Hormones are critical elements in almost every function of the body. Hormones replaced in Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy are crucial for physical and mental health. Here is a brief description of the major hormone functions.
Thyroid hormone is produced by the thyroid gland and regulated by the pituitary gland. It is often referred to as the master hormone. This is a metabolic hormone regulating temperature, metabolism, and cerebral function. It is a massive contributor to energy levels and the body’s ability to maintain a constant temperature.
Thyroid hormone helps the body do many things, including:
- removing toxic metals and chemicals
- increasing fat breakdown
- improving hair growth on the scalp and eyebrows
- reducing cholesterol levels and body weight (Although infrequently used for this purpose, it may be the safest and most beneficial cholesterol-reducing agent.)
- preventing cognitive deterioration.
Thyroid hormone is also critical for fertility in women. Many women who go through expensive infertility treatments may simply need thyroid hormone replacement. Think of the thyroid hormone as the overseer of the body, telling all the other organs to get to work!
At Renewed Vitality, we test six functions of thyroid hormones. Rather than using the very wide “normal” reference range, we provide a personalized treatment plan. This plan balances thyroid hormones so they reach the optimal level to help you feel your best.
As one of the most abundant hormones in the body, DHEA also functions as a precursor hormone, which means that other hormones are produced from it.
Mainly secreted by the adrenal glands, DHEA can also be secreted from the skin and brain. DHEA is an essential component in many of the body’s metabolic and physiologic functions, including:
- regulating hormone balance
- building the immune system
- reversing the effects of stress
- making sex hormones
- increasing short-term memory
- maintaining levels of well-being.
DHEA promotes an anabolic (protein-building) state, which increases lipolysis (the breakdown of fat). It also increases strength, energy, and libido. Several studies have linked DHEA to reduced cardiovascular risk and restored sexual vitality.
The adrenal glands release cortisol, also called the “stress hormone.” Adrenal function is a critical element in maintaining your health, helping your body handle stress, regulate immune function, and maintain blood pressure and blood sugar.
The adrenal glands kick into gear when we are in stressful situations. Adrenal glands move us into fight-or-flight mode, which helps us cope with stress or danger. In the days of the cave dwellers, this helped them survive wild animal attacks. But in today’s stressful world, our adrenal glands get worn out because many of us feel like we are being chased by wild animals all the time. This can cause adrenal insufficiency when the adrenal glands can no longer make enough cortisol.
Adrenal insufficiency can cause:
- recurring and persistent infections
- sugar or salt cravings
- inability to cope with stress
- decreased cognitive ability (brain fog)
With comprehensive testing and bioidentical hormone treatment, we can significantly reduce — and, many times, overcome — the negative effects of adrenal fatigue.
Growth Hormone (Human Growth Hormone – HGH)
Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland and converted by the liver into a protein called somatomedin-C or IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-one). Most of the growth hormone functions in the body are due to IGF-1.
Growth hormone has multiple functions, including:
- tissue repair
- cell rejuvenation
- bone and muscle strength
- brain function
- enzyme production
- the integrity of hair, nails, and skin
- lipolysis (fat breakdown)
A deficiency in growth hormone significantly correlates to signs of aging, which include:
- body composition shifts from lean muscle mass and high energy levels to increased fat/body weight and low energy levels
- decreased bone mineralization (slowing of bone growth/repair)
- waning of vitality
- increased cardiovascular disease
- increase in mortality
Decreased growth hormones can also result in impaired physical performance, poor sleep, and diminished social interaction. Growth Hormone supplementation can create significant improvements in energy and sense of well-being, as well as decrease muscle pain, body fat, and signs of aging and wrinkles.
Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. Regulating the circadian rhythm, it acts as a neurotransmitter hormone.
Research has shown that cells of the body rejuvenate and repair during the deeper stages of sleep. The deeper stages of phase 4 sleep help produce natural “CD4” killer cells, which are vital to a strong and healthy immune system. They also aid in essential growth hormone production. Deep sleep also helps with energy and mood.
Melatonin’s powerful antioxidant effects help with disease prevention. Deficiency of melatonin can cause irritability, poor sleep, jet lag, hypersensitivity, and premature aging. Studies have also shown melatonin to reduce breast cancer cell development.
Pregnenolone serves as one of the major precursor hormones in our bodies. It is a memory enhancement hormone made in the brain. Pregnenolone is important to cellular repair, particularly in the brain and nervous tissue. It also protects against neuronal injury and aids cerebral function. It is the main hormone used by the adrenal glands to make cortisol, DHEA, progesterone, aldosterone, testosterone, and estrogen.
