Overview of Hormone Replacement Therapy
As people age, the production of hormones in their bodies can change. For many, these hormonal changes can be gradual and not cause any discomfort. However, some people may experience more noticeable side effects, such as moodiness, irritability, less sexual desire, dry skin, forgetfulness, weight gain or hot flashes, just to name a few. Hormone replacement therapy may help in keeping your hormones balanced.
What is hormone replacement therapy?
Hormone Replacement Therapy is the process of restoring and maintaining hormone balance with hormones. Although traditionally used for menopausal women, hormone replacement therapy is becoming more main stream and can also be prescribed for men, although the hormones and dosages used will normally differ from the women’s protocol. There are many hormonal pathways in our bodies and the most commonly prescribed hormones include estriol, estradiol, progesterone, estrone, testosterone and DHEA. Click here for hormonal pathways chart.
The hormones used in hormone replacement therapy can be synthetic hormones or bio-identical hormones. Synthetic hormones are created in a laboratory, usually patented by a drug manufacturer and must undergo the FDA testing process. If they are patented, the hormones will be altered to allow for the patent process; items that are naturally occurring (that have not been altered) cannot be patented. Synthesized hormones can be plant based or derived from other ingredients.
Hoye’s Pharmacy specializes in the compounding of bio-identical hormones. These hormones are from plant sources and are biologically and chemically identical to human hormones, thus the name bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. They mimic our natural hormonal functions in the body, are not altered biologically in any way and cannot be patented.
Bio-identical hormones have been available and used in hormone replacement therapy for decades. They can be custom compounded to match each patient’s unique needs and body chemistry, instead of the “one size fits all” approach used with off-the-shelf hormones.
Do you need hormone replacement therapy?
Ever feel like this?
- Dry, itchy skin?
- Loss of libido – low sex drive?
- Hot flashes?
- Can’t sleep through the night?
- Low energy?
- Unexplained weight gain?
- PMS symptoms?
- Peri-menopausal or Menopausal?
the list can go on and on!
Unbalanced hormones can make you feel, well, unbalanced. Adrenal fatigue and chronic stress can also add to the symptoms of hormonal imbalance. If you are experiencing the above symptoms on an ongoing basis, it may be time to speak with your physician about hormone replacement therapy.
How do I measure my hormone levels?
Hormone therapy requires appropriate testing, examination and discussion of symptoms with a healthcare practitioner. Hormone testing can be done using blood levels from a laboratory (requires a physician’s prescription) or saliva testing. Your physician can order the blood tests or use saliva test kits. Saliva kits can also be purchased at Hoye’s Pharmacy. These tests measure your hormone levels and indicate whether or not your hormones are in balance. Saliva test kits are available over the counter and are self- administered. Many physicians use either blood tests or saliva – they are both widely accepted.
Hoye’s Pharmacy sells saliva test kits over the counter. Our knowledgeable staff can help you select the appropriate test for yourself, if you do not have a physician. The saliva test results will be returned to you and if hormones are indicated, you will need to ask your physician to write a prescription for the hormone replacement therapy.
If you are interested in using bio-identical hormones, speak to your physician about bio-identical hormone replacement therapy or visit our find a physician page to find a physician.