Facts About Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement treatment is usually administered in several different ways. Systemic hormone therapy is given in pill form, skin patch, spray, gel, or cream. These are said to be the most effective in the treatment of night sweats and hot flashes that occur during menopause. Another method of hormone replacement in the form of vaginal products containing small doses of estrogen. These can come in the form of tablet, cream, or ring. These types of hormone replacement therapy, however, provide no relief from hot flashes or night sweats.
There are several benefits of hormone replacement therapy which generally touch on the relief from the menopausal symptoms mentioned. This type of therapy used to be more widely prescribed for women at this stage of life; however, more recently other types of therapy have become more common. Typically, menopause is considered to be in full swing for women once they have not gone through their cycle for one full year, without any outside influences causing it to stop, for instance, pregnancy, breast feeding, or some types of medications.
Hormone treatment centers are available for men as well as for women. Statistics show low testosterone levels in approximately five million men in the United States. These levels will be different for each individual; however, it is believed that testosterone levels will begin to show a one percent decrease per year once a man turns 30 years old. Because of this fact, hormone replacement therapy is not recommended for everyone whose testosterone level is low or decreasing. The natural flow of this hormone is to decline; therefore, it is not wise to try to replace something that is not supposed to be there in the first place.
The flip side of the coin, of course, is that there are men who will, and do, benefit from hormone replacement therapy. Obviously, if the testosterone level is abnormally low, then this type of therapy would be helpful. There are hormone treatment centers throughout the U.S. that are open to people whose physicians feel they would benefit by hormone replacement therapy. Patients are invited to visit hormone treatment centers to discuss their situation with trained medical staff and decide what type of treatment would be best to fit their needs.
A plant derived hormone replacement therapy known as Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy is now available to both men and women which can be discussed by patients with medical personnel when they visit hormone treatment centers. This type of hormone therapy comes from the wild yam plant, and is administered in a time released pellet. Because it is a natural therapy and not synthetic, it poses less risks as do other types of hormone replacement therapy, and does offer certain benefits. It is said to decrease blood pressure, cholesterol, and body fat, it increases muscle, and creates a higher sense of well being. In addition, Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy sometimes decreases levels of anxiety and depression.
Upon patient’s initial visits to hormone treatment centers, they will typically begin by consulting with either a nurse practitioner or a licensed physician. What follows will be a complete physical examination and then daily monitoring. This monitoring will consist of blood tests to determine the proper dosage required, and to follow how well the patient’s body is handling the hormones being administered. Some patience is required in waiting to see positive results. Hormones do not decrease in the body overnight; neither do they increase overnight. Some people will be able to notice positive changes fairly quickly, but it could take up to a year for others to experience relief from their most troublesome symptoms. Because symptoms vary from one individual to another, ongoing therapy is suggested in order to continue to maintain healthy hormonal levels.
A fact that is rarely considered is low testosterone in women. It is not considered to be one of the more important hormones in a woman’s body, so when its level tests low, it is given little regard. However, low testosterone in women can cause symptoms of fatigue, hair loss, loss of concentration, and weight gain. Low levels of this hormone can cause changes in mood, or even mood swings. This fact is something to consider.