What Role Do Hormones Play In The Body
Hormones are the bodys messengers and control every bodily function, a few of which include the metabolic system, immune system, and reproductive system. There are 50 different types of hormones in your body. Hormones that are commonly replaced include:
- Progesterone: involved in female reproduction
- Estrogen: a female reproductive hormone, but present in men
- Testosterone: a male sex hormone, also present in women
- DHEA: a hormone that helps produce other hormones, like estrogen and testosterone
- Thyroid: controls how your body uses energy
- Melatonin: plays a role in sleep and internal circadian rhythms
As women leave their reproductive years in their late 30s and then reach menopause around 50, hormone production — especially progesterone and estrogen — decreases significantly.
Men also experience a similar period in their lives called andropause. Considered a male version of menopause, it can begin as early as age 30 as testosterone production declines.
What Should I Do If I Am Taking Hrt
If youre taking HRT, do not panic. Visit your doctor before making any changes to your therapy. They will consider your menopausal symptoms and your risk for developing certain diseases. Your doctor will give you advice about the pros and cons of continuing HRT. Some of your options may include stopping treatment altogether, taking a lower dose of medicine, or switching to another type of treatment.
Targeting Therapies To Specific Needs
Alternative options also exist for women with specific health needs or concerns such as:
- Women who prefer not to take a pill The methods to take hormone therapy have grown to include patches, gels and sprays in addition to pills. This allows providers to tailor the medication to each patients medical history and lifestyle. The transdermal patch, for instance, allows the body to absorb the hormones without going through the liver and provides a more consistent dose of hormones than other drugs, making it a safer option for women with certain risk factors. We also have Integrative Medicine providers with experience in Bioidentical Hormones.
- Women with vaginal dryness This common symptom is caused by dropping estrogen levels and is often associated with painful intercourse. However, symptoms can be managed with vaginal estrogen, which comes in many forms including creams, gels, sprays, pills, vaginal pills and rings.
Health and Wellness
Continued Care: The Asandramd Difference
This HRT process does not end with the insertion of your pellets. In fact, Dr. Asandras dedication to monitoring and attention to detail only intensify. You will be in constant communication with the doctor and his professional staff. They will invite you to report on how you feel as the hormone therapy takes effect in your system.
AsandraMD will routinely check your blood in the 3-4 months following your initial HRT session. If necessary, Dr. Asandra will fine tune your hormone plan to deliver the optimal results you deserve.
* Results May Vary
How Long Should You Use Hrt
Another big question is how long hormone replacement therapy can be used safely. It was once thought that using it for five years or less to relieve menopausal symptoms had no risks. But the WHI study seemed to show that was not the case.
There are still a lot of unknowns. Many women now take doses of hormones that are lower than the ones used in the WHI trial. Hormones are also delivered not just through pills, but in other forms, like skin patches. We don’t know yet whether these lower concentrations and different forms might decrease the risks.
For now, the FDA recommends that women who take hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms take the lowest effective dose and for the shortest time period to alleviate symptoms.
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Am I A Good Candidate For Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy isnt a good treatment option for everyone. If you have a history of the following conditions, a different approach might be a better fit for you.
- Blood clots in your legs or lungs
- Endometrial cancer
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
However, if youre over the age of 45 and dont have the abovementioned health issues, you might be a good candidate for HRT. Hormone replacement therapy can not only address menopause symptoms, certain types of HRT are also shown to protect against osteoporosis, and lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and colon cancer.
A Patients Guide To Hormone Replacement
If youve tried at home remedies to manage your menopause symptoms at home, but youre still suffering, it may be time to see a physician for more options.
Many patients come to me with questions about hormone replacement. Here are the most common:
What is Hormone Replacement?
Hormone replacement therapy is used to mitigate menopause symptoms in pre-, peri-, post- and surgically menopausal women. There are various types of medications and treatments that can replace naturally occurring hormones and ease the discomfort from symptoms like night sweats, mood changes, sleep concerns and more.
When should I start hormone replacement and who is eligible?
Therapies should be started ideally within five years of menopause, and may be helpful even before your periods stop. If you are having symptoms that cannot be treated via lifestyle changes or progesterone cream, you are likely ready for prescription hormone replacement therapy. There are systemic hormone options, as well as low-dose vaginal hormones, depending on your particular medical history. Active breast cancer patients and those with a history of blood clots in the legs or lungs should not undergo systemic hormone replacement therapy, but there are other non-hormonal options for these bothersome symptoms
Isnt Hormone Replacement Bad for You?
