What is Hormone Replacement Therapy and How Can it Help You?

What is Hormone Replacement Therapy and How Can it Help You?

At Wellness at Century City, one of the many treatments we offer our patients as part of our full array of integrative medical services is hormone replacement therapy. Sometimes, patients come to us complaining of things like mood changes, depression, headaches, unexplained weight gain, and a general lack of energy. These are all symptoms that can stem from a variety of illnesses, and it's often hard to pinpoint the exact cause or source. However, by reviewing your medical history and delving deeper into your symptoms, in many cases we determine that the solution to your problems could be hormone replacement therapy.

Your body has natural levels of hormones that help to keep things running smoothly, but as you age and go through changes in life, your hormone levels tend to drop. For women, estrogen levels can fluctuate significantly, while men experience ups and downs in testosterone levels at various points in their lives. When your body no longer has the proper levels of hormones it has come to rely on, the changes and subsequent hormone imbalance can cause internal turmoil resulting in symptoms like malaise, trouble sleeping, and irritability.

They key is to help the body get back to its "normal" levels of hormones, and hormone replacement therapy is one such way to do. The process we use involves bioidentical hormones, which means hormones that are biologically identical to the ones that are already in your body naturally, as opposed to synthetic hormones, which are chemically altered hormones manufactured in a lab. The body tends to react better to bioidentical hormones (which are naturally-derived from plants, but indistinguishable from the natural hormones humans produce) than it does to synthetic ones, which is why we only use bioidentical hormones.

Who is a Good Candidate for Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Typically, people think of women going through menopause when it comes to candidates for hormone replacement therapy, but this treatment is utilized by women and men alike. However, there's a reason that people associate menopausal women with hormone replacement therapy, because it tends to work very well in helping women handle that change. As women get older, their estrogen levels drastically decline. This causes uncomfortable side effects like hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, dry skin, vaginal dryness, and a myriad of other symptoms. With bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, we can help boost estrogen levels to battle these symptoms and help return the body to a more normal state, like the one women became used to in their youth.

For men, issues like erectile dysfunction, hair loss, breast development, and muscle loss can all indicate low testosterone levels. By providing your body with supplemental testosterone, we can help slow down or even completely solve some of these problems.

The estrogren and testosterone hormone replacements that are administered are carefully produced using natural substances by specially-trained pharmacists so that their chemical structure is exactly the same as their naturally-occurring counterparts. Your body cannot tell the difference at all between the bioidentical hormones we administer and the hormones it naturally produces on its own. The only change is that your body will now have more of those hormones than it did before (as close as possible to the ideal, natural levels) in order to make up for the hormone deficit that you have come to suffer from as you age.

Is Hormone Replacement Therapy Safe?

Many patients are unsure about the safety of hormone replacement therapy, and there is a lot of misinformation on the internet and in the media. Fortunately, multiple peer-reviewed scientific studies have found hormone replacement therapy to be a completely safe procedure. One of the most recent studies on the subject, published this September, found that there was no risk associated with menopausal hormone therapy. Women who participated in hormone replacement therapy did not suffer any adverse effects when compared to women who did not receive hormone replacements.

How Are Bioidentical Hormones Administered?

At Wellness at Century City, Dr. Cho provides patients with bioidentical hormones through injections or topical creams. Before treatment, you will undergo a consultation where Dr. Cho will thoroughly go over your medical history, discuss your symptoms, and review a questionnaire designed to help us best tailor our treatment to your individual situation. After the consultation process, we will prescribe and provide hormones as-needed based on your particular situation. The treatment is pain-free (aside from the prick of a normal shot) and there is no recovery time.

Conclusion

If you're struggling with mood swings, weight gain, lack of energy, and headaches, you might be a candidate for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. While many women undergo this treatment during menopause, it's also applicable to men who may be experiencing problems relating to a lack of testosterone. No matter your situation, our experienced team of medical professionals can help. Schedule an appointment today to discuss whether hormone replacement therapy is right for you!

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