Bioidentical hormone therapy can help you feel like yourself again by helping you achieve hormonal balance again. From improving your sex life to addressing insomnia, signs of aging, weight gain, and mood swings, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can be a real game changer. It’s something we offer here at Your Family Medical in Lewisville, Benbrook, and Bedford, TX, and the good news is it can work for nearly anyone of any age.
What Is the Typical Age for Bioidentical Hormone Therapy?
The average person starts to really notice hormonal changes after the age of 40. For most women, the biggest hormonal changes come between 40 and 55. Some time in their 40s, most women will begin experiencing perimenopause before going into full menopause around age 50 to 55. Men also experience hormonal changes, but society doesn’t typically view these changes as being as dramatic or serious as what happens to women. One of the reasons for this is that men tend to experience a more gradual decline in their hormones, whereas women experience more abrupt changes.
But a man’s testosterone levels typically begin dropping at around age 30. In the absence of other factors which can accelerate the drop or exacerbate the effects, this gradual change may not really be noticeable until sometime after age 40.
Whether you are a man or woman, and whatever age you are, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms that we will list in this article, it’s a good idea to check your hormone levels. Even if you’re not experiencing any symptoms yet, having your levels tested can give you a baseline benchmark to work from when you do begin noticing symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Knowing where your body was before the imbalance started makes it easier to get back to balance.
What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
This is simply a therapy that replaces missing hormones in your body so you can achieve hormonal balance. Not that long ago, hormone replacement therapy had a bit of a bad rap due to the way traditional hormones were manufactured and the side effects many experienced. Today’s treatments are much different and much more effective, and the pellet therapy we offer here at Your Family Medical releases hormones as your body needs them rather than in one big rush. Even more important, the hormones that we use our bioidentical.
What Are Bioidentical Hormones?
Hormones used to be made from the estrogen of animals, usually derived from mare’s urine. In addition, in order to patent the various hormones, manufacturers would add molecular tags to make their own products unique. Today, many researchers believe that the side effects of early hormone treatments were due at least in part to these molecular tags, and the presence of these unique tags explains why some studies would show no side effects from hormone therapy while others showed dramatic negative effects.
All that is behind us now because BHRT offers hormones with exactly the same molecular and chemical structure as the hormones your body produces naturally. These hormones are derived from plants like yams and synthesized so as to be exact replicas of natural hormones. Studies show that the body responds to these hormones exactly as it does to its own, meaning that BHRT can be used for the long term and is much less likely to cause any unwanted side effects.
Hormones and Women
Women, most famously experience menopause, which can last anywhere from one to 10 years depending on the woman, but the reality is that women experience dramatic hormonal fluctuations at many times in life. Some women have imbalances that begin naturally a decade or more before menopause, when perimenopause begins.
Some imbalances have nothing to do with the natural aging process. Some women who struggle with obesity also have very high estrogen levels, whereas other women do not ovulate and thus are not producing enough progesterone. Some women have been exposed to toxins in the environment that disrupt their hormones, while others have undergone hysterectomies. PCOS is another condition that can cause an imbalance. Hormonal imbalance can occur at any time in life.
Even if a woman has otherwise normal hormonal function until menopause, it’s important to understand that menopause itself can be a relatively long process with distinct stages and possibly symptoms in each:
This is a time of transition from menstruation to the end of the reproductive years, and it can last as long as a decade and be characterized by enormous hormonal changes. In the worst cases, women will experience classic symptoms of menopause, like mood swings and hot flashes, even during this period and even while continuing to menstruate.
In less serious cases, women may not be aware that they are in perimenopause at all but still find themselves physically and emotionally drained, having difficulty sleeping, and struggling with unexplained weight gain or inability to get rid of extra weight.
When menopause proper arrives, a woman’s ability to reproduce ends and the body suddenly stops producing estrogen and progesterone at the levels at once did. All the symptoms of menopause – like weight gain, hot flashes, brain fog, mood swings, low energy, difficulty maintaining muscle, lack of interest in sex, insomnia, and many more – can result.
In this stage, which a woman has officially entered when she is gone an entire year without a menstrual cycle, hormone imbalances can continue. Now, hormone imbalances can cause thinning of the bones, advanced signs of aging, and greatly infringe upon one sex life.
Hormones and Men
The primary hormonal imbalance that men tend to suffer from is a drop in testosterone. As mentioned, men tend to have a gradual drop in their hormone levels rather than the sudden changes that characterize life for women, and this means the early signs of low testosterone can easily be missed. A man may not even start noticing the symptoms until levels are extremely low.
Changes in hormones can cause a man to experience weight gain, insomnia, excessive, sweating, high blood pressure, moodiness, and headaches and make it difficult to keep on muscle. Hormone changes also significantly interfere with sex life.
How Hormones Work
Hormones are produced by special glands and sent all through the body with instructions that regulate various physiological processes. At any one time, a person may have over 50 different types of hormones in their bloodstream, and all of these chemicals need to be in balance in order for you to thrive. Because these are so important, and your body is so dependent upon them, many things can cause a disruption that you will notice, from too much stress to certain medications, trauma, excessive weight gain, and much more.
Your hormones communicate with your body in two different ways. The first mode of communication is directly between the production gland and the target organ. An example of this is when hormones tell your pancreas to release insulin to deal with high blood sugar levels. The second type of communication is between the two endocrine glands, which work to keep your hormone levels stable. Hormones are so important that your body has its own internal mechanism for keeping balance!
Understanding the importance of hormones helps you understand why hormonal imbalance can cause so many symptoms. These little messenger chemicals regulate your appetite, body temperature, metabolism and blood pressure, sexual function, sleep, response to stress, muscle building, the release of fat from fat cells, and much more.
How Does It Take to See Results?
The amount of time it will take you to see results will depend on your unique physiology. People respond to hormones in different ways, and some people need a bit of time to get the balance just right. Most people begin to see their initial results in less than a week, and improvements just get better from there over the following months.
How Long Will I Need Treatment?
There’s no one answer for every person. It will all depend on your unique situation, what’s causing your hormonal, imbalance, and how well your body responds to treatment. Some people only need BHRT for a short time, while others use it for years. Because BHRT is so safe, there’s no need to worry about this as a long-term treatment. We’ll help you decide what’s right for you.
Get Back to Feeling Like “You”
If hormonal imbalance is causing you to feel like a different person, or you’re suffering with dramatic symptoms that interfere with your quality of life, BHRT could be the answer. There’s no right age to begin: the right age to start is when you start experiencing symptoms. Come talk to us at Your Family Medical in Lewisville, Benbrook, and Bedford, TX, today.