Around 80 percent of women in the United States alone suffer from some kind of hormonal imbalance. Men also commonly suffer from hormonal imbalances, and many don’t even know that they have them. In fact, about 39 percent of men ages 45 and older have low testosterone levels. Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can treat this problem.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has proven to be one of the most useful methods. Take a look below and learn more about how to recognize the symptoms of hormonal imbalances and what you can do to address them.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has to do with providing the body with the hormones it lacks. When your body isn’t producing enough of the right hormones, an imbalance occurs. This imbalance is what causes a myriad of unwanted symptoms. In addition, long-term hormonal imbalances can actually be quite dangerous for your health.
Whatever the case may be, HRT can make sure that your body has all the hormones it needs to function properly. There are many different forms of hormone replacement therapy, as well as many different HRT delivery methods. Choosing the right type is important as it will help correct whatever hormone you may be deficient in.
That being said, how can you know if you have a hormonal imbalance in the first place?
A hormonal imbalance can occur in any of the many hormones in your body. More often than not, it has to do with sex hormones. The main sex hormone in men is testosterone. If a man is not able to produce enough testosterone, health problems may occur.
In women, the main sex hormones are estrogen and progesterone, as well as small amounts of testosterone. If these hormones fluctuate in some major way, the woman may experience a variety of symptoms.
In women, the symptoms are often vast and varied–commonly impacting women during perimenopause and menopause. However, hormone imbalance in women can happen at any age. These are just some of the symptoms women may experience:
In men, hormone imbalances are generally caused by low testosterone. Symptoms of hormone imbalance in men often begin in mid-life, but may occur earlier in life too. These are just a short list of the symptoms men may experience:
A hormonal imbalance may happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, there is a genetic component that may cause it.
In other cases, it may have something to do with a health problem such as thyroid dysfunction or a problem with the brain.
In most cases, hormonal imbalances are just a natural part of the aging process.
A variety of long-term health risks may occur if a hormonal imbalance is not treated. For example, men with low testosterone may develop weak bones and muscles, and they may start to gain a lot of weight.
Women with hormonal imbalances may experience mood swings, depression, acne, unusual hair growth and more. Some women may even be at a higher risk of developing uterine cancer or other cancers related to the feminine organs, such as the vagina or ovaries.
Both men and women with hormonal imbalances may be infertile.
Your practitioner will assess you, your labs, and your symptoms to determine whether or not you are suffering from a hormonal imbalance.
In some cases, an imbalance may be obvious. A man with excess fat distributed in a feminine pattern around the hips and thighs or a women with unusual hair growth or balding can be a clear sign of hormone imbalance.
Hormone replacement therapy can address these problems whether you are a man or a woman. This therapy is designed to supplement the body with the hormones that your body is currently lacking.
Once hormones are optimized, the body is able to function better and resoled the symptoms of hormone imbalance.
What you might not know about HRT is that there are several types of delivery methods you can consider.
It is important to consider these different methods to ensure that your treatment is seamless: fits your lifestyle and achieves optimal results during each treatment cycle.
Creams and gels are a common method of hormone therapy because they both simple to use and discreet.
However, this delivery method comes with some risks. Hormone creams and gels may transfer from one person to another through contact with the area where the cream was applied. This exposes kids, pets, and partners to the therapy and can impact their health.
Creams and gels also require application one to two times daily. If you skip a dose because you run out or forget, you can hinder the effectiveness of the treatment. It can also be difficult measure each dose and ensure that the exact amount is absorbed into the skin further impacting consistent and effective relief.
Pills are also a common method of hormone therapy. Pills allow for precise dosing and travel easily. However, much like creams and gels, they can be inconvenient.
Most pills have to be taken at least once a day, depending on the prescription. If you skip a dose, your treatment may be impacted. Furthermore, pills have to compete with the harsh environment of the gut. While most pills are designed to be effectively absorbed as they travel through your GI tract, this delivery method does not offer the consistency achieved by other delivery methods.
Patches offer the convenience of “set it and forget it,” but a bulky patch is hardly forgettable.
Patches may only be placed on certain areas of the body that are not always discreet in certain clothing.
Not to mention that patches do not adhere well when coming in contact with water or certain fabrics. If a patch falls partially or completely off, your treatment will be impacted.
Steady dosing is difficult with patches as well because the volume of hormone in the patch declines toward the end of the treatment cycle, leading to the return of unwanted symptoms until a new patch is applied.
Injections are a particularly popular method of testosterone therapy. Injections enter the bloodstream directly and therefore absorption is highly effective. However, injections must be administered every 7 to 10 days. If you skip or delay a dose, your treatment may be impacted.
Injections notoriously cause a rollercoaster dosing effect. Most patients that choose injections will experience a surge of hormones in the days after the injection followed by significant declines each day until the next injection. This can make symptom relief short-lived.
Injections are also associated with discomfort, inflammation, bruising, bleeding or pain at the injection site.
Pellets are the preferred method of hormone replacement therapy and have grown in popularity over the last decade.
For most people pellets offer a convenience that is unparalleled. Pellets are placed under the skin during a short medical visit and deliver a steady dose of hormone for 3 to 6 months based on your level cardiac output, gender, and dose.
You don’t have to remember to apply a cream, take a pill or hassle with painful injections.
This method of delivery also most closely mimics the body’s natural secretion of hormones–delivering timely and steady dosing for optimal function.
Hormone replacement therapy has been shown to be an effective solution to hormone imbalance. Men and women can enjoy greater vitality, reduced risk of disease, and a higher quality of life when hormone levels are optimized.
At EVEXIAS Medical Centers, each practitioner is expertly trained in hormone health and developing treatments plans that are tailored to the individual patient. Your lab results, medical history, symptoms and lifestyle will be reviewed to help you achieve real, lasting balance.
If you are tired of suffering from symptoms of hormone balance such as fatigue, low sex drive, irritability, anxiety, poor sleep, and more, schedule your appointment with EVEXIAS Medical Centers. It will change your life!