Hormone depletion affects both men and women by the time they reach their 40s, sometimes even sooner. At Le Reve Skincare & Laser Center in Fort Worth, TX, we successfully treat the symptoms of hormone loss using hormone replacement therapy (HRT). By replacing the hormones that are depleted as a natural part of the aging process, men and women often find that they have a new lease on life.
Understanding The Science Behind Hormone Replacement
The concept of boosting low hormone levels using natural hormones that are bio-identical to the ones found in the human body is a simple one. Natural hormones can be synthesized very well by the body because they are the same as those produced by our own endocrine systems. While natural hormones are created in a lab, not unlike their synthetic counterparts, they are plant-based and specially formulated to mimic the exact structure of human hormones.
Determining a Person’s Hormonal Needs
When a new patient comes in for their initial consultation, we must first run tests to determine exactly what hormones are lacking and by how much. We also ask a series of questions about a person’s medical history and symptoms. When the patient’s lab work comes back, we are able to create a customized, compounded hormone formula (most often in pellet form).
Once introduced into the patient’s system, these hormones are released very gradually into the bloodstream over a period of months. This slow-release system allows for a perfect balance of hormones that is never too much or too little.
Choosing The Right Delivery System
There are a number of ways to deliver hormones into the body, including pills, patches, creams, and injections. We like to use pellets, because they are able to deliver a steady stream of hormones into the system, day and night, avoiding the risk of highs or lows in a person’s hormone levels. Pellets also free patients from having to remember a daily pill or messy topical application.
Hormone pellets are inserted only once every three to five months, making them a convenient choice for people who don’t have time for weekly injection appointments. Once the pellet is inserted, patients don’t have to worry about their hormones again for several months. We do, however, offer other options for patients who do not wish to use pellets. These options can be discussed at your initial consultation.
Knowing When It Is Time for More Hormones
As we get to know a patient over time, it becomes evident how quickly their system is able to metabolize their hormone pellets. We base their hormone replacement schedule on this knowledge. Typically, a patient will need to have new pellets inserted every three to four months, but there are patients who metabolize their pellets more slowly and only need to schedule an appointment every five months.
New patients might require some extra lab work in the first year of hormone replacement therapy to make sure we have perfected their dosage, but once this is established, testing requirements should be minimal. We might run some additional tests if, for example, a patient experiences a symptom relapse. This can be an indication that they need to increase their dosage.
What Happens at Your Appointment
Once your customized hormone pellets are ready, they are inserted in either the upper thigh or buttocks through a very small incision. The pellets go into the fatty tissue that is found in this part of the body and are not visible beneath the skin at all. The procedure itself takes no more than 15 minutes and there is absolutely no downtime required afterwards. We do ask, however, that patients refrain from intense physical activity for a couple of days while their incision heals.
How Soon To Expect Results
Some patients feel better within a few days of starting hormone replacement therapy, while for others it is a more gradual process. Patients undergoing HRT should not feel discouraged if they don’t experience immediate results. By the second or third week after their first treatment, they should feel significant symptom relief, but if not we can always adjust their dose. Rest assured that we won’t stop until we get your dosage just right.
Why Hormone Replacement Therapy Works
Every man and woman needs hormones to regulate almost every function in their bodies, from metabolism and mood to sex drive and cognitive function. Once hormones begin to dwindle after the age the 35, this can create a cascading effect of negative symptoms that affect many aspects of life. Unfortunately, there is no amount of diet or exercise that can reserve this process.
The only way to alleviate many of the debilitating symptoms that people experience at mid-life is to replace the hormones that are lost. When delivered under the supervision of a trained hormone specialist, the outcome of hormone replacement therapy is almost always significant. In some cases, it can be absolutely life-changing.
What Symptoms Will Be Treated?
HRT can address all the classic symptoms that people tend to experience after a certain age. Some symptoms effect both men and women similarly (low sex drive, brain fog, insomnia, weight gain, and chronic fatigue), while other symptoms are unique to each gender. Men may need a testosterone boost to address erectile dysfunction and muscle loss, while women may need more estrogen to address hot flashes and depression.
The great thing about HRT is that we can completely customize a person’s hormone replacement program to suit their needs and individual symptom profile. A person’s treatment plan can be modified at any time. It can also be gradually tapered back if a person eventually decides that they no longer want supplemental hormones.
The Reason We Lose Hormones
Few people are immune to the effects of hormone loss, which is a natural part of the aging process. Hormone imbalance occurs in almost every person over the age of age of 35, to some degree. For a younger person, the effects may be barely perceptible, but everyone gets to the point eventually where there is no denying that their body is not functioning the same way it used to.
While hormonal imbalance is usually due to the aging process, people can also experience endocrine gland problems that result in low hormone output. This is not common, but something we can look at if you suspect you have a gland issue.
Long-Term Benefits of Treatment
In addition to relief from the specific symptoms noted above, people who commit to a long-term hormone replacement program often experience very positive improvements to their overall health and wellbeing. Men and women who have been struggling to lose weight for years are suddenly able to get in shape. Others who have been taking sleeping pills to deal with their insomnia no longer need medication.
It is also common for people on HRT to experience a marked improvement in their mental health, including improved mood, sharper memory, and less anxiety. If low libido is an issue, having the right balance of sex hormones can dramatically improve sex drive in both men and women. This may include more dependable erections for men, and improved lubrication for women.
Who Is a Good Candidate for HRT?
Most patients who need help with hormonal imbalance tend to be in their 40s or 50s, but this is not a strict rule. Women, in particular, may begin to show significant signs of perimenopause in their 30s. This is why we never go by age and symptoms alone – a reputable clinic will also ensure that thorough lab work is done to make sure that hormone loss is at the root of a person’s symptoms.
We never want to see a person avoiding treatment because they assume they must be “too young” for menopause or andropause. Most people with low hormone levels who are over the age of 30 can benefit from some degree of hormone replacement.
Are You Ready To Get Your Hormones Back on Track?
If you feel ready to turn back the clock on many of the symptoms that are aging your body before its time, we’re here to guide you in this process. Contact us today at Le Reve Skincare & Laser Center in Fort Worth, TX so that we can get to know you and your health and wellness goals. Within a matter of days, we can get you on the right track with a hormone replacement program that works for you.