If you’re looking for a way to redefine the aging process and take control of your health, we at New You Medical in Bioidentical Hormones Fort Lauderdale, FL. Recommend bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). It can relieve the common symptoms of time in both men and women, but it’s not limited to patients of certain ages. And, surprisingly, it may also help you look and feel younger. It is truly restorative therapy.
At What Age Should You Stop Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Men and women of all ages successfully treat a range of symptoms with regular BHRT treatments. Thanks to the natural sources of and identical match to your body’s hormones, most patients enjoy therapy without side effects or adverse reactions. As for treatment length, the average is under five years; our team will work with you to determine the correct time period as it pertains to your unique needs.
Keep in mind, however, you can continue treatment as long as you are happy with the results. For women, BHRT helps them navigate the complexities of menopause so that most patients are between the ages of 40 and 55. We can adjust your therapy as you age to continue addressing the symptoms of hormonal imbalance, meaning the number of years behind you should not be seen as an impediment to treatment.
What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
The phrase bioidentical hormone therapy started as a marketing slogan for custom-compounded hormones that weren’t always effective in helping women manage deficiency symptoms. The body quickly absorbed the dosages in full so that women felt like they were on roller coasters as an avalanche of hormones flooded their systems.
Today’s treatments are vastly different from those of earlier days, releasing hormone dosages as the body needs them rather than in one large rush. This slower release allows the body to reach true balance and relieves such symptoms as:
- Memory loss
- Night sweats
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Diminished sexual desire
Advantages of Bioidentical
With the revolution of bioidentical hormones, therapy now has the same molecular and chemical structure as hormones produced naturally in the body. This means you’re not using the estrogen of other animals, such as that found in mares’ urine. Instead, plants like soy and yam serve as the sources of bioidentical hormones, synthesized so they are exact replicas of natural hormones. Even your body cannot tell a difference and processes them the same.
This explains why bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be used long-term; it’s not treated as a foreign agent within the body and therefore does not disrupt delicate processes. And once you begin therapy, your body needs only 10 days to adjust. You’ll experience fast relief from symptoms that interfere with your life, in addition to more energy and an improved mood.
The Stages of Menopause
We often think of hormonal imbalances as afflicting women right before and right after menopause, but this narrow viewpoint excludes an entire segment of women who:
- Do not ovulate and therefore lack sufficient progesterone
- Are exposed to environmental toxins that disturb natural balances
- Have undergone partial or full hysterectomies that can cause ovarian dysfunction
- Struggle with weight management and therefore have higher estrogen levels
An imbalance may strike at any time. Even when speaking of menopause, it’s important to remember this condition is divided into four primary stages, each of which can disrupt hormones in different ways.
The first stage, for instance, is premenopause and covers a large portion of a woman’s life. This time is usually marked by monthly menstruation and the ability to become pregnant. It begins with a woman’s first menstrual cycle and persists until her last, a window of time that can encompass 30 years or more.
Hormones are at peak levels during a woman’s teen years and early 20s, and signs like mood swings and acne breakouts demonstrate this. By the mid-20s to early 30s, however, hormone levels become more stable and, for some women, even start to wane.
This marks the transition from regular menstruation to the end of a woman’s reproductive years. Surprisingly, this stage can last up to 10 years and poses a time of great fluctuation in hormones. Classic symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain become more evident. But perimenopause can go undetected for years when women are not aware of the changes it commonly brings, and the experience can be physically and emotionally draining.
This final stage of a woman’s reproductive years sees sharp declines in estrogen and progesterone levels. As the ovaries stop producing eggs, menstruation and the possibility of becoming pregnant also end. The symptoms mentioned earlier, including brain fog and lower energy, remain poignant.
A woman enters this stage after going a full year without menstruating. Hormonal imbalances can continue to infringe upon daily life, reducing enjoyment during sex and making bones increasingly fragile. Severe hormonal deficiencies can accelerate aging and lead to more serious conditions with age.
