While everyone wants to stay young, fighting the aging process may not be a solution, but altering some changes to our benefit. Hormone Replacement Therapy can help those age-related hormonal shifts by either supplementing the body’s own production of hormones or by replacing hormones that are no longer being produced. In fact, HRT can treat various conditions, including menopause, osteoporosis, hot flashes, mood swings, low sex drive, and sleep problems, as well as make the person feels and look great.
How Do Sex Hormones Play A Role In The Aging Process?
It plays a key role in the development of the body, from fetal development in the womb to sexual development during puberty until the reproductive function as an adult. However, the effects of sex hormones are not exclusive to sex and reproduction. They impact many physical characteristics, actions, and emotional states rather than a single characteristic or mood.
A woman’s estrogen and progesterone levels can fluctuate considerably over the reproductive years before dropping to indicate the conclusion of the woman’s reproductive years. On the other hand, the hormonal transition in men occurs over a more extended time, dropping the testosterone levels by approximately 1-2 percent per year beyond the age of 30. That said, hormonal changes may occur with age that significantly impacts numerous body tissues and systems, affecting the overall appearance and well-being of men and women.
Below are some examples:
- Body Composition – Changes in fat distribution and a loss of muscle tone can strip a person’s youthful appearance while compromising the strength and integrity of the musculoskeletal system.
- Bone Health – An association between age-related reductions in sex hormones and bone density decline has been established. Most of the time, this occurs in women post-menopausal women and men after age 65—or earlier if they have exceptionally low testosterone levels. Although bone loss might manifest itself in the posture, it also makes a person more susceptible to fractures and can prevent them from feeling strong and healthy.
- Sex drive and sexual function – Perhaps the most apparent function of these hormones wherein it can affect the sex hormones on sex drive and sexual health. Aside from the symptoms and repercussions of menopause, perimenopause, and andropause, a decrease in sexual desire may be experienced and, in the case of women, even painful sex as a result.
- Metabolism and Energy Level – The loss of muscle mass can contribute to a slowed metabolism, resulting in a change of appearance, exhaustion, and a lack of energy. Because of this, people may lead less active lives, contributing to increased weight gain and bone and muscle loss.
- Skin, hair, and nails – Numerous noticeable changes become apparent in the integumentary system, including the skin, hair, and nails when sex hormone levels begin to decline. For example, the skin becomes less elastic, thinner, and drier as it ages; wrinkles appear, and the skin sags. Additionally, many of those skin protective mechanisms become less effective, increasing the skin’s vulnerability to cancer and reducing the skin’s ability to repair wounds.
Which Hormones Makes A Person Look Young?
- Human growth hormone (HGH)- is produced by the pituitary gland and is responsible for growth and cell regeneration. When HGH level declines due to age, it can lead to a loss of muscle mass and bone density. Also, wrinkles and other signs of aging may show.
- Testosterone- male sex hormone may decline with age. In fact, low testosterone levels can cause a decrease in muscle mass and bone density, fatigue, and a lower sex drive.
- DHEA- is another hormone that declines with age. DHEA is involved in the production of testosterone and other hormones. When there are low levels of DHEA, it can cause a decrease in muscle mass, bone density, and sex drive.
- Estrogen- this a female sex hormone that declines with age. Low estrogen levels can cause hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.
- Thyroid hormone- The thyroid hormone regulates metabolism and energy levels. Low thyroid hormone levels can cause fatigue, weight gain, and depression. By keeping the hormone levels in check, a person can help to slow the aging process and look and feel the best.
What Are The Possible Risk Of Hormone Replacement Therapy?
As with any medicine, HRT can cause side effects. But these will usually pass within 3 months of starting treatment. Below are the common side effects include:
- breast tenderness
- feeling sick
- abdominal (tummy) pain
- vaginal bleeding
When To Consider HRT?
Below are the signs that would help a person consider hormone replacement therapy:
- History of hysterectomy before going through menopause or the ovaries do not function as they should, resulting in the inability to produce hormones the body needs.
- Suffering from severe symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats, cause significant health problems, including insomnia, tiredness, and depression.
- If interested in the increase of bone density since the FDA has approved HRT to treat women, especially those over age 60, with a family history of osteoporosis, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- Symptoms like painful intercourse, vaginal dryness, and a lack of libido may benefit from HRT. The HRT uses a combination of estrogen for physical symptoms and testosterone for increased libido for effective treatment.
- The therapy prevents the loss of collagen and the increased risk of fractures in the discs between the vertebrae, resulting in the appearance of bending or a hump on the back.
- It reduces heart attacks in women as a positive side effect, though it is not considered a preventive medication.
- When experiencing post-natal depression or premenstrual depression, women may find help through HRT, which has been found to reduce signs of depression significantly.
- Increases collagen causing the skin and hair to look more youthful.
- Overall improvement of the general health, mood, and increased sexual function because of a reduction in symptoms of menopause.
When Is HRT Not Recommended?
Hormone replacement therapy is not recommended for the following:
- Those who have issues with abnormal vaginal bleeding
- People with a personal history or family with breast cancer
- Those who have a personal history of heart disease, stroke, blood clots, or liver disease
- Those who have a family history of gallbladder disease
- People who are allergic to estrogen or progesterone
The Bottom Line
The aging process is an inevitable aspect of life. HRT can help retain a youthful body composition by augmenting the body’s natural hormone levels. Affinity Well Spa offers Hormone Replacement Therapy, wherein they can help pinpoint deficiencies and provide the appropriate injections and prescriptions to return each client to their normalized levels to improve general well-being and health.