BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
If you’ve tried to understand changes in your health, skin, or perhaps treated your symptoms in ways that don’t seem to work, testing your hormones may be an important next step. At Hawaiian Islands Dermatology we treat the skin from within and often times that means starting with balancing hormones to improve overall skin health.
Hormones exist in harmony with each other as partners in a delicate balancing act. When levels are balanced, body systems are stable. When levels fall out of balance, normal function is disrupted, leading to chronic symptoms, disorders, and disease. Symptoms that may signify an imbalance include:
Headaches or Fatigue
Irregular menstrual cycles (women)
Loss of libido (sex drive)
Decreased urinary flow/ or increased urge (men)
FINDING YOUR BALANCE
Hormones, the active in cells throughout the body, govern key facets of our health such as mood, memory, energy, sleep, libido and fertility. They don’t only regulate our immune systems and responses to stress, but also help maintain bone and muscle mass.
Factors such as stress, diet, exercise and environmental toxins impact our overall hormone wellness. This is particularly true at mid-life when reproductive functions diminish and significant hormone production is taken over by the adrenal glands.
Symptoms resulting from hormonal shifts in our bodies can be felt strongly—leading us to feel physically or mentally out of balance. Hormone balance starts with the everyday decisions we make. Lifestyle, nutrition and supplementation impact that balance— as well as our overall health.
Menopausal women are not the only people who experience a shift in hormones. Men also experience hormone imbalance. We also treat a lot of acne patients who have been on birth control for many years and have decided to discontinue. Sometimes going off of birth control can flare acne and cause your hormones to shift.
MENOPAUSE IN WOMEN
When hormone levels begin dropping in menopause, a deficiency of one hormone can actually appear as a relative excess of another, resulting in symptoms of hormone imbalance.
The start of menopause typically occurs around the age of 50, but it’s not uncommon to see symptoms much sooner—even as early as the mid to late 30s depending on stress levels, diet, and exercise. Menopause can also be surgically induced through hysterectomy (removal of the ovaries and/or uterus), radiation or chemotherapy. Testing and monitoring hormone levels enable women to work with their health care providers to find appropriate solutions that alleviate menopause symptoms and lead to hormonal wellness.
ANDROPAUSE IN MEN
The natural decline of testosterone in men contributes to weight gain, muscle weakness, lean muscle loss, depression, bone loss, sexual dysfunction and other symptoms associated with andropause—also called male menopause.
In contrast to the “roller coaster” effect so common during menopause, the symptoms of andropause appear gradually and can be much less obvious. Some of the first signs that a man may be experiencing this change include a subtle downward shift in strength and energy and a loss of enthusiasm for work, competition, and sexual activity
Along with natural aging, factors such as excessive stress, weight gain and lack of exercise can further lower testosterone—impacting stamina, drive and virility. Hormone testing and the aid of a qualified health care provider can help diminish the effects of andropause in men.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TESTING
Comprehensive baseline testing takes the guesswork out of treatment by giving you and your provider an in-depth snapshot of your hormone levels. Testing reveals your levels of hormone production, pinpoints imbalances and shows where you stand compared to healthy averages for your age group and sex.
In addition to testing, we recommend regular or semi-regular visits to our office to assess any additional symptoms you may be experiencing. This combination of testing and care will assure that our Provider can create and monitor an individualized treatment program. We carry a wide variety of supplements that may help to regulate your hormones. The most common regimen for hormone imbalance starts with baseline lab testing, supplements and plant-based hormone replacement cream/gel.