If you’re a woman in your late 30s, 40s, or early 50s and are struggling with the signs of menopause, you know how much these physical and emotional symptoms can interrupt your life. Many of these unpleasant symptoms are caused by imbalances and changes in your hormone levels.
Home remedies and natural therapies, like avoiding caffeine and alcohol, exercising and losing weight, and changing your diet to incorporate more whole plant-based foods can help. But for many women, these treatments don’t go far enough in alleviating the underlying problem causing the problematic symptoms.
At Lakewood Ranch Health in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, hormone replacement specialist, Dr. Leo Kao has years of experience diagnosing imbalanced hormones and treating the symptoms with different hormone replacement options.
Here’s a closer look at hormone replacement therapy and when it might be the best solution for your menopause symptoms.
Understanding shifting hormones
Hormones play an essential role in regulating many important body functions. From digestion and metabolism to your libido and mood, hormones are key to the success of your everyday life. Hormones even influence your bone growth and development.
As women approach menopause, the production of reproductive hormones declines. When this occurs, you enter the transitional stage called perimenopause. This is a natural part of life, but the hormonal imbalances that result can trigger a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including:
- Brain fog, confusion, or forgetfulness
- Decreased libido
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings
- Night sweats
- Pain during intercourse
- Vaginal dryness
For some women, these symptoms interfere with their ability to get through the day and decrease their quality of life. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help restore balance to your changing hormone levels and minimize or stop unwanted symptoms.
Why HRT may be the best solution for you
Hormone replacement therapy helps many women navigate the symptoms associated with this transitional time of life. Women usually enter perimenopause in their 40s, and the unpleasant symptoms can last for up to 11 years when menopause (the absence of menstruation for 12 consecutive months) sets in.
If your symptoms are severe or negatively impact your quality of life, or if they’re ongoing for many years, HRT may be the best solution for eliminating or reducing these frustrating symptoms. With HRT, you’re given hormones identical to the ones your body produces naturally.
By administering the right dose of hormones, your levels can come into balance safely and effectively. HRT isn’t meant to be a permanent therapy, and the recommended length of time varies based on individual needs.
After a thorough physical evaluation and discussion of your symptoms, Dr. Kao diagnoses what you need to balance your hormone levels. He creates a personalized treatment plan specifically for you based on your needs and symptoms.
Dr. Kao offers many different HRT options, and you may use one or a combination of therapies to help manage your symptoms. These may include:
- Pills or tablets: Usually taken once a day
- Skin patches: Replaced every few days
- Injections: Injected into your body at a prescribed rate
- Topical gels or creams: Rubbed into your skin once a day
- Pellets: Inserted under your skin for a slow release over several months
- Vaginal creams or rings: Used to treat vaginal dryness
If you’re struggling with the symptoms of menopause and need help, HRT can help restore your quality of life. Contact Dr. Kao and the team at Lakewood Ranch Health to set up an appointment or request a consultation using our online booking tool now.