Signs of Hormonal Imbalances in Men
Although men have many hormones in their bodies, just like women do, testosterone is generally considered the “male” hormone. What does separates men from women is the way in which they experience hormone drops? For women, it tends to be drastic and abrupt; men, on the other hand, usually experience a slow decline that can last over a period of years. You may therefore not even notice symptoms until your levels are significantly low.
A change in hormone levels can disrupt one or several processes. The most common symptoms men experience include:
- Weight gain
- Disrupted sleep
- Excessive sweating
- Dry skin
- Changes to blood pressure
- Moodiness that includes depression and anxiety
- Changes in the frequency of urination
- Increased thirst
The Specifics of Testosterone
In men, testosterone supports a number of factors, including muscle mass, libido, and cognition. Between the ages of 40 and 65, testosterone production significantly declines, thus explaining the body changes they experience compared to their 20s and 30s. With these changes comes the increased risk for serious health conditions; increased fat, for example, can lead to heart disease.
Studies have also revealed testosterone regulates the effects of a specific gene found within the kidney. Known as the klotho gene, it may act within the body as a potential “aging suppressor.” This means that when testosterone levels are normal, a man’s life longevity may be extended based on the expression of this particular gene. A hormonal imbalance, however, can keep the klotho gene’s anti-aging properties dormant.
A growing body of evidence suggests an imbalance in testosterone and cortisol in men may contribute to the relationship between sleep loss and insulin resistance. This correlation may also be linked to the development of Type 2 diabetes, therefore underscoring the importance of balancing hormones.
What Are Hormones?
They are, essentially, your body’s messengers. Produced by your glands, hormones travel throughout the body and give explicit instructions that regulate processes. You can, at any given time, have over 50 different hormones moving through your bloodstream. And nearly as many factors can offset the balance these chemicals need for optimal health; stress, medications, trauma, and eating disorders are just a few examples.
Hormones achieve two different types of communication. The first occurs between two endocrine glands to keep hormone levels stable. This gives you some idea of just how sophisticated these chemicals are – they have their own mechanism for establishing balance. The second mode of communication is between a gland and target organ, such as when the pancreas is prompted to release insulin. Additional functions regulated by these messengers include:
- Appetite regulation
- Sexual function
- Stress levels
- Body temperature
The Link Between Hormones and Aging
When you think about all the tasks hormones complete on a daily basis, it’s not surprising to learn they also impact how young you look and feel. For example, if you have excessively dry skin and thinning hair, the culprit may very well be a hormone imbalance. Once corrected, your appearance will likely change.
Likewise, the way you feel can also be symptomatic of waning hormones. If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep and often feel very tired, you in turn probably don’t exercise or enjoy much physical activity at all. This can contribute to weight gain, feeling like you’re older than you really are, and a general sense of ill-being. By restoring hormones to their normal levels, however, we can give you back the sleep and energy you so desperately need.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many patients wonder if they really need bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. To understand the broad benefits of this therapy, it’s important to first know that over the last century, humans have doubled their life expectancy. Our bodies, in turn, are being forced to produce hormones for longer than ever before. This fact is only compounded by increasingly stressful lives, lack of proper fitness, and poor nutrition.
Men and women alike have successfully used BHRT for decades. Not only does treatment relieve life-altering symptoms, but it can also help prevent such conditions as stroke, osteoporosis, colon cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
How Long Before I See Results?
This varies with each patient and depends on the exact BHRT method we prescribe for you. Most patients see results in under a week, with improvements continuing to develop over the following several months.
What Is the Best Age To Start Treatment?
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned here, it’s a good idea to have your hormones checked. Otherwise, doing so by the age of 40 can help you take an active role in your health and prevent illness. Getting tested early also provides a benchmark for later comparison so you recognize when your hormone levels do start to decline.
Will I Need Treatment Forever?
While we can’t give a single answer for every patient, we can say your need for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in the future will depend on how well your body responds to it now. You can help in this regard by exercising, managing stress, and eating a nutritious diet.
The Path to Balance
From the effects of aging to improved sleep, BHRT can improve your health in a variety of ways. The best time to consider treatment is now, whether you want to address specific concerns or simply seek information for the future. Call New You Medical in Bioidentical Hormone Fort Lauderdale, FL, today to schedule your consultation.