Although Progesterone is in both men and women, it is mostly a female hormone. The four areas that produce progesterone are the ovaries, corpus luteum (ruptured follicle), adrenal glands, and the placenta in pregnant women.
Progesterone is used to treat PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome). It helps prevent uterine and breast cancers, osteoporosis/osteopenia, fibrocystic disease, and ovarian cysts.
Progesterone is also neuroprotective and can be used in ERs after head trauma to treat brain injury. Both men and women have progesterone receptors in every cell of their bodies.
Science has yet to discover all that progesterone does for us. We know, however, that it is tremendously helpful for women to improve sleep and control anxiety.
Progesterone means “for gestation” — which clearly points out the importance of this hormone in child-bearing age women. Women who are chronically low in progesterone have more miscarriages and more uterine fibroid tumors.
Although present in both men and women, estrogen is primarily a female hormone secreted by the ovaries. Estrogen can protect against:
- heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- memory disorders
- vaginal atrophy (dryness)
- urinary incontinence in women
It improves balance by improving the visual-somatosensory system within the central nervous system. It also prevents symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, irritability, mood swings, and temperature fluctuations.
Estrogen deficiencies lead to sagging breast tissue and skin, increased facial wrinkles, fatigue, depression, mood swings, and decreased libido. It works in partnership with progesterone, both of which are essential to healthy female reproductive functioning.
The adrenal glands, testicles, and ovaries produce testosterone, a vital hormone for everyone. Testosterone contributes to muscle mass, strength, endurance, decreased fat, increased exercise tolerance, enhancement of well-being, and sex drive.
In men, testosterone protects against cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and arthritis. It also leads to improved lean muscle mass, increased bone density, decreased cholesterol, improved skin tone, improved healing capacity and muscle repair, and increased libido and sexual performance. It prolongs the quality of life by decreasing age-related diseases, similar to estrogen in women, including the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
Testosterone is also extremely important in women for body fat reduction, libido, endurance, bone protection, and energy.
Clarification of Terms Regarding Hormone Therapy
It’s important to understand some wording about hormones. We have all heard the words synthetic, natural, and bioidentical. There is a lot of confusion surrounding these words in relation to hormone replacement.
Most believe synthetic is bad and natural is good, and in most cases, this is true. However, the most important issue is whether the hormone is 100% human bioidentical.
The source of the hormone, whether natural or synthetic, is not as important as making sure the compound exactly matches what the body produces naturally. When a compound is bioidentical, the body can easily use it to heal itself.
EFFECTS OF SYNTHETIC HORMONES
The problem with most synthetics is that only synthetic hormones can be patented. Because of this, pharmaceutical companies have created synthetic hormones that attempt to mimic natural hormone function. However, these synthetics are structurally and functionally different from the natural hormones they are attempting to replace.
These synthetic hormones can help the initial symptoms but often produce negative side effects such as bloating, headaches, fatigue, weight gain, increased clotting, heart disease, and possibly cancer. Most natural hormones, by contrast, are substances that are structurally identical to those our bodies would normally produce. And natural, bioidentical hormones, instead of causing disease, can actually prevent disease and help maintain a healthy body.
While hormones such as estrogen and progesterone may be obtained from wild yams or soy, the Thyroid Hormone has to be made in the laboratory. A certain brand of thyroid hormone is derived from pigs (natural), which is sometimes necessary, but at Renewed Vitality, we prefer 100% human bioidentical thyroid hormone.
Over the past few years, some pharmaceutical companies have caught on to the idea of “natural” hormone replacement and now patent the specific cream, gel, patch, or spray the hormone comes in. These products are expensive if you do not have insurance, and it is often much cheaper to purchase these products from a reliable compounding pharmacy.
Free Phone Consultation with our New Patient Coordinator
Renewed Vitality is a place of hope. Our knowledgeable providers are experts in their field and take the time to find the underlying causes of hormonal imbalances and illness. We will work with you using proven, scientific-based technology in a warm and compassionate environment. We are here to help you restore your health so that you can live a life of vitality and wellness.
Please contact our New Patient Coordinator for your Free Phone Consultation. She can answer any questions or concerns that you may have and give you additional information about our providers, our protocols and fees, what is covered by insurance and what is not, and any other details you may need. She can also get you booked for your first appointments if you decide we are a good fit for you. There are no obligations to book an appointment.
Please call 214-740-4703 to learn more, or complete the form below, and we will contact you. We would love to hear from you!