Much of our health, and our ability to thrive, depends on the balance of hormones in our bodies. If you’ve been experiencing some of the side effects of hormone fluctuations, then you are probably a good candidate for hormone optimization here at Priority You MD in Clearwater, FL.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Hormone Optimization?
In general, anyone who is experiencing a problem with hormone fluctuations is a candidate for therapy. There is no particular age at which this happens, although it becomes more common as we get older. A good candidate will have undergone a physical exam and completed some lab tests to test hormone levels and will be suffering from some of the symptoms that we’ll go over in just a minute.
Additionally, good candidates for hormone optimization here at our clinic are looking for a treatment that avoids the issues presented by traditional hormone therapy. We use bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT, which uses hormones that are bioidentical to those in your own body for maximum effectiveness and minimum risk of side effects.
Signs to Watch For
Hormone optimization may be right for you if one or more of the following is true of you:
You’re Experiencing Menopause or Andropause
All of us will go through menopause or andropause as we age. This is a normal human experience, as our bodies slowly begin ramping down the production of certain hormones after middle age. For women, menopause is a sign that the childbearing years are over. For men, low testosterone brings on a season of change very similar to what women undergo with menopause.
While this is natural, it is rarely welcome. Some people would like to ease the symptoms of this change in general, and BHRT can help. Even more seriously, some people are undergoing this change far too early. If you are suffering from early-onset menopause or andropause, this could be due to illness, stress, or other factors beyond your control. In fact, the early onset of these changes is often linked to more serious health issues later in life, so be sure to talk to us about your candidacy, especially if this is happening to you in your 40s.
Your Symptoms Are Sudden or Severe
Hormonal changes manifest differently from person to person. Some people will barely notice the changes as they happen, while others will suffer severely. You should seek help if the symptoms of hormonal change have hit you very suddenly or are especially severe. Some of the symptoms to look out for include:
- Lack of interest in sex
- Inability to become aroused
- Reduced muscle mass
- Decreased stamina
- Unwanted new hair growth
- Inability to sustain an erection
- Vaginal dryness
- Thinning hair
- Extreme skin dryness
- Memory and concentration difficulties
- Mood swings
- Unexpected weight gain
- Hot flashes
- Anxiety and depression
Family History of Issues
You may be an especially good candidate for hormone optimization if you come from a family that experiences issues with hormonal balance. If your relatives had early onset of menopause, or if you’ve had relatives who suffered from osteoporosis or anemia, you may want to get checked immediately to ensure your hormone levels are balanced and healthy.
FAQs About Hormone Optimization
1. What Is BHRT?
Old Hormone Treatments
In the past, hormone treatments were made from synthetic materials, and individual drug companies would add a small molecular “tag” to their hormones so that they could be patented. These synthetic materials did not always produce the best results.
Hormone therapy got a bad rap for a while because studies showed that some people suffered serious side effects from therapy: yet other studies showed no risk of side effects at all. It’s still not known exactly why this is, though many professionals suspect that the proprietary “tags” had something to do with it. Some of these tags may have caused side effects in some people, while other tags did not, accounting for the strange inconsistency in safety studies.
The BHRT Difference
Bioidentical hormones are derived entirely from natural plant sources and are biologically identical to the hormones produced by our own bodies. This means they are easily received by the hormone receptors and exactly mimic human hormones in behavior. They are considered a superior and lower-risk form of hormone treatment, with very little chance of side effects and a gentler method of action.
2. What Will Treatment Be Like?
Treatment starts with a consultation. We will take a look at your labs, discuss your symptoms, and help you understand whether you are a good candidate for this therapy. We will also talk about your expectations for treatment and your goals, and we will order any more tests that may be needed.
Treatment appointments are typically very quick. Depending on the type of treatment you were getting, it shouldn’t take more than about half an hour for most appointments after your initial consultation, unless you have something specific you want to ask about.
There’s no downtime after this treatment and no need to change your schedule. You can drive yourself home and go right back to all your normal activities. The only exception is if you have had a pellet inserted. In that case, we will give you a few minor instructions about how to care for the area of insertion for a couple of days.
3. When Will I See Results?
It does take a little time for your body to respond to the treatment and for balance to be restored. Each person is different in how they respond, so it is not possible to say for certain how quickly you will notice relief from your symptoms. Some people notice a change in some of their symptoms very quickly, within just a couple of days. Most people begin to see a real change somewhere between two and four weeks after treatment.
Optimal results are usually reached by six weeks after treatment. We will keep in close contact with you, especially at first, and continually evaluate your treatment to be sure you’re getting the right balance of hormones.
4. How Long Do the Results Last?
Your changes should last for months at a time, typically between three and five months, depending on the patient. Your age, sex, metabolism, stress levels, and more can all have an effect on how long results will last. Naturally, some of these factors are outside of your control.
However, there are some things that you can control and which may help you to prolong your treatment results. If you exercise regularly, but not to extremes, avoid drinking too much alcohol, minimize stress whenever possible, and make healthy choices about your diet, you will see the longest and best effect for you, personally.
5. Do I Need to Talk to My Personal Doctor?
Before you begin any treatment, it is always smart to talk to your regular doctor. We will go over your medical history and medication list with you during your consultation, but your doctor should also be aware that you’re considering treatment. There are some medications or supplements that can interfere with normal hormones or cause hormonal fluctuation, and hormone treatment may require you to change medications or dosages. It is always smart to never start any medical treatment without letting your doctor know about it, first.
6. How Long Will I Need Treatment?
Again, it’s impossible to see exactly how long you will need treatment. This depends on your exact situation and your goals. The average person needs treatment about three or four times a year for a few years to get the best results.
7. What Are the Benefits of Treatment?
The best benefit of this treatment is simply the ability to go about your daily life without the constant complication that unbalanced hormones can cause, like sudden changes in mood, inability to find interest in sex, trouble concentrating, and constant issues with the health of your hair, skin, and nails. Treatment can also allow you to feel more confident in your diet and exercise routine because it stops you from experiencing that hormonal weight gain that stubbornly refuses to respond to all your discipline at the table and in the gym.
Find Balance With Hormone Optimization
If you are struggling with all the symptoms of a hormone imbalance, it can feel as if nothing in life is ever going right. You don’t have to live this way. Hormone therapy can restore your balance and help you feel like yourself again. To find out more, contact us at Priority You MD in Clearwater, FL.