Types Of Hormone Replacement Therapy
In the early years of HRT, doctors most often prescribed it in the form of synthetic prescription medications. These drugs are made from a blend of hormones isolated from a pregnant horses urine.
Premarin is the synthetic form of estrogen, while Provera is the synthetic version of progesterone. Though synthetic drugs used to be the preferred HRT theyve become less popular in recent years.
Some risks were identified in clinical trials that led many people to seek out an alternative form of HRT called bioidentical HRT.
Bioidentical hormones are generally extracted from elements found in nature. Some examples of commercially available bioidentical HRT include Estrace and Vagifem.
Patients may need a custom compound of HRT when their prescribed strength isnt commercially available or another dose form is needed. In compounded bioidentical HRT, a pharmacist mixes a special blend of hormones intended to replace the depleted hormones in your body.
The goal of HRT is to manage the symptoms of menopause, not necessarily to return the hormone levels back to a normal range.
Since each dose varies from person to person, compounded bioidentical hormones are difficult to test for safety and effectiveness on an overall basis.
The lack of information on the risks of bioidentical hormones causes many people to assume that these natural hormones are better or safer than synthetic hormones.
While some health benefits are linked to HRT, several risks are associated with it as well.
Signs Of Hormone Imbalance
Men and women may experience similar symptoms when hormones are out of balance. You may have trouble sleeping or struggle to get up in the morning, even if youve had a full night of sleep. You rely on caffeine to get you through the morning and afternoon.
Your emotions are erratic. You get cranky and irritable often, and you have energy crashes. Stress seems overwhelming sometimes, and youre prone to depression or anxiety.
Hormones are also important to your sexual function. Men with hormone imbalances may experience a and erectile dysfunction. Women may also feel less than amorous in the bedroom and experience vaginal dryness that makes intercourse uncomfortable and even painful.
Weight gain is common with hormone imbalances. Women may start to see pounds pile around their middle, and men find it harder to build muscle while fat accrues. Hunger is uncontrollable at times.
Physical symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, and increased sensitivity to temperature.
Which Hormones Are Responsible For What
Each hormone-producing gland in the body makes a hormone with a very specialized purpose .
Hypothalamus: regulates body temperature, hunger, mood, thirst, sleep and libido
Pituitary: is the âWizard of Ozâ gland, controlling other glands behind the scenes.
Parathyroid: regulates calcium.
Pancreas: produces insulin to help use food as energy.
Thyroid: regulates heartbeat and how calories are used.
Adrenal glands: produce stress hormones.
Pinealgland: produces melatonin to regulate the body clock.
Ovaries: secrete sex hormones for use in the reproductive cycle.
Testes: produces testosterone and sperm .
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Low Energy Levels In Females: How Hormones Affect Your Energy Levels
The results of a recent survey showed that 43 percent of Americans report feeling too tired to function. Does this sound familiar to you?
Fatigue is a common symptom among people of all genders, but its especially common in women. Read on to learn more about how hormonal imbalances can lead to low energy levels in females. Youll also get some important information on how you can rebalance your hormones and start feeling your best.
Take Control Of Your Hormones
An imbalance or a combination of any of these hormones can cause your energy levels to drop, but you dont have to let it negatively impact your life. Medical experts at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Houston can perform tests to measure your hormone levels and performance, and suggest ways to optimize them. Contact us today for an appointment.
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Fatigue Symptoms Due To Low Thyroid
When thyroid hormone levels are low, you experience fatigue symptoms. Thyroid hormone levels decrease through adulthood. Production of the two most important thyroid hormones, the active hormone T3 and the precursor hormone T4 decline with age.
In addition, aging causes lower T3 due to less conversion of the precursor T4 hormone into the active T3 thyroid hormone. This occurs even though blood tests may show normal levels of T4 and TSH , the tests most commonly done to evaluate thyroid.
How does this cause fatigue symptoms?
Every cell in your body depends upon thyroid hormones to regulate energy production. When thyroid hormone levels are low you produce less energy, and you feel tired.
Every cell in your body depends upon thyroid hormones to regulate energy production. When thyroid hormone levels are less than ideal, your body produces less than energy. Thus, you have fatigue symptoms.
Low thyroid especially affects your brain. A scientific review article about declining thyroid levels and aging states: Low thyroid function at any age causes brain function to deteriorate because hypothyroidism prevents the brain from adequately sustaining the energy -consuming processes needed for neurotransmission, memory, and other higher brain functions.
This means that with low thyroid function there is less fuel for your brain. Your brain is tired and, as a result, your body is tired.
Why Do We Lose Estrogen
All estrogen is produced within the ovaries. This means that the health of your ovaries is directly linked to estrogen production. During perimenopause, the ovaries make less estrogen than they used to. This decline is a natural part of life. Then when menopause hits, estrogen production stops. However, other factors can impact estrogen production, such as:
- Inadequate functioning of the pituitary gland
- Ovarian failure and ovarian cysts
- Turner syndrome
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Sex Hormones And Energy
Having the right balance of sex hormones can help you maintain good energy levels. However, many women have an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone, known as estrogen dominance, which can cause anxiety, restlessness, and sleep issues.
