Getting older is rarely a walk in the park. While some people seem to bypass the worst effects of aging, for most, the natural declines associated with passing years create unique combinations of symptoms you likely wish you could do without.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has long been used by menopausal women to moderate the symptoms of reduced estrogen production. More men are learning that extreme falloff of testosterone can create its own “male menopause” conditions, and that HRT is an alternative treatment for some.
While there are some statistical risks of side effects, for many people the benefits of HRT lead to a better quality of life.
The HRT experts at AM Diabetes & Endocrinology Center can help you decide if this treatment is right for you. Contact Dr. Kashif Latif and his team today to arrange your personal consultation. Here are five reasons you may want to consider HRT.
Both genders can benefit
Estrogen hormone replacement therapy for women has been successfully used for years to beat the hot flashes, loss of bone density, and other byproducts that come with menopause, a natural but sometimes upsetting period in a woman’s life and health.
It’s also clear now that men can experience symptoms associated with aging and decreased levels of testosterone. While research is not as extensive regarding the effects of waning testosterone levels for men, we do know that some men can benefit from HRT.
HRT for mental health
It’s not just physical symptoms of hormone decline that interfere with your life. Both women and men can experience emotional and cognitive changes due to falling levels of their primary hormones. Sleep disorders associated with hormone loss can lead to increased irritability.
Estrogen is often associated with mood changes, and all genders can feel a lack of motivation and inability to concentrate when hormone levels fall. Depression and anxiety are two mood disorders that doctors frequently count on HRT to treat.
No better treatment for physical symptoms
While hormone imbalances can make you feel like an emotional wreck, the physical effects often dominate your life. You may experience:
- Hot flashes (by far the most frequent complaint for women)
- Night sweats
- Unexplained joint aches and pains
- Lack of energy
- Overall sense of malaise or just not feeling well
- Vaginal dryness and itching
- Pain with intercourse (for women)
- Decreased libido
- Loss of muscle mass (more obviously seen in men)
Preventive effects of HRT
One of the problems associated with estrogen imbalance is the effects it can have on other hormone-related conditions. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), for example, can worsen your menopausal symptoms, and menopause can alter your thyroid function.
The HRT risk myth
Prescribing HRT for women near menopause was routine until 2002, when a single study published results indicating increased risks of breast cancer and heart attacks in women undergoing HRT.
Reviews of the study data and more recently published findings indicate that while HRT is not without risks, it remains one of the most effective treatments for menopausal symptoms and bone loss (osteoporosis) prevention.
There are some women and men who aren’t suited for HRT, though, so carefully reviewing your symptoms and personal and family medical histories with Dr. Latif is key to an accurate assessment of your risks.
Getting older can be a rich and rewarding time of your life, full of energy and activity. If the symptoms of declining hormones affect you, call 901-384-0065 to schedule an appointment with AM Diabetes & Endocrinology Center today.