When it comes to hormones the conversation around optimizing hormones and maintaining balance seems to be centered around two things: women and menopause.
However, the truth is that every single person of all ages have hormones and at some point or another we will all experience natural declines and fluctuations in our hormone levels.
Our goal today is to shed some light on:
- Hormone health
- Why hormone optimization requires a customized approach
If you’re interested in learning more about how your hormones tie into your general wellbeing, read on!
We All Have Hormones – Why Can’t We Have the Same Treatment?
Like we said above, everyone has hormones and everyone will be affected by hormonal imbalance at one point or another. But, that doesn’t mean that we should treat hormonal imbalance from a one-size-fits-all approach.
We have individual needs, that can all influence how our body reacts to treatment plans. And, your hormone optimization path should reflect your unique concerns.
- Lifestyle factors
- Environmental exposures
Many times we see patients who inquire about hormone optimization that their friends have undergone and while one path may work great for one patient it may not be the most effective option for another.
We believe in addressing a patient’s full bill of health concerns and symptoms through comprehensive evaluation to customize a treatment plan that will really work.
When left untreated, hormonal imbalance can cause a domino effect in our bodies and lead to serious health concerns.
At Living Well Dallas, we choose to help our patients find balance through bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).
Taking a Closer Look at Hormones & Their Function
Before diving into treatment options for hormonal imbalance let’s take a good look at the basics on your hormones themselves. Even though hormones have a big job and play an important role in our bodily function it’s not uncommon for patients to come in with little to zero knowledge of what hormones are and why they’re important.
Hormones are tiny chemical messengers that dictate and coordinate many functions throughour our bodies.
They travel through the bloodstream and enter cells, tissues, and organs, telling them what to do and when to do it. They can regulate everything from our emotions to our reproduction and have a large hand in our overall wellbeing.
Quick Facts on Hormones
- Hormones carry messages between cells and organs.
- Hormone levels will naturally decline with age, but require management to maintain health.
- Hormonal imbalance can impact both men and women of any age.
Hormonal imbalance may happen at any age making it so important to have regular check-ups to ensure your body is in balance.
How to Tell if You’re Dealing with Hormonal Imbalance
So, what does hormonal imbalance mean exactly? Ask any three people and they’ll probably all have different answers.
The imbalance itself is the occurrence of too much or too little of a hormone in the bloodstream. Even the smallest change in hormone production could lead to a domino effect throughout the body.
Hormones regulate major processes and bodily functions, like:
- General growth and development
- Heart rate
- Metabolism and appetite
- Mood and stress levels
- Reproductive cycles and sexual function
- Sleep cycles
Both men and women can experience hormonal imbalance, and although symptoms are often unique for each person there are some common symptoms that many in the field agree are good indicators of hormonal imbalance. Check out the list below and take note of any you identify with.
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance in Women and Men
We’ll go into more specific symptoms for women and men later, but remember that many symptoms can affect anyone.
- Poor sleep
- Lowered sex drive
- Brittle or weak bones
- Irritability and anxiety
- Long-term fatigue without reason
- Very dry skin or skin rashes
- Unexplained or excessive sweating
- Unexplained fluctuation in weight (gaining or losing)
The symptoms listed above can seem vague or occur with many other medical conditions, which is why it’s important that you speak with your healthcare provider regularly to keep an eye on these symptoms.
Our team of experts can help you determine if your health concerns are tied to hormonal imbalance or something else.
Hormonal Imbalance in Women
A few more specific symptoms often experienced by women include:
- Vaginal dryness
- Breast tenderness
- Deepening of the voice
- Irregular/heavy/painful periods
- Thinning or brittle hair
Hormonal Imbalance In Men
Some common signs for men dealing with hormonal issues include:
- The inability to achieve and maintain an erection
- Changes in blood pressure
- Memory loss
- Gynecomastia (the development of breasts)
- Longer recovery times from injuries
With all of the above information in mind it’s important to remember that many times patients don’t experience any symptoms other than feeling “off”. If you don’t feel like yourself but aren’t sure why, give us a call!
