Hormonal Balancing Q & A

by Rashmi Gulati, MD

What are hormones?

Hormones are chemicals produced and secreted by glands. They travel throughout the bloodstream to help regulate a wide array of important processes vital to health. Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are perhaps the most widely recognized hormones, but there are dozens of hormones produced and secreted by the body every day, all day long and contributing to metabolism, sleep-wake cycles, organ function and growth.

What causes hormonal imbalances?

Hormonal imbalances can develop as a result of many factors, including diseases, age, environmental exposures and trauma. The precise causes of hormonal imbalances can be determined by physical exam, a detailed medical history, and sometimes, lab work including blood tests designed to measure hormone levels in the blood as well as evaluate gland function.

How can hormonal imbalances be treated?

Hormonal balancing can often be achieved with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Bioidentical hormones have the same chemical structure and properties as the hormones that are naturally produced by your body. That means that when bioidentical hormones are used therapeutically, the body uses them and eliminates them in the same way it uses and eliminates naturally-produced hormones. Bioidentical hormones can be used to re-regulate your body and eliminate the symptoms that accompany hormonal imbalances, as well as help ensure your body is able to function the way it's supposed to.

Is hormone replacement therapy dangerous?

Traditional hormone replacement therapy uses synthetic hormones that are processed differently by the body. Synthetic hormones are difficult for the body to eliminate because they have a different chemical structure than natural hormones. As a result, synthetic hormones can build up in the body and cause unwanted and sometimes serious side effects. Bioidentical hormones have been developed to be processed and eliminated like natural hormones, so they don't result in dangerous accumulations.


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