How Do I Access Or Start Hormone Replacement Therapy
This page is currently only available in English. Questions? Get in touch with us at
Hormone replacement therapy for trans and non-binary people in Ontario is no longer a specialty area. What this means is that in most cases, your current primary care provider can provide HRT for you. If your provider is not familiar with HRT, we have resources they can access to learn, such as such as Guidelines for Gender-Affirming Primary Care with Trans and Non-Binary Patients and Primary Health Care for Trans Patients. We also offer ongoing mentorship and training for healthcare providers to build their knowledge and clinical skills.
If you do not currently have a primary care provider, you can use our Service Provider Directory to find a provider in your area.
How Your Diet Can Impact Your Hormones
Maintaining a healthy daily diet can help keep hormone levels stable. Foods such as olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, fibre from fruits and vegetables and quality proteins such as eggs, fish and meat, have a positive impact on our hormones.
Processed foods, fried foods, alcohol, sugar and artificial sweeteners can all have a negative impact on your hormones and lead to issues with blood sugar levels, estrogen metabolism and may other serious health conditions.
Learn To Manage Stress
Stress can wreak havoc on your hormones. Two major hormones affected by stress are cortisol and adrenaline, which is also called epinephrine.
Cortisol is known as the stress hormone because it helps your body cope with stress over the long term.
Adrenaline is the fight-or-flight hormone that provides your body with a surge of energy to respond to immediate danger.
However, unlike hundreds of years ago when these hormones were mainly triggered by threats from predators, today theyre usually triggered by peoples busy, often overwhelming lifestyles.
Unfortunately, chronic stress causes cortisol levels to remain elevated, which can lead to excessive calorie intake and obesity, including increased belly fat (
A 2005 review of studies found that massage therapy not only reduced cortisol levels by an average of 31%, but also increased levels of the mood-boosting hormone serotonin by 28% and dopamine by 31%, on average .
Try to devote at least 1015 minutes per day to stress-reducing activities, even if you dont feel you have the time.
Engaging in stress-reduction behaviors like meditation, yoga, massage and listening to soothing music can help normalize your levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Don’t Miss: Melatonin And Unisom Together
Eat Enough Protein At Every Meal
Consuming an adequate amount of protein is extremely important.
Dietary protein provides essential amino acids that your body cant make on its own and must be consumed every day in order to maintain muscle, bone and skin health.
In addition, protein influences the release of hormones that control appetite and food intake.
Research has shown that eating protein decreases levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates the production of hormones that help you feel full, including PYY and GLP-1 .
In one study, men produced 20% more GLP-1 and 14% more PYY after eating a high-protein meal than after eating a meal that contained a normal amount of protein.
Whats more, participants hunger ratings decreased by 25% more after the high-protein meal compared to the normal-protein meal .
In another study, women who consumed a diet containing 30% protein experienced an increase in GLP-1 and greater feelings of fullness than when they ate a diet containing 10% protein.
Whats more, they experienced an increase in metabolism and fat burning .
To optimize hormone health, experts recommend consuming a minimum of 2030 grams of protein per meal (
This is easy to do by including a serving of these high-protein foods at each meal.
Consuming adequate protein triggers the production of hormones that suppress appetite and help you feel full. Aim for a minimum of 2030 grams of protein per meal.
Youre Going To Bed Too Early
As work and life become more demanding and taxing on your mind and body, sometimes theres a tendency to lie down in bed in the evening long before its actually time for sleep. Oftentimes people doze off as theyre watching TV or reading a book at 8 PM, then wake up and cant get back to sleep. Or, they stay asleep with the lights on and the TV flashing in the background, and wake up early in the morning, feeling exhausted because they just confused their brain and did not get the restorative sleep they needed.
Additionally, some people experience whats called an advanced sleep syndrome. This is a circadian rhythm disorder, where a person has a strong propensity to fall asleep quite early. It becomes difficult to engage in evening activity, your social life suffers, and you typically wake up around 3-5 AM, unable to fall back asleep. It occurs more often as we get older.
