All About Hormones
Most Common Hormones for Men & Women:
- Androstenedione - A steroid hormone used to increase testosterone levels
- Armour Thyroid/Synthroid – Thyroid hormones that are very important in metabolism and effect the central nervous system, heart tissue and the peripheral blood vessels – Armour thyroid is a natural hormone that contains both T3 and T4; Synthroid is the synthetic version consisting of T4 only.
- DHEA – An adrenal cortex steroid hormone that raises levels of sex hormones and has been linked to increased lean body mass, improved immune and cognitive functions and skin tone.
- Estrogens – The primary female hormones consisting of Estradiol / Estrone/ Estriol – Biest or Triest
- Human Growth Hormone (HGH) – Replacement in deficient individuals may result in improved immune systems, higher energy levels, healthier cardiovascular systems, improved mental function, loss of body fat and increased lean body mass.
- Melatonin – Helps regulate a good sleep/wake cycle and is recognized as a powerful free radical scavenger.
- Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) – Used to stimulate the testicles to produce testosterone.
- Pregnenolone – a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands and synthesized directly from cholesterol. It is a precursor hormone, from which all other steroid hormones are made.
- Progesterone – An ovarian hormone that helps maintain menstrual cycles, PMS and mediates other hormones.
- Testosterone – The primary male hormone.
- Thyroid - the thyroid gland secretes two hormones, T3 and T4 which helps to regulate metabolism. The thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced by the pituitary gland, which prompts the thyroid to produce T3 and T4.
Estrogens—The powerhouse of activity
You have estrogen receptors just about everywhere in your body. In fact, they are located throughout your brain, heart, blood vessels, bones, skin, intestines, and respiratory tract, as well as throughout your entire genitourinary (genital and urniary) system. They affect everything from the way your skin looks and feels to the way your heart beats.
Estradiol is the most active of the estrogens. It is mainly produced by the ovaries. As long as you are having menstrual cycles, it is your estradiol that is doing most of the ‘’estrogen work’’ that is going on in your body.
Estrone, another of the estrogens, is the one most commonly found in increased amounts in postmenopausal women. It is usually not necessary to replace Estrone, as the body naturally produces it through the metabolism of Estradiol and the body also derives it from hormones stored in your body fat. Estrone does the same work that estradiol does, but it is considered weaker in its effects.
Estriol, the weakest of the estrogens, is produced in large amounts in pregnant women. Women who are not pregnant have small amounts of estriol in their bodies.
Estriol may be the “weakest” of the estrogens, but that weakness may also be its strength, making it a good alternative to the more potent estradiol for managing menopausal symptoms. As a topical treatment for the skin, estriol has been used to manage the effects of aging and menopause. This includes not only anti-aging benefits like decreasing the appearance of facial wrinkles and firming skin, but also an assortment of benefits that stem from helping to maintain healthy skin in the vagina, cervix, vulva, and urethra.
Estradiol and estriol are the two bioidentical estrogens that Restore Health compounds in a dosage to suit your needs.
Progesterone- Not Just for Pregnancy
Progesterone makes pregnancy possible by preparing the lining of the uterus (endometrium) for the implanting of a fertilized egg. The hormone is important in bonebuilding, brain function, and as a hormone regulator. Progesterone can recognize when there is too much or too little of another hormone and can cascade, or transform, into DHEA, estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol. “Optimal levels of progesterone can mean feelings of calm and well-being, while low levels of that hormone can mean increased feelings of anxiety, irritability, and even anger.” (HRT Solution, p.41-42) Calming progesterone can control the excitable estrogens in some very important ways.
While synthetic progestins (like Provera®) are similar to the progesterone your body produces, their subtle chemical differences can significantly influence the hormone’s action and side effects in your body. Synthetic progestins can cause very unpleasant side-effects such as: irritability, nausea, depression, water retention, and others in women. Bioidentical progesterone is molecularly identical to the hormone made in your body, and many women find it easier to tolerate.
Restore Health introduced an extended release progesterone tablet in 1986. This break-through progesterone delivery system combines a slow, even release of medication with the convenience of dosing once or twice daily. Tablets are individually compounded and dosed for each woman’s unique requirements. The pharmacists and nurses of Restore Health work with you and your healthcare providers to determine the appropriate dose for you.
A low-dose can go too low, which is why testing to establish baseline hormone levels, monitoring results, and re-testing is so important. A one-size-fits-all, low-dose prescription may be no more effective for an individual woman than a traditional one-size-fits-all high-dose prescription. The only way for you and your healthcare provider to know the right dose is to measure hormone levels before prescribing, and then again after hormone therapy has begun. When your healthcare provider knows your hormone profile, a customized, low-dose prescription using bioidentical hormones can be written for your unique needs.
Like all medical therapies, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) may not be appropriate for all patients. Both the benefits and potential risks of the therapy should be discussed with your physician before beginning treatment.
Tests for Hormone Levels
Given the current literature and sensitivity to the issues relating to HRT, the practice of routinely prescribing hormones without the appropriate testing for levels is highly questionable. To be accurate, testing should include levels of free (bioavailable) hormones that are more significant indicators of true deficiency or imbalances. Testing choices include serum (blood) or saliva tests.