Are you feeling fatigued, uncharacteristically low, or just not very much like yourself recently? It turns out these feelings may be signs of hormonal changes that are throwing your body off-kilter. Compared to the past, modern medicine takes these symptoms seriously as they are no longer considered acceptable byproducts of “getting older”. At Dr. Rogers Centers in San Antonio, TX, we know that the challenges of hormonal changes can be managed with hormone therapy.
What Is Hormone Therapy Used For?
Our hormones dictate virtually all of our bodily processes, from cellular turnover to temperature regulation to mood to concentration and even how well we sleep at night. It stands to reason then, that when the balance of our hormones drastically change, we undergo physical and mental changes that can be difficult to cope with. And the truth is that hormonal imbalances don’t only happen to mature adults.
While both women and men can expect age-related hormone changes (menopause for women and andropause for men) between the ages of 40 to 50, many younger people as young as 25 or 30 can also experience frustrating hormonal imbalances. For women, monthly PMS can cause drastic changes in overall health and wellness, such as women becoming more insulin resistant, retaining water, or having mood swings right before a cycle. For men, testosterone dips in response to stress, weight gain, or medications can also cause major health or sexual wellness concerns.
What Are Common Hormone Problems?
Both male and female bodies make the same hormones but at different levels. For example, women produce more estrogen while men produce more testosterone. Ultimately, this means that hormonal imbalances cause different issues for each sex. Hormone therapy can be customized to meet each person’s unique chemical makeup to correct imbalances. That said, hormone imbalances can create a few common issues for everyone, depending on which hormones are unbalanced.
Most people consider testosterone to be a male-only hormone, but women need testosterone to keep the body in balance, as well. In either sex, low testosterone can cause low libido or a diminished sex drive. Low testosterone can also cause feelings of depression and lack of motivation. In men, these symptoms can also include erectile dysfunction and general lethargy.
Progesterone is produced by both men and women, but women especially require this hormone to regulate menstrual cycles and mood, particularly during pregnancy. Progesterone also helps people get restful sleep and stabilize moods. In women, low progesterone is most keenly felt during perimenopause, which is when women start to experience hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep issues.
Estrogen is also produced by both sexes. In men, low estrogen or too much estrogen can be equally problematic, leading to symptoms such as sexual dysfunction, low libido, decrease or increase in body fat, and low sperm count. In women, estrogen is one of the most important hormones in the body. When a woman’s estrogen is low, she may experience mood swings, irritability, depression, and poor concentration.
Is Hormone Therapy Right for You?
Although age-related hormones are natural and expected, it doesn’t mean that you have to live with symptoms, particularly if they are getting in the way of leading a healthy lifestyle. Hormones are a vital component of balancing your overall bodily function, so it makes sense to want to rebalance your hormones to reduce the severity of certain symptoms. So, do you need this type of hormone treatment?
In general, a blood serum test and a thorough consultation will be used to determine if your hormones are unbalanced enough to require correction. We will pay particular attention to any symptoms you may be experiencing and other general health factors, such as medications that could be interfering with your normal hormone production.
What Can Cause Hormonal Imbalance?
There are several possible causes for hormonal imbalance, including diet, stress, medication, and exercise. But overall, most hormone imbalances are caused by different stages in life that trigger the glands in the body to produce too much or too little of certain hormones. Puberty is the most prominent of these trigger points since this is when sex hormones cause the development of secondary sex characteristics.
For women, the second trigger point is usually perimenopause, which is the initial drop of progesterone and estrogen in the body around the age of 40 or 50. Perimenopause can last for several years and develops into menopause, which is when the body naturally slows or drops the production of estrogen. Men experience a similar drop in testosterone production at a slightly older age, but the drastic symptoms of the hormone imbalance can be incredibly disruptive for health and function.
What Are Signs That You May Need Treatment?
While all symptoms of hormonal imbalances are, to some degree, expected and necessary to cope with, the severity of these symptoms may mean it’s time to seek treatment. The natural decrease in hormone production in men and women can cause great enough disruption to mood, behavior, and wellness that seeking hormone therapy may be the best idea to maintain your overall health.
In terms of severity, everyone has a different level of disruption that they are comfortable to cope with. In the past, people were told to simply embrace these changes as part of the natural aging process, but these days, if you are experiencing symptoms that are truly creating a negative impact on your life, there is an effective treatment. Some of these signs include:
- Low sex drive
- Sleep disturbance
- Hot flashes
- Erectile dysfunction
- Vaginal dryness or pain during sex
- Night sweats
- Weight gain of more than 10lbs
- Inability to lose weight
- Loss of memory
- Mood swings
- Depression or anxiety
If you have any of these symptoms and they are causing a great disturbance in your overall health and wellness, then hormone therapy may be a good choice for you. There is no perfect age when you can have this treatment, and men and women seek this treatment equally to fortify their quality of life. In fact, leaving a hormonal imbalance untreated can cause greater health concerns in the future, so seeking treatment earlier is advisable.
What Is Treatment Like?
For both women and men, there are several ways to administer hormone treatments. For example, intramuscular injections at home or at a clinic are a common form of treatment. Your hormone treatment can also be applied topically or with an oral tablet. However, by far the most effective treatment method is bioidentical hormone pellets.
Bio-Identical Hormone Pellets
Hormone pellets are an FDA-approved treatment that is injected into the body, usually on the buttocks or the hip, and is about the size of a grain of rice. Pellets supply a steady dose of personalized hormones to correct your hormonal imbalance. The extended release of pellets allows for better hormonal correction over a longer period of time and is also more convenient than other forms of hormone treatment.
Pellet therapy can last for about six months at a time, with results becoming noticeable as soon as one to two weeks after insertion. Over time, the pellet will be absorbed by the body and the effects of the hormone treatment will wear off, which is when you will schedule another appointment about six months down the line. The best part about pellet therapy is that the hormones can change in dosage as you need them to and still be effective for however long you use them.
Restore Balance to Your Life
It can be exceptionally difficult to cope with hormonal changes that can make you feel not quite like yourself. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with unbalanced hormones. Hormone treatment is a good option for those who are looking for a simple way to restore the balance of health and wellness to their lives. If you think this treatment is right for you, please contact Dr. Rogers Centers in San Antonio, TX to schedule your consultation today.