Hormone Optimization (Hormone replacement therapy or HRT), also known as androgen replacement therapy, Testosterone Replacement Therapy or Low T Therapy is a type of hormone therapy that uses medications containing one or more of the hormones that are missing in people who have low levels of these hormones. Hormone Optimization can be either estrogen- or progestin-based, depending on a woman's or a man's needs.
What are hormones?
Hormones are chemical messengers, produced by endocrine glands that travel through the blood to target cells. They act as triggers for a specific action in the body. Hormones are released by endocrine glands. They include the brain, pituitary, thyroid, adrenal and pancreas.
The endocrine system secretes hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones travel through the body and target specific cells in a process known as signaling. The hormone binds to a receptor on the surface of the cell membrane and causes changes within it or around it.
The endocrine system is a collection of glands that release hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones are chemical messengers that travel through the body and trigger specific changes in cells called signaling.
Why would you need hormone replacement therapy?
If you are suffering from the symptoms of low testosterone, low estrogen, or low progesterone but do not want to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat these conditions, it's important to understand why HRT is needed.
Hormone balance is crucial for overall health and well-being. When hormones are out of balance, several complications can arise as a result. Some of these include:
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- Decreased libido and sexual function
- Mood swings and depression
- Weight gain
- Hot flashes and night sweats
Effects of a Testosterone Imbalance
Some of the more common effects of a testosterone imbalance include:
- Loss of muscle mass and strength, as well as increased body fat
- Loss of bone mass, which can lead to osteoporosis and an increased risk for fractures
- Changes in sex drive
- Elevated levels of estrogen, leading to symptoms like gynecomastia (breast growth) and male pattern baldness
The good news is, there are many products available that can help boost your testosterone levels naturally. The bad news: there are just as many products out there that make big promises and don't deliver.
How is hormone optimization therapy given?
Hormone replacement therapy medication is typically given in pill form. Testosterone, for example, can be taken orally in pill form and applied topically to the skin. It can also be administered via injection or transdermal patch.
The reason that synthetic hormone replacement therapy medication is so effective is because it’s bioidentical to the hormones that are naturally produced in your body. This means that when you take testosterone pills, for example, they enter your bloodstream just like if your body were producing its own testosterone.
Is hormone replacement therapy right for you?
Hormone optimization (HRT) can be a safe and effective treatment option for men who have low testosterone levels. HRT has been shown to improve the quality of life of men with low testosterone and reduce their risk for health complications associated with aging.
Is it safe?
Yes! HRT is a common treatment that’s been used by millions of people worldwide to address symptoms caused by low testosterone, such as decreased energy levels, increased body fat and changes in sexual function. Long-term studies suggest that when taken properly, HRT is safe and effective at managing these symptoms without increasing your risk for heart disease or other serious conditions.
After you’ve read this guide to the basics of HRT, hopefully you will have a better understanding of what it is, how it works and whether or not it might be right for you. If you still have questions about hormone replacement therapy then please contact one of our specialists at Lasting Confidence.