You May Like: Can Having Your Tubes Tied Cause Hormonal Imbalance
Diagnosis Of Womens Hormonal Imbalance
Since the symptoms of female hormone imbalance are also common signs of a number of other diseases and health conditions, women experiencing them should see a physician for a thorough physical examination. If other underlying medical conditions are ruled out, hormone level testing is the next step. Hormone levels can be measured through saliva testing and/or blood tests. Establishing an accurate diagnosis of hormone imbalance may require several tests, done at intervals, as hormone levels fluctuate throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle and may change greatly from one day to another.
Balancing Strategy Three: Avoid Eating Animal Foods
All animal foods contain sex hormones that are often identical to the human versions. This is true even for animals raised without added hormones. All animalsincluding mammals, birds, and fishneed hormones for their own functioning. The hormones they produce become part of their tissues and secretions, which you consume if you eat meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or dairy.
Typically, the sex hormones you consume in the highest quantities vary with the type of animal food. Dairy and eggs contain the largest amounts of estrogen. For dairy, the soaring estrogen levels are tied to the fact that modern dairy cows are pregnant most of the year, and during pregnancy females become major estrogen producers. Testosterone exposure is strongly related to eating both milk and eggs .
Hormones in animal foods are absorbed into your body. One study had adult men and children who had not yet reach puberty drink about 20 ounces of cows milk. Both the men and the children had elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone in both their blood and their urine after consuming the milk. Testosterone secretion was suppressed in the men.
All three strategies to balance your sex hormones are important. Avoiding animal foods may be the most powerfuland the most overlooked.
Learn How Your Hormones Work Together
The first half of the menstrual cycle is called the follicular phase and is where you experience a rise in follicle stimulating hormone as several of your follicles begin their final race to ovulation. These growing follicles release the hormone estrogen in higher and higher amounts. Luteinising hormone then triggers ovulation the bursting open of a dominant follicle.
Following ovulation, there is a steep decline in estrogen. The sack which contained the egg begins to secrete another hormone: progesterone which increases and becomes our dominant hormone in the second half of the menstrual cycle which is known as the luteal phase.
Each of these two phases last roughly two weeks in a typical cycle. If your cycle is longer than 28 days, the first half of the cycle will be longer, with the second half usually remaining around two weeks. After this second two-week phase, if your egg is not fertilised, the lining which has grown to support a potential pregnancy will be shed in the form of your period. The is accompanied by a sharp drop in all hormone levels as you return to baseline. This bleed becomes day 1 of your new cycle, and the process begins again.
Stress Is The Major Progesterone Robber
Doing everything at warp speed is a major downside of modern living. You race the clock and feel you never have enough hours in your day. Often you feel you cant cope because you have no control over your life.
Dont underestimate the fallout.
Progesterone is a big casualty of stress. Every time youre anxious or wound up due to that traffic jam, huge in-tray, an argument with your partner, or car repair bill, your body responds as though your life is in danger. Hello, adrenaline and cortisol.
These fight or flight hormones have enormous impacts and lead to chronic symptoms of hormone imbalance. This happens because your body thinks youre in an unsafe environment and drops progesterone levels to ensure the lining of your uterus is not-conception friendly. This makes sense, given that your brain signals are saying your life is under threat. As a result, you may develop Luteal Phase Insufficiency.
Heres why: each month when an egg is released causing you to ovulate, it leaves behind a crater on the surface of your ovaries. This is called a corpus luteum and its like a little pop-up factory where most of your progesterone is made. When you ovulate, your body produces around 25mg of progesterone daily all through the fertile phase of your menstrual cycle.
Or, it should produce this amount. But I constantly see a hormonal imbalance in women that leads them to have:
Estrogen Dominance + Luteal Phase Insufficiency = Progesterone Deficiency.
