Hormones are a liquid chemical that is produced by glands, and, much like sweat secreting from our pores, the hormones secrete from the glands.
The hormonal flow begins to slow down as we get older, so it needs enhancing in order for it to do its job properly, which is to keep the cells and organs in our body healthy, which, in turn, helps keep us living longer, and healthier. But there is a difference between drugs and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).
Let's shove all those questionable drugs off to the side and reach for a more natural alternative - BHRT can be that alternative.
In eye-opening health reports from not only the Journal of the American Medical Association but also from the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Harvard Medical, Stanford University, it’s been widely reported that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy has long-term health benefits for both men and women.
Common BHRT uses:
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Low Testosterone (andropause)
- Adrenal Disorders
- Thyroid Irregularities
Causes of Hormone Imbalance include:
- Prescription drugs
- Exposure to toxins
- Birth control pills
- Poor diet
What Role Do Hormones Play?
Hormones are a liquid chemical that is produced by glands, and, much like sweat secreting from our pores, the hormones secrete from the glands. They drip, if you will, into the bloodstream, where they travel to the distant tissues and organs, where they then bind to the tissues’ and organs’ specific cell sites called receptors.
When using bioidentical hormone replacement therapy – receptors and hormones send messages (commands, if you will) to your body to do certain functions, to keep itself healthy:
- Stimulation or inhibition of growth
- Mood swings
- Induction or suppression of apoptosis(programmed cell death)
- Activation or inhibition of the immune system
- Regulation of metabolism
- Bone and muscle growth
- Heart rate
- Blood pressure
- Preparation of the body for mating, fighting, fleeing, and other activity
- Preparation of the body for a new phase of life, such as puberty, parenting, and menopause
- Control of the reproductive cycle
- Hunger cravings
- Sexual arousal
As you already know, far lower amounts of hormones are released as we get older, and this, in turn, creates havoc in our body, along with aging faster and faster.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Testing Techniques
To gain insight into your specific condition, the doctor, assisted by state-of-the-art female or male hormone test results, will suggest a treatment plan that’s right for you. Once a baseline hormone level has been established and all your symptoms have been thoroughly evaluated, a custom compound pharmacy will create a customized dosage based on your needs.
Depending upon your requirements, bioidentical hormones come in all shapes and sizes, including topical creams, gels, pills, and troches.
- DHEA or (Dehydroepiandrosterone) – is considered the mother hormone. Because it can convert readily to most other hormones, such as estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and corticosterone, it can help balance energy levels, enhance the immune system, improve libido, and benefit muscle function. When taken orally, DHEA can convert into testosterone, but also estradiol by way of an aromatase enzyme.
- Estrogen – is characteristically referred to as the female hormone, but both men and woman produce it. It is involved in the female reproductive cycle, controls the growth of the uterine lining, and regulates bone development. Not just a single hormone, estrogen represents a class of related hormones with varying properties. The most important hormones that make up this group are estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3).
- Progesterone – In addition to being an important factor in the balancing of estrogen, this hormone carries anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. Considered the feel-good hormone, progesterone helps menopause symptoms, stress reduction, prevents osteoporosis, and excessive weight gain.
- Cortisol – Often times referred to as the stress hormone. Due to constant stress in a person's life (fight or flight), this hormone can cause adrenal exhaustion and fatigue. Since hormones work together in synchronization, it's important to evaluate all matters concerning hormone production.
- Testosterone – Again, both men and women create this important hormone. In men, testosterone is an important hormone for male sexual health (erectile function, libido, sperm count, muscle). In a woman, testosterone is produced in the ovaries. Muscle tone, skin elasticity, and bone integrity are all associated with healthy levels of this hormone.
- Luteinizing Hormone (LH) – Considered a gonadotropin, LH stimulates the secretion of sex steroids in both sexes. In females, LH is responsible for healthy ovulation.
- Follicle-stimulating Hormone (FSH) – In men, FSH helps support sperm cell maturation. With females, FSH is important for the development of ovarian follicles. In order for natural reproduction to take place, it's vital to have a regular pattern of gonadotropin secretion.
- Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) – Mostly controlled and released in the liver by androgens, SHBG has the ability to bind up free testosterone. If left uncontrolled, SHBG can lead to a substantial decrease in androgen production. As we age, SHBG has the ability to even increase, however, a routine blood test can find out if your free testosterone is low. Some common medications that increase SHBG include sedatives, tranquilizers, and various forms of alcohol.
- Pregnenolone – An important supplement for healthy testosterone production, pregnenolone has been shown to improve memory function. Pregnenolone not only converts to DHEA but can also convert into progesterone and other much-needed hormones.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is an Asset to Both Men And Women
For many men, when it comes to BHRT, they think menopause – or its only for women going through mood swings that have many men running for the hills. But, they don’t think of themselves as – “going through the change.” For women, it is called menopause, for men, it is called andropause. But rest assured, both sexes deal with the pitfalls and challenges of an imbalanced endocrine system, which means both can benefit from this therapy.
Factors that affect testosterone levels:
- Over-training – When you spend excessive hours in the gym, your body releases large amounts of cortisol, which then lowers the bodies production of testosterone.
- Zinc deficiency – an important mineral for testosterone production, immune system, and healthy sperm.
- Medications – statins, SSRI’s, and opiates
Symptoms of Male Hormone Imbalance:
- Prostate inflammation
- Memory loss
- Lowered libido
- Low thyroid symptoms
- Low sperm count
- Rapid weight loss
- Breast enlargement
- Erectile dysfunction
- Water retention
- Mood swings
- Adult acne
- Reduced muscular strength
Symptoms of Female Hormone Imbalance:
- Vaginal Dryness
- Hair loss
- Low libido
- Facial hair growth
- Uterine fibroids
- Excessive weight gain
- Dry skin
- Hot flashes
- Irregular/missed periods
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
Any of that sound familiar?
Have you ever thought about the lack of hormones being produced as the culprit? Ever considered using BHRT to put back what time has taken away?
There was a time when it was just the women using BHRT or an enhancer, now it’s also the men. And it goes beyond about regaining their sexual appetites, it’s now about feeling better, looking better and slowing down the aging process.
Can Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Slow The Ticking Aging Clock?
Remember, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy works to reestablish the way your body sends messages to organs to keep them healthy, and if they are no longer flowing as strong as they use to – well, you know the outcome.
Synthetic hormones have extra molecules which are not recognized by the body, so they are not broken down as easily by the body’s enzymes. This means that they could stay in the body longer, and over time they could turn into toxins and carcinogens.
How Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Better Than Synthetic?
At the Salerno Center, we care about what forms of hormones we give our patients. Dr. Salerno stresses the importance of using only the finest treatments and therapies at his practice.
Unlike synthetic hormones, the body has an easier time assimilating bio-identical hormones from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. That’s because they are exactly identical in molecular structure to the hormones made in the body.
BHRT allows patients to regain the happiness of living a hormonally balanced lifestyle. While this therapy is natural, it should still be administered by a trained doctor.