Hormone Replacement for Men and Women
Before assigning any type of hormone replacement therapy, our qualified specialists provide comprehensive diagnostics and make the lab testing to determine and evaluate the levels of hormone and analyze whether they comply with approved standards either for men or women. The replacement is prescribed if the hormone deficiency has been officially diagnosed.
Difference Between Bioidentical and Synthetic Hormone Therapies
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and several medical specialty groups, the hormones marketed as “bioidentical” and “natural” aren’t safer than synthetic hormones used in traditional hormone therapy.
The term “bioidentical” means the hormones in the product are chemically identical to those your body produces. In fact, the hormones in bioidentical medications may not be any different from synthetic ones used in traditional hormone therapy. Several hormone therapy products approved by the FDA and prescribed by doctors or other health care providers contain bioidentical hormones.
The term “natural” means the hormones in the product come from plant or animal sources; they’re not synthesized in a lab. However, both bioidentical and synthetic hormones work the same despite different methods of obtaining.
We provide a range of hormone replacement therapies (including growth hormone replacement), HRT for women, TRT for men, and thyroid replacement treatment. Let’s review a few most popular therapies among our patients in brief.
Testosterone Replacement (TRT) for Men
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a medication prescribed by a doctor to treat low testosterone levels in men.
- Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a medicine to treat the symptoms of testosterone deficiency (low testosterone levels), a condition called hypogonadism.
- TRT is not the same as anabolic steroids or performance-enhancing steroids, which are unregulated. Long-term use of these steroids can cause harm.
- In men with low testosterone, TRT can improve mood, energy, wellbeing, libido, and sexual function.
What is testosterone replacement therapy?
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is testosterone given as a medicine prescribed by a doctor to treat the symptoms of low testosterone levels. It comes as a patch (Androderm), injection (Depo-Testosterone, Sustanon 250, Reandron), or capsules (Andriol).
TRT is not for everyone. You will need to have blood tests and a full discussion with a doctor to see if it is right for you.
What should I know about the different TRT options?
- Injection: This type of therapy is the most popular, cost-effective, and efficient one in terms of results. Before injecting, warm the medicine to body temperature to reduce pain at the injection site. It is important that the shot is made slowly into a large muscle.
- Patch: You should avoid showering, swimming, and sexual activity for 4 hours after putting on the patch. Skin irritation is common at the site of the patch.
- Capsules: These are best taken with food.
When is TRT used?
TRT is used to treat testosterone deficiency (low testosterone) in men, typically, of middle age. A low testosterone level by itself doesn’t need treatment, so the therapy is prescribed if the levels of testosterone are abnormal and hypogonadism is diagnosed.
Only men with symptoms of low testosterone and blood tests that confirm this should consider testosterone replacement. Men with testosterone levels in the bottom of the normal range (ie, still normal) are generally not treated with TRT.
What are the benefits of TRT?
The benefits of testosterone treatment include improved mood, such as feeling less depressed, an overall feeling of energy and wellbeing, and improved libido and sexual function. TRT can also change your body composition, eg, give you more muscle mass and less abdominal fat.
When is TRT not suitable?
TRT is should not be used if you have:
- known or suspected breast or prostate cancer;
- liver tumors;
- high calcium levels (hypercalcemia);
- severe heart or kidney disease;
- untreated sleep apnea.
Progesterone and Estrogen for Women
Estrogen and progesterone are hormones that are produced by a woman’s ovaries. Estrogen thickens the lining of the uterus, preparing it for the possible implantation of a fertilized egg. Estrogen also influences how the body uses calcium, an important mineral in the building of bones. In addition, estrogen helps maintain healthy levels of cholesterol in the blood.
As menopause nears, the ovaries reduce most of their production of these hormones. Lowered or fluctuating estrogen levels may cause menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, and medical conditions such as osteoporosis.
What is hormone therapy (HT)?
Hormone therapy (HT) is a treatment that is used to supplement the body with either estrogen alone or estrogen and progesterone in combination. When the ovaries no longer produce adequate amounts of these hormones (as in menopause), HT can be given to supplement the body with adequate levels of estrogen and progesterone. HT helps to replenish the estrogen, relieving some of the symptoms of menopause and helping to prevent osteoporosis.
