Are you feeling uncharacteristically tired or anxious? Or do you just feel unwell, but you can’t put your finger on what’s wrong? Sometimes, hormone imbalances cause such changes, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help your body re-establish its physiological balance. Here at All Functional Health, we offer hormone replacement therapy under the direction of Dr. Jeffery Mark.
Dr. Mark shares some information about HRT to help you decide whether or not it may be right for you.
Fact: Hormones aid the aging process
Think of hormones as chemical messengers that travel through your blood to your organs and tissues to help regulate how your body functions and behaves. Reproductive hormones, which regulate the processes that can lead to creating life, naturally wane as you age. A drop in reproductive hormone levels can cause:
- Decreased muscle mass
- Loss of bone density
- Tissue degradation
- Chronic fatigue
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
HRT uses medications that contain hormones to replace the ones your body stops producing. The result is a restoration of optimum hormone levels and a slowing of the aging process.
Some hormone replacement therapies use growth hormones to encourage tissue repair, cell regeneration, increased bone mass, mental alertness, enzyme production, as well as stronger hair, skin, and nails.
Other hormone therapies replace the estrogen and progesterone women lose as they approach and enter menopause. This greatly reduces the more troublesome symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and sleep disturbances.
If any of the following describe you, HRT might benefit your health.
- Your periods stopped before age 40
- You suffer from severe hot flashes, the hallmark of menopause
- You’ve lost bone mass and aren’t responding to other treatments
Myth: HRT is for women only
Nope. Both men and women can suffer from declining or see-sawing hormone levels as they age. Luckily, HRT can help both sexes.
HRT for men can regulate declining testosterone levels that lead to fatigue, diminished sex drive, thinning hair, and loss of lean muscle mass.
Fact: For many women, the benefits outweigh the risks
Early studies, which looked at women taking a combination estrogen-progestin pill, found increased risks of heart disease, breast cancer, and blood clots. But further studies found that these risks were small and that the numbers may have been influenced by women who already had a higher risk for these medical conditions.
Another problem with the studies was that many of the subjects were given synthetic hormones. At All Functional Health, we rely on more natural estrogen therapies.
The risks also depend on when you begin HRT, how long you stay on it, and what medicines are included in the therapy. Many women find that the benefits of feeling better with improved menopausal symptoms far outweigh the risks. Be assured that Dr. Mark only recommends HRT for you if you’re a good candidate and it’s safe for you.