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Hormone Replacement Therapy

What are Bio-Identical Hormones?

Bio-identical hormones are hormones that are chemically the same as the naturally occurring hormones in a person’s body. This means that all of the same chemicals are used in the same order and structure. Unlike synthetic hormones, bio-identical hormones and naturally occurring hormones have the same molecular structure. It is critical that the molecular and the chemical structure of the hormones are the same, or else bio-identical hormones would not be able to function and fulfill the same roles as naturally occurring hormones. Because of this, when being used in hormone replacement therapy, bio-identical hormones do not produce unwanted side effects, whereas synthetic hormones do. The main reason why the molecular structure of synthetic hormones is changed is so that manufacturers of these hormones can patent them and sell them for a profit.

How Does the Hormone System Work?

All hormones are connected within the human body. Essentially, every time a hormone is activated, its effects will amplify the effects of all of the other hormones to which it is connected. One prime example is when Italian researchers gave women on the verge of menopause or already in the grips of menopause the hormone melatonin just as they were going to sleep. Not only was the level of melatonin increased, which improved the mood of the women taking the melatonin and reduced symptoms of depression, but the level of thyroid hormones was also increased. All of these hormones are needed for the highest level of health and well being to be achieved. It quickly became clear that increasing the amount of one hormone is an effective way to increase the levels of multiple hormones and thereby improve a person’s wellness.

What’s the Point of Hormone Replacement Therapy?

The point of hormone therapy is for a professional, such as Dr. Paul Cox at LaserMed Skin and Vein Clinic, to identify the hormones in a person’s body that are not present in high enough levels. Once these hormones are determined, it then becomes possible to increase the amount of the deficient hormone by giving the body hormones that are similar enough that they are accepted and can perform their functions. The effect on the body will be similar to if it had the correct amount of the hormone, both physically and mentally.

How Does Hormone Therapy Work?

Because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to hormone therapy, it is critical that the doctor and the patient remain in close collaboration so that all of the appropriate effects are being achieved. The first part of hormone therapy is to have a consultation with the doctor, which will include lab testing. The lab tests will reveal the amount of each hormone before any treatments have been performed. By analyzing the lab tests, it will be possible to see which hormones are needed and in what strengths. Then, based on the chemical structure of the hormones in the blood, bio-identical hormones will be created in an appropriate format for the patient (in pill form, injections, or another form).

What are the Goals of Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy?

  • Reduction of Symptoms Associated with Decreased Hormone Levels
  • There are numerous different deleterious symptoms that are associated with having decreased hormone levels, including fatigue disorders, mood disorders, increased amounts of acne, infertility and other sexual dysfunction, digestive problems, and abnormal weight gain.

  • Increase in the Protective Advantages of Hormones
  • Hormones are able to keep a person’s body stable and fully functioning. This is tremendously helpful because it maintains the equilibrium that most people need to feel their best.

  • Reduce Symptoms of Diseases Associated with Aging
  • There are several different diseases that are associated with getting older that get worse if there is not the correct level of hormones in a person’s body. These diseases include cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and dementia.

  • Improve a Person’s Quality of Life
  • By having a fully balanced hormone system, a person will feel his or her best and be able to function at a high level, resulting in a significant increase in their quality of life.

Which Hormones Decrease as a Person Gets Older?

  • Estrogen:

There are three main types of estrogen in a person’s body, each of which are similar to the others. They are estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3). Estrone, created in the adrenal glands and fat cells of a woman’s body, becomes the main source of estrogen when a woman’s ovaries fail as she goes through menopause. Estradiol is made by the ovaries and stimulates the tissue within a woman’s breast. The amount of estradiol in a woman’s body is reduced when she goes through menopause. Estriol is the hormone created during pregnancy and is most often found in younger women. Estrogen is critical to the body because it is able to protect against a wide variety of different diseases, including Alzheimer’s, heat disease, osteoporosis, memory disorders, and strokes. When the amount of estrogen in a woman’s body falls below sufficient levels, then she will experience incontinence, sagging breasts, wrinkles, an unstable mood, and a decreased sex drive. It is critical to ensure that, when extra estrogen is put into a woman’s body, it is bio-identical and not synthetic. Synthetic hormones have the potential to cause cancer. Any added estrogen should be balanced out by added progesterone.

  • Progesterone:
  • Progesterone, also created in the ovary right before and after ovulation, reduces the negative effects of premenstrual syndrome. It is also able to protect a person against cancers of the uterus and breast, fibrocystic disease, ovarian cysts, and osteoporosis. Progesterone has the added effect of reducing the negative symptoms associated with menopause, such as hot flashes and dizziness. Unfortunately, the most widely prescribed progesterone supplement is synthetic and results in bloating, weight gain, increased fatigue, and migraines. As a result, it is critical to use bio-identical hormones, which will raise the body’s protection against cancer and prevent any negative side effects.

  • Testosterone:
  • Testosterone in men is produced in the testicles and in women in the ovaries. Both genders produce small amounts in their adrenal glands. Testosterone is the hormone that allows the body to build muscle, increase endurance and tolerance to exercise, decrease the amount of fat in the body, and psychological status. It protects the body from arthritis, as well as cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Significant reduction of the symptoms of aging diseases is another side effect of testosterone.

  • DHEA:
  • This hormone is created in the adrenal glands of both sexes and is a precursor to all other sex hormones. It shifts the state of the body towards building proteins and increases the rate at which fat is broken down. Finally, DHEA is able to reduce the negative effects of stress on the body.

  • Pregnenolone:
  • Also produced in the adrenal glands, pregnenolone can be found in the brain, liver, and myelin nerve sheathes. It is one of the building blocks of other hormones, including cortisol, progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen. Pregnenolone is able to promote an elevated mood, repair tissue in the muscles, brain, and nerves, and increase energy levels.

  • Thyroid:
  • The thyroid refers to the group of hormones that have a metabolic function. The two main types, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). T4 is inactive and is converted by the brain and liver into T3, which is active. They are able to regulate the metabolism, improve brain functioning, and regulate the temperature of the body. It is also able to increase the amount of fat that is broken down, making it easier to lose weight. Thyroid is also a safe way to reduce the amount of cholesterol in the body, but is not often used for this purpose.

  • Melatonin:
  • This hormone is created by the pineal gland and can improve and stabilize circadian rhythms so that the body has more energy to work with. It is also able to prevent the oxidation of the brain and other body parts, improving a body’s immune system.

  • Hydrocortisone:
  • This hormone is produced in the adrenal glands and increases the functioning of the immune system, which allows faster recovery from illnesses and increased chances of recovering from autoimmune disorders.


If you are looking for more information about hormone therapy, contact Dr. Paul Cox at LaserMed Skin and Vein Clinic. We are located in Johns Creek, GA and serve the communities of Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Roswell, Cumming, Duluth, Norcross, Suwanee, Dawsonville and beyond.

    
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