There are many medical developments that have a lasting effect on mankind. Take vaccines – the subject of some controversy at the time of writing thanks to the ongoing pandemic – which have undoubtedly saved millions of lives and helped us live longer lives. That’s just one example that came about by the ingenuity of a brilliant mind.
To come up with any such development one has to have an understanding of the way the human body works. The 20th century brought great advances in our understanding in this area, and thus enabled us to provide more efficient medicines and other medical advances. One area that has seen a great deal of research is that of hormones, and in particular Hormone Replacement Therapy, abbreviated to HRT.
Hormones And Our Health
Why do hormones play such a large part in our lives, and what are they? Hormones are chemicals that are produced naturally in glands around our body. They are secreted when needed and their purposes is effectively to carry messages instructing various organs and systems to do their job. Hormones have an effect on every single part of the complex machine that we essentially are.
An example of a well-known hormone is testosterone. Produced by the testes, it is often assumed that testosterone is solely responsible for sexual performance. While it plays a large part here – it is involved a man getting an erection, for example – it also plays a large part in muscle development, in bone density, and in our cognitive performance. We’ll talk about the effect of these later.
As we’ve mentioned the major male hormone, we need to talk a little about estrogen, which governs not only a woman’s reproductive system but – as with men – has many other functions including bone density and cognitive function. Both can have an effect on – and similarly be affected by – mental health issues, and more will be said about that later.
Let’s not move on to the subject of the article, which is that of bioidentical hormones and their use in procedures in Atlanta.
What Are Bioidentical Hormones?
Bioidentical hormones have been carefully researched and developed for use in HRT procedures. They differ from earlier synthetic hormones in that they are laboratory created to achieve a replacement hormone as close to that of the patient in biological terms. It’s a bit like having an expert match the paint on your car when a part needs respraying.
As a result of this careful research bioidentical hormones are known to provide more effective results when used in HRT routines. They are also safer as they are as close to the body’s own hormones as is possible. But why does someone need HRT with bioidentical hormones? What does HRT achieve and how is it administered? Let’s start by looking at women specifically, and the instances in which they may benefit from HRT.
When Women May Need Bioidentical Hormone Treatment
HRT for women is a very common procedure and for one simple medical reason – the menopause. This is a time in a woman’s life where her body undergoes simply colossal hormonal changes. It usually occurs for women in their 40’s but can come about earlier or later in life. What is menopause, why does it happen, and how can HRT help?
A woman’s reproductive system does not continue performing for a lifetime. The ovaries – which produce eggs on a monthly cycle, hence her experiencing a period – stop working at a certain age (see above.) As the monthly routine involves estrogen and other hormone the sudden slowing down in production of these can have a dramatic effect on a woman in terms of her health, well-being and how she feels overall. The following are some of the symptoms associated with menopause:
- Irregular Hot Flushes
- Night sweats and terrors
- Insomnia – lack of sleep
- Dryness and thinning of the skin and particularly the vaginal area
- Loss of sex drive and sensitivity to stimulation
- Exaggerated Hair Loss
- Depression and other mood changes
It has been proven that menopause can also trigger Alzheimer’s Disease which in itself makes this a more dangerous proposition. Depression and mood changes can also be very serious, so we strongly recommend that a woman experiencing any of the above seeks medical help quickly. HRT may well be the answer, and has been for many millions of women, so be assured that menopause can be treated.
Now let’s see why men may need HRT.
When Men May Need Bioidentical Hormone Treatment
Some men may experience a similar situation to the menopause. This is known as andropause, and sometimes the male menopause. The latter name is misleading as in men this reduction in testosterone production is far more gradual, and andropause is more often than not a result of lifestyle choices such as smoking, heavy drinking, using recreational drugs and other non-healthy options.
As a result while HRT is used in tackling andropause – which can occur at any age in a man – the patient will be required to change those lifestyle choices or the treatment will simply not be successful. Should he be willing to do so he may be able to overcome such problems as erectile dysfunction which is a common result of andropause.
Now that you know what it’s all about, we just need to talk about what to expect from your bioidentical HRT procedure.
How Are Bioidentical Hormones Administered?
There are different methods involved in HRT, each of which will require regular visits to the clinic in Atlanta. These are:
- HRT by oral pills.
- Injection of the bioidentical hormone into the body.
- HRT by creams or patches applied to the skin.
- Pellet HRT treatment in which tiny pellets containing the hormone are inserted under the skin using minor incisions.
The latter option is fast becoming the most popular as it provides a longer time between clinic visits. Talk to your doctor now about HRT treatment and they will refer you to a local clinic.