Our basic body functions are attributed in large part to our hormones and all our hormone levels interact together and are largely affected by a wide variety of factors in both men and women. While hormone levels do vary as we age and with different changes to our diet, stress level, sleeping patterns, and other toxic substances such as smoking or alcohol. At Balanced Body Healthcare, we believe that tracking your hormone levels over time will help prevent any health risks that are caused by an imbalance.
Hormone imbalances are common and can be due to the slightest dysfunction of certain endocrine glands and pose profound effects.
Your endocrine glands are responsible for holding and distributing a large number of the hormones in your body. Your endocrine glands are comprised throughout several areas of the body and include the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands.
Your endocrine system can be affected by a number of scenarios and diagnoses such as hypoglycemia, allergies, tumors, environmental toxins, disordered eating/poor diet, and diabetes.
In Women, it is common to experience greater hormonal imbalances naturally as they progress through puberty, with menstruation, throughout pregnancy, and finally into menopause. While these are all typical and normal variations to hormonal levels other pathological changes cause affect hormone levels such as birth control prescriptions, early menopause, polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, and primary ovarian insufficiency, along with many others.
While hormonal changes are thought of as less common in men, it is just as common, and men experience traditional and normal hormones changes as they age and as they progress through puberty into adulthood as well as pathological processes can contribute to abnormal hormonal changes as well. Prostate cancer and hypogonadism are two very common contributors to pathological hormonal imbalance and dysfunction in men. Many men may also experience hormone imbalance through certain medical conditions aside from puberty:
Hormone imbalance can present itself differently for each person and can vary widely based upon the endocrine gland or specific hormone that is being affected. Changes in weight, heart rate, stress, anxiety, irritability, poor sleep hygiene, dry skin, mood disorders/depression, excessive fatigue, appetite changes, headaches/migraines, blood pressure changes, sweating, and so much more can all distinguish and tip off a medical care provider to hormonal dysfunction.
While all of these symptoms are common in both men and women, women may also experience changes in their periods, breast sensitivity, diarrhea or constipation, and vaginal dryness. Men specifically may see changes or reduced body hair, breast sensitivity or swelling, decreased sperm count, and diminished muscle mass.
What is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
For those with hormonal imbalance, excellent treatment and adjunct to return homeostasis to your endocrine system include bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). BHRT is the process of replacing imbalanced hormones in a patient’s body with those molecularly identical to the organic hormones created by your own body- this is NOT the same as synthetic hormones that have a reputation for significant adverse side effects. These identical hormones are extracted straight from plants that are grown in a controlled laboratory setting to match the organic hormones humans produce exactly. Upon extraction, the bioidentical hormones are then produced into gels, creams, and pill forms for the proper administration and effective hormone rebalancing as prescribed by a medical professional.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is a natural process with the use of naturally occurring, plant-based components. Synthetic hormones have been shown to increase the risk of side effects and a variety of diseases because of their synthetic and non-organic components. The body recognizes synthetic hormones are an invader and opens the door for adverse events and reactions upon short-term and long-term administration.
BHRT is primarily used for clients over 30-40+ years, due to increased commonality with hormonal imbalance as humans age, who have been exposed to a variety of toxins with observed hormonal deficits shown on lab work following a small blood draw.
Hormonal Imbalance can lead to a variety of health concerns aside from the initial and unfortunate side effects including adrenal fatigue, sexual dysfunctions, metabolic syndromes, and thyroid disorders.
If you notice that any of the following symptoms let the skilled clinicians at Balanced Body Healthcare perform some lab work and determine if you are a candidate for BHRT:
- Depression/Mood swings
- Memory changes
- Excessive Fatigue
- Hair loss
- Weight changes/gain
The Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is not the same for everyone and requires a specified treatment protocol put in place following a thorough assessment, lab work, and medical experience; each prescription is specific to the needs of the patient and their resultant labwork. For this reason, BHRT is a much safer alternative and has more potential benefits due to the identical and organic nature of the products being distributed and utilized. With BHRT as compared to synthetic hormones, you’ll notice improved and protected bone density, decreased hot flashes, improved vaginal dryness, improved mood, better sleep hygiene and better quality of sleep, greater energy, and improved cholesterol levels.
Adverse Effects of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
As with any medical procedure and treatment, there is the risk of negative effects. It is shown with BHRT that some negative side effects may occur, but are temporary and typically reveal remaining hormonal imbalances also requiring treatment. Let your clinician at BBH know if you experience any increase in headaches, breast tenderness, mood swings, or increased irritability.
While it may be frustrating to experience additional side effects similar to those of hormone imbalance, it may be crucial to determine the true depth of your hormonal imbalance and there will likely be a marked improvement in all side effects once all hormone imbalances are identified and addressed- which can take time and alterations to your BHRT protocol. While BHRT makes take multiple sessions, it will certainly result in a better lifestyle and a general improvement in well-being.
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