. Hormone replacement therapy, combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, hormone replacement therapy can help increase healthy muscle mass.
Improve Cardiovascular Health and Prevent Heart Disease
Research has slowly evolved around the cardiovascular benefit of hormone replacement therapy. While further research is needed, it is believed that hormone replacement therapy started in the early years of menopause does help to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Read more about the importance of cardiovascular health.
When your hormones aren’t at their optimal levels, it can wreak havoc on your sleep cycles. Hormone replacement therapy helps stabilize your hormones, addressing insomnia issues and promoting better sleep.
What are the signs that hormone replacement therapy may be beneficial?
Low or imbalanced hormone levels can affect the body in various ways. You may benefit from hormone replacement therapy if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms.
- Low energy or fatigue
- Menopause symptoms
- Decreased muscle strength
- Vaginal dryness, itching, irritation, or discharge
- Reduced sexual desire
- Unexplained mood swings, anxiety, or depression
- Difficulty concentrating
- Weight gain, particularly around the stomach and midsection
- Low energy or fatigue
- Loss of libido
- Weight gain
- Thinning hair
- Mood swings, anxiety, or depression
- Loss of muscle mass
- Feeling irritable or sluggish
What are the risks of hormone replacement therapy?
Like any medical therapy, hormone replacement therapy doesn’t come without risks. The risks can vary depending on whether you use bioidentical or traditional synthetic hormone replacement therapy. The main risks include an increased risk for clotting, which elevates your risk for stroke and heart attack, and an increased risk of breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers.
Customized Hormone Replacement Therapy now on Whidbey Island, Washington!
It’s a fact that hormone levels drop as we age, particularly in women who are experiencing perimenopause or menopause.
However, you don’t have to live with the discomfort stemming from fluctuating hormones.
At Reboot Center, we treat the unique individual that you are. We carefully design each patient’s customized hormone-balancing protocol with the key goal of getting patients on the track of healthful, zesty, productive longevity.
If you’re tired of your chronic fatigue, worried about your sexual health, or experiencing any of the symptoms associated with low or imbalanced hormones, schedule a complimentary health strategy session at Reboot Center.
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