As a practitioner of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), I am often asked, “Aren’t there natural ways to raise hormone levels, without hormone replacement therapy?”
The answer is, there are some. For example, a recent study found that supplements made from licorice root can be effective in treating women experiencing hot flashes and some of the other hormone related problems of menopause.
The researchers found that over the course of a one year period of time, women taking a pill containing licorice root extract saw an 80% drop in debilitating menopause symptoms, such as night sweats.
In addition the women in the “double blind” study, who were taking the licorice pills, also saw less bone loss, mood swings, and hot flashes, then those in the study taking the placebo.
Like similar studies, this one has shown there are certain plant extracts that do exhibit “estrogen-like” properties, and therefore may be helpful in relieving some of the symptoms of menopause for some women.
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However, for men or women suffering the effects of age-related hormone deficiencies, there is still no safer, or more effective treatment than actual hormone therapy.
Hormones and Aging
Hormones are essential to regulating just about every major process in your body. However, as you age, unfortunately your levels of several critical hormones such as growth hormone, thyroid hormone, and testosterone all decrease.
As your levels of these critical hormones diminish, all of those processes they regulate from fat metabolism to sexual function, become less efficient.
The results are the fatigue, weight gain, emotional and sexual issues we usually equate with “getting older.”
What we often think of as “aging,” is really just feeling the effects of depleted hormones! The good news is, you can “refill the tank” so to speak with hormone therapy.
The Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone therapy is designed to put back what time and nature take away. Unlike licorice root, or any other supplement that may stimulate the production of hormones, or may mimic the action of hormones – hormone therapy actually replaces hormones.
Hormone therapy can boost your levels of critical hormones, and bring them back to the proper balance for you. Hormone Therapy can help you:
- Feel younger and more energetic
- Perform better sexually
- Burn fat and build lean muscle
- Think more clearly
- Improve your skin health
- Reduce the symptoms of menopause (women)
- Cure erectile dysfunction (men)
Any kind of hormone therapy begins with a complete medical examination that will include an evaluation of your symptoms and your medical history. Then, a series of blood tests will be taken, to ensure an accurate determination of your levels of critical hormones such as testosterone and Human Growth Hormone, (HGH).
If your growth hormone and/or your testosterone levels are found to be below normal, or sub-optimal for your particular age and lifestyle, you may be prescribed hormone replacement therapy.
Again, a prescription for hormone replacement therapy is the most effective way to safely bring your hormones back in balance, and return you to the strength and vigor of your youth. Despite reports of the dangers of hormone therapy, when it is given by qualified professionals, hormone therapy is very safe.
In fact, recent studies have found that there is no greater risk of heart disease or cancer, for people on prescription hormone therapy, than the general population.
While dietary supplements cannot match the effectiveness of prescription hormone treatments, the most effective type of hormone therapy will include nutritional and wellness coaching, to help maximize your benefits.
Have you or anyone you know tried any HRT treatments? What were the results?
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