Testosterone also plays an important role in a womans overall health, especially when it comes to your energy levels. This is largely because testosterone is needed to produce red blood cells, which help distribute oxygen throughout your body, which is needed for energy. If your testosterone levels are low, it can cause extreme tiredness and fatigue.
Hormone Changes During The Lifecycle
Your hormone levels and ratios change naturally at several times during the lifecycle. As previously mentioned, these changes can lead to health problems if the hormones become imbalanced. Ive included a handy table below to help you recognise hormone changes you might be experiencing at the moment, which could be causing you to feel tired.
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What Happens When Estrogen Levels Are Consistently Low
Low estrogen is often a tell-tale sign that youre approaching menopause. Low estrogen may also signify a fertility problem, a nutritional deficiency, a condition like Turner syndrome, etc.
Symptoms may include:
- Hot flashes and night sweats.
- Irregular periods or no periods.
- Headaches, trouble concentrating.
- Mood changes, irritability and depression.
- Vaginal dryness, leading to painful intercourse .
D Er In The Brainstem And Control Of Food Intake
ER is also expressed in the brainstem, including the nucleus tractus solitarius , and dorsal medial vagus . Geary and co-workers showed that E2 replacement in wild-type mice suppresses food intake, potentiates cholecystokinin -induced satiety, and is accompanied by increased activity of NTS neurons. CCK is synthesized and released from cells of the upper intestine and acts on abdominal CCK-A receptors. CCK plays a variety of roles in the digestive process, including slowing gastric emptying and intestinal motility . CCK exerts its satiety action primarily by activating subdiaphragmatic vagal afferent neurons . E2 increases the potency of CCK by increasing the sensitivity of vagal CCK-A receptors, although it does not increase CCK secretion or the number of CCK-A receptors . Interestingly, these responses are all absent in mice lacking ER . Furthermore, it has been shown that administration of E2 directly to the NTS potentiates CCK-induced satiety signals . Collectively, these findings suggest that ER in the brainstem, and specifically the NTS, is an additional site mediating the anorexigenic effects of estrogens.
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What Happens When Estrogen Levels Are Consistently High
Excess estrogen in your body can be associated with multiple conditions: polyps, fibroids, PCOS, endometriosis pain, ovarian tumors, etc.). Your levels may be high because you have too much estrogen in relation to your other sex hormone, progesterone. Medications youre taking that contain estrogen may cause you to have too much of it in your body.
Symptoms may include:
- Weight gain, especially in your waist and hips.
- Irregular periods .
- Worsening symptoms associated with PMS or PMDD.
Why Do We Get Fatigue & Low Energy
Feeling tired all the time has become so common for many of us that we accept this foggy state as normal. In reality when our lives, diets and hormones are balanced we should wake up feeling refreshed, with stable consistent energy throughout the day and month. As a society weve learned to rely on coffee, other caffeinated drinks and sugary booster snacks to mask our fatigue and give us the juju we need to make it through the day. Ideally, wed love you to drink coffee because you like the taste, not to wake you up or get you through the day.
Fatigue can be a highly frustrating issue to deal with, as we often feel as though we should be able to kick it. We should be able to do all the things we used to do, we should wake up tomorrow and feel fine. But when youre dealing with fatigue thats being driven by an underlying issue, none of the shoulds really work. This can leave us feeling deflated and guilty, which makes the fatigue even worse!
Were here to tell you that theres no need to should all over yourself. Your fatigue is your bodys way of saying that its struggling in some way, and often this can be driven by hormones.
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Thyroid Hormones And Energy
Your thyroid gland produces hormones that help control your metabolism. If you dont make enough of these hormones its called an underactive thyroid . If you make too much of these hormones its called an overactive thyroid .
If your thyroid is underactive your bodily processes start to slow down and you might feel tired, have memory problems, and feel depressed. While if your thyroid is overactive you might feel restless, anxious, and have trouble switching off causing sleep problems.
You can measure your thyroid health at home by using a thyroid blood test.
Where Is Estrogen Located In The Body
Once its released, estrogen travels through the bloodstream until it reaches the part of your body that needs to be spurred into action. There, estrogen binds to a protein, called an estrogen receptor, that gets the process moving. Estrogen receptors are located throughout your body.
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Substituting Provera For Natural Progesterone Causes Cancer
The other, very often prescribed synthetic steroid the pharmaceutical industry developed is Provera. This is a substitute for natural progesterone. Provera has some progesterone-like effects in a womans body, but it also has several undesirable effects.
The Womens Health Initiative clearly showed an increased risk of breast cancer in women who used Provera. The conclusion was that Provera, not Premarin, was the cause of an increased risk of breast cancer.
So, when you ask the question are hormones safe?, the answer is yes. Although it depends upon the hormones. Bio-identical hormones have a proven safe track record as seen in many studies.
Bone Development & Maintenance
Estrogen is needed for adequate bone growth and the maintenance of bones and joints .
