Menopause and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are usually associated with women. However, HRT isn’t restricted to women. Both men and women experience hormone imbalances.
At Lakewood Ranch Health, we specialize in diagnosing and treating hormone-related issues, where Leo Kao, MD, prescribes HRT for patients needing relief. Dr. Kao uses oral, topical, injection, and bioidentical hormone pellet therapy to optimize your hormonal balances.
There’s a lot of information about HRT, but some things are true, and some aren’t. Take a look as we expose some of the most popular HRT myths.
Myth #1: Hormone replacement therapy is only for women
Both men and women can suffer from imbalances in insulin, steroids, growth hormones, and adrenaline. Women may also experience imbalances in estrogen and progesterone levels, while men are more likely to suffer from testosterone imbalances.
An imbalance of hormones occurs when the bloodstream contains too much or too little of a particular hormone. Hormonal imbalances can affect the whole body due to their essential role in the body.
Glands of the endocrine system produce chemicals called hormones. Hormones communicate with tissues and organs via the bloodstream, telling them what to do and when to do it. They regulate:
- Appetite and metabolism
- Heart rate
- Circadian rhythms
- Sexual function and reproductive cycles
- Growth and development
- Stress levels and mood
- Body temperature
Hormones regulate most major bodily functions, so an imbalance in hormones can affect a wide range of functions.
Myth #2: There’s nothing you can do about uncomfortable menopausal symptoms
It’s not necessary to suffer through the unpleasant symptoms of menopause. Although symptoms like night sweats, hot flashes, and weight gain were once considered part of getting older, these symptoms can seriously impact your daily life. The most effective way to treat menopausal symptoms is by speaking with Dr. Kao about hormone replacement therapy. It is possible to go through menopause without significant discomfort when you use HRT.
Myth #3: You’re too young for HRT
Women who experience early menopause or have had a hysterectomy should consider HRT. Younger women are at an increased risk of heart disease or osteoporosis when ovaries don’t provide the body with estrogen. HRT helps replace the hormones your body normally makes until menopause.
Myth #4: You’re going to gain weight using HRT
HRT doesn’t cause weight gain. While some women may gain weight as they age, this is most likely due to other factors such as being less active and going through menopause. Healthy eating and exercise can help prevent this.
Myth #5: You don’t need HRT unless you have severe symptoms
HRT relieves hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, and other signs of hormonal imbalance. The majority of men and women believe that HRT only treats severe symptoms, but the reality is that you don’t need to wait for your symptoms to become unbearable before you start HRT. Hormone replacement therapy is exceptionally beneficial for less severe symptoms that may interfere with your daily life.
How to begin hormone replacement therapy
After you’ve spoken with Dr. Kao about HRT, he performs a physical examination and then orders blood tests to measure your hormone levels. Depending on the results of your lab work, you’ll be prescribed the appropriate dose of hormone replacement therapy.
Dr. Kao schedules regular lab tests while you’re taking hormones, and he’ll continue making adjustments if necessary until your hormone levels have returned to normal. Call Lakewood Ranch Health or request an appointment online to learn more about hormone replacement therapy.