Also Check: Does Nugenix Have An Estrogen Blocker
How To Order Hormones Online
Some people in our community choose to take hormones without going to a doctor:
- to save money
- to keep it out of their medical record
- to keep others from knowing
It is safer to take hormones under a doctors care.
This section is written for adults. If you are not an adult, see how to get hormones as a transgender minor.
Some people order hormones online from foreign pharmacies. This can be a choice for those who do not want others to know about their hormone use.
- Buying and importing prescription drugs without a prescription is probably against the law where you live.
- Because it is against the law, you might lose the money you paid:
- No drugs sent
- Drugs taken by police at the border
If you wish to take that risk, here is how to do it.
Key Hormone #: Estrogen
The first hormone is estradiol this is the form of estrogen produced in the greatest amounts by women of childbearing age. Estrogen is considered the happy hormone, because it boosts neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which gives us a sense of pleasure and motivation. It is also great for:
You May Like: Can Having Your Tubes Tied Cause Hormonal Imbalance
What Happens To Hormones
High levels of FSH in the early follicular phase stimulate folliculogenesis . In the beginning of the cycle, many follicles grow equally quickly until a dominant follicle emerges.
Maturing follicles produce estrogen, which causes the luteinizing hormone to increase. High levels of estrogen and LH activate the complex biochemical interactions that lead to ovulation.
Estrogen is one of the most impactful hormones in the body. Estrogen is responsible for the stimulation of secondary female characteristics . It can also impact other aspects of health such as mood stability, complexion, bone health, and cholesterol levels.
Hormone Balance And Tummy Trouble
Cells lining the gastrointestinal tract have receptors for both estrogen and progesterone. Levels of these hormones change throughout the course of a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle. When they do, they impact the function of the gastrointestinal system. Women often experience abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, and nausea before or during their periods. These symptoms can also occur with many other conditions. If a woman experiences them along with mood changes and fatigue before or during her period, it may be more likely that the GI disturbances are occurring due to monthly hormonal fluctuations.
Progesterone Helps You Sleep Better
If you can’t sleep or you don’t get good quality sleep, hormone balance may be to blame. Progesterone is one compound released by the ovaries that helps you sleep. Low levels may make it difficult to fall and stay asleep. A small study in postmenopausal women found that 300 milligrams of progesterone restored normal sleep when sleep was disturbed. Estrogen levels decrease in perimenopause and after menopause. This may contribute to night sweats and hot flashes, which often disrupt a woman’s ability to sleep. See your doctor if you believe an imbalance in hormones is contributing to sleep problems.
Weight Gain Or Difficulty Losing Weight
Why do so many people struggle with weight loss and maintenance? Usually, its because they are eating nutrient-poor foods and working too hard. The body processes this hard work as stress and when the body is stressed, it goes into survival or fight or flight mode, producing cortisol. When youre chronically stressed, your cortisol is always high and in an effort to protect itself from whatever danger it senses, your body holds onto fat as a form of energy.
You May Like: Unisom And Melatonin
Your Hormones Your Health
Feeling bloated, irritable, or just not your best? Shifts in your hormones could be to blame. Hormones are chemical âmessengersâ that impact the way your cells and organs function. Itâs normal for your levels of them to shift at different times of your life, such as before and during your period or a pregnancy, or during menopause. But some medications and health issues can cause your levels to go up or down, too.
How The Follicular Phase Might Feel
Many people report a positive mood between days 6 and 14 of their cycle. For some, their confidence grows slightly between days 6 and 13 of their cycle due to increased estrogen and testosterone levels. If you notice this is true for you, you can plan your schedule so youre feeling your most confident during meetings or job interviews.
Hormone levels on days 614 of the cycle can affect the skins scent, which can affect how fragrances and perfumes interact with each persons personal chemistry.
