Is there a magic bullet for a persistent medical condition? I don’t suppose so. As we age, our reproductive hormone levels decline, leading to symptoms that may affect how we live. Our pursuit of wellness often leads us to seek various forms of treatment, sometimes with little success. Lab-created hormones may help bridge the gap created by falling hormone levels or particular medical conditions. What are the tell-tale signs you might be a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy (HRT)? Let’s unmask the truth to safely guide you through the process of evaluating this alternative treatment option.
Benefits of HRT
Menopause can be a stressful phase in any woman’s life. Symptoms such as night sweats, urge to urinate frequently, mood swings, general fatigue, memory lapses, and difficulty sleeping are not uncommon at some point. The onset of some of these symptoms could mean it’s time to consider hormone therapy as a form of relief. A NovaGenix hormone replacements clinic near you could be the place to start the conversation about your symptoms, risks, and potential benefits of HRT.
HRT may also help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease when used at least a decade before the onset of menopause. Other benefits include offering moderate relief for joint pain, diminishing the risk of colon cancer and diabetes, and improving overall mood. Physicians also consider HRT use for osteoporosis, usually to preserve or improve bone density in patients who are unresponsive to other forms of treatment. With all these in mind, are there downsides to using HRT?
It would be imprudent to drum up support for hormone therapy without laying down all the facts on the table. What potential risks does hormone therapy pose? What factors increase the risk? Let us examine a few.
Type of Therapy
It turns out that using estrogen as the only means to scale down menopausal symptoms heightens the risk of uterine cancer. Along the same lines, the combination of estrogen and progesterone as a form of therapy raises the risk of breast cancer to some extent. As a result, estrogen therapy is safer and may work better for women who’ve undergone a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).
Your Family’s Health History
Does your family have a history of heart disease, stroke, and blood clots? Who else in your family line suffers from high blood pressure, liver disease, or ovarian cancer? If your medical history indicates you are at risk of some of these ailments, then it’s time to have ‘the talk’ with your primary care physician to discuss whether HRT may work for you.
This sounds like a little too much to stomach, right? Given the individual health risks that HRT poses, your doctor should adopt a tailored approach that addresses your concerns and personal health history. Subsequent evaluations also need to be part of the care plan to establish whether the treatment achieves its intended purpose.
How can you mitigate potential risks if you choose to take the HRT route? Are there strategies you can adopt? Let’s have a look at a few, which you can discuss with your physician to find the best way forward.
Keep the intake of medication to a minimum
Taking a dose for a prolonged period may increase potential risks. Therefore, it is advisable to use as low a dosage as possible and only for a short duration of time to alleviate your symptoms. In some cases, such as advancing age, you may need sufficient synthetic hormones to curb the long-term effects of hormonal deficiency.
Lasting symptoms may therefore necessitate long-term use of HRT upon your physician’s recommendation. If that is the case, the next point is even more important.
Schedule regular sit-downs with your doctor to evaluate your long-term HRT care plan. Through periodic screening for breast and ovarian cancer, your physician can help rule out potential risks of hormone therapy and part of a preventive care regimen. It would ensure that you reap the benefits of treatment.
Keep an eye on your lifestyle choices
Staying healthy is not just about taking medication. Lifestyle choices matter and often have a significant part to play in our overall wellness. For instance, does physical activity feature in your schedule? What does your diet comprise of? Is stress affecting your work life? Is your weight in check?
Besides following a hormone therapy plan, you need to adopt a holistic approach to managing your health. It is the only way to ensure you stay in tip-top shape and avoid worsening or developing other medical conditions.
Given the potential risks associated with hormone therapy treatment plans, it’s advisable to keep your physician in the loop and follow their care plan. Physical assessment for pre-existing conditions, symptoms, and potential risks is critical before starting using HRT. Hormone therapy may not work for everyone. However, ongoing studies regarding the efficacy of HRT are likely to shed more light on whether certain individuals can potentially benefit from it. A review of options available for treatment can set you on a path to better health.