Are you noticing changes in your behavior or in the way you feel, especially as you enter middle age? Have you felt more fatigued lately? Have you experienced mood swings, aches, or had trouble sleeping? If you’re experiencing these symptoms, they may be more than just the normal aging process: it can actually be a hormonal imbalance. Fortunately, you can find relief in hormone pellets and bioidentical hormone therapy from the friendly medical staff at Premiere Center for Health and Wellness in Cincinnati, OH.
What Causes Hormonal Imbalances?
Hormones are important chemicals, and they regulate much of what happens in a person’s body. They are responsible for controlling hunger, sex drive, sleep, growth, moods, and emotions. When a person starts producing too much of one hormone, the balance can become disrupted. This leads to uneven moods, poor sleep, and inconsistent desire for food or sex. Hormonal imbalances may be impacted by changes in diet or environment. More commonly, though, a hormone imbalance is caused by the aging process.
Who Is Affected?
We often think of teenagers when discussing hormonal behavior changes, but middle age is especially challenging for many people. Men start to lose testosterone as early as their thirties. If the drop is too sharp, they may experience a loss of libido. For women, there is a great deal of potential for a hormonal imbalance to occur during the years around menopause. The condition is extremely common and millions of people experience it, but that does not mean that it cannot be treated.
How Do I Know If Hormone Imbalance Is a Problem for Me?
For most people, when their hormones are balanced, they feel like their normal selves. They can sleep well and wake up refreshed in the morning. The daily habits of the body are working as they normally should. People usually can expect to have consistent hunger, libido, and moods.
When hormones become imbalanced, the disruption makes itself known fairly quickly. A patient may feel irritable all the time or have trouble sleeping. Loss of interest in sex may follow or possibly unusual gain in weight. When a hormone imbalance is left untreated, it can do more than simply impact our joy of living. It can also cause a spike in blood pressure, leading to a higher risk of serious medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease. In order to treat a hormone imbalance before it worsens, we use hormone pellets as part of a “bioequivalent hormone replacement therapy.”
What Is Bioequivalent Hormone Replacement Therapy?
This therapy is called bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT for short, however, the term “bioequivalent” is actually more accurate. The underlying idea behind this treatment is to rebalance a patient’s hormones by reintroducing the specific hormones they need. When done properly, the reintroduction of these hormones can gradually reduce the behavioral symptoms that a patient may be experiencing.
How Bioequivalent Hormones Work
Bioequivalent hormones are created in a lab environment. The term “bioequivalent” is used to describe hormones that are molecularly the same as the hormones that you would naturally find in the human body. Because bioequivalent hormones are shaped like the ones we find naturally in the body, they are more suitable for use in a hormone treatment plan.
How Hormone Pellets Therapy Work
There are a number of ways that these bioequivalent hormones can be administered to a patient. Some endocrinologists use injections, others use tablets that can be taken orally. Many have also found success with the method of using patches or topical creams that release hormones to be absorbed through the skin.
We have found that a long-term approach using hormone pellets often leads to the best results. In this method, a small pellet is inserted just under a patient’s skin. It then slowly releases the needed bioequivalent hormones over the following weeks or months. This approach allows for patients to get the pellet and enjoy the benefits of the hormone therapy after just one treatment, without having to remember to take a pill or use a topical cream on a regular basis.
How Long Does It Take for Hormone Pellets to Start Working?
Hormone therapy is most successful when a gradual approach is taken. Sudden changes or spikes in hormones can lead to more instability and cause further difficulties for a patient. As a result, many endocrinologists will attempt to rebalance hormones by using the minimum necessary dosage in a treatment.
During hormone pellet therapy, the pellets are slowly absorbed by the skin and the needed hormones make their way into the body. Patients typically report feeling some change in their symptoms after two or three weeks, with results becoming stronger and stronger with the passage of time. The full results of treatment may not be in place until eight weeks have passed. While your therapy continues, we continue to monitor your progress carefully and make any necessary adjustments to the hormone dosage. After this, new pellets may be introduced once every several months.
What Are the Symptoms and Conditions That Can Be Treated?
There are quite a few ways in which a hormone imbalance can show up in a patient. Sometimes these symptoms overlap with the symptoms from another medical condition, which is part of the reason that lab testing is often used before the treatment begins. However, you may be a candidate for hormone pellet therapy if you notice any of the following:
We all go through times in our lives where we are working hard and may feel tired as a result of our external circumstances. Chronic fatigue is different. It is not the same type of “tiredness” one feels after a long day on the job or a demanding workout.