How Do Testosterone And Estrogen Differ
Testosterone, the key hormone in men, is the chief regulator of muscle tone and lean body mass, or the very essence of what gives a man his masculine appearance. A normal level of testosterone is a broad term, making deficiencies difficult to detect. The hormone is produced by the adrenal glands and testicles, with levels highest in the mornings and decreasing throughout the day.
Testosterone also regulates a mans sex drive. Lack of sexual desire and performance, often associated with low levels of testosterone, or low T, is a common complaint from men as they age and hormone levels drop. Sex drive and performance, however, require the presence of both estrogen and testosterone.
Estrogen, by contrast, is the hormone responsible for sexual and reproductive development in women and is also referred to as the female sex hormone. Estrogen is really a group of hormones that includes estrone, estradiol and estriol. Estrogen is produced in the ovaries but also by fat cells and the adrenal gland.
Too Much Stress On The Liver
According to Chinese medicine, 1-3 AM is the peak time for the liver to carry out its essential functions. If youre waking up around 3 AM, this may be something to think about. When repeated issues occur at the same time of day, it could be an indication that the organ thats working at that time is in trouble.
Unfortunately, the modern diet and lifestyle put a lot of pressure on the liver with fatty and processed foods, refined sugars, alcohol, and way too much stress. The liver uses glycogen from the bodys sugar storage.
When we are stressed and our stress hormones are run-down, our sugar levels fluctuate throughout the day. By 3 AM there is not enough glycogen for the liver to regenerate. Therefore, adrenaline is produced by the body to compensate, and adrenaline is designed to keep us awake.
Don’t Miss: Does Melatonin Cancel Out Birth Control Implant
Balancing Strategy One: Carefully Consider Before Taking Supplementary Hormones
Some people have diagnosed medical conditions that may be treated with supplementary estrogen, testosterone, or other sex hormones. Before deciding whether to use hormones if you have one of these conditions, be sure you thoroughly understand the potential benefits and risksand weigh these carefullysince sex hormones influence your entire body. Consider if there are alternative evidence-based treatments, as well as the benefits and risks of these. If you use oral contraceptives, be sure to understand possible side effects.
Millions of men and women seek supplementary hormones for vague purposes, such as weight loss, low energy, or a quest to regain lost youthfulness. In this case, the risks are likely to outweigh potential benefits. This is true regardless of whether you use compounded bioidentical hormones or those approved by the Food and Drug Administration .
The National Toxicology Program of the Department of Health & Human Services classifies estrogen as a known human carcinogen, associated with both uterine and breast cancer. Supplementary or excessive estrogen has also been linked to ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, dementia, and stroke.
Testosterone: The Big T
Testosterone, the principal male sex hormone, is responsible for a host of physical and mental effects in the human body .
Testosterone is also a powerful mood and cognition booster, proven to combat cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and osteoporosis.
So who in their right mind wouldnt want a healthy dose of testosterone coursing through their veins?
But before you run to your docs office to apply for testosterone injections, pills or creams, hear me out. You can enhance your T-levels without the use of synthetic chemicals, drugs or supplements. Side-effect free, the way nature intended.
What causes low testosterone?
Aging, chemical exposure, micronutrient deficiencies , and excessive alcohol consumption lower androgen levels. Overtraining is also notorious for shattering your testosterone.
But the biggest hormonal disruptor, by a long shot, is your gut.
The aromatase enzyme takes your precious testosterone molecules and converts them to estrogen in a process called aromatization. Excess estrogen in the male body promotes the accumulation of body fat, the loss of lean mass, prostate enlargement, erectile dysfunction and a host of effects you might want to avoid.
Remember the last time you felt so good you wanted to hug the world while doing a triple backflip at the same time?
That my friend is dopamine at work. This neurotransmitter strongly correlates with your T-levels.
No dopamine= no energy, no confidence, no sex drive, no life.
You May Like: Can Having Your Tubes Tied Cause Hormonal Imbalance