Some common forms of hormone delivery are oral (pill form), troches (pills that dissolve against the inside of your cheek), sublingual (pills or drops underneath the tongue), pellet (inserted in the hip), transdermal cream or patch, (through the skin) transmucosal suppositories. Pharmaceutical hormones are made by a pharmaceutical company and come in standard dosing which cannot be changed or adjusted. Compounded hormones are done by pharmacies and require a prescription from your doctor and the doctor can tailor the prescription to your needs. If you require higher doses of hormones, compounded is a better choice.
Hormones are typically replaced with BHRT. Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and pregnenolone are hormones that are commonly replaced with BHRT. Here is the action of each hormone. You will see an overlap of functions in these hormones because they all work harmoniously together. Estrogen is the predominant hormone in women and is produced in the ovaries. Estrogen is vital for growth. There are three types of endogenous estrogen, estrone, estradiol and estriol. Estradiol is most prevalent. It sends the message of growth to the cells by means of the estrogen receptors. Because we have estrogen receptors throughout the body, estrogen is at the forefront of metabolic health, not just reproductive health. Loss of estrogen is what causes hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, foggy brain, low energy, painful breasts, dry skin, vaginal dryness and atrophy, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high cholesterol. Progesterone is the hormone that opposes estrogen’s growth signal to keep growth in balance and keeps it from getting out of control.
Progesterone calms the body, brain and nerves. It helps us sleep better, lowers anxiety and depression. Progesterone is anti-inflammatory and helps maintain healthy progesterone receptor ratios and helps move estrogen out of cells to be metabolized end eliminated. Women produce about one-tenth of the amount of testosterone that men do and it is important for healthy bone and muscle mass. is the hormone that gives us the “get up and go” feeling. It gives us energy and the feeling of aliveness. Testosterone is important for metabolism, libido, sexual enjoyment. It enhances memory, motivation and focus. It also optimizes the immune system. Testosterone is also good for skin and nails.
DHEA stands for Dehydroepiandrosterone and is produced in adrenal glands. It is a hormone itself and helps to produce other hormones including testosterone and estrogen. DHEA increases libido, builds bone and muscle, helps improve the cognitive process in the brain, normalizes blood sugar, has antidepressant effects, brings moisture to the vagina and is a great anti-inflammatory agent on the skin. Pregnanolone is a precursor to DHEA, cortisol, testosterone estrogen and has a preference to transform into progesterone. It helps to mitigate symptoms of anxiety, irritability and depression. Because it passes the blood-brain barrier, it is also an effective memory enhancer.
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