Feeling tired, low, and generally just not yourself lately? Gone are the days when doctors dismissed such symptoms as simply “getting older.” Hormones have become more and more discussed in mainstream media over the last decade as many men and women start to realize the importance of these chemicals that your body does, or doesn’t, make. Here at Cady Wellness Institute in Newburgh, IN, we delight in informing our patients on how hormone therapy can help you get your vitality back.
But more news coverage doesn’t mean that everyone understands exactly how hormones work and how to know when they aren’t working. Let’s take a look at how different hormones affect both men and women equally, some signs that they might not be working properly in your body, and how these symptoms can be overcome. Hormone treatment is vital so that you’re ready and energized to take on the day.
How Hormones Work
When someone mentions hormones, most people immediately think of that turbulent time in their childhood when their teenage hormones were raging out of control. Voice changes, hair growth, acne, and sexual urges characterize the hormonal changes that occur during puberty. But that’s not the only thing that hormones do (although, it might be the most famous!). They also help to control your appetite, the oil production in your skin, and even your insulin levels (hello, diabetes).
Think of hormones as tiny messengers that deliver information throughout your body. They are created in the endocrine glands, and since these glands don’t have any ducts, the hormones are released directly into the blood without any preliminaries. They are chemical notes that travel directly in the bloodstream to different organs to let them know what to do and how to function. So, when something goes wrong with these messengers, we start to see organs not working properly.
Common Problem Hormones
Men and women have the same hormones, just at different levels. This means that hormonal imbalances can cause different issues in each sex, and hormone therapy has to be tailored to someone’s individual chemical makeup. But the hormones that cause the most issues remain the same.
While many associate testosterone with just men, women actually need a healthy dose of this hormone as well to keep their bodies balanced. A drop in testosterone in a woman looks like a loss of libido or sex drive. It can also result in a feeling of depression and simply no drive to get things done in life. Similarly, the symptoms in a man also include a loss of libido, as well as erectile dysfunction, and lethargy.
As the critical player known as the “feel-good” hormone during pregnancy, progesterone actually helps you get restful sleep and to be in a good mood. Even before a woman starts to go into menopause, this hormone is the first to start dropping in production in the body, leading to hot flashes, moodiness, and sleep issues.
Estrogen is important for any woman, but it can’t be solitary, and in fact, overproduction of estrogen in both men and women can lead to an abundance of issues. However, a drop in estrogen will make a woman depressed, irritable, and distracted. Menopause brings on the biggest drop in estrogen levels in the body.
DHEA and Cortisol
Stressed, much? These two hormones are secreted through the adrenal glands just above the kidneys and are the body’s way of dealing with stress levels. But if you’re stressed too much and too often, it can cause these glands to burn out and produce hormones poorly, leading to even more internal stress throughout your body. On the outside, you’ll begin to feel exhausted and burnt out yourself. Luckily, this is one of the easiest hormones to fix through hormone therapy.
If you’re at all familiar with diabetes, then you know that insulin is a major hormone in the body that helps to regulate blood sugar. While cortisol raises your blood sugar, insulin helps it to go back down, acting as a balancing hormone to cortisol. This means that if you eat too many sugary foods and simple carbohydrates, your body will have to work overtime trying to keep your blood sugar levels down. In doing so, it creates too much insulin and eventually stops.
Oftentimes, we will even see patients that are showing psychiatric symptoms due to this internal fight between insulin and cortisol levels. What we eat and the amount of stress we carry with ourselves is more important than we often realize.
Thyroid Hormone Problems
While more common in women, thyroid issues, unfortunately, go unchecked for many patients, as doctors tend to rely on the “TSH” test to tell them a full story. This test, however, does not do a thorough examination of the complete thyroid axis, and many women suffer from hypothyroidism without even realizing it.
The most common signs of hypothyroidism include:
- Sensitivity to cold
- Lack of energy
- Loss of libido
- Weight gain or inability to lose weight
- Decreased concentration and cloudiness
Is Hormone Therapy Right for You
Now that we know some of the different hormones that can balance or wreak havoc on our bodies, you might be identifying with some of the symptoms and wondering if hormone therapy is right for you. The treatment is used to correct any imbalance found in these hormones to get your body back to its natural working order. The goal of hormonal treatment is to help your body along in its own hormone production so that you can feel like your old, vital, energetic self.
