NATURAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
I use bioidentical natural hormones in my practice and have been taking them myself for 15 years. They have reversed many of my signs and symptoms of aging. They have lowered my cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and have given me a new focus on life. Hormones are chemical messengers that are usually secreted from the endocrine glands into the blood stream. Once secreted, the hormones bind with appropriate receptor sites on the cell membranes and target organs. This unlocks the door and delivers the message to the cell.
Hormones play many important roles in the health and maintenance of the body including influencing the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals and water. They also regulate DNA and RNA production and the subsequent synthesis of cell proteins in the production of enzymes and also influence the energy production in the mitochondria and are also responsible for the conversion of protein, carbohydrates and fats into energy or ATP. In addition, hormones regulate the body’s response to stress, kidney function, blood sugar balance, menstruation, and sexual function.
As we age, hormone production in the body declines. Since hormones affect virtually every bodily function, low levels of certain hormones and impaired communication within the endocrine system creates havoc with all the other body systems including the immune, cardiovascular, detoxification, gastrointestinal, and nervous system. Restoration of this balance is achieved using natural hormone replacement.
Since hormones influence the rate at which we age, considerable research is underway to evaluate the feasibility of replacement therapy to forestall the aging process and degenerative changes that accompany it. This type of therapy has been around for several years in the treatment of menopause. In my office when appropriate after testing, I use adrenal hormones such as DHEA, pregnenolone, melatonin, testosterone, thyroid, estrogen, and, when appropriate after testing, human growth hormone. In women, menopause is distinct, but in men, which is becoming to be known as andropause, it is less clearly demarcated perhaps masking the importance of testosterone.
How Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy Works
This involves using bioidentical natural hormones, not synthetic hormones. It is replacing what is deficient with nontoxic bioidentical hormones to maintain the levels of one’s 30s. If your hormones are imbalanced, one of your priorities should be to detoxify your body systems. Both the liver and gastrointestinal tract are involved in the normal processing of excess levels of hormones. When these organs are not functioning properly, hormones may be become imbalanced. In my office, I usually do not give hormones to pregnant women or to people under the age of 30 unless I find testing makes it appropriate. In my office, testing is performed through blood, salivary and urine and is tailored to each patient. The key to natural hormone replacement or enhancement lies in determining the proper priority of treatment. To accomplish this, the patient has to be approached as an individual. Everyone has their unique sequence of hormones that is the result of their own lifestyle. Once the dynamics of these hormones are analyzed, a treatment plan tailored to each patient’s specific needs can be developed to reestablish a healthy hormonal balance.
SEE PART 2 for further details and the complete hormone discussions for men and women.
Dean Silver, M.D.