Hormone Replacement Therapy
(Bio-identical and Synthetic)
The natural hormone system in the body is complex and ever-changing. As we mature, the amount of hormones needed for optimum health changes also. The body knows what is needed, and as long as there are no underlying medical conditions that prevent it from doing so, the body manufactures those necessary hormones. However, in cases where the body is dealing with illness and stress, mineral and vitamin levels decrease and therefore need adjustment. Toxins also accumulate as we live longer.
This hormonal shift continues into middle-age and beyond. The most marked change later in life is the diminished production of sex and other hormones. These powerful hormones do more than just make us feel virile and sexy. They are also instrumental in full-body health, from head to toe.
Dr. Raffi Krikorian and his team of consultants at St. Louis Body Balance and Weight Loss (STLBBWL) specialize in hormone activities and therapies for every stage of life.
As hormone production declines with age, we become susceptible to a host of medical complications. Some results of hormone decline are changes typically associated with the aging process such as thinning skin, trouble with memory and concentration, weight gain, insomnia, fatigue, and aches and pains in muscles and joints. Sex drive also suffers as we lose interest or start experiencing performance concerns. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), also called Hormonal Restorative Medicine, can bring back the vigor of youth.
BIO-IDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY relies on naturally derived hormones from plants to restore what the aging process is depleting. Bio-identical hormones are scientifically altered just enough to make them highly attractive to the body’s own natural hormone receptor cells.
Synthetic Hormone Replacement Therapy
Synthetic hormone replacement therapies come from laboratory chemicals that are not a thoroughly compatible match to the body’s hormone receptors. Therefore, are ususally not as effective as Bio-identical hormones. Many of the synthetics contain chemicals that may be toxic.
Although many hormones are required to keep the human body in motion, it is the sex hormones that create the gender differences that play the strongest role in our self-identities. Both males and females manufacture each of the sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone), but in different amounts. Other hormones that may be included in bio-identical hormone replacement therapies include dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), melatonin, thyroid hormone, cortisol, and growth hormones.
Hormones in Females
Women experience the decline in female hormone production more dramatically than men. This period of decline is called “peri-menopause,” which then becomes menopause once hormone decline causes the menstrual cycle to end. To best determine which hormones need to be replaced, diagnostic testing is done to check levels of progesterone, testosterone, and three forms of estrogen (estradiol, estriol, and estrone) as well as others, like thyroid.
Hormones in Males
The decline of sex hormones in men is much more gradual than in women. This gradual decline is known as andropause (the cessation of production of male sex hormones, particularly testosterone). Symptoms of decline usually begin by the mid-40’s and production continues dropping at a rate of about 10% every ten years thereafter according to the World Health Organization (WHO). By age 50, testosterone levels may be low enough to increase a man’s risk for medical conditions typically associated with the aging process.
Symptoms of Hormone Decline
Loss of sex drive and limited ability to perform are the most obvious signs of declining hormone levels in both men and women, but the entire body is often affected. As hormone levels drop, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis rises. The overall health of bones and joints, the brain, the circulatory system, and the skin may be jeopardized. The muscles become weaker and movement becomes more difficult. Also, due to the inability of the body to maintain balance, there is an increased likelihood of slips and falls that may cause unsightly bruising and debilitating injury (including bone fractures), and these can be life-threatening. The emotions may suffer as well. Patients may have unpleasant mood swings. They may easily become irritable, and may undergo bouts of depression. All of these may diminish the quality of life as we approach middle-age and beyond.
You may be a candidate for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy if any of these symptoms sound familiar. This highly effective form of therapy is available by prescription only and is not suitable for everyone. Dr. Krikorian at St. Louis Body Balance and Weight Loss evaluates each patient on a case-by-case basis and devises a treatment strategy to meet the unique needs of every patient eligible for Hormone Replacement Therapy.