Hormone replacement therapy, commonly referred to as HRT can change lives and enhance marriages. And when done correctly, it can restore the feelings that we took for granted in our twenties. That youthful energy that allowed us to do whatever we wanted anytime of day or night is not lost. Gone can be the long nights of tossing and turning, wasting valuable time that should be used to rebuild our bodies, recover and prepare for the next day. Once restorative sleep returns to a person’s life, energy improves along with our sex drive or libido. These three things, energy, sleep and libido are the most common complaints from people in their late 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.
Balancing hormone levels isn’t magic; eating right and exercise are major players in the scenario. Far too often we look for the easy way to fix things, such as taking a pill for high blood pressure, when losing ten pounds may do the same thing.
Once a clinical diagnosis is made, a series of labs are drawn to further correlate the symptoms with objective data. Then a plan is made based on correcting the one symptom that stands out and needs the most immediate attention. Fixing that one thing usually addresses the rest but forcing someone to prioritize the symptoms sheds light on the actual cause. Just like taking supplements, know exactly what you are trying to correct before taking each and every capsule, tablet, drop or cream. More is not always better, our bodies like just the right amount, go above that level and you can feel exactly like you did when you had too little. The major players in the hormone game are estradiol, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone. Yes, women need testosterone and it’s seriously neglected starting with the so called “reference” range, which is a dismal 5 – 45 ng/dL. I have found that women feel the best when their levels are closer to 125 ng/dL. At this level the negative symptoms are quite low (acne, hair growth, voice changes) and the positive benefits (energy, mental clarity, libido) increase dramatically.
Hormones do not cause cancer! In fact, bio-identical hormones can be quite protective against developing the dreaded “C” word. But, that’s the key, using hormones that are identical to the one’s we made in our youth, when the incidence of cancer is quite low.
Practicing this type of medicine takes time and patience, feeling bad took decades, feeling better may take a few weeks to a few months. The body loves consistent levels of hormones, it thrives on routine and the people that feel the best are the one’s that are diligent with their daily replacement routine. Too many doctors are trying to practice this type of medicine. Do your research when looking for a practitioner, ask your friends who they use and how things are going. Hormones are complicated and not everyone understands the intimate relationship between the major and minor players, it’s your life, we only get one and it’s not a game to allow just anyone to play when it comes to your health and wellness.
In good health,
Dr Scott & the PWC Team!