Post-menopausal women with both early and late forms of osteoporosis have estrogen deficiency. Estrogen deficiency also contributes to the development of osteoporosis in elderly men .
Scientists think that estrogen may act by reducing the activity of bone-degrading cells , which may help maintain bone mass and strength .
D Ers And Insulin Sensitivity In The Liver
In summary, ER deficiency impairs lipid homeostasis in both skeletal muscle and liver of rodents, thereby decreasing the ability of insulin to suppress HGP and to promote skeletal muscle glucose utilization. As a result, activation of ER during a HFD and genetic leptin resistance improves insulin resistance induced by ectopic lipid accumulation in skeletal muscle . Nonetheless, the effect of ER in mediating insulin sensitivity via central mechanisms remains to be determined.
Estrogen And Postpartum Depression
Having “the blues” after childbirth is so common it’s considered normal. However, 10% to 25% of women experience a major depression within the first six months after childbirth. The abrupt drop in estrogen after delivery seems like the obvious culprit — but this link has never been proved.
Postpartum depression is treated like any other depression, with antidepressants, therapy, or both. Some preparations of estrogen do show promise as a potential add-on to these established treatments.
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Appetite And Weight Gain
You may gain weight during hormonal shifts, such as menopause. But hormone changes donât directly affect your weight. Instead, it likely happens because of other factors, like aging or lifestyle. For example, when youâre feeling blue or irritated, as you can be when your estrogen levels drop, you may want to eat more. It can also impact your bodyâs levels of leptin, a hunger-revving hormone.
Looking For More Energy Join Kelsey
Join Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in The Woodlands on April 5th as they kick off their Find Your Balance Series for women. And just for our readers, they are generously offering a 10% discount when you use the promo code HMB at checkout now through March 30th. You will also be entered to win a Find Your Balance prize package valued at $150. Grab a girlfriend and snag your tickets here!
Kelsey-Seybold Clinic The WoodlandsShenandoah, TX 77384Free surface parking
Dr. Jesus Samaniego is a board-certified OB/GYN at Kelsey-Seybolds Spring Medical and Diagnostic Center and The Woodlands OB.GYN and Womens Health. His interests include menopause and hormonal therapeutic options.
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Estrogen And Perimenopausal Depression
In the months or years before menopause , estrogen levels are erratic and unpredictable. During perimenopause, up to 10% of women experience depression that may be caused by unstable estrogen levels. Some studies suggest that using a transdermal estrogen patch by itself can improve depression during perimenopause — but this is not a standard practice of care. Antidepressants were not given to women in these studies.
Vi Er And Regulation Of Adipose Tissue Distribution
Sexual dimorphisms in body fat distribution are well-described. Men, on average, have less total body fat but more central/intra-abdominal adipose tissue, whereas women tend to have more total fat that favors gluteal/femoral and sc depots . After menopause, fat distribution shifts in women to a phenotype more similar to that of men however, estrogen replacement therapy prevents the male-patterned accumulation of intra-abdominal adipose . Additionally, estrogen treatment of male-to-female transsexuals increases the amount of sc adipose tissue accrual relative to intra-abdominal adipose tissue . Therefore, estrogens have been proposed as regulators of fat distribution.
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Hormones And Low Energy Levels In Females
Often, when someone is dealing with extreme fatigue, their first thought isnt to assess their hormone levels. Instead, they assume that they just need to get more sleep or have too much going on at work. This could be true, but, sometimes, you can trace the issue back to a lack of balance in the body.
There are many different hormones that can affect your energy when theyre out of balance. Here are some of the most well-known:
Which Hormones Make You Feel Tired
Various glands within the body produce hormones that are essential for growth, development and reproduction. Each hormone has a different function and effect on the body. Some of these hormones can make you feel tired, including:
Ill also explain how the thyroid gland can play a role in tiredness. But first, lets take a look at these hormones in a little more detail.
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Increase Your Energy Levels With Bio
Bio-identical hormone optimization therapy is growing in popularity among those who no longer feel themselves after their hormone levels have started to decrease. When you have a decrease in estrogen or testosterone production, it can lead to a reduction in energy. It can leave you feeling run down and make it easier for you to put on extra weight. For some people, the extra weight that they put on as a result of a decrease in their bodys hormone production is the first time in their life that they put on actual weight.
Some women see bio-identical hormone optimization as a way to help them manage symptoms of menopause, while men can see a reduction in andropause symptoms.
Bio-identical hormone optimization therapy has shown some amazingly positive results. Depending on the problems you are currently experiencing and the treatment you receive, this therapy can help restore your energy, increase your libido, boost your endurance and do much more.
The best way to find out if bio-identical hormone optimization is right for you is to talk about your symptoms with us. While some problems can be remedied by a change in diet and exercise routine, decreased hormone production may very well be at the root of your problems if you no longer feel like yourself despite a healthy lifestyle.
These hormones are referred to as bio-identical because although they are synthetically made, on a molecular level, there is no difference between them and the hormones produced in your body.