Over half the American population is undergoing some sort of hormonal medications. You may not know it yet but if you are a woman aged 18, there is a big chance you are taking contraceptives. The primary ingredient of those pills (estrogen, progesterone or both) is a hormone. If you are suffering from some kind of respiratory problem and you are given steroids for it, chances are you’re taking in hormone meds, too.
But actual HRT (Hormonal Replacement Therapy) is done when your hormonal levels are either too much or already diminished. Before we lecture you on how dangerous it is to take non-prescribed HRT at home, on your own, try and learn more about hormones in general.
Hormones act as the go-between of various cells, organs and organ systems. Their roles in metabolism, reproduction, growth and even mood are so great that if these envoys fail to do their work, hormonal hell will break loose.
There are two basic kinds of hormones. The first category includes peptides, proteins and amino acid. The second is steroid. Regulatory and Transport hormones fall under the second type. Regulatory hormones control the rise and fall of certain hormone levels like the relationship of Insulin and Glucagon. Transport hormones circulate or are dissolved in the bloodstream.
Each of these chemicals work with each other, or at least a couple of other hormones, to allow the various physiological functions of the body to happen. If something goes wrong with one, chemical imbalances will ensue. Diseases and disorders will be the result.
There are two main reasons why you may suffer from hormone-related health problems. First, hormone levels are too low. Second, there’s too much hormones being produced or secreted in the body.
For instance, the human growth hormone secreted by the pituitary gland is one of the most important hormones there is because it activates other hormones to do their work in the body. One of its main responsibilities is to stimulate bone and muscle growth.
Children who have low HGH levels will look thin and small. Those who have too much of this may suffer from conditions like giantism (occurs in children) and acromegaly (occurs in adults). But negative signs and symptoms do not just stop physically. Abnormal HGH amounts will cause numerous metabolic disorders leading to hyperglycemia and even cardiac diseases.
Hormone Level Testing, from the term itself, is a diagnostic examination done to find out if one’s hormone levels are within the normal range.
Usually, this starts with a routine health and medical interview. The doctor will look into your medical history: ask you what medications you have been taking, what surgeries you might have undergone before, and the diseases you suffered from. After that, you will go through a routine physical examination.
As soon as that is done, blood work and/or urine testing will follow. This is not just some standard lab work. At this point, we may have an idea what to look for. Here are some examples:
Testing for Prolactin
Blood is drawn through venipuncture. This may prove the presence of tumors in the pituitary gland and the possibility of infertility, among others.
Testing for Testosterone
This is another blood test. Besides checking for the right levels of this primary male hormone, this could invalidate cancer of the testes and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
As you may have noticed, these tests do not immediately give certain, positive indication that someone is suffering from those health problems. More tests will have to be done to be certain of one’s condition.
Prescribing Treatment, Giving You Options
HRT or Hormonal Replacement Therapy is not always the answer. The lack or excess of hormones is not always the cause of diseases and disorders. It is also possible that the increased or decreased levels of hormones in the body are secondary to other problems.
The modes of treatment will be explained to you by your doctor. This should include the prognosis, the result, possible side and adverse effects, among others. Rarely is there just one way to deal with hormone-related health issues so expect that you will be given a chance to choose which you think is best for you.
Several clinics and hospitals in the country which can do this but if you are in the Miami area, you might want to visit Body Rx Anti-Aging instead. Give us a call at 786.899.4514 if you have any questions or if you want to make an appointment with one of our expert physicians.
Our medical doctors, some of whom are the best in the business, specialize in hormone-related issues. We can give you a very simple, clear and extensive explanation about hormone-related problems. We do Hormonal Level Testing as well because we don’t just prescribe medications, suggest therapies or do procedures without understanding the clear picture.