When you get up in the morning, do you still feel tired? Have you noticed small changes such as hair loss, aches, and pains, or added weight in areas that didn’t used to have it? Although these are often interpreted as normal signs of aging, they may actually signify something else: a hormone imbalance. If you feel like you may be currently experiencing a hormone imbalance, you’re not alone. You can restore your natural hormone balance at Andres Medical Care in Concord, CA with a revolutionary new treatment called “bioidentical hormone therapy.”
Hormone Imbalance and the Aging Process
Hormones have an enormous impact on our moods, urges, and behaviors. They are chemicals that are naturally produced by our body’s endocrine system. When the endocrine system produces too much or too little of one type of hormone, our natural balance becomes disrupted and we experience changes in mood as a result.
These imbalances are usually, but not always, experienced by people entering into middle age or older. Women who are going through menopause may have particularly acute symptoms. Pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women may also notice significant changes. As for men, many start to experience a decline in testosterone in their thirties, and this can trigger changes in libido and overall body composition during middle age.
The Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
One of the challenges with hormonal imbalance is that many of the symptoms corollate with other medical issues. As a result, patients may assume that their symptoms are caused by something else and fail to seek treatment unless the imbalance becomes severe.
Depressive Thoughts or Feelings
Depression is one of the most common and significant signs of hormone imbalance. Many people experience depression for other reasons, such as a genetic predisposition or a temporary response to negative circumstances in their lives. But sometimes it is simply a matter of low testosterone or another hormone that is lacking in the body, and the remedy is as simple as reintroducing the hormone back into the patient’s system.
Changing Body Composition
Changes in hormones can have serious implications for your body composition. A drop in testosterone might lead to a loss in muscle mass. Fluctuations in other hormones can lead to the body storing fat in larger quantities or in different places on the body, which often comes as an unwelcome surprise to many patients. By using bioidentical hormone therapy, these symptoms can be eliminated or at least lessened.
Loss of Sex Drive
Both men and women rely on the hormone testosterone in order to fuel their sex drive, and both men and women typically lose a little bit of this as they get older. When there is a decline in testosterone production that is too sharp, it can result in lost libido. It is also possible for women to experience a condition called estrogen dominance, where the body’s glands are generating so much estrogen that the testosterone becomes less effective, and the result is the same: a loss of libido.
Many patients who suffer from hormone imbalances can also experience various challenges when it comes to their thinking, mental clarity, and alertness. There are a number of explanations for this that may have connections to hormone imbalance. An insufficient supply of estrogen in women is one particular contributor. Patients report a lack of focus, memory problems, and other issues.
Mood Swings and Irritability
There are major connections between our hormone levels and our thoughts and behaviors. Part of this comes from the fact that hormones are at least partly responsible for producing our neurotransmitters. These chemicals (such as dopamine, serotonin, or norepinephrine) are all critical elements in controlling hunger, sex drives, basic reward systems, and even our overall happiness with life. When our neurotransmitters are fluctuating, the reason may very well be hormonal.
Hormone imbalance can manifest itself in a variety of ways that disrupt sleep. Many patients will experience this as fatigue, constantly feeling tired or “spent” even though they have technically gotten enough sleep and logically should feel rested. Often this is a case of heightened amounts of progesterone, which normally regulates our sleep. However, if the body is producing too much of it, the patient can feel tired all the time.
Of course, the reverse effect can also be a problem. If the body is not making enough progesterone, the result can be an inability to fall asleep. Insufficient sleep is linked to a whole host of other illnesses and health problems and should be corrected as soon as possible. If you are in middle age and have experienced a noticeable change to your sleep habits, you may need bioidentical hormone therapy to correct the issue.
Can the Body Restore Hormonal Balance on Its Own?
Sometimes, these hormonal changes are temporary, however this is not always the case. Hormone imbalance can last for years if not treated, and in the meantime, the quality of a person’s life can suffer. Bioidentical hormone therapy offers relief from the symptoms of imbalanced testosterone, estrogen, or progesterone.
Why Do Some People Experience More Serious Hormone Imbalance?
