HORMONES: DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT
A new age of medicine.
Conventional medicine assumes that the aging process is a natural phenomenon, and therefore, unpreventable and unalterable. However, fifty years of research shows that we can prevent some of the aging processes, or at least we can certainly slow it down. One of the most important preventative therapies is hormone supplementation. Research shows that age-associated hormone deficiency is no different than that of a younger person with a hormone imbalance.
Symptoms of hormone deficiency
- Sleep disorders: sleep apnea and insomnia
- Weight gain
- Low energy
- Low libido or loss of sex drive
- Wrinkling and thinning of the skin
- Joint pain
- Bone loss
- Cognitive or memory decline
- Degenerative diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and even cancer
- Insulin resistance
- Decreased immunity
What are hormones?
Hormones are chemical messengers produced in the endocrine glands. The endocrine glands include the adrenal glands, ovaries, testes, thyroid, pituitary, and pineal glands. As our body ages, the levels of these hormones decrease. Additionally, as we age the receptors on our cells become less responsive and less receptive to the hormones – decreasing their effectiveness.
As the levels of hormones decline, so do our mental and physical abilities. But don’t worry, these can be restored by replacing hormones to their youthful levels. We can improve many of the symptoms and signs we have come to associate with aging.
Which hormones can we replenish?
We can also replenish critical vitamins and nutrients via supplements.
Estrogen was the first hormone to be used in hormone replacement. It has been used for over forty years for women suffering the effects of menopause. How is estrogen useful? Estrogen reduces the effects of heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, osteoporosis, urinary tract atrophy, skin atrophy, depression, and mood swings.
Progesterone is often known as the feel-good hormone. It’s synergistic with estrogen, and it protects against estrogen’s ability to stimulate the growth of the uterine lining (which, in excess, may lead to bleeding and endometrial cancer). Recent research has shown the protective effect of progesterone against uterine cancer. Natural bioidentical progesterone works with estrogen to prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, and depression. It also helps to boost mood and an overall sense of well-being. Progesterone also helps with achieving healthy sleep.
Even though testosterone is the primary male hormone, women also produce testosterone and can benefit greatly from its supplementation. Levels of testosterone decline with age in both men and women. At optimal levels, testosterone may increase bone density and bone formation, enhance energy and sex drive, decrease visceral body fat, increase muscle strength, and modulate cholesterol levels. What women may not realize is that testosterone keeps their skin soft and supple. This is a hormone both men and women should not be without.
DHEA is one of the most abundant hormones produced in the human body. It’s produced in the adrenal gland which sits on top of each kidney. DHEA positively affects the human body on its own and by converting into estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Clinical studies have demonstrated that DHEA may have a beneficial effect on the immune system, sex drive, metabolism, emotional stability, and stress response. It’s also noted to be a powerful antioxidant and protects against heart disease through its beneficial effects on lipids and body fat. The FDA approved DHEA to treat illnesses such as lupus and other connective tissue disorders.
Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland. It’s crucial for regulating our circadian rhythm and helps us maintain deep sleep. Within deep sleep, the immune system is stimulated, thus protecting us from infections and disease. With the COVID pandemic, multiple studies have shown melatonin to be protective against the worsening of diseases. Melatonin has also been touted as a powerful antioxidant, a potential anti-cancer agent, and of course, a sleep modulator. Since multiple studies have shown that melatonin can scavenge free radicals (an instigator of cancer), improve the immune system, and improve sleep, this is a hormone we should not be without.
This is a metabolic hormone secreted by the thyroid gland. Its crucial role includes regulation of temperature, metabolism, energy, and cerebral function. At optimal levels, it breaks down fat, resulting in weight loss and lower cholesterol levels. With age, thyroid hormone levels generally decline and the cells become less responsive to thyroid hormone. Low thyroid levels can lead to fatigue, immune dysfunction, loss of motivation, weight gain, and the thinning of hair, skin, and nails.
What is all the fuss about biologically identical (bio-identical) hormones?
When replacing hormones, the structure is very important. Natural, biologically identical hormones mimic the precise structure of what our body naturally produces. These hormones function exactly like what our body creates. Unfortunately, much of what is prescribed today is not identical to what is created in the human body. Not only do these hormones not work as well, but they can even cause harm. The initial studies on hormones were done on non-identical hormones, and they did in fact find negative outcomes when using those hormones.
The proper replacement of hormones does not only depend on restoring levels to optimal levels, it is also important to know which hormones to replenish, how much to replenish, how to monitor levels, and how to adjust the levels. This is the art of medicine, and the first step in helping you to achieve the quality of life you deserve.