Before considering the positive and negative aspects of hormone replacement therapy, a concept of this term should be defined. There may be two variants:
- addition of hormones to the ones already existing in the body to obtain the needed dosage;
- complete substitution of hormones, when specific glands that release needed chemicalsare inactive for some reason, or absent (trauma, for example, or surgical operation).
Obviously, this is a simplified explanation, however, this is basically what hormone replacement therapy is, without using complex medical terms.
How to Understand That You Need It?
Let's start from the very beginning. Only an experienced doctor of a hormone replacement therapy clinic
has the right to prescribe the treatment (it does not matter, additional or substitute) basing his or her conclusions on specific research and indications. You should not take any hormones that have not been prescribed after a research, neither by your own decision nor following anybody’s advice. So the general order is as follows. Firstly, the doctor should determine that hormonal therapy is needed for you. Secondly, tests are conducted. Thirdly, the doctor, relying on tests results, decides what medication and in what dosages you are to take.
About the Pleasant Issues
Hormones considerably improve the quality of life. Patients over forty notice that their hormonal background corresponds to norm for 18-20 age. For instance, after the beginning of treatment:
- the mood improves significantly and emotional condition becomes more balanced;
- the level of energy increased;
- people feel the same way they felt in their 20s.
The increase in the level of hormones positively affects not the psychological aspects only. The body also changes physically. Some studies show a decrease in the likelihood of developing heart disease. There is also a chance to reduce the probability of such unpleasant things as Alzheimer disease in future.
About Not So Pleasant Issues
In most cases, hormones need to be taken on a daily basis, most often until the end of life. However, noticeable changes begin already in the first 2-3 months. In addition to such therapy, you may be required to take a large number of concomitant medications. As a rule, these are complexes of vitamins and minerals.
Before taking hormones, you need to do the following:
- quit consuming alcohol;
- stop smoking;
- lose weight, if you have problems with it.
It should be done due to specific effect of hormones on the body. For instance, nicotine, entering the blood, destroys hormones, both androgynous and estrogens. It is believed that nicotine effects stop within an hour after the smoked cigarette. When hormones are produced by the glands of the body, it is not very crucial, because the body can recreate the level of these chemicals. But when you take them once a day, you can’t smoke.
Dosages of hormonal drugs reduce the body's tolerance to alcohol. A bottle of beer causes strong intoxication almost immediately. In addition, hormone chemicals are broken down by the liver together with alcohol, so a hangover after a small dose will unpleasantly surprise you with being truly overwhelming.
Nevertheless, the benefits of HRT outweigh the negative sides. You have to weight all pros and cons before agreeing to the therapy.