We all experience aging differently, and our genetic predispositions play an enormous part in how certain changes will be expressed. Diet, exercise, and external behavioral factors do play a part, but in general, genetics are a key driver for hormonal change. For this reason, it may be difficult or even impossible to alter the underlying reasons for a hormone imbalance. Instead, the best method is simply adding more of the needed hormones from an outside source.
What Is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy?
This treatment is often referred to as BHRT, which stands for “bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.” There are two main things to understand from this label. First, it’s important to note that the therapy works by replacing the hormones that are missing. It is not causing your endocrine system to make more of anything. Second, the hormones that are being added are “bioidentical,” meaning that they are exact copies of the hormones that are already existing in the human body.
How Does It Work?
The objective with BHRT is to achieve balance once again. If you have too little of one hormone, this specific hormone may be added back into your system. If you have too much of a particular hormone, other ingredients may be used in order to lessen its prominence and help return your overall balance.
There are a number of ways to give patients “boosts” of hormones, including creams and patches. At Andres Medical Care, we use one of the more popular methods, which is called “pellet therapy.”
What Is Pellet Therapy?
In pellet therapy, your needed hormones are created in a lab using plant material as ingredients. The hormones are then concentrated into a pellet. When this pellet is introduced to the human body, it is slowly absorbed over a period of months so as to avoid overwhelming your system with too much of one hormone all at once. The slow-release method means that a patient only needs to come in for one treatment session every few months, which allows for ideal benefits with a minimum of fuss.
Where Does the Pellet Go?
When we use pellet therapy, we insert the pellet underneath the patient’s skin, often just above the buttocks where it will not be visible or get in the way of moving. This process is very simple and quick. After the pellet is safely inside the body, it will release small amounts of your needed hormone for the next three to four months, allowing for your body to adjust and acclimatize to your newfound balance.
As a result, bioidentical hormone therapy requires monitoring and follow-up appointments after three or four months have passed. During these appointments, we can analyze the results and make any necessary changes to your dosage.
Although these hormone pellets can bring about remarkable changes, they are often best used in connection with other strategies. Our doctors may offer advice about diet, exercise, sleep habits, and stress-reducing techniques that can make your experience more effective and more enjoyable.
Are You a Candidate for Bioidentical Hormone Replacement?
In most cases, ideal candidates for BHRT have noticed at least one of the major symptoms, such as:
- Depressive thoughts or feeling
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Mood swings
- Loss of sleep or sleep quality
- Loss or reduction of sex drive
- Loss of hair or muscle
- Unusual weight gain or loss
Patients frequently experience several of these together, as insufficient amounts of even one hormone can cause multiple symptoms. Most patients are in middle age or older, but this is not always the case.
How Can I Get Started?
The first part of the process is an initial consultation. Because each patient is different, we need to understand what the root causes of the imbalance may be. When you contact Andres Medical Care, our staff will meet with you in person and ask a few questions about your medical history in order to get an idea of whether or not this treatment is right for you.
After this, we do some basic testing in order to determine which hormones may need to be included in your treatment plan.
We do one or several simple tests, which may include taking samples of blood, urine, or saliva. By examining these samples, we can see if any of the hormones are under-represented at a chemical level. After your results return from the lab, we draw up your individual treatment plan and decide which pellets will best restore balance to your system.
Before we begin treatment, we will also go over your other medications and any other conditions you may have. Of course, the consultation is a chance for you to ask any questions about the treatment you may have. We believe that patients make the best decisions when they have all the information readily available, so please feel free to voice any questions or concerns. Your health and safety is our number one concern.
Once we begin a treatment plan, it’s also important to remember that it is a long-term process. One pellet may last several months and require replacement once it has been absorbed. We will work with you every step of the way, to make sure that you get your hormones––and your life––back to a healthy, happy balance.
Schedule Your Personal Consultation Today
Hormone imbalance can start small and grow into a major disruptive condition that affects every aspect of your life. If you’re suffering from poor sleep, low sex drive, or moodiness, you don’t have to accept this as inevitable! You can experience a new breath of fresh air with bioidentical hormone therapy. So call the welcoming medical professionals at Andres Medical Care in Concord, CA and start your new journey today!