HRT: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

HRT: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
Both male and female patients exploring the possibility of HRT (hormone replacement therapy) should discuss the risks and rewards frequently associated with a hormone protocol. A comprehensive hormone panel plus an in-depth Doctor consultation are required in order fully understand the implications of HRT. We also strongly recommend that prospective patients exploring HRT should discuss their plan with their primary care physician and/or any associated specialist. The more informed a patient is about HRT options, the better they will be at attaining their respective goals including the alleviation of symptoms. HRT can help to alleviate some of the most unbearable and uncomfortable symptoms associated with a hormonal imbalance.

What is HRT?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the use of prescription hormone replacement therapy products in order to help men address the symptoms of andropause or menopausal women alleviate the symptoms of menopause. Symptoms can range from mood swings to hot flashes, difficulty sleeping and vaginal dryness. Though the exact cause of menopause is unknown, hormones typically play a significant role in the process. Doctors recommend HRT to relieve the symptoms associated with menopause, while possibly preventing future occurrence. A review of HRT usage across the globe indicates that nearly 90% of women between the ages of 50 and 70 are currently using hormone replacement therapy products. What are the benefits of HRT?

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly HRT
HRT can often be a go to route for many men and women, if not most, who have tried a whole host of treatments without success. Finding the right HRT regime for you is imperative, as there is no single HRT treatment that will yield the same benefits for everyone, therefore it’s important to discuss all options to determine the best fit. For some, taking hormones on a regular basis and/or trying hormone blockers could be the ticket that works. For others, the risks associated with hormone injections and hormonal implants may be too great a risk for them. It’s therefore crucial to discuss all options with your health care provider.

The Good
Many women who are considering HRT are surprised to find the range of benefits it offers. HRT generally can offer the following benefits to female patients:
1. An end to menstrual cramps
2. Relief from PMS
3. Abdominal discomfort and bloating
4. Preventive measure against pre-menstrual spotting
5. Relief from hair loss and scalp issues
6. Women who are considering whether or not HRT is right for them often express feelings of anxiety and confusion concerning these and other benefits. One of the most confusing aspects of HRT is the multitude of different products available on the market and their differing benefits and risks.

The Bad
-The vast majority of women suffering from HRT related hot flashes, night sweats and other effects of an undiagnosed and/or improperly treated menopause are either over exaggerating their symptoms or suffer from either Cushing’s Syndrome or an ovarian disease that is not properly treated.
-The Ugly: Some HRT patients continue to suffer from recurrent menopause symptoms even when using different HRT medications. In these cases, we recommend discontinuing HRT until and unless other menopause symptoms resolve completely.

The Ugly
The ineffectiveness of hormone replacement therapy is the unfortunate result of its use as a stand-alone treatment. Recently, some pharmaceutical companies have discontinued their own endocrine therapy drugs, effectively pulling the plug on an effective treatment. Many menopausal women have been left, without a treatment plan. Fortunately, pharmaceutical companies are producing new hormone drugs and supplements.

What You Should Know about HRT
-HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) helps manage symptoms associated with menopause.
-HRT can also help to ease mood changes and decrease hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, weight gain, low sex drive and other symptoms associated with menopause.
-HRT works by replacing the hormones that are necessary for women during menopause but that can sometimes become depleted. -HRT can be taken every day, or as and when a woman needs.
-HRT and other alternative options can help to improve one’s quality of life and diminish the pain and discomfort of menopause.
-Many women have become dependent upon HRT to remain active and social. -HRT can take about 2 months to be fully effective.
-HRT can be expensive -You will need to monitor the blood levels of hormonally active hormones.
HRT: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
Both male and female patients exploring the possibility of HRT (hormone replacement therapy) should discuss the risks and rewards frequently associated with a hormone protocol. A comprehensive hormone panel plus an in-depth Doctor consultation are required in order fully understand the implications of HRT. We also strongly recommend that prospective patients exploring HRT should discuss their plan with their primary care physician and/or any associated specialist. The more informed a patient is about HRT options, the better they will be at attaining their respective goals including the alleviation of symptoms. HRT can help to alleviate some of the most unbearable and uncomfortable symptoms associated with a hormonal imbalance.

What is HRT?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the administration of hormone replacement therapy to female patients with a history of menopause or who have an uncommon form of menopause called hypoestrogenism. HRT generally includes use of progestogens (such as hydroxyprogesterone acetate, ovarian stimulation therapy, and estrogen) or estrogens (such as estradiol valerate, ethinylestradiol, and others) in combination with a mood stabilizer or antianxiety medication to prevent unwanted hot flashes. It is also used to reduce menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, sweating, and night sweats, and support weight loss.

