Whether you are going through menopause or are dealing with some unexplained symptoms related to your hormones, you could stand to benefit from hormone replacement therapy! At Assure Wellness Group, our physicians and hormone therapy specialists would be delighted to provide this service to you if you need it.
How Does Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy Work?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), along with traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT), is intended to supplement hormone production for individuals with low or imbalanced hormones.
What makes bioidentical hormone replacement therapy unique is that it uses human-made hormones derived from plant sources. The hormones derived from these plant sources are chemically identical on a molecular level to those found in our bodies. In this way, bioidentical hormones differ from those used in traditional hormone replacement therapy, which are made from synthetic substances such as the urine from pregnant mares, in addition to other substances. As such, BHRT is often seen as a more natural alternative to traditional hormone replacement therapy.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be administered in the following ways:
- Topical creams or lotions
- Transdermal patches
- Vaginal gels or rings
At Assure Wellness Group, we use hormone pellets to administer BHRT to our patients, as they most closely imitate your body’s natural hormone production and utilization.
What Are Hormones and How Do They Affect Aging?
Hormones function as chemical messengers sent by your brain and endocrine system; they travel through your bloodstream to regulate and ensure the proper functioning of virtually every bodily process, including growth and development, metabolism, mood, reproduction, and sexual health. They are secreted directly into the bloodstream by the endocrine system’s various glands located throughout the body, including your hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, and pancreas glands. The ovaries and testes also produce sex hormones. Your bloodstream carries the hormones from these glands at your brain’s command to the organs and tissues they are responsible for regulating and controlling. As such, they are essential to our health and body’s basic functioning!
However, as with any cell, system, or organism, hormones also change with age. As we age, hormone levels may decrease or become imbalanced, and target organs or tissues may also become less responsive to hormones. For example, organs and tissues often become less responsive to hormones produced by the hypothalamus gland as we age, which modulates the entire endocrine system and also regulates appetite, body temperature, stress levels, memory, and energy maintenance. Parathyroid levels often increase with age, affecting bone density and causing an increased risk of osteoporosis. The most common hormonal changes caused by aging occur with the sex hormones: testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. The decline in the production of these hormones is responsible for menopause, andropause, and post-menopause.
What are the signs that you need hormone replacement therapy?
If you have low or imbalanced levels of certain hormones, you may be an ideal candidate for hormone replacement therapy. That said, you may be experiencing the symptoms of low or imbalanced hormones while being unaware of the cause of those symptoms. As such, it is helpful to know the signs of low or imbalanced hormones. Some indicators that you could benefit from HRT include the following:
- Anxiety or depression, especially with no history of mental illness
- Brain fog or memory difficulties
- Bone density loss, causing more risk of fractures
- Fatigue or lack of energy or motivation
- Hair loss
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Little to no sex drive or libido
- Mood swings or irritability
- Pain, burning, or itching sensation during sex
- Unexplained weight gain or trouble losing weight
- Vaginal dryness