HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY (HRT)
HRT TREATMENT IN PLANO
HOLISTIC TREATMENT OPTIONS
Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women
So you’re menopausal, experiencing all of the lovely symptoms that accompany your condition. Loss of some bodily norms gives way to new ones, most of which aren’t that pleasant. Yet you don’t have to simply accept all low estrogen symptoms as occurrences that are supposed to happen.
Estrogen levels fall with the onset of menopause, which causes a slew of inconvenient issues like hot flashes, mood swings and vaginal dryness. Hormone replacement therapy stands as a natural treatment that combats the effects of menopause by supplementing your body with the hormones it lost.
What Causes Low Estrogen?
There are several factors attributed to low estrogen in women; decreased activity in the ovaries, pregnancy complications, childbirth, breastfeeding and ovarian cysts can cause low estrogen. While both men and women have estrogen, women have significantly higher levels of the hormone. When estrogen levels drop, causing other health problems, it creates the condition of low estrogen.
Side Effects of Low Estrogen
Women who have low estrogen can experience sleep disturbances from causes like hot flashes and heart palpitations. Women may retain water but have dry eyes and skin, may ache in their joints and head, and may be at an increased risk for broken bones as the amount of calcium decreases. Depression and low libido may result, as well.
After hormone replacement therapy, Monthly bleeding, spotting and breast tenderness usually accompany hormone therapy. Though it’s less common, women can also have water retention, discolored skin spots, headaches and increased breast density.
What is Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women?
Two main types of hormone replacement therapy exist. Estrogen therapy involves taking doses of estrogen usually by mouth or through the skin to reduce menopause symptoms or osteoporosis. If a woman hasn’t had a hysterectomy, she must be administered progesterone or progestin (synthetic progesterone) with the estrogen. Estrogen progesterone therapy can be called combination therapy as well.
For women who haven’t had their uterus removed, taking progesterone helps to prevent endometrial cancer that could occur from taking estrogen by itself. Doctors can administer natural hormone replacement in several ways. Oral medication stands as the most common, which proves to be a convenient and simple method.
Estrogen patches can offer a safer medium than pills for patients with digestive problems due to its direct passage into the blood. Some estrogen treatments come in topical forms like gels and creams. Topical treatments are better than oral medications as well because of their direct absorption, yet the patient runs the risk of accidentally washing or sweating the substance off before it’s been fully absorbed. Also, it becomes unsafe for others to touch the patient.
One can also take estrogen through vaginal creams, rings and suppositories, which help vaginal symptoms, like dryness, better than other estrogen treatments. It allows vaginal symptoms to be treated without sending estrogen to other parts of the body that don’t necessarily need the substance, which reduces risks associated with taking in unneeded estrogen.
Estrogen is typically prescribed for women who have not had their uterus removed, along with progesterone or progestin, a medicine similar to progesterone. When estrogen is not accompanied by progesterone, the uterine lining may be stimulated to grow, increasing the risk of uterine cancer. Women who have undergone a hysterectomy don’t need to take progestin. The combination of estrogen and progestin in hormone therapy can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, blood clots and breast cancer. Hormone replacement therapy can cause breasts to become more dense, making breast cancer a bit more challenging to detect. A hormone therapy clinical trial discovered women who received estrogen by itself after having a hysterectomy were not at an increased risk for breast cancer or heart disease, yet the risk for stroke and blood clots remained the same as for women who took the combination hormone treatment. The risks associated with hormone replacement therapy can also fluctuate given one’s age, menopausal status, hormone type and dosage and other pre-existing medical risks.
Female Hormone Pellets
Hormone replacement therapy is usually conducted once a month in an exam room. During hormone therapy, a physician delivers female hormones through a pellet, which is placed under the skin and allows for the body’s slow absorption of the hormones. By using the methods of absorption by the body, the effect remains more powerful than creams or oral medications. After the physician has administered the dosage, he or she measures hormone levels to ensure the correct amount of female hormones has been achieved. The physician may repeat the exact course of treatment or administer different hormone types and amounts to reach optimal results.