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
What you need to know about HRT. – The Good Hormone Replacement Therapy is a pharmaceutical therapy used to replace the hormones that the body uses to sustain its normal function. HRT’s aim is to support the body’s ability to function, stimulate the renewal of the cells in the tissues, and support the organs and their function. HRTs goal is to ensure that the body’s tissues are producing healthy hormones. HRT is effective in managing menopausal symptoms and vaginal discomfort such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and urinary tract infections. The length of time that HRT can provide symptomatic relief can depend on the cause of the issue, treatment received, type and amount of estrogen used and dose of testosterone.

The Good
Controlled estrogen administration will help improve quality of life for women with irregular menstrual cycles due to a variety of reasons (menopause, a gynecological issue, etc.). There is evidence to support the use of estrogen therapy in the treatment of the symptoms of menopause and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Estrogen acts primarily as a vasoconstrictor. Increased estrogen levels can lessen the symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats, and help women to sleep better at night. Estrogen levels can also have a calming effect on hot flashes. Decreased estrogen levels (hypoestrogenism) and high levels of progesterone (progesterone is converted to estrogen by the adrenal gland) can result in significant (and long-lasting) hot flashes.

The Bad
However, HRT does come with risks and potential adverse effects, so the HRT Patient Education Series is the perfect tool to familiarize a patient with the possible long-term effects. While women may need to be more proactive in educating themselves on the risks associated with HRT before actually initiating treatment, the good news is that any and all side effects are completely treatable and can be completely overcome. Some of the side effects that are commonly associated with HRT include hot flashes, sleep disturbance, low energy, hair loss, breast tenderness, and increased memory lapses. As with any drug therapy, HRT can result in a laundry list of possible side effects that depend largely on a patient’s individual risk factors.

The Ugly
The impact of a hormone supplement on our sexual function is oftentimes a key selling point for both female and male HRT advocates. But the reality is that our sexual function changes during and after HRT. After a few years, the results of HRT can be unpleasant to say the least. Male patients should be fully aware that the normal changes in sexual function for men also apply to their treatments. As a male endocrinologist, it is important that men participating in HRT treatment realize that many of these changes will be permanent. Consider a survey conducted a few years ago by the Journal of Sexual Medicine, which found that after a woman is exposed to estrogen therapy, her sexual desire has dropped by 40-75%, while her desire for sex with a non-partner is reduced by 75%!

What You Should Know about HRT
More women than men are diagnosed with Menopause Symptoms (MS) each year. Both men and women experience MS; it is a common complaint in menopausal women. It is important to be familiar with these signs and symptoms. Read about 10 Signs of MS and Signs of Hormone Receptor Estradiol (HRT). What You Should Know about HRT Currently, HRT options for menopause include a broad range of hormones including: progestins, estrogen, thyroid hormone, and in some cases testosterone. HRT & The Current & Future Alternatives to HRT While some endocrinologists recommend using hormones for all patients, many alternative therapies are currently under investigation.
Benefits
People should ask themselves these important questions: Does your quality of life take a hit when you have hot flashes and night sweats? If so, HRT can reduce the burden of hot flashes and night sweats. Does you overall quality of life begin to slip? If so, HRT can help to diminish the intensity and frequency of symptoms. Is the potential side effect of a testosterone replacement program a concern to you? If so, HRT can help to reduce the side effects that may accompany testosterone replacement therapy.

Risks
All therapies involve potential risks and side effects, however HRT has a somewhat elevated risk for certain health conditions, including potentially fatal hemorrhaging, acute heart problems, brain aneurysms, and infections. HRT could also affect your other hormones, particularly if you’re taking estrogen or progesterone. Hormone changes could cause side effects in your general health as well, including weight gain and hair loss. It’s also important to note that not all symptoms related to menopause can be reversed with HRT. Treatment needs to be determined by a thorough evaluation of individual symptoms and risk factors.

How to Take
Women who are considering the use of HRT should consult with their doctor as soon as possible in order to discuss the available products, medications, dosages and expected results. In most instances, a typical HRT regimen will consist of cream-based protocols, oral medications, and very rarely hormone injections.

Conclusion
The administration of HRT as a treatment option for menopausal symptoms is becoming increasingly popular. Hormone Replacement Therapy, while still not an approved option in the United States, is a common prescription in many countries with a successful track record of treatment. Hormone Replacement Therapy has been used for a significant number of years in other countries, such as Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, resulting in a significantly lessening of menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, decreased sexual desire, memory loss, cognitive issues and fatigue.