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Side Effects And Risks Of Bhrt
While the FDA has approved some preparations of bioidentical estradiol and progesterone, it hasnt approved any compounded bioidentical hormones. There are claims that bioidentical hormones are safer and more effective than traditional HRT because theyre identical in structure to those produced in the body. But these claims have not been confirmed by large-scale, reputable studies. The FDA urges caution when using compounded products.
Research has shown that hormone replacement therapy in general may increase the risk for certain conditions and diseases including:
Talk to your doctor about which form may be best for you and your lifestyle. Youll likely need to be monitored regularly once you begin BHRT to evaluate your bodys response. However, the FDA cautions against monitoring hormone levels via blood and saliva tests. These only tell you your hormone levels at a moment in time and can vary widely throughout the day.
The FDA recommends that if you do choose any form of hormone therapy that you use the lowest dose that produces results. The FDA also says you should use it for the shortest length of time possible.
What Kind Of Doctor Prescribes Hormone Replacement Therapy
Many people ask, What kind of doctor prescribes Hormone Replacement Therapy ? The answer is somewhat general in that almost any kind of doctor can prescribe HRT. There are Gynecologists, Urologists, Internists, and even Family Practice doctors that prescribe HRT. However, that is not the most important thing that a patient should consider when choosing a doctor for HRT.
The most important thing is that the doctor specializes in HRT and has built their practice around it. In other words, you want a doctor that does HRT all day, every day. You want your doctor to have plenty of experience with HRT. Some doctors have HRT added to their practice in the form of pellet therapy. Pellet therapy is not a fit for all patients.
The second most important thing is that the doctor uses Bio-Identical hormones in their replacement therapy. Most doctors are trained to use synthetic hormones like Premarin that is made from pregnant horse urine. You want to make sure that your doctor is using hormones that are the same molecular structure as the hormones your body made when you were younger .
Hormones by Design treats women and men with bio-identical hormone replacement. We have locations in San Antonio, Boerne, and Waco, Texas. Visit our website at www.hormonesbydesign.com.
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How Will Hrt Impact Your Family
Like any other important life change, starting HRT often comes with big feelings for everyone involved. As a parent, I found it important to maintain a strong relationship with my own therapist. Cat had enough on her plate without dealing with my worries or reactions.
can be hard, as emotions change a lot…but even with the difficulty, patients are usually very happy to tackle the initial struggle because the results are worth it for them, Anne Horowitz explains.
Your teenager may experience mood swings and increased or decreased acne along with the changes that theyre looking forward to. Most patients report that their mood stabilizes as their hormones do. “, we do want the patient to maintain a working relationship with their therapist, Dr. Horowitz adds.
Social transition and current media and political landscapes are likely to affect your family as strongly as any medical decisions. Be sure to maintain an open dialogue at home and check in regularly with your child to find out how they are feeling and what’s on their mind.
Family Practice Physician Located In Lady Lake Fl Now Servicing Patients From Villages Fl
Women experiencing a decline in hormone production arent the only ones who can benefit from hormone replacement therapy — men can too. Kalpana Desai, MD, at Integrated Family Medical Center in Lady Lake, Florida, proudly provides the best hormone replacement therapy in the state. Dr. Desai takes an integrative approach to caring for her patients, providing natural hormones to balance and restore the bodys function. If youre feeling a decline in your physical and mental vitality thats due to aging, call or schedule an appointment online today to learn more about natural hormone replacement therapy.
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Hormone Replacement Therapy Drugs
Whether or not you’ve had a hysterectomy to remove your uterus determines the type of hormone you can safely use.
We offer therapies that include:
- Estrogen therapy treats hot flashes in women without a uterus
- Estrogen progestogen therapy helps women with a uterus who need relief from menopausal symptoms along with protection from uterine cancer
- Estrogen with SERM, a non-hormonal compound, helps reduce hot flashes in women with a uterus while protecting the uterus and preventing bone loss
- Progestogen or progestin alone can provide treatment for women who can’t take estrogen
- Estrogen-progestin birth control pills can offer hot flash relief
- Low-dose vaginal estrogen applied topically or locally can reduce vaginal dryness and atrophy
What Is The Womens Health Initiative
The Womens Health Initiative was a set of studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Through these studies, researchers gathered information about the health of women who have gone through menopause. In the HRT trial, researchers were studying the effects of HRT on the health of postmenopausal women. Researchers were trying to determine whether using HRT affects a womans chances of developing:
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Precautions While Taking Hrt
Long-term use of HRT may significantly increase a woman’s risks of: Blood clots, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, endometrial cancer, strokes, heart attacks, blood clots, ovarian cancer, and gastroesophageal reflux disease .
If you’ve had cancer or certain other conditions, certain hormone treatments may not be advisable. Talk to your doctor.
