Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT and
What Are Hormones?
Our body makes a number of chemicals which
have very specific tasks of running, maintaining, supporting and
enhancing our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual functioning
as well as help protect us and help us reproduce and procreate. One
of these specific groups of chemicals which is made by our endocrine
system are hormones.
The human endocrine system is made up of a
number of major hormone producing glands: the pituitary gland, the
thyroid gland, the adrenal glands, the parathyroid glands, pineal
gland, thymus, pancreas, the ovaries and the testes.
When the endocrine system and all of it glands
are working correctly we generally have good health and feel
optimal. That is we feel well, look well and act as if we are well.
When any one of these glandular system, or all of them, are
malfunctioning making too much or too little hormones we will likely
fell ill, be ill, suffer from symptoms or illness.
What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
There are certain glandular systems that
either dysfunction or with age begin to malfunction, that is reduce
the amount of hormones made or lose efficiency from the hormones
that are made. The most widely recognized of these problems is
diabetes. Other commonly recognized problems include thyroid
dysfunction, too little thyroid hormone being made, menopause (loss
of reproductive hormones in women), andropause (loss of reproductive
hormones in men) and infertility (both men and women).
When any one gland makes too little hormone or the
hormone it does make is inefficient then replacement of these hormones
may be essential for health and optimal wellness. When these happen and
hormones are prescribed we are performing
hormone replacement therapy.
Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy
When the thyroid for whatever reason age,
injury, chemical toxicity or surgery fails to make sufficient
thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) a series of symptoms occur fatigue,
cold intolerance, depression, constipation, muscle aches and pains,
arthritis, thin, brittle nails, dry, itchy skin, weight gain, water
retention, slow heart rate, menstrual irregularities, infertility,
When hypothyroidism exists then thyroid
replacement therapy is needed to return this person to optimal
functioning and felling well again.
Insulin Replacement Therapy
Diabetes is a nutritional deficiency syndrome
and can be controlled by replacing insulin or using oral medications
that is deficient or not working effectively or by improving the
diet so that adequate insulin can be made and sugar metabolism
returns to normal.
Menopause and Estrogen/Progesterone Hormone
Replacement Therapy (HRT)
As women move into their fifth decade or
because of surgery their ovaries fail they will enter into
menopause. Estrogen failure is responsible for a host of medical and
health problems including hot flashes, flushes and vasomotor
instability but also an increased risk of heart disease,
osteoporosis, stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease, various cancers and
premature aging. These symptoms and medical problems can be
controlled and eliminated by estrogen and progesterone hormone
Andropause and Testosterone Replacement
As men age or through injury or surgery the
testes may fail to make sufficient make hormone, testosterone.
Deficiencies of testosterone can create a syndrome similar to
menopause along with increased risk of heart disease, stroke,
osteoporosis, cognitive and memory problems, loss of vitality,
muscle wasting and premature aging.
These symptoms and medical problems can be
reduced and even eliminated by testosterone replacement therapy.
Other Essential Hormonal Replacement Therapies
There are a number of other hormones made by
endocrine which when production is impaired or decreased can cause
symptoms and health problems.
Made by the pituitary gland melatonin plays an
essential role in maintaining health and wellness. Melatonin
regulates the sleep-wake cycle, causes drowsiness, lower body and
has a positive effect on the entire endocrine systems. When
melatonin is deficient there may be sleep disturbances, there may be
an increased risk of cancer, the immune system may be undermines,
depression is not uncommon, cardiovascular disease and sexual
dysfunction may occur. Proper melatonin replacement can reverse
Made by the adrenal gland, DHEA plays an essential
role maintaining a hormonal balance as it is the main building block for
testosterone and estrogen. Deficiencies of DHEA have been associated
with increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, depression,
mood swings, and insulin resistance. Appropriate replacement therapy has
benefits on many levels.
Made by the pituitary gland growth hormone
(also referred to as somatotrophin) has many important affects
including promoting growth during childhood and adulthood.
Deficiencies of growth hormone can lead to many non-specific
problems including truncal obesity, decrease in muscle mass,
decreased energy and decreased quality of life. Many researchers
believe that it is a major factor in triggering the aging process
and increasing the risk of cancer and heart disease. Growth hormone
replacement is now recommended for people with multiple sclerosis,
and is used for treating severe obesity, fibromyalgia, Chron’s
disease and ulcerative colitis.
A Two Edged Sword
Deficiencies of essential hormones can play
havoc with the body, causing increased risk of death, cardiovascular
disease, loss of energy, obesity, sleep disturbances, infertility
and a host of individual symptoms and changes within the body. On
the other hand, treatment with hormones by physicians inexperienced
in their use or self treatment when the individual has no idea what
they are doing, can also be quite dangerous.
Hormonal replacement treatment should always
require a competent medical consult, a comprehensive medical history and
physical examination, appropriate diagnostic and laboratory testing and
then prescription by someone who knows what they are doing and doe what
needs to be done correctly. Education is essential so that you know
exactly what you are doing so as not to undermine or compromise your
With proper hormonal replacement therapy (HRT)
those affected can return to optimal functioning and felling well again.
A good long-term relationship with competent and caring physician can
greatly help you. For information, call 310.879.9266
and make an
appointment for help.