Hormone Replacement Therapy
Our bodies are complex machines with many moving parts that work together, typically grouped as systems. Most people have at least a basic understanding of the nervous, circulatory, and respiratory systems. Fewer seem to understand the endocrine system, which controls your hormones. And hormones are how your body’s cells send messages. A hormonal imbalance can have far-reaching effects. Hormone replacement therapy seeks to return your body to a state of balance for greater overall health.
What Do Hormones Do?
Hormones are your body’s messenger system, influencing just about every organ, function, and cell in your body.
Released by endocrine glands, hormones travel through your body via the bloodstream. The endocrine system controls the amount of hormone released based on a variety of factors, including:
- The level of hormones currently in the bloodstream
- Stress levels
- Whether infection is present
- The presence or balance of other substances in the bloodstream
Any deviation from the norm may result in your body creating either too much or too little of a hormone.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Treatment Options
Traditionally, hormonal imbalances were treated with medications. Today, many people prefer hormone replacement therapy as a more natural way to return balance to the body. Southwest Family Medical offers patients two hormone replacement options: Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and testosterone injections.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)
Plant-based bioidentical hormones are created in a lab, identical to those produced by your body, and approved by the FDA. You also find compounded versions, which are custom-made in a pharmacy. However, these do not have FDA approval.
The most common hormone deficiencies treated by BHRT are:
BHRT is available in pellet form. The pellets are implanted subcutaneously and dissolve slowly over several months.
Although many people associate testosterone with sex, this hormone actually has a profound impact on the overall health and wellbeing of men. Testosterone affects:
- Bone density
- Muscle mass
- Red blood cell count
- Sexual health
Testosterone also plays a large role in regulating mood. Low testosterone levels may cause men to feel lethargic, depressed, or anxious.
One of the early warning signs of a testosterone deficiency is erectile dysfunction, commonly referred to as ED. Over one-third of men experience ED at some point. Bringing testosterone levels back into the “healthy” range nearly always results in improved sexual potency.
In addition to testosterone injections, we also offer testosterone pellets. Like the BHRT pellets, these are inserted below the skin and provide a regular stream of the hormone over a period of around 6 months.
Since many of the signs of low testosterone are common signs of aging, it’s best to talk to your doctor rather than self-diagnose. A blood test, medical history, and physical exam will reveal whether you might benefit from testosterone injections.
What Are the Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy?
As we age, our bodies naturally produce lower levels of hormones, particularly estrogen and testosterone. Because the endocrine system affects nearly every part of the body, hormone replacement therapy may help reduce risk for a variety of common chronic ailments associated with age. This includes:
- Loss of interest in sex
- Memory loss
- Mood changes
- Sleep issues
- Tooth loss
Hormone replacement therapy may also help alleviate symptoms commonly experienced during cancer treatment, such as insomnia and migraines. Schedule an appointment to learn more.