Are There Other Options Besides Hrt For Treating Menopausal Symptoms And For Lowering My Risk Of Other Diseases
Yes. For some women, vaginal estrogen creams, antidepressants, soy products, and certain herbal supplements offer relief from menopausal symptoms. Other medications are available to help prevent and treat osteoporosis. Your doctor can help you decide which of these treatments might be most helpful for you.
Finally, remember that following a healthy lifestyle can also help protect against heart disease, osteoporosis, and some types of cancer. A healthy lifestyle includes:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Quitting smoking
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What They Know About Hormone Therapy
Above, we have linked to a tool that can help you find a doctor that is specifically trained to treat hormone imbalances for men and women looking to solve their health issues. These are doctors trained to identify hormonal imbalances using blood tests on their patients and treat patients with bioidentical hormones that will best meet their needs.
If one of our doctors is not close to you, you can ask your own questions regarding hormone replacement therapy.
- Do they test to determine which hormones are deficient?
- What kind of HRT do they routinely prescribe?
- Whats the success rate of their patients feeling better?
- How happy are their patients once on HRT?
Unfortunately, most doctors get very little training in hormone replacement therapy. Often, the hospital system has a contract worked out with a pharmaceutical company to provide one or two different medications, and then that doctor uses it to prescribe for everything.
While it may work for you, you may not get all the benefits that you possibly could. This is why you need to be absolutely sure that the doctor you choose is well-versed in hormone replacement therapy and knows how to balance the hormones you take precisely.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Procedure
From the moment you enter our Beverly Hills office, you will be put at ease. Dr. Asandra and his associates will answer your questions, listen to your concerns, and strategize a plan. Our strategy will depend on your current health status, so we begin with a gentle blood draw. This allows Dr. Asandra to see exactly whats going on in your body.
Once we get the results of your blood sample, our dialogue continues. Dr. Asandra will communicate his findings and explain their dimensions. Using this data, Dr. Asandra can begin to tailor a unique hormone replacement plan for you.
There have been vast advances in the fields of HRT and BHRT over recent years. Gone are the days of troublesome gels and creams. At AsandraMD, we utilize the pellet and injection methods for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
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About Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is for women in the pre-menopause and menopause stages of life. Bioidentical hormones are plant based, made from wild yams, and are chemically compounded to match the hormones of the human body. The hormones are given transdermally in the form of a cream or Troche .
If you are considering BHRT or are already a partaking in the therapy, here are a few things to note:
- The hormone cream works on a 1 25 day cycle
- Use your prescription at night only.
- NOS- NOS stands for never on Sundays. Your body needs a break for natural hormone receptors to recharge.
Diagnosis & Tests For Hormone Replacement Therapy
If you are age 45 and above, your doctor may not test you for signs and symptoms of menopause. Once symptoms occur, your doctor may examine you, take a personal and medical history, and work out lifestyle factors that improve your symptoms.
If you are under age 45, your doctor may perform blood tests to determine your hormone levels. They may also perform ultrasounds and physical exams to find the cause of your hormone deficiency.
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How To Get Started On Hrt
Speak to a GP if you’re interested in starting HRT.
You can usually begin HRT as soon as you start experiencing menopausal symptoms and will not usually need to have any tests first.
A GP can explain the different types of HRT available and help you choose one that’s suitable for you.
You’ll usually start with a low dose, which may be increased at a later stage. It may take a few weeks to feel the effects of treatment and there may be some side effects at first.
A GP will usually recommend trying treatment for 3 months to see if it helps. If it does not, they may suggest changing your dose, or changing the type of HRT you’re taking.
When To See A Doctor For Hormone Replacement Therapy
Menopause is a normal part of aging and most symptoms will pass on their own. Some people find them mildly uncomfortable and others find they interfere with normal living. When you begin to experience menopausal symptoms or find them unbearable, you can see a doctor discuss how to proceed.
If you have symptoms related to other conditions, like early menopause before age 45, chronic period problems, abnormal periods or bleeding, or infertility, you should see your doctor determine the cause.
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Offers Comprehensive Lab Testing And Assessments
You shouldnt expect to walk into a doctors office and get treated with hormone therapy within the same day. If you do, something is very, very wrong with that situation. A comprehensive HRT treatment plan should begin with advanced, full-panel lab testing and a personal, one-on-one consultation with a hormone replacement therapy specialist.
During your consultation, you and your doctor should discuss your lab results, as well as your symptoms and the aspects of your life that have changed since you came to suspect hormonal imbalance as the source of your plight. Then together, you and your doctor can determine the best treatment options that will address your health concerns and suit your lifestyle. In some cases, additional testing may be necessary, due to your medical history or the discussion of your symptoms. The fact is that the need for hormone replacement therapy should be carefully assessed before treatment is deemed necessary.