What is HORMONE OPTIMIZATION?
Aging involves a slowing of a person’s hormones as time passes. Hormones are chemical messengers to the body and without them we would not survive. Different hormones decline at different rates and sometimes in the younger patient there is just a malfunction in the biochemical pathways that result in individual organs becoming imbalanced. The thyroid is an excellent example of this as it often becomes under, or over active. Nobody knows why imbalances occur and certainly much will be due to a genetic predisposition with the addition of environmental factors, especially nutritional choices which can create inflammation in the body.
The most common organs producing hormones are the pituitary gland (makes growth hormone plus a few other regulatory hormones), the thyroid, the ovaries and testes (making the sex hormones oestragen, progesterone and testosterone) and the adrenal gland (making cortisol when we are under stress). When these organs slow down, or fail, it leads to conditions such as somatopause, menopause, andropause and adrenal fatigue syndrome.
In “hormone optimization” the doctor must look at all of these glands and make recommendations to improve the gland’s functioning which may include replacing the declining hormones, changes in nutrition and addition of supplements. The aim is to correct the imbalance and improve a patient’s quality of life.
How do I know if I am Hormone deficient?
Firstly, hormones should be considered relative to age. Those under 35 are unlikely to be deficient and those over 55 are unlikely not to be. Secondly, we consider symptoms and signs of hormone deficiency.
- Depression, mood swings
- Feel socially isolated
- Lost that competitive edge
- Decreased libido or sexual performance
- Sleeping difficulties
- Feeling tired upon waking
- Unable to concentrate
- Over weight, hard to lose weight
- Have wrinkles
- Aches and pains
- Loose skin on face, neck, upper arms or abdomen
- Find it hard to exercise, have less strength
- Get frequent colds and illnesses easily, poor health
- Over 40 years of age
Doctors who work in the field of functional medicine can test for hormone levels and compare it to age related ranges, rather than absolute ranges. This provides a guideline for correct level of hormone correction to keep within the human physiological normal levels and thus reduce any chances of side effects.
What IS INVOLVED IN HORMONE OPTIMIZATION?
Our doctor has been working with hormones for over 22years and understands how important they are. She is extremely thorough in her approach to optimization and provides a detailed consultation starting with a thorough history of symptoms, an examination and then orders advanced scientific investigations to find out exactly what your body is doing at a hormonal, nutritional and general biochemical level. Based upon the results, she then makes recommendations. All therapies can be monitored for success by further history and examination over the following months. Please note that hormones are notoriously difficult to adjust and whilst most patients stabilise quickly, the occasional patient may require various modifications and further investigations. All attempts are made by our doctor to keep your visits and your costs down.
How old do I have to be to benefit?
Hormone difficulties can occur at any age but generally begin after the age of 35. Our doctor is mostly seeing patients who are into their 40s and 50’ that are getting close to andropause and menopause, or those who are well researched and want to achieve maximal functionality with age. Our doctor utilizes much of the research being done in the USA and Europe when recommending therapies. Also, our doctor tailors the therapy to every individual patient’s case as one size does not fit all when considering hormone replacement.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
Our doctor always aims to keep patient’s costs down. We have a various package options depending upon our patient’s budget and the desired hormones they wish corrected. For information on these please email us or phone one of our friendly staff.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE BEFORE I FEEL THE EFFECTS?
All physiological changes in the body take 3 to 6 months before the full effects are felt, so one must be patient. However, the improvements are gradual and cumulative and well worth the wait. Often patients notice an improvement in their psychological well being in a few weeks.
What effects can I expect?
Studies have shown the following improvements:
- Muscle strength
- Muscle size
- Body fat loss
- Exercise tolerance
- Skin texture
- Skin thickness
- Skin elasticity
- Wrinkle disappearance
- New hair growth
- Healing of old or other injuries
- Resistance to common illnesses
- Sexual potency/frequency
- Duration of penile erection
- Frequency of night urination
- Hot flushes
- Menstrual cycle regulation
- Increased energy level
- Emotional stability
- Attitude to life
It is important to remember that everyone is an individual and while improvements will occur they may be interpreted differently between patients.