Why is progesterone taken?
Progesterone is used along with estrogen in women who still have their uterus. In these women, estrogen – if taken without progesterone – increases a woman’s risk for cancer of the endometrium (the lining of the uterus). During a woman’s reproductive years, cells from the endometrium are shed during menstruation. When the endometrium is no longer shed, estrogen can cause an overgrowth of cells in the uterus, a condition that can lead to cancer.
Progesterone reduces the risk of endometrial (uterine) cancer by making the endometrium thin. Women who take progesterone may have monthly bleeding, or no bleeding at all, depending on how the hormone therapy is taken. Monthly bleeding can be lessened and, in some cases, eliminated by taking progesterone and estrogen together continuously.
Women who have had a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus through surgery) typically do not need to take progesterone. This is an important point because estrogen taken alone has fewer long-term risks than HT that uses a combination of estrogen and progesterone.
What are the types of hormone therapy (HT)?
There are two main types of HT:
- Estrogen Therapy (ET): Estrogen is taken alone. Doctors most often prescribe a low dose of estrogen to be taken as a pill or patch every day. Estrogen may also be prescribed as a cream, vaginal ring, gel, or spray. You should take the lowest dose of estrogen needed to relieve menopause symptoms and/or to prevent osteoporosis. This type of HT is used if a woman has had a hysterectomy
- Estrogen Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy (EPT): Also called combination therapy, this form of HT combines doses of estrogen and progesterone (progestin is a synthetic form of progesterone). This type of HT is used if a woman still has her uterus
Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy
Thyroid hormone therapy is the use of manmade thyroid hormones to raise low levels of natural thyroid hormones in the body. Thyroid hormone is usually given in pill form. It’s often used to treat an underactive thyroid. This is a thyroid that secretes little or no thyroid hormones. The most commonly prescribed thyroid hormone replacement is pure synthetic thyroxine (T4).
Who needs thyroid hormone replacement therapy?
Thyroid hormone therapy is prescribed when your thyroid doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone naturally. This is a condition referred to as hypothyroidism. It’s the most common reason people need hormone therapy. Other reasons for using thyroid hormone therapy may rarely include:
- To control the growth of the enlarged thyroid gland (also called a goiter)
- To control the growth of nodules on the thyroid gland
- Treatment after the removal of the thyroid for cancerous or noncancerous disease
- After treatment of hyperthyroidism by radioactive iodine ablation
How is thyroid hormone replacement therapy dosage determined?
Healthcare providers do careful blood testing to find the best dose of hormone replacement therapy for each person. The blood tests show levels of thyroid hormones in the blood, as well as thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) released by the pituitary gland.
The pituitary gland plays a key role in how the thyroid gland works. It controls how much thyroid hormone is released by making TSH “stimulate” the thyroid. Increased levels of TSH may mean that you have an underactive thyroid or that thyroid hormone replacement needs to be increased.
You will have lab tests to measure levels of thyroid hormones and TSH. Hypothyroidism can get worse over time. This means the dose may need to be increased over time. People over age 60 usually start thyroid hormone at a lower dose to be sure they can handle the medicine.
To make sure that your thyroid hormone replacement works, consider the following:
- Have routine visits with a healthcare provider.
- Take your thyroid medicine at least 1 hour before breakfast and any calcium or iron medicines you may take. Or take your medicine at bedtime, or at least 3 hours after eating or taking any calcium or iron medicines. If you forget to take your thyroid medicine at your regular time, take it as soon as you can, but do not take a double dose the next day.
- Always stay with the same brand of thyroid medicine. Talk with a healthcare provider before switching to another brand of medicine.
- Tell other healthcare providers of your thyroid hormone treatment before starting treatment for any other disease. Some treatments for other conditions or diseases can affect the dosage of thyroid hormone therapy.
- Tell a healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms.
- Tell all healthcare providers of your thyroid condition and medicine dosage.
For more concerns, any additional questions, or for applying for a free consultation, be sure to contact us at any time.