Understanding Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy is a treatment method used to relieve the symptoms caused by the decrease in the production of certain hormones in the human body. Though most frequently associated with the treatment of menopausal symptoms in women, hormone replacement therapy can be used for relieving the symptoms caused by decreased testosterone production in men and it is standard treatment used for transgender patients.
What Makes Hormone Replacement Therapy Necessary?
Hormones are substances naturally secreted by the human body that control the functioning of various organs of the body. Ideally, the hormones released by the body’s organs form a synergy, but the system is in a state of delicate balance that can be easily upset. The most important causes of a hormonal imbalance include environmental factors, such as lifestyle and stress as well as natural processes, such as aging. As women approach menopausal age, their bodies start producing less estrogen and progesterone, the female body’s dominant sex hormones, while the male body starts releasing less testosterone after the age of 30. Low levels of the body’s important hormones can cause symptoms the severity of which can vary from mild to very severe, even to life threatening and it is ultimately the severity of the symptoms experienced that determines the necessity of hormone replacement therapy.
The symptoms that indicate hormone deficiency are obviously different in men and women. In women, the symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, muscular and joint pain, dizziness, weight gain, less interest in sexual activities, heart palpitations or headaches. Low testosterone levels in men are also associated with a wide range of symptoms, including decreasing muscle bulk, bone loss, sleeping disorders, including the worsening of sleep apnoea, decreased sex drive, loss of motivation, depression and mood swings.
How Hormone Replacement Therapy Works
The symptoms of hormonal imbalance can mimic the symptoms of several other illnesses, therefore the process of identifying the best treatment method starts with thorough medical investigations, including blood tests, to rule out any underlying physical conditions and can be solved with the help of a hormone Therapy Denver professional. Hormone products come in various forms, including tablets, skin patches that need to be replaced daily, pellets that are implanted underneath the skin and release the hormones necessary for remedying the symptoms gradually and gels that are applied on the skin directly.
In most cases, the beneficial effects – the amelioration or the complete disappearance of the symptoms – are almost instant.
The Side Effects of Hormonal Therapy
Modern, bioidentical hormones, that behave more like the hormones secreted by the human body and less like medication have fewer side effects than the traditional medications used in hormone replacement, but any hormone administered from the outside can cause side effects. These side effects include bloating, fluid retention, indigestion, headaches, depression and weight gain and hormone therapy can also increase the risk of certain illnesses, such as blood clotting and prostate growth in men. However, with proper monitoring and ongoing communication between the patient and the doctor, these side effects can be efficiently addressed by switching to a different medicine.