The Cause of Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalances are often just a part of life and occur naturally as we age. However, some other common culprits of hormonal imbalance can be:
The team at Living Well Dallas can help you identify potential causes for your symptoms as you work together to find the most effective treatment.
Restore Balance & Live Fully with BHRT
Over the years we have studied and worked with various hormone optimization methods and we keep coming back to one, BHRT. Remember BHRT is short for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, the hormone therapy that men and women have used for decades to ease through the aging process.
BHRT is a natural approach to synthetic hormone treatments that don’t always provide relief that patients are looking for.
BHRT utilizes hormones that are structurally identical to the ones that naturally occur in our bodies. While many other hormone therapies utilize pills, patches, and creams for delivery we use BHRT with pellets.
Hormone pellets have been around for decades but were made less popular when pills and patches were introduced to the market. However, in recent years many providers have been turning back to pellets after recognizing the value of providing patients with customized treatment plans.
Common Questions about BHRT
Choosing the best hormone optimization treatment and delivery method is a very personal decision that should be made with a qualified physician.
With so much information out there it can be overwhelming. We’ve compiled a few of the most common questions and concerns about BHRT to help give you a foundation when it comes to understanding BHRT.
1. What are hormone pellets?
Hormone pellets are tiny, rice-sized pellets made up of estrogen or testosterone and are designed to mimic the molecular structure of the hormones already present in our bodies. They are appropriate for both men and women and are inserted under the skin, usually in the buttocks during a simple and painless procedure.
2. How do the pellets work?
BHRT with pellets work by releasing small amounts of hormones directly into our bloodstream, similarly to the way our body would naturally if there were not a hormonal imbalance. In addition, the pellets release hormones in response to physical activity or emotional stress.
3. Why should I choose the pellet method?
Many patients love BHRT with pellets because it is convenient and effective. Apart from seeing real results, it’s much easier for patients to come in for a checkup and implantation a few times a year vs. taking pills or applying creams and patches every day.
4. Are there any downsides to hormone pellets?
BHRT with pellets has very little side effects and requires almost no downtime. We recommend that patients do not engage in strenuous physical activity or have prolonged exposure to water for a few days after pellet implantation.
Additionally, many patients are initially turned away from BHRT with pellets because it is a little more expensive than other forms of hormone therapy.
5. What should I expect during the insertion process?
You have nothing to worry about! While many patients sweat when they hear “implant” the truth is that it’s very simple. Our providers will guide you through the process, but generally we apply a local to the insertion site before the procedure.
Then we will insert the pellet and you may experience a little tenderness, redness, or bruising for a few days after insertion. It is well-tolerated and considered painless by a majority of patients.
6. When will I notice changes?
All patients have unique experiences, but on average many patients report symptom relief within 2-4 weeks, but we recommend waiting up to 6 months to see the effects of full hormone optimization.
Because this is an ongoing process we ask patients to come in for follow-up appointments to ensure that your BHRT treatment is meeting your needs.
7. Where do the pellets go after insertion?
BHRT pellets are natural materials and will eventually be dissolved and absorbed by your body over time, leaving nothing behind. This is why it’s important to visit your provider a few times a year for new pellet insertion.
8. Why should I choose pellets over other hormone therapies?
If you’re looking for an effective, convenient, and long-term solution to hormonal imbalance then BHRT with pellets could be the answer for you. Avoid symptoms and the long-term effects of fluctuating hormone levels and get back to living your life fully!
Live Life Fully!
Balanced hormones are essential for our overall wellbeing and when left untreated, imbalanced hormones can affect our quality of life as well as open us up to various diseases like Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and even certain cancers.
Every patient’s journey with hormonal imbalance is unique and not everyone will experience symptoms, which is why it’s crucial that you stay on top of your health and seek medical guidance if you suspect your hormone levels may be abnormal.
Whether you’re experiencing symptoms already or reaching your 40s and are ready to take the proper steps to preventative health measures Living Well Dallas can help put your mind at ease.
Living Well Dallas Can Help!
Give our practice a call today to speak with one of our Client Care Coordinators to walk through a comprehensive health questionnaire that will help us establish the foundation for your individualized care.