As you get older, you may attribute certain symptoms like fatigue, hair loss, and low libido to aging. However, these symptoms, along with feeling depressed or having trouble sleeping, can actually signify a hormonal imbalance.
Your body’s hormones play a huge role in regulating certain bodily functions. They allow cells to communicate effectively with your body, coordinating functions like digestion, mood, immune function, appetite, and libido. When these systems are disrupted, it can largely affect your overall health and mental well-being.
Both men and women experience natural drops in hormones as they get older. When this decline starts to affect your quality of life, it may be time to talk to a provider about hormone therapy. Mirabile M.D. offers many options for hormone therapy, including bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.
Reasons to Consider Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) has gained popularity in recent years for its effectiveness and promise as a natural solution to hormone problems. This hormone treatment can be used to help both women and men, including perimenopause and menopause symptoms in women and andropause (or low testosterone) in men.
Bio-identical hormone treatment is different from traditional hormone therapy (HRT). The hormones are made from plants that are more identical to what our bodies naturally produce. Traditional HRT treatment uses synthetic hormones and those from pregnant horse urine. Because of this, BHRT is seen as a more natural hormone therapy.
There are many reasons to consider BHRT. As you age, you may notice certain symptoms related to hormone imbalance that can range from mild to severe. These may include:
- Night sweats
- Mood changes or depression
- Hot flashes
- Memory loss
- Sleep issues
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Poor concentration
- Decreased libido or pain during sex
BHRT can also be used to help restore horomone levels and alleviate symptoms. Best of all, bioidentical hormones can be prescribed in many different forms, including troches, creams, capsules, injections, or pellet therapy, so you and your provider can pick the method that works best for you.
BHRT for Women
Bio-identical hormone therapy for women can help improve symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. Throughout a woman’s reproductive life, she will experience different hormonal levels that are bound to rise and fall. This is because the beginning stages of menopause can start even when a woman is in her 30s.
Pre-menopause, also known as the PMS years, is when a woman’s hormone levels are fairly normal. She typically experiences regular cycles, although increasingly younger women have begun ovulating irregularly. This is usually due to a variety of factors, such as exercise, poor diet, stress, and contraceptive use.
These factors, along with other serious disorders like infertility and endometriosis, can lead to PMS symptoms. Severe PMS symptoms may be an early sign of hormonal imbalance, but it’s difficult to tell until a woman reaches perimenopause.
When women reach perimenopause, their cycles become more irregular as progesterone and estrogen levels fluctuate many times daily. Once a woman has gone a year without having a period, she is in menopause. At this time, hormone levels drastically drop, and progesterone output becomes nonexistent.
BHRT can be very beneficial to women who experience severe symptoms related to hormone imbalance. It can be frustrating dealing with chronic fatigue, energy loss, depression, weight gain, sleep disturbances, and decreased libido. Bio-identical hormones can offer a great solution to this problem.
BHRT for Men
Bio-identical hormone therapy for men can improve testosterone levels for men who experience a decline in testosterone production as they age. BHRT is an effective method for restoring proper testosterone levels, especially when a man reaches andropause. Andropause is the male equivalent of menopause and usually occurs between the ages of 40 and 55.
Without proper testosterone levels, men can experience various symptoms, including depression, anxiety, fatigue, poor muscle tone, decreased mental clarity, weight gain, and loss of libido.
Benefits of Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
BHRT offers many benefits to both men and women, including:
- Improvement of overall health, well-being, and quality of life
- Increase in sex drive/libido
- Decrease in body fat and increase in lean body mass
- Mood consistency
- Increase in mental clarity, focus, and concentration
- Memory improvement
- Decrease in night sweats and hot flashes, especially for women
Bio-identical hormones are also shown to help improve hydration and elasticity of the skin.
Potential Side Effects of Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Like other methods of hormone therapy, BHRT can cause side effects. These side effects will vary from person to person and will look different depending on the type of hormone, dosage amount, and method in which the hormone is taken.
In general, rare but serious side effects of hormone therapy include an increasedr risk of stroke, heart disease, blood clots, gallbladder disease, and breast cancer. With BHRT, women may experience spotting, bloating, cramping, breast tenderness, and increased facial hair. Other side effects that both men and women may experience include:
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
Most side effects of bio-identical hormone therapy typically occur in the beginning as your body adjusts to the hormones. In addition, medications can be prescribed to counteract symptoms such as acne or facial hair growth. As time goes on and your hormone levels balance back out, many of the early side effects may subside.
It’s always a good idea to discuss the pros and cons of BHRT with your provider. BHRT cannot be used for everyone, and side effects can vary depending on the person and their health history. Your provider can consider all knowledge of your overall health and find the right treatment option for you.
What to Expect During the BHRT Process
When starting hormone therapy, you must be monitored regularly by your provider to evaluate how your body responds to the hormones. Many side effects should subside and improve over time, but you should talk to your provider right away if the symptoms are severe or getting worse.
Your length of BHRT treatment will depend on your individual needs. Some people only need hormone therapy until their symptoms subside, while others may need it indefinitely. Every treatment plan is different from person to person.
With BHRT, you should notice changes within the first few weeks or months, though this also varies depending on the person.
BHRT at Mirabile M.D.
With hormone therapy, there’s no one-size-fits-all. That’s why at Mirabile M.D., we create customized treatment plans for each of our patients who pursue BHRT. When you step into our office, we will have a comprehensive review of your health history, hormone levels, and what you look to get out of hormone therapy.
We offer a few different methods for taking BHRT at Mirabile M.D. For men, BHRT is administered with pellet hormone replacement therapy through SottoPelle Therapy. Women have more options for hormone treatment methods, including creams, troches, injections, capsules, and pellet therapy through SottoPelle.
Certain methods of hormone therapy will work better for certain people since everyone is different, and their needs change over time.
Mirabile M.D. offers an individualized treatment plan for each of our patients. If you think you’re experiencing severe symptoms due to hormone imbalance, or you want to learn more information about hormone therapy at Mirabile M.D., contact us today at 913-888-7546.