As we age, the production of vital hormones in our bodies gradually slows down. Estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, is vital in the sexual and reproductive development in women. Testosterone, the primary male sex hormone, is responsible for the development of reproductive tissues and secondary sexual characteristics in men. When estrogen and testosterone levels drop, several physical and mental functions are negatively affected. To reverse the effects of testosterone and estrogen deficiency, Serenity Health Care Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, offers bioidentical hormone therapy.
What Is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy is a treatment process that helps to boost hormone levels in our bodies. Hormone levels can drop naturally with age. Sometimes, hormone levels can drop because of an underlying health condition that affects the testes or the ovaries.
Also known as natural hormone therapy, bioidentical hormone therapy (BHT) is a form of hormone replacement therapy that replenishes depleted hormones with plant-derived hormones that are chemically identical to those produced in the body.
How Quickly Does Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Work?
Reaction to bioidentical hormone therapy varies from patient to patient. However, anxiety and insomnia usually reduce a week after the first treatment session. Women experience relief from vaginal symptoms and hot flashes after 2 weeks. Men and women notice a boost in energy levels and an improvement in cognitive skills after the third week. After 6 to 8 weeks, most patients experience relief from 80% of the symptoms associated with hormone deficiency.
Am I a Good Candidate for Bioidentical Hormone Therapy?
BHT is ideal for men and women experiencing the negative effects of testosterone and estrogen deficiency, respectively. Although you need to visit a doctor for an accurate hormone deficiency diagnosis, there are several signs that show you might need BHT.
Signs of Low Testosterone (Low T)
Since testosterone plays a crucial role in male sexual functions, men with low testosterone struggle to achieve and maintain an erection that is firm enough for satisfactory sex. Men with Low T might also notice that the spontaneous erections that used to appear while they were sleeping or early in the morning are no longer there.
Testosterone controls secondary sexual characteristics, such as hair growth. When testosterone levels drop, men might lose body and facial hair. Low T is also known to accelerate the balding process.
Low Sex Drive
Although the appetite for sex dips naturally as we approach old age, the dip is more drastic in men suffering from low testosterone. Testosterone controls libido in men. Therefore, when testosterone levels drop, so does their libido.
Reduced Bone Mass
Testosterone is vital in the maintenance of bone volume and the development of bone tissue. Therefore, when the body is not producing enough testosterone, men become more susceptible to conditions that affect bones, such as Osteoporosis.
Reduced Muscle Mass
Testosterone plays a crucial role in the formation and growth of muscles. When levels drop, many men notice that their muscle mass reduces significantly. Fortunately, reduced muscle mass does not affect strength and function.
Increased Body Fat
While testosterone is the dominant sex hormone in men, their bodies also produce estrogen, but in smaller amounts. When testosterone levels drop, a hormonal imbalance occurs. This hormonal imbalance makes men more vulnerable to gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is the enlargement of the male breast tissue.
Men with Low T are always tired despite having enough sleep and rest. They also lose interest in activities they previously loved. Tasks that took them some minutes to complete can take hours. Constant fatigue is one of the significant signs of low testosterone. When testosterone levels drop, the male body produces less energy, leaving the man fatigued.
Smaller Testicle Size
As we have mentioned above, testosterone plays a vital role in the development of reproductive tissues, such as the penis and the testicles. Although other factors can contribute to smaller-than-normal penis and testicle size, health professionals believe men with Low T are more likely to be affected by this condition. Their scrotum might also feel softer than usual.
Men with Low T struggle to fall and remain asleep. They are also more vulnerable to sleeping disorders, such as sleep apnea and night sweats. People with sleep apnea stop breathing momentarily while asleep. Sleep disorders can affect the quality of your sleep and general wellbeing.
Mood Swings and Changes
Besides controlling and regulating several essential physical functions, testosterone is also a vital part of some cognitive functions. Scientific research shows that men with Low T are more likely to suffer from depression, irritability, and poor focus.
One of the signs of old age is poor memory. However, men with Low T experience memory problems earlier than men of the same age with normal levels of testosterone.
Causes of Low Testosterone
- Noonan syndrome
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Metabolic syndrome
- Damaged testicles
- Removed testicles because of a health condition, such as cancer
- Radiation and chemotherapy
- Pituitary gland disease
- Antidepressant and narcotic pain medications
Signs of Low Estrogen
Irregular or Absent Periods
Typically, the menstrual cycle lasts between 21 to 35. However, around 25% of women experience irregular periods. Female health experts describe irregular periods as periods that are heavier or lighter than usual or periods that are longer or shorter than usual. Irregular periods can prevent ovulation or cause abnormal cramping.
Frequent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Low estrogen makes the lining of the urethra thinner. This allows unhealthy bacteria to infect the urinary tract. Besides causing frequent UTIs, low estrogen can also make women more susceptible to other complications, such as urinary incontinence.
When estrogen levels drop, the vagina might dry up. Women who suffer from vaginal dryness might experience discomfort and sometimes pain during sex.
Estrogen plays an important role in metabolism. When estrogen levels drop, women experience a significant dip in energy levels. Such women are unmotivated to complete routine tasks or engage in other physical activities, such as morning runs or cycling.
Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
Women with hormonal imbalance are more likely to experience hot flashes and night sweats. Hot flashes are sudden waves of heat that hit your face, neck, arms, or back, causing reddening or flushing. Hot flashes vary in intensity and duration. They last between 30 seconds to 10 minutes. Night sweats are hot flashes that occur at night.
Estrogen plays a vital role in the production of serotonin, a chemical that boosts moods. Therefore, a drop in estrogen levels interferes with the production of serotonin. This causes mood swings and increases the risk of developing mental disorders, such as depression.
Additional signs of low estrogen include sleep apnea, reduced bone mass, trouble concentrating, regular headaches, and difficulty getting pregnant.
Causes of Low Estrogen
- Excessive exercise
- Eating disorders
- Kidney disease
- Pituitary gland disease
- Turner syndrome
- Premature ovarian failure
Diagnosis of Testosterone and Estrogen Deficiency
Since the signs of hormonal deficiency can be easily associated with other health conditions, it is common for a misdiagnosis to happen. To avoid this, you should visit a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. The doctor will carry out a physical exam and review your medical history. They may also order further tests to determine the cause of the deficiency.
Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
BHT boosts hormone levels in the body, offering relief from the signs and symptoms of hormonal deficiency. BHT can be administered in several forms. Available options include skin patches, injections, gels, creams, and oral medications.
We Can Help
Are you suffering from any symptoms we have mentioned above? If the answer is yes, it could a sign of hormone deficiency syndrome. To regain control of physical and mental health through bioidentical hormone therapy, contact Serenity Health Care Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin!