As soon as puberty hits, we are bombarded with the talk of hormones. How our body is “maturing” and trying to balance out with new chemicals splurging inside our bodies. From this point forward we don’t hear much about hormones other than the occasional reference to a menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or if something seems to be wrong. The whole concept of having a hormone imbalance sounds like a problem, but do we understand the true threat of what hormone imbalances cause? To help better understand the hormones of our body, how they function, and why bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is important, let’s take a dive into some key concepts that can help us wrap our mind around this.
What Are They Exactly?
Let’s start with some basics. To properly understand what hormones do and the importance of them, let’s take a look at the basic understanding of where they come from and what they affect. Hormones control what our body should tell our cells to do; hormones are also referred to as chemical messengers. Each hormone is created by glands, which are found in the endocrine system. Here are some of the main glands that produce hormones:
Pancreas: The pancreas is responsible for producing insulin, which helps control the levels of blood sugar in your system.
Adrenal: These glands control the production of what’s commonly referred to as the “stress hormone”, which is what controls cortisol and sexual drive.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): The most common hormone present in the body is DHEA. It is responsible for stimulating protein growth, bone health, lowering visceral fat, and maintaining heart and female organ health.
Thyroid: The thyroid produces hormones affiliated with your heart rate as well as your metabolism.
Testes: A male-specific gland responsible for producing testosterone and sperm.
Ovaries: This female-specific gland produces estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, also known as the female hormones.
Together, these glands secrete and manage the rest of the body’s major hormones by carrying messages from between our cells and organs.
What Happens When There is Imbalance?
Whenever there is an imbalance in hormone levels, regardless of which hormones, your body can have multiple side effects. Some cause mood swings, disrupted sleeping patterns and metabolism issues, all of which can stem into more long-term problems. While some of these effects are not immediately alarming, if not properly tended to, they can lead to chronic diseases. When you maintain the proper hormonal balance, they will aid in your body’s protection and help fight off health threats like stroke, heart disease, and cancer.
What This Means as You Age
As men and women age, the production of their gender-specific hormones can be compromised by producing less than the necessary amount required. The less your glands produce these necessary hormones, the more issues are ignited within your system. For women, this can mean you experience extremely uncomfortable side effects of perimenopause, menopause, and post menopause, including:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Decreased libido
- Hair loss
Plus much more. On the other hand, if your estrogen levels are too elevated it can cause additional issues such as weight gain, non-cancerous breast lumps, fatigue, depression or anxiousness. Combined with estrogen is progesterone. Together they maintain steady cholesterol levels, strengthen libido and bones, and help regulate the menstrual cycle. Additionally, progesterone has a protective nature that plays a role in pregnancy as well as supports proper brain function. When either, or potentially both, of these hormones are not properly balanced there is an array of harmful health issues that can ignite.
Effects on Men
While men don’t go through menopause, an imbalance of hormones, primarily testosterone, can cause many issues as well. Best known for playing a role in their reproductive system, testosterone also promotes other important male characteristics. These characteristics include muscle mass, libido, memory, bone density, stamina, and even body hair. When testosterone levels are not at their proper level, the effects can cause fatigue, mood swings, depression, impotence, aggression, or decreased libido.
As a result, there has been a continued development in the field of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy in order to help correct these imbalances on the healthiest level. Aside from the relief of symptoms BHRT can give, studies are also showing the lower risk of serious health issues like cancer, alzheimer’s, heart attack, and stroke when hormones are in balance. As you have read, whether you have an imbalance and are low on specific hormones to your body, or you have an abundance, both can reek havoc with your body’s system and how it regulates. BHRT is quickly becoming a popular and effective solution to alleviating many of these issues. So how does BHRT work? Let’s take a look.
BHRT: More Than Hormones
Bio identical hormone replacement therapy is a customized prescription designed from plant-derived medications. Not to be confused with conventional hormone replacement therapy, BHRT is specifically designed from an individual’s specific needs based on their body. Once determined, the plant-derived medications are chemically changed to match what the body would naturally produce. By altering and customizing the hormones to an individual based on their body’s needs, the body is able to balance out naturally. Through restoring the healthy levels of each hormone present, many men and women have seen incredibly successful results, mostly in the decrease or absence of initial side effects they experienced.
At Living Great, our mission is to help you obtain optimal health through the best and most natural ways possible. We have dedicated our focus and time to take preventative measures to help your body defend and balance, rather than reactive measures (i.e. finding treatment for serious illnesses ignited by imbalanced hormones, or lack of proper health). Getting ahead of the diseases and illnesses before they become a reality is the best approach to helping the body restore itself. Whether you have imbalance with your adrenal glands, thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone, we can help. With years of experience under our belt, our passion is our patients and helping them achieve the best results using innovative medical technology. Call today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Wilson, M.D.