When Hormones Go Wrong
Many things contribute to hormonal imbalance, such as diet, exercise, and stress. But there are also events that a body goes through that trigger hormones to over or underproduce. Puberty is one such event, as well as pregnancy and menopause. Menopause is typically the bodily event that causes more patients to seek out hormone therapy, as it occurs later in life when the body is naturally slowing down on hormone production.
As we age, our body isn’t able to produce hormones as easily as it did in our youth, which can also lead to hormonal imbalance. While this process is natural, having big drops in hormones is not. Your body should gradually slow down on production, and sometimes, that is not the case. This is when we see major symptoms that help us know that the body needs a little help with its natural hormone production abilities.
Symptoms That You Might Need Treatment
As we age, both men and women will see changes in their bodies due to the decrease in hormonal production. But sometimes these changes can get out of hand and create uncomfortable situations that we simply cannot live with, nor do we need to. In the past, men and women were often told that a loss of sex drive or mood swings were normal and that they just had to be deal with it. But that is not the case!
Some of the most common effects of low hormone levels include:
- Loss of sex drive
- Trouble sleeping
- Fatigue or exhaustion
- Hot flashes
- Pain during sex
- Erectile dysfunction
- Vaginal dryness
- Night sweats
- Weight gain
- Inability to lose weight
- Clouded thinking
- Loss of memory
- Mood swings
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, regardless of age, then a hormonal treatment might be right for you. There’s no need to “wait it out” to see if you will regain your drive for life, as hormonal imbalances can be easily corrected. Leaving the imbalance untreated could even cause irreparable damage. It’s best to be seen as soon as possible by your doctor to see if your hormones are the issue.
Our Top Therapy Treatment
After a thorough preliminary examination, your doctor will let you know if a hormonal treatment might be right for you. Keep in mind that different treatments will be needed depending on which hormones are imbalanced in your body.
While this type of therapy might once have meant taking a pill every day or applying a strong cream directly to your skin, there is now a unique alternative that you can have inserted and then forget that you’re even taking hormonal treatment.
Bio-Identical Hormone Pellets
An FDA-approved treatment that is made from compound estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, this unique therapy is about the size of a grain of rice. It is easily inserted just beneath the skin and releases the necessary hormones over an extended period of time. This tiny pellet is created specifically for you, with a tailored batch of hormones that will help to treat your symptoms.
Bio-identical pellets are great for those who experience a drop in libido and energy, as they can easily help you to revive your vitality and lust for life. And while it certainly helps during the later years around menopause, they can also help those in their early 30s that are already beginning to notice a loss in their sex drive and mood. The pellets are discreet and hassle-free and can be designed for even the lowest dose of hormone imbalance needed.
How Does It Work?
The treatment is easy, with the pellet being inserted just below the skin in the office. There is no preparation needed, nor is there any downtime after the treatment is in place. You’ll be able to go about your day-to-day life with ease. The pellet is discreet, with the most common site for placement on the upper part of the buttock. The pellet will then release a steady, small stream of hormones for the next several months.
Unlike creams or pills, the advantage of the pellet is that it never drops in the amount of hormone it secretes, meaning you won’t feel any dips or highs as an effect of the treatment. You might experience some light side effects at first as your body gets used to the new secretion of hormones. But as your body accustoms itself, you will begin to feel a renewal in your energy levels and your interest in your love life.
Your doctor will check in with you regularly to make sure the treatment is working and that you are comfortable with it. They will also be in constant contact with your family doctor and/or OBGYN to control your regular checkups, mammograms, and gynecological examinations.
Ready to Get Started?
It’s time to get your life back on track and to feel like your old self again. And taking care of your hormones is the way to do it. Contact Cady Wellness Institute in Newburgh, IN today for your preliminary consultation with Dr. Gabhart to see if hormone therapy is right for you.