Who Needs Hormone Replacement Therapy?
When you hear “hormone replacement therapy”…what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?
You probably think of menopausal women and middle-aged men with low testosterone.
Sure, those represent the majority of people who can benefit from hormone replacement. Estrogen and testosterone therapies were developed more than 60 years ago for just that reason.
But the list of people who suffer from hormone imbalance is much longer…and it includes some groups you might not have thought of.
Let’s look at what causes hormone imbalance, who is affected and how they can benefit from hormone replacement.
Aging-Related Hormone Loss
This is the reason most people seek hormone replacement therapy.
As we age, our production of key hormones naturally declines. Men may experience the effects of reduced testosterone beginning in their late 30s. Women can begin to experience symptoms of reduced estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone production around the same age.
Growth hormone, DHEA, and thyroid production also decline as we grow older.
The effects of normal aging-related hormone imbalance usually occur gradually. Women may experience pre-menopausal symptoms for years due to reduced progesterone and estrogen production. Men may not even notice the effects of lower testosterone until they become severe.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
You’ve heard a lot over the past decade or so about brain trauma. Sufferers can include active-duty military, accident victims, athletes in contact sports…the list goes on and on.
But you probably haven’t heard about the connection between hormone imbalance and TBI.
Many important hormones are either produced by glands closely associated with the brain or have a major effect on brain function. Or both.
For example: some studies estimate that up to half of people diagnosed with moderate to severe TBI also have reduced levels of growth hormone (GH).
Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland, located in your brain just behind your nose. It regulates:
- Bone and muscle growth
- Cell repair
- Body composition
- Mental performance
- Heart function
- Cholesterol and glucose metabolism
Damage to your pituitary gland as a result of TBI can affect all of these critical functions.
Likewise, damage to the hypothalamus gland can result from traumatic brain injury. It controls the release of many hormones including growth hormone, estrogen and testosterone.
The effects of brain injury on hormone balance can be short- or long-term. They can appear soon after the injury or may take months or even years to develop.
By age 60, more than one in three women will undergo a hysterectomy. Whether a partial hysterectomy (uterus only), or a full hysterectomy (uterus and ovaries), early menopause is the usual result. In fact, even women who have ablation procedures and tubular ligations are likely to end up with diminished hormones.
The equivalent is true for men. Vasectomies, biopsies of the prostate, and other procedures that affect the male reproductive system will often negatively impact testosterone production.
Anabolic Steroid Abuse
Many competitive athletes use anabolic steroids to add muscle mass and boost performance. Not only is this illegal…it also often leads to abuse.
The resulting damage can have long-term effects on hormone balance…particularly testosterone and growth hormone.
What Are the Next Steps?
If you belong to one of these groups, call us. We will:
- Have your blood tested to check your current hormone levels
- Schedule an appointment for you to see one of our doctors
- Design a hormone replacement program specifically for your needs
Does one of these groups sound like you? Call Renew Youth at (800) 859-7511 or click here to contact us for a free consultation.