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Hormone Replacement Therapy
 

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, lowered metabolism.

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

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 replacement.
 

Andropause and Testosterone Replacement Therapy

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.
 

Melatonin

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 these problems.
 

DHEA

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.
 

Growth Hormone

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 well being.

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 760-320-4292 and make an appointment for help.

 

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  ©Allco Publishing, 2009

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