If you’re not feeling like yourself, life can be tough. Everyone else in Norcal seems to be having a great time, going about life as normal, but you feel down, suffer from mood swings, can’t seem to get to sleep, or just lack the energy you used to have. If that sounds like you, hormone replacement therapy could be the answer you’re looking for. At Zormeier Cosmetic Surgery & Longevity Center, we offer HRT in Noblesville, IN, Shelbyville, IN, Danville, IL, Healdsburg, CA, and Ukiah, CA, and throughout Northern California.
What Is the Best Age for Getting Hormone Replacement Therapy?
If you’re noticing symptoms of unbalanced hormones, the good news is that there’s no “best age” for therapy. This therapy is right for almost anyone who is interested in it, and hormone imbalance can strike women or men at any age. That said, this treatment is most commonly sought by people in their 40s and 50s.
For women, perimenopause (the period of hormone shifts that precedes menopause) can last up to a decade and often begins in the mid to late 40s. During this time, many of the same symptoms that are associated with menopause begin to manifest.
In some women, the symptoms can be every bit as dramatic and difficult to live with as the worst menopause symptoms; in other women, the symptoms are so mild and gradual that they are barely noticed. Every woman is unique, and so is every experience with this natural life change. Women who notice symptoms during the perimenopause stage can easily treat them with hormone therapy.
Even those women who do not experience many symptoms with perimenopause may begin to really notice disruption to their lives when menopause finally arrives. This usually happens sometime after age 50 and usually around age 55. It is most common for women to seek hormone replacement therapy at this time to relieve all the difficult symptoms of menopause, like mood swings, hot flashes, weight gain, fatigue, brain fog, and more.
While it is most common for women to seek hormone therapy sometime after age 40, it’s not a problem for younger women to get treatment. In fact, there are a number of reasons why a younger woman might seek treatment.
Women who suffer from PCOS often deal with serious hormone fluctuations, as do women who have had a hysterectomy and some women who are struggling with obesity. Other women may be dealing with hormonal fluctuations due to the side effects of medications or treatments that can’t be paused.
While most men who get hormone replacement therapy are over the age of 40, the process begins much earlier, in the early 30s for most. Unlike women, who tend to experience very sudden and dramatic fluctuations in hormone levels, men’s concerns are often dismissed as a natural result of aging in part because they come on so gradually.
Testosterone levels begin to drop in a man’s 30s, and at first, there’s really no noticeable change. By the time men reach their 40s, and definitely by the 50s, subtle symptoms can become dramatic, severely affecting many aspects of health and quality of life.
Starting treatment early, before the symptoms become severe, often yields the best results: but there’s no wrong age to seek treatment. Even if you are in your 50s or 60s and just now realizing that something can be done about what you’ve always assumed was simple, natural aging, hormone therapy can help.
As with women, men can experience hormone imbalances at any age. Low T, in particular, can be caused by obesity, medications or medical treatments, and by certain lifestyle choices. And while the most common culprit for hormonal imbalance in men is related to low testosterone production, it’s also possible for men to experience issues with other hormones like estrogen.
Can You Be Too Young?
In the past, hormones were made synthetically and contained special molecular tags added by the manufacturer so the hormone could be patented. These synthetic hormones, with their unusual tags, were implicated in some studies that showed serious side effects among those who took them long-term. Other studies showed no side effects at all. Regardless, there was some reason for concern, and many people preferred not to take hormone therapy any longer than absolutely necessary.
Today, at Zormeier Cosmetic Surgery & Longevity Center, we use bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT. That makes all the difference, and there’s no need to worry about the issues that used to be associated with traditional hormone therapy.
Why BHRT Makes a Difference
These hormones have a different molecular shape from the synthetic hormones of old. BHRT hormones are molecularly and chemically identical to the hormones our bodies produce naturally, and dosages are tailored to the individual’s unique needs.
Because of this, the body makes use of these hormones just as it would natural hormones, without worries about side effects or issues with long-term use. This makes BHRT safe for everyone, including younger people who may need to seek therapy for longer in order to enjoy a high quality of life.
Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms
If you’re suffering from a hormone in balance, you will probably notice one or more of the symptoms listed below. Be sure to talk to us about whether you’re a candidate for BHRT if these symptoms sound familiar. Some of these issues can be caused by things other than hormone imbalances, which is why it’s a good idea to get tested and properly diagnosed.
Hormones strongly influence our ability to control our emotions. Whenever the hormones are unbalanced, we find it extremely difficult to control feelings and find ourselves irritable, angry, or simply “testy.” This often happens for no identifiable reason or over things that normally wouldn’t bother us.
In addition to feeling angry or stressed, you may also find yourself feeling depressed and miserable, again for reasons that are difficult to define. You might find that you’ve stopped enjoying the activities that used to make you happy or that you are constantly anxious and worried. There are many possible causes of depression, but if this situation has come on you suddenly, and especially if you are middle-aged and can find no clear cause for the change, it’s a good idea to at least rule out a hormonal imbalance.
Estrogen in women and testosterone in men are key drivers of appetite. When these hormones are out of balance, we tend to feel hungrier. This makes overeating all too easy. In addition, hormones also regulate our fat storage and blood sugar, which can mean you put on weight or can’t get it off, even if your diet is unchanged.
To add insult to injury, the fatigue and insomnia that can also come with hormone fluctuations can make us crave quick and easy carbohydrates out of a desperate need for energy, exacerbating the problem.
A classic sign of unbalanced hormones is difficulty sleeping. Too much estrogen, in particular, can cause insomnia, but so can low progesterone production. Even if you are short on sleep and have been active all day, you may find it difficult to fall asleep or may fall asleep easily but then wake up regularly throughout the night.
A constant feeling of fatigue is another common sign of hormonal imbalance, and this could be caused by lack of sleep, as mentioned above, or it could actually be due to an imbalance of hormones. For example, when the body produces too much progesterone, it can constantly send signals that it needs to sleep, even when it does not actually need rest.
Both men and women tend to lose interest in sex when the hormones are out of balance. For men, it is usually a testosterone drop that causes this. For women, too much production of estrogen can overwhelm testosterone levels and have the same effect. All this is exacerbated by the insomnia and fatigue mentioned above.