A hormone is a molecule that is produced by a gland. Hormones are chemical messengers; they’re carried in your blood to other organs, where they control how those organs behave.
Like all delivery systems, hormones aren’t perfect. Messages can be disrupted by all kinds of things, including your lifestyle, your age, and your genetics, to name a few things. When that happens, you can get any number of crazy symptoms, some of which can be pretty troublesome. Menopause is just one example of the changes brought on by shifting hormones.
To deal with these hormonal changes, doctors sometimes prescribe hormone replacement therapy. Conventionally, that means using synthetic hormones. The drawback of those is that they can be very powerful and carry more risk and side-effects.
Here at StoneTree, we use bio-identical hormone therapy (BHRT) to help optimize your hormonal balance using hormones that are compounded to be identical or very close to the ones in your body.
You have some 50 or so hormones carrying messages in your body. Here are the most common ones prescribed in BHRT:
- DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, is a hormone produced by your body’s adrenal glands. It functions as a precursor to male and female sex hormones, including testosterone and estrogen. It is sometimes called the “anti-aging” hormone.
- Progesterone is most known for its role in fertility and pregnancy, but in BHRT it has important applications to cognition, sleep patterns and mood.
- Estrogen is an important hormone for healthy function of the reproductive system in adult humans. It is most often used in BHRT to manage symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, and libido issues in women.
- Testosterone, the “body-building” hormone, is a sex hormone that regulates sex drive (libido), bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength in men. Because of its pesky tendency to convert itself into estrogen, it’s uncommonly prescribed in BHRT.
- Thyroid hormone is the body’s “accelerator. The thyroid hormones make everything GO! If your thyroid hormone isn’t working, you feel tired, fat and cold.
- Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland in the brain and is an important hormone for regulating circadian rhythms. In BHRT, it is most commonly prescribed alongside progesterone to support restful sleep.
If you’re curious about your hormones and would like to learn more, you can book a 15-minute “meet the doctor visit” with our resident BHRT expert, Dr. Gervais Harry, MD. Just click here, or call 705-444-5331.