Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men and Women
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) helps to balance hormones to revive the quality of life that you enjoyed when you were in your 20’s and 30’s. Many people think that hormone deficiency only affects women; however, men are also hugely affected by the reduction in testosterone production as they age. Replacing deficient hormones can help to address issues like low sex drive, mental sharpness, lethargy, and insomnia.
The fundamental goal of BHRT is to help the body function similarly to when it did when the hormones were at their peak, which is when we are younger. BHRT involves analyzing blood-work, learning about your specific symptoms, and creating a treatment plan customized for you individually. BHRT is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ treatment approach.
Men may notice low hormone symptoms as early as age 30, as this is when a decline in testosterone can be seen. Symptoms of low testosterone include decreased libido, inability to get or maintain erections, lethargy, and even weak muscle tone. The imbalance of male sex hormones can cause a depression that often leads to weight gain, which is a precursor for heart disease and diabetes. So it is clear to see how the foundation of hormone balance is the structure of our overall health.
Women may be forced into menopause surgically when they undergo a complete hysterectomy. Without a hysterectomy, menopause and peri-menopause can begin rearing its ugly head as young as in the thirties. Symptoms typically start after age forty and will get worse as women approach their 50’s. Variations of age for when menopause begins have a lot of factors like genetics, overall health, and smoking. Hormones will start to reduce naturally over time, nobody will escape this process, as it is the actual aging process.
If you are going through a deficit in hormone production, you may not be the only one to notice. It can also be seen by those you are close to, whether it be family, friends, or even co-workers. Mood changes, eating habits change, and forgetfulness are all signs that others may notice.
BHRT is a treatment that is a safe and effective approach to deal with the decline in hormone production as we age. This therapy needs to be followed and studied by a practitioner that specializes in bio-identical hormone replacement daily. You want a dedicated specialist that stays current on the latest advancements and options in BHRT, not a practitioner that offers this as a side treatment.
During your free consultation, be sure that you describe your symptoms and include your complete and detailed family health history. The importance of being thorough with your health record and your symptoms is paramount for your practitioner to create your unique treatment approach.
After evaluating your symptoms, medication regimen, and health history, you will have your blood drawn for a full hormone panel. These results are the next essential step for your BHRT provider to choose how to create the dose that you need to feel better and be appropriately balanced. You will return to your provider for the pellet insertion, and this is done in the fatty part of the upper buttock area. This area is cleaned off and numbed before insertion; once you are numb, your provider will use a specific instrument to implant the pellet. The entire process takes only a matter of minutes. You will be given a follow-up appointment for additional blood-work. This appointment is not typically a time consuming one. Any notable changes to your hormone symptoms will need to be noted and, of course, any changes to your medical record or changes in medication.
BHRT is a great way to address low hormone production, but keep in mind that it took your whole life to get to where you are hormonally. BHRT is not going to rectify these issues after just one visit or sometimes even after a couple of visits. It is a process that begins conservatively until the provider learns how you respond to the therapy. Your feedback is critical during this process, keep a daily journal of any improvements or changes that you notice. It could be a journal of how your hot flashes weren’t as bad on a particular day or that you slept better. We live in a world where excess is expected, and more is better. Not when it comes to the delicate process of hormone replacement therapy. Too much of a deficient hormone too fast can shock the body, causing bloating or acne.
Good things come to those who wait! Some of the first benefits noticed by BHRT patients are quality of sleep, enhanced libido, and more energy. Who doesn’t want an increase in those benefits? When we feel better, it is noticed by those that we love, and we live a better quality of life. People that know us well know when we are happy. And even more importantly, balanced hormones are our defense against severe health conditions that involve cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and osteoporosis.