One of the most common causes of dysfunctions in the human body is related to the over or under production of hormones in the body. Many illnesses and symptoms that people experience are related directly to the hormones that they are supposed to be producing, but for one reason or another their endocrine system has short circuited and is no longer producing the correct levels of hormones. Testosterone is a hormone that is often associated with men, but did you know that testosterone is actually found in both men and women’s bodies? Both testosterone and estrogen are produced in the male and female body, but the amounts of these hormones will vary greatly depending on the sex of the person. Male bodies produce much higher levels of testosterone while female bodies have much higher levels of estrogen then men do. These hormones are simply chemical substances that are secreted inside the body in order to initiate a chain reaction of responses that keep the body functioning correctly. A good way to picture this reaction is to think of it like a message in a bottle. When the message is sent by the brain, it travels through the neuro pathways to the appropriate organ, say the ovaries, where it is then opened. The message is received and in response the ovaries release higher or lower levels of estrogen based on what that message demands. But what happens if the ovaries misread the message, and they do not send out the amount of estrogen that is needed? Or what if the ovaries are not there at all to receive the message such as when a woman has a hysterectomy?
These are the types of situations that call for hormone replacement therapy. When the body is no longer responding to messages to send out hormones when they are needed, then the person will suffer. If a woman is not getting the right amount of estrogen that her body is asking for, it can result in depression, mood swings, dry and damaged skin, irritability, irregular periods, thinning hair, vaginal dryness, discomfort during sex, and many other symptoms. And the symptoms are not much better when you compare them to the symptoms that a woman may experience if her body is releasing too much or too little testosterone: thinning hair, obesity and irregular weight gain in an apple shaped pattern around the body, acne, high blood pressure, irregular periods and more.
Whether it is estrogen or testosterone hormones that are not at the right levels in the body, hormone replacement therapy can help to treat the root cause and alleviate the symptoms that are occurring. It is important to work with your doctor so that they can help determine what the appropriate levels of synthetic hormones will be needed to replace the missing hormones in the body. Often that means frequent blood tests to measure the levels of hormones at different times. But the end result should be a healthy and happy person that can’t detect that anything is amiss in the body.