Is Hormone Replacement Therapy an Effective Treatment for Hormonal Imbalance?
Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers and have been at work since the day you were born. Hormones are essential in the body, and when they are out of whack, your life becomes a mess. No one wants to be a slave to their hormones, but sometimes it happens.
Hormones are essential for everyday life from dictating whether you are anxious or happy, to how you sleep. At times, hormones can be to blame when you gain unwanted weight or are fatigued or moody all the time.
Hormone imbalance can frustrate anyone, and you need to know whom to consult to get the proper hormone imbalance treatment.
Hormones and Hormonal Imbalance
We hear the terms hormonal imbalance so much used in the medical circles, and many might not know what it really means.
In truth, not unless you are in the medical field, it will be quite challenging to know if you have a hormonal imbalance. Additionally, how do you even know which hormones are imbalanced?
From birth, your hormones are running the show when it comes to many bodily functions. Most women will categorize hormonal problems to menopause.
For this reason, it is best if you know how your body works.
The first two hormones to be imbalanced are insulin and cortisol. Insulin regulates blood sugar and cortisol is the stress hormone. These two hormones affect ovarian, thyroid, and sleep hormones. This means that they will disrupt how testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and melatonin function in the body.
You also need to know that hormones also fluctuate as you go through different significant stages in life. But as women age, the levels of progesterone and estrogen decline. There will be an imbalance that will occur.
If the signs you have got resemble the following, then you may have hormonal imbalance:
- Weight gain
- Low libido
- Dry skin
- Vaginal dryness
- Night sweats
- Excessive body hair
- Irregular or heavy periods
- Hair loss or thinning hair
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a form of hormone imbalance treatment used to replace female hormones that the body stops making after menopause.
Hormone replacement can be done in two ways:
Systemic Hormone Therapy
This is systemic estrogen that comes in either cream, gel, skin patch, pill, or spray form. It is, by far, the most effective treatment for relieving symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats. It can also relieve vaginal symptoms such as dryness and itchiness.
Low-dose Vaginal Products
These vaginal products come in tablet, cream, or ring form. This method is effective for relieving vaginal symptoms while having minimal absorption into your body. But this method is ineffective in treating night sweats, hot flashes and won’t protect you against osteoporosis.
Even though many people will exhibit the menopausal symptoms, hormone replacement therapy is not appropriate for everyone. This is where a specialist comes in handy.
There are specific signs that make you eligible to get HRT.
In other words, your imbalance has to manifest in specific signs and symptoms. The signs you have got have to tally with the following:
- If you have premature menopause which means that you stopped having your periods before the age of 40
- If you lost the regular functioning of your ovaries before you reach 40 years
- If you have significant loss of your bone mass and other treatments aren’t working When you have moderate to severe hot flashes accompanied with other menopausal symptoms
Your age and the type of menopause you experience will play a major role in the risks that, at times, come with hormone replacement therapy.
There have been some reported risks that accompany hormone replacement therapy. Some of the risks are:
- Breast cancer
- Heart disease
- Blood clots
Studies show that the risks vary from person to person. Additionally, the risks depend on whether progestin is combined with estrogen, type of estrogen, and the dose used. All these risks have to be considered before you undertake the treatment.
If you have had cancer, blood clots, or unexplained vaginal bleeding HRT is not the way to go. If you got your menopause after 45 years of age and the menopausal symptoms are not bothering you as much, there is no need for HRT.
If you are seeking treatment, contact our hormone specialist at Optimal Bio, Dr. Gregory Brannon to book an appointment.