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Hormone Therapy

What Is Hormone Therapy?

As we age, our body’s ability to naturally produce hormones may lessen or diminish. For many this is a natural occurrence, but for others, it may be the result of a condition that affects hormone production. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) helps replenish and replace the deficiency of hormones. Many people rely on HRT to live a comfortable and dignified life. The inability to produce hormones may lead to a reduced quality of life and debilitating symptoms.

What Are the Signs That You Need Hormone Replacement Therapy?

We may not be aware of how our hormones help us with energy production, bone strength, and more. It isn’t until we produce less hormones that we feel the effects. Low production of hormones can lead to burdensome symptoms such as fatigue, dry skin, weakened bones, hot flashes, and more. Here are a few of the more prevalent symptoms we see:

Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

Low Libido

Reduced estrogen and testosterone levels can reduce the sex drive in women and men respectively. For women, this may lead to vaginal dryness and cause sex to be more painful. For men, this may lead to erectile dysfunction and the inability to have sex.

Mood Swings

Low hormone production can lead to difficulties with mood such as depression, irritability, reduced attention, and even dementia. Discomforts such as hot flashes can lead to instability in mood.

Trouble Sleeping

Low testosterone can cause fatigue and insomnia. It is quite a predicament to be tired and unable to sleep. Low estrogen may also lead to difficulty sleeping in women. Increased body temperature and other irritable symptoms may make it difficult to sleep comfortably.

Hormone replacement therapy helps millions of women with menopausal issues, difficulty with fertility, and other hormonal imbalances. Estrogen is actually 3 distinct but related hormones that circulate throughout a woman’s body. The level of each hormone is dependent on where the woman is in here menstrual cycle. E1, Estrone, is 10 to 20% of circulating estrogens. It is the primary estrogen produced after menopause. E2, Estradiol, is 10-30% of circulating estrogens. This is produced by the ovaries and is the predominant estrogen produced before menopause. E3, Estriol, is 60 to 80% of circulating estrogens. It is important to make sure that your HRT cycle properly replenishes these estrogen hormones without creating an imbalance.

By age 75, men will have only two-thirds of the levels they had at the age of 25. This only gets worse with age. Some men may also experience low testosterone levels at an earlier age. Symptoms of low testosterone levels include low sperm counts, prostate problems, and slow wound healing. However, proper laboratory testing must be done in order to properly diagnose the condition. When testosterone is replenished to physiologic levels that are normal for younger men, the patient may experience many positive benefits. This includes an increase in libido, muscle mass, energy, bone mass, and more.

Hormone Therapy Treatment Options

Estrogens, progesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and testosterone have been widely used and clinically accepted internationally since the 1940s, both as manufactured products and compounded preparations. Though there are dozens of commercially available HRT products, there is a need for individualized compounded preparations. Compounding allows us to prepare the exact dose, dosage form, and route of administration necessary for the best results. This also allows for careful titration of the medication. Here are a few frequently used dosage forms or HRT:

Hormone Delivery Vehicles

Transdermal Creams

These creams deliver hormones through the skin. They go directly into the blood stream and underlying tissue. These creams are best when applied to areas where our skin is the thinnest such as the inner thighs and arms.

Rapid Dissolve Tablets

Not many compounding pharmacies make rapid dissolve tablets (RDTs). These small tablets dissolve within seconds in the mouth. This is perfect for patients who are not able to swallow pills. They are better tasting and avoid the stomach, going into the blood stream directly from the mouth.

Troches

These are also small tablets that dissolve in the mouth. They dissolve slower than RDTs and are similar to cough drops in size and consistency. They are compounded in our lab to contain the exact amount of hormones required for the patient. This method also bypasses the stomach and goes directly into the bloodstream.

Other Hormones We Work With

Estrogen and testosterone are often brought up when talking about HRT, but there are other hormones that may be beneficial for patients as well.

Progesterone

This hormone is released by the ovaries and can affect menstrual cycles. Progesterone is often used to reset or restart periods in women. Additionally, progesterone is used alongside estrogen in HRT in order to reduce side effects. Without progesterone, estrogen may increase the risk of uterine cancer. This hormone may also help with the side effects of menopause.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

More studies are needed to understand the use of DHEA. It is a naturally produced in the adrenal gland and can help boost the production of testosterone and estrogen. DHEA is often used as an anti-aging supplement, though results for such claims are mixed.

Pregnenolone

This hormone is referred to as a “pro-hormone” because it is a building block to produce other hormones. Pregnenolone helps produce hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and more. It also works as an anti-aging supplement with mixed results in studies.

Chrysin

This is a plant-based hormone that can be used inside the body. Chrysin is often used to promote testosterone production. Because of this, it can be recommended for someone who is trying to build muscle. It can also be used for conditions such as anxiety and gout.

Choose ClearSpring Pharmacy for Your Hormone Replacement Needs

Some patients may not find success with commercially available hormone replacement drugs. ClearSpring Pharmacy compounds your hormone medications to fit your individual needs. Our experienced pharmacists offer counseling with all prescriptions. We carry ZRT laboratory kits that patients can send saliva samples out for testing. Our pharmacists help review lab results to help patients become more knowledgeable of their HRT process. Please feel free to give us a call at our Littleton or Denver locations. You may also conveniently reach out through our form on this page.

If you don’t like calls then send us a text!
Littleton: 303-707-1500
Cherry Creek: 303-333-2010

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