Once we reach 30 years of age, the sex hormones produced in our bodies decrease by up to 1% annually. Since our hormones regulate a number of important bodily functions, hormonal imbalances can create devastating effects. You may notice negative changes in your emotional and physical wellbeing. However, at Premiere Center for Health and Wellness in Cincinnati, OH, we offer bioidentical hormone therapy to help reverse these side effects of aging.
What Does Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Entail?
Bioidentical hormones are synthetic hormones with a chemical makeup that is identical to the chemical makeup of hormones produced naturally in your body. The most common hormones used in bioidentical hormone therapy are testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen. These bioidentical hormones help men and women alike restore hormonal balance by increasing the levels of crucial hormones in their blood.
What Are the Signs You Need Hormone Therapy?
Signs in Women
Experts in female health define irregular menstrual cycles as cycles that are heavier or lighter than normal or cycles that are longer or shorter than normal. Many factors have the potential to affect your regular menstrual flow or cycle. However, depending on your age, the cause may be imbalanced sex hormones.
Imbalanced sex hormones can result in bleeding for longer than eight days or three missed periods in a row. Some variations of hormone imbalance can lead to severe abdominal cramps or the cessation of ovulation. If you don’t ovulate, you will experience fertility problems as your body does not drop eggs to be fertilized by sperm.
Skin breakouts often precede or accompany menstrual bleeding. However, chronic acne may develop if a woman produces too much testosterone. Androgens, also known as male sex hormones, affect the skin cells around hair follicles negatively.
Changes to these skin cells and excess sebum (oil) clogging pores can cause acne. If a woman produces too much androgen, the cause may be polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS can also lead to fertility issues.
Excess Hair Growth
Hirsutism is a medical condition characterized by the growth and development of unwanted and excess hair on the face and body of a woman. Although all women have body and facial hair, hirsutism usually causes the growth of coarse, dark hair.
This condition, caused by the excess production of androgen, can cause unwanted, excess hair to grow on the face, chest, arms, and back. If you can trace your ancestry to the Middle East, the Mediterranean, or South Asia, it is likely you will develop this condition that can be treated by restoring your hormonal balance.
There are cells with estrogen and progesterone receptors in the lining of your gastrointestinal tract. Fluctuations in the levels of these female sex hormones can affect many digestive system functions.
If you are experiencing such signs of gastrointestinal distress as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or abdominal pain, you may have imbalanced hormone levels. Although many conditions can cause these symptoms, if you are also experiencing other signs of imbalanced hormones, like mood swings or chronic fatigue, the most likely cause is an inadequate level of progesterone or estrogen.
During perimenopause and following menopause, estrogen levels drop significantly. This significant reduction is estrogen production results in vaginal dryness and thins the walls of the vagina. The thinning of the vaginal walls often leads to pain during intercourse.
Breast changes may also indicate that there is a need for hormone therapy. Too little estrogen results in a decrease in the density of breast tissue.
Signs in Men
The primary male sex hormone is testosterone. It plays an important part in several crucial bodily functions, such as the development of male sex organs and secondary sexual characteristics. Numerous body functions are affected when testosterone levels drop due to aging. Medical conditions affecting the testes and other organs can also result in low testosterone levels. Here are some of the signs bioidentical hormone therapy can help you:
You Suffer From Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction, sometimes known as ED, is a medical condition defined by male sexual health experts as the inability to achieve or maintain a firm enough erection for satisfactory sex. The penis is encouraged to release nitric oxide by testosterone. This triggers a chain of reactions that allows a man to achieve an erection.
Thus, when the level of testosterone in the blood drops, it is difficult to achieve, adn harder to maintain, an erection. One sign you have low testosterone is you experience fewer spontaneous erections, such as when you sleep or wake up in the morning.
Your Libido Is Low
It is perfectly normal to experience low libido on occasion. Stress, certain drugs, conflict in your life and external pressures from your family and peer group can affect your ability to achieve and maintain a satisfactory erection. Combined with other factors, including your age and medical conditions you may have, your sex drive can be affected negatively. Nonetheless, if you feel like your sex drive is unusually low, the cause may be low testosterone.
You Are Losing Hair
Balding is a natural part of the aging process, particularly when men have a family history of balding. Nevertheless, premature body and facial hair loss can be triggered by lower-than-normal levels of testosterone because testosterone plays such an important role in hair growth.