Hormone Therapy for Menopause
Hormone therapy by the form of female hormone pellets remains the most effective treatment for symptoms caused by menopause. The procedure can rid or reduce symptoms like hot flashes, bone mass loss, premature menopause and premature ovarian insufficiency. However, women who have experienced menopause prematurely, have had their ovaries removed and do not have estrogen therapy until age 45 at the youngest suffer from a higher risk of osteoporosis, coronary heart disease, premature death, symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, anxiety or depression. On a positive note, women who have experienced menopause prematurely are at a decreased risk of developing breast cancer, and the benefits of hormone replacement therapy outweigh the risks most of the time. Women who wish to be tested or believe they could benefit from hormone replacement therapy should contact the Wellness Center, serving the Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen and Carrollton areas.
Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women
After taking hormone replacement therapy, women usually find improvement in quality of life, fewer hot flashes, a better mood, a higher sleep quality, improved morale and a sharper memory, among other benefits. Taking hormones can also help in the long run, as they fight conditions like osteoporosis and colon cancer.
Hormone therapy can also boost female sexuality, including sensuality and desire, and slow the aging process. Some risks include blood clots and strokes, though the side effects vary by the way the patient takes the estrogen. Hormone therapy can also increase the chance of breast cancer and gallbladder problems. If a woman begins hormone replacement ten years after starting menopause, she may be at risk for dementia as well.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Men
Men suffering from low testosterone, or low t, usually experience sexual difficulties, and testosterone replacement therapy allows men to have interest in sex, maintain erections and experience the “wow” factor in orgasms.
Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Testosterone replacement therapy can also improve health in other ways. Testosterone levels can influence the onset of conditions like diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome and osteoporosis and can also determine how long one lives. Physicians see a link between low t and a shorter life, though it is not certain how strong of a role low t plays in life expectancy. Cardiovascular issues also correlate with low t, but there is no suggested causation between the two.
Body Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
As for other body benefits, an increase in testosterone can result in an increase in muscle mass, making it even more significant if patients participate in aerobic and weight training exercises. Evidence from a study of 108 men over the age of 65 showed low t therapy decreased fat and increased muscle mass after the subjects had testosterone replacement therapy for three years. Testosterone replacement therapy can also strengthen men’s bones, preventing osteoporosis, and better control blood sugar, deterring or controlling diabetes. More simply, testosterone replacement therapy can improve one’s mood and energize the patient, and lessen irritability and anger.
Patients undergoing testosterone replacement therapy receive treatment monthly in an exam room. A physician inserts a pellet under the skin, which slowly administers testosterone to the body and allows for it to be absorbed. After the procedure, the physician tests testosterone levels by examining a blood sample. Should levels need to be changed, the physician may add more of the same hormone or try a different hormone combination.
Risks of Low T Therapy
Though low t therapy can greatly improve one’s health, risks accompany the procedure. Negative side effects, such as sleep apnea, skin reactions, noncancerous growth of the prostate, growth of existing prostate cancer, enlarged breasts, limited sperm, testicle shrinkage and increased risk of blood clots or heart disease, can be caused by low testosterone therapy but do not occur in everyone.
One may initially find the need for testosterone therapy through a blood test that examines hormone levels. Many negative symptoms can indicate the need for low t therapy, like a reduction in sexual desire, a decrease in spontaneous erections, infertility, and insomnia. Low testosterone can also cause physical changes, including increased body fat, decreased muscle mass or strength, lower bone density, swollen or tender breasts, loss of body hair and less energy.
Lastly, emotional changes may take place, such as decreased motivation or self-confidence, feelings of sadness or depression and trouble concentrating or remembering things. One should keep in mind symptoms associated with low t can also result from other conditions, like diabetes, sleep apnea, medication side effects, thyroid issues and depression. However, the conditions may be a result of low testosterone themselves, and the sufferer may need low t therapy anyway. Men who wish to be tested or believe they could benefit from low testosterone therapy should contact the Wellness Center, serving the areas of Dallas, Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen and Carrollton.
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