Hormone therapy is a treatment used to supplement the body with either estrogen alone or estrogen and progesterone in combination.
Estrogen and progesterone are hormones that are produced by a woman’s ovaries. Estrogen thickens the lining of the uterus, preparing it for the possible implantation of a fertilized egg. Estrogen also influences how the body uses calcium, an important mineral in the building of bones. In addition, estrogen helps maintain healthy levels of cholesterol in the blood.
As menopause nears, the ovaries reduce most of their production of these hormones. Lowered or fluctuating estrogen levels may cause menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, and medical conditions such as osteoporosis.
What is hormone therapy (HT)?
Hormone therapy (HT) is a treatment that is used to supplement the body with either estrogen alone or estrogen and progesterone in combination. When the ovaries no longer produce adequate amounts of these hormones (as in menopause), HT can be given to supplement the body with adequate levels of estrogen and progesterone. HT helps to replenish the estrogen, relieving some of the symptoms of menopause and helping to prevent osteoporosis.
Why is progesterone provided?
Progesterone is used along with estrogen in women who still have their uterus. In these women, estrogen – if taken without progesterone – increases a woman’s risk for cancer of the endometrium (the lining of the uterus). During a woman’s reproductive years, cells from the endometrium are shed during menstruation. When the endometrium is no longer shed, estrogen can cause an overgrowth of cells in the uterus, a condition that can lead to cancer.
Progesterone reduces the risk of endometrial (uterine) cancer by making the endometrium thin. Women who take progesterone may have monthly bleeding, or no bleeding at all, depending on how the hormone therapy is taken. Monthly bleeding can be lessened and, in some cases, eliminated by taking progesterone and estrogen together continuously.
Women who have had a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus through surgery) typically do not need to take progesterone. This is an important point because estrogen taken alone has fewer long-term risks than HT that uses a combination of estrogen and progesterone.
What are the types of hormone therapy (HT)?
There are two main types of HT:
Estrogen Therapy (ET): Estrogen is taken alone. Doctors most often prescribe a low dose of estrogen to be taken as a pill or patch every day. Estrogen may also be prescribed as a cream, vaginal ring, gel, or spray. You should take the lowest dose of estrogen needed to relieve menopause symptoms and/or to prevent osteoporosis. This type of HT is used if a woman has had a hysterectomy.
Estrogen Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy (EPT): Also called combination therapy, this form of HT combines doses of estrogen and progesterone (progestin is a synthetic form of progesterone). This type of HT is used if a woman still has her uterus.
HGH Therapy for Women
The Master Hormone
Human growth hormone is a natural hormone produced in the pituitary gland of the brain. Growth hormone (HGH) is considered “the master hormone” hormone because it controls so many functions. It’s responsible for youth, vitality, energy, and many of the health benefits we associate with optimal health.
The pituitary gland releases human growth hormone in “pulses” through the day, with most of the Human growth hormone released during dream sleep at night.
This is why women who have untreated sleep apnea commonly suffer from the adult growth hormone deficiency, which can make their symptoms even worse. Once released into the bloodstream, human growth hormone attaches to most tissues, including bones and muscles.
Maintaining Physical and Psychological Fitness
Human growth hormone is the repair, replenishment, and build hormone of the body. In men, HGH helps maintain bone strength and prevents bone loss, called osteoporosis. Growth hormone also increases muscle mass and decreases fatty tissue.
This hormone also allows for normal repair and maintenance of the muscles. In addition, growth hormone has an active role in maintaining psychological and cognitive functions in normal adults.
How GH helps the body:
- a decrease in body fat;
- an increase in muscle mass;
- thickening of the skin with decreased wrinkling;
- improvement in the cholesterol profile;
- an increase in bone density;
- enhanced feeling of well being;
- a decrease in the waist to hip ratio (meaning fat is removed primarily from around the waist where
- it is associated with a high risk of coronary disease);
- improvement in exercise capacity;
- enhanced immune function;
- decrease in the frequency of illness.
Women Make More Growth Hormone Than Men
While men are generally considered physically stronger and have higher testosterone levels it would seem that men also make more growth hormone. However, numerous studies have found that the mean concentration of growth hormone is anywhere from six-fold to 120-fold higher in premenopausal women than men.
Estrogen has been shown to be the main reason women generally make more growth hormone than men. Comparing growth hormone levels in premenopausal women to men of the same age has found that women have higher mean growth hormone levels and higher GH secretory burst amplitudes.
Some studies even dosed men with estrogen and found that their growth hormone did indeed increase with the added hormone. In addition, women’s mean GH levels increase even more when we are in the phases of our menstrual cycles where estrogen was highest.
If you strive to learn more about the benefits and risks of the therapy before you start it, schedule a free consultation here.