A lot changes as we age, not just our physical appearance. We’re full of energy when we’re young and have all the necessary hormones flowing through us to keep us going. For many people, hormone therapy is an option to regain some once-lost vitality once we start to lose it.
As we age, our hormones start to deplete and many aspects of our life can change when that happens. Unexplained depression, anxiety, weight gain, thinning of hair, moodiness and fatigue can all be caused by that depletion.
Women can also experience hot flashes, vaginal dryness, reduced sexual desire, and muscle/ joint pain. Men may experience loss of libido, difficulty sustaining an erection, irritability, and muscle mass loss.
For any of these issues to happen to a woman or man, unexpectedly, it can bring a sense of confusion or loss.
Hormones naturally start to deplete as we age but there are some solutions! People can start with basic life changes such as eating cleaner, working out regularly, cutting out alcohol and caffeine, or taking vitamins.
For a lot of people those positive life changes still don’t help their hormone levels get back to normal. Thanks to our ongoing progression in science and medical knowledge, there is an even better, still pretty natural solution.
Hormonal therapy has been such a blessing for many people. It is a medication containing the hormones your body has stopped making. You’re not bringing anything foreign into your body, just replacing the hormones that were once there in abundance.
How Important are Hormones Really?
It doesn’t matter what gender you are or what your age is, hormones are what keep us balanced and are vital to everyday activities and bodily functions. They are chemical substances released by different glands in the body to target organ systems and cells to help them function properly.
Hormones help maintain our health and happiness and are responsible for important processes such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, digestion, and mood control. When an imbalance of these chemicals occurs it can have a negative impact on your health. By replenishing these hormones you’re giving your body exactly what it needs to get back to your “normal” self.
Some men and women wake up drenched in sweat. You may first think, too many blankets on? Is the AC not low enough? Either option could be the case. But if it’s a consistent problem no matter the temperature, most likely your hormones are out of whack.
Women that have no sexual desire, it’s easy to think “maybe I’m just older and am not interested in that anymore”. Which very well could be true, but more likely that you are feeling that way due to a lack of the hormone needed. Same can be said for men that are unexpectedly gaining weight and losing muscle; it is easy to blame these issues on just age alone.
Although aging is totally relevant in these scenarios, it’s more so specifically the hormones lost due to aging that is the culprit. Fortunately, it is very easy to find out if your hormones are balanced or not. Schedule an appointment with your physician and let them know what it is that’s bothering you. They can run blood tests and tell you exactly what your hormone levels are and the next steps to take from there.
How is it Done?
One of the most natural ways this therapy can be administered is through bio-identical hormones. There are many different types of hormone therapy out there, but bio-identical hormones are as close to the real thing as you can get.
Man-made by highly trained pharmacists, these hormones are chemically identical to the ones your body produces, making it easier for you to absorb. They can be taken in tablet form, pellets under the skin, gels and creams, or injected as a shot.
When taking a tablet, usually you take it daily around the same time every day. Creams and gels can be applied to the forearm or legs, depending on what hormone it is.
Shots are injected directly into the muscle by a healthcare professional, every 1-6 months. Pellet insertion is a simple procedure performed under local anesthesia to numb the skin. Your healthcare provider will then make a small incision in the upper buttocks area, then implant the pellet there. You can discuss all these methods with your provider to find out which will best suit you.
Difference in Men and Women’s Hormones
Men and women do share some of the same hormones, but in this kind of therapy it’s usually different hormones that are affected for both genders. Women may need to begin this therapy once they start experiencing menopausal signs.
Estrogen and progesterone are female hormones that play an important role in how the body functions. Lower levels in these can cause a range of physical and emotional symptoms including mood swings, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness.
The goal for this therapy is to restore those hormone levels and bring much needed relief to many women.
For men, the main hormone that starts decreasing with age is testosterone. After age 30 testosterone levels start dropping, only about 1% each year though. This gradual but continuous loss of testosterone is called Andropause (the male equivalent to Menopause).
After several years go by, a change in how the body functions becomes more and more noticeable. Men may start to see unexplained weight gain, loss of muscle mass or ability to achieve an erection. These changes, for both men and women, can be embarrassing and frustrating to deal with. Luckily there is a solution! And the positive effects of this therapy don’t take too long to kick in.
When To Start Replacement Therapy
People consider this type of therapy to only be needed once you reach an older age, but that’s not always the case. Men’s testosterone levels and women’s estrogen levels can start dropping as early as 20-30 years of age.
Symptoms like vaginal dryness or inability to maintain an erection may not be present, but there are many other signs to watch for. Lack of sleep and energy, irritability, mood swings, and depression are all signs that men and women may experience when hormone levels are lower than normal.
There’s no reason to wait till you’re older to get these levels checked. What causes these levels to drop in younger women could be over exercising, malnutrition, thyroid or autoimmune conditions. A drop in these levels for men could be a result from drug or alcohol abuse, obesity, or certain medications.
However, all of our bodies are different and really there could be a range of possibilities as to why your hormone levels are below average. No matter if you are old or young, male or female, it’s possible your hormone levels may be causing problems in your daily routine.
Like I mentioned before, there is no reason to live with these symptoms and accept them as part of your new self. Once you get your blood checked and find out you do in fact have low hormone levels, there is an answer for you and it will change your life! Shortly after this therapy begins you could notice more energy, a livelier sex life, better moods, mental clarity and much more.
The first step in any type of medical treatment or therapy is to talk with your doctor. There’s no reason to “tough it out”, hormones are natural and have such a major impact in our life. If your levels aren’t within normal range, and you start this type of therapy, the positive changes you will experience will make you mad you hadn’t done this way earlier!