Originally published by Aurora Health Care.
As we look for new ways to help people be well, many of us are embracing effective alternatives. An evidence-based approach that blends conventional and holistic medicine is known as integrative medicine. With integrative medicine, practitioners work together as a team to treat the whole person — body, mind and spirit.
One of the many powerful tools of integrative medicine is hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or hormone therapy. It’s a proven treatment for hormone imbalances such as those experienced by women going through menopause.
What Is a Hormone Imbalance?
Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. Your blood carries hormones to your organs and tissues to help control things like growth, metabolism, sexual function, reproduction and even mood.
As we age, our hormone production often shifts. This change can cause a shortage of hormones such as progesterone and estrogen in women experiencing menopause. And testosterone levels can drop in both men and women.
About 80 percent of patients with a hormone imbalance are women and 20 percent are men. Women may notice hormone imbalance symptoms starting in their late 30s or 40s. For men, the symptoms may appear in their late 40s or early 50s.
Hormone imbalances can lead to symptoms such as:
- Night sweats or hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness or discomfort during sex
- Fatigue or low energy
- Brain fog — a confused or disorganized feeling
- Weight gain
Your health care clinician or an integrative medicine professional can diagnose hormone imbalances you may have with a simple saliva or blood test.
If you have a hormone imbalance, your clinician will determine if there’s an underlying issue such as a thyroid issue. If there isn’t an underlying issue, your clinician may suggest a proven treatment for a hormone imbalance.
How Is a Hormone Imbalance Treated?
Depending on your specific imbalance, we’ll prepare a bioidentical hormone replacement therapy cream. It’s called bioidentical because the hormones are chemically identical to the hormones your body produces. To read the full article, click here.
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