You Are Losing Muscle Mass
As stated previously, testosterone supports secondary sexual characteristics, including bone density, muscle mass, and growth. Consequently, men with low testosterone levels often discover they are losing muscle mass. Nevertheless, a medical review conducted in 2016 indicated that the loss of muscle mass related to low testosterone levels did not cause a loss of muscle strength and function.
You Are Struggling to Have a Child
Low testosterone doesn’t just adversely affect your libido and ability to achieve satisfactory erections. It can also lead to infertility. Testosterone plays an important supporting role in the production of semen, the fluid that helps transport the sperm to the egg.
When your body isn’t producing enough testosterone, it can’t produce as much semen. This reduction in volume affects the sperms’ movement from the testes to the egg. This change in mobility often results in infertility.
You Are Suffering From Anemia
Men are more likely to develop anemia if they have lower-than-normal levels of testosterone in their blood. Numerous medical reports demonstrate that anemic men with low serum testosterone levels improve their blood count significantly when administered hormone replacement therapy. Common side effects of anemia include difficulty sleeping and concentrating, an irregular heart rate, and dizziness.
Your Body Fat Percentage Is Increasing
Low testosterone doesn’t just decrease your muscle mass. It can also lead to a significant increase in your body fat percentage. Gynecomastia is one of the most common signs men need hormone therapy. Known colloquially as man boobs, gynecomastia may present itself as swollen or enlarged breast tissue.
However, it may also present itself as an excessive accumulation of adipose tissue in the chest. It can be caused by an excess production of estrogen or inadequate production of testosterone.
Small Testes and Reduced Penis Size
Remember, testosterone is essential for the appropriate development of male sex organs. There are many factors that may contribute to unusually small testes or a smaller-than-normal penis. However, men are most likely to experience these conditions when testosterone is low. If you suffer from low testosterone your scrotum may feel more tender than it did when your testosterone levels were normal.
Universal Signs of Imbalanced Hormones
Reduced Bone Density
Reduced bone density can affect men and women alike and be caused by low testosterone or estrogen. When the body starts to produce primary male or female sex hormones at a reduced rate, osteoporosis can occur.
Osteoporosis is an incredibly common degenerative bone condition that causes the bones to become brittle and weak. This condition can affect men who cannot produce enough testosterone to support dense, healthy bones. However, medical reports reveal that half of all women who are 50 or older will suffer a bone fracture caused by osteoporosis.
Hot flashes are another universal sign of imbalanced hormones. It is a common belief that only women suffer from hot flashes. However, this is not the case. Men with inadequate testosterone production can also suffer from hot flashes.
Hot flashes are defined as sudden feelings of warmth or heat across the back, chest, face, and arms. Commonly, they are followed by chills and sweating. When these flashes of warmth or heat occur at night, they are referred to as night sweats. If you get hot flashes at night, the quality of your sleep and overall sense of wellbeing can be affected negatively.
Both low estrogen levels and low testosterone levels can result in sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition that stops people from breathing in their sleep temporarily. One of the most common signs of this condition is snoring. If you suspect you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea, see a doctor right away to mitigate your risk of future complications.
Chronic fatigue can be caused by low levels of estrogen or testosterone. If a woman or man is experiencing imbalanced hormones, he or she often feels unusually tired, even after a good night’s rest.
An individual with imbalanced hormones may also find it hard to keep up with their daily routine and feel a strong urge to rest or sleep. One may also feel a lack of interest in previously enjoyed hobbies. Additionally, there may no longer be excitement associated with activities that were previously fun, such as swimming, jogging, or cycling.
Primary sex hormones don’t just play important roles in physical bodily functions. They also affect many mental and emotional functions. For example, adequate levels of estrogen and testosterone are required to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that enhances your mood.
Imbalanced hormone levels can cause your brain to produce too little serotonin. This can result in mood swings and exacerbate mood disorders, including anxiety and depression. If you suffer from regular mood swings or believe you have a mood disorder, you may benefit greatly from hormone therapy.
Come in for Testing
If you are experiencing one or more of the aforementioned signs of imbalanced hormones, you should have your serum hormone levels tested. For hormone health for women and men, contact us today to schedule an appointment to test your serum hormone levels at Premiere Center for Health and Wellness in Cincinnati, OH. We will review the physical symptoms you are experiencing, discuss your health history, family health history, and order diagnostic tests. With the results of your diagnostic tests, we will set you on the path of improving your health and wellbeing.