One of the most noticeable characteristics of chronic fatigue is ineffective sleep. If you are finding that you consistently wake up and are still tired, even after a full night of sleep, then this is a good sign that you should pay attention to your hormone balance. A surplus or deficiency of progesterone can often be a factor, as fluctuations of this hormone can cause either insomnia or drowsiness.
Hormone imbalances also sometimes trigger symptoms similar to those experienced by people who live with chronic depression. Hormones help to regulate the creation of neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine and serotonin. When these important chemicals are not being produced in the quantities needed, a patient may experience heightened stress, anxiety, and depressive feelings. If this is the case, hormone therapy may be able to treat the underlying cause of this problem.
Low Sex Drive
This is sometimes a result of low testosterone or a condition called “estrogen dominance,” where a woman is producing more estrogen than would be optimal. If you are experiencing a loss of libido, especially as the result of menopause, then hormone pellet therapy may be able to help restore your normal balance.
Memory Loss or Trouble Focusing
One of the most frustrating symptoms of hormone imbalance is the effect that it can have on the mind. Sometimes when estrogen levels drop too quickly, the result can be a loss of cognitive function and mental clarity. This can sometimes lead patients to become worried that they have a more serious condition. Accurate testing is important in this case. It is quite common for people in middle age to experience this as a result of hormone imbalance, and bioequivalent hormones can restore the appropriate estrogen levels.
Irritability or Mood Swings
Almost everyone knows that changing hormones can contribute to moodiness and unpredictability when it comes to teenagers. But what fewer people know is that similar things can happen to adults, even if they don’t want to admit it. When hormone balance is changed as the result of menopause or aging, adults can be surprised to find their emotions shifting from one moment to the next, even if they normally have even tempers and personalities. If these symptoms have started to manifest themselves in your forties or fifties, then hormone therapy may be an option to help address this.
Commonly Asked Questions About Hormone Treatment
We have made an effort to answer many of the most frequent questions about treatment here. However, if you have a question that you don’t see answered here, don’t worry. Before we begin a treatment schedule, we first conduct an in-person consultation with all our patients. This is a chance for us to get to know what your symptoms are and formulate an effective treatment plan. It is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions of us.
What Specific Hormones Are Used for This Treatment?
The most commonly needed hormones are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. All of these hormones are needed by both men and women, but the rates of production can decline during a person’s thirties. In addition, menopause can also disrupt production and create an imbalance.
Will I Need to Take Hormone Pellets Forever?
Typically, hormone replacement therapy lasts for several months or years. While it is a “long-term” treatment, it is not necessarily one that will continue indefinitely. We monitor a patient’s response to the treatment very carefully and adapt the levels according to each person’s specific needs.
I’m Experiencing a Loss of Libido––Can This Treatment Help?
In many cases, a hormone imbalance is at the core of this problem. It’s an especially common experience for women who are going through menopause, often due to a decline in testosterone or an overabundance of estrogen. Although testosterone is often popularly equated with men, it is not scientifically accurate to think of it in these terms. This hormone is an important driver for libido in any person. When it starts to become less prominent, it can lead to a lack of motivation, both with regard to sex drive and in general.
How Do I Prepare for Treatment?
Pellet therapy does not require that patients do much preparation beforehand, however, it is important for us to conduct thorough tests. Patients are often asked to answer a few questions about their symptoms in order to narrow down the list of likely hormone deficiencies. It is also common to conduct a lab test using a sample from the patient’s blood, urine, or saliva. By analyzing the current ratios of hormones in a patient, we can determine the best remedy.
The actual administering of a hormone pellet is fairly simple. Unlike surgery or a complicated procedure that will have you recovering for days, it is quite quick, and you will not need to take significant time off in order to feel normal again.
Your Personal Consultation
Would you like to know more about hormone pellet therapy? Our practice specializes in hormone health for both women and men, both of whom can benefit from pellet therapy. We are here to answer all your questions and help you find a solution to whatever symptoms you may be experiencing. Contact Premiere Center for Health and Wellness in Cincinnati, OH for your consultation, and see what hormone pellets can do for you!