Hormone replacement therapy

What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) uses hormones to adjust male and female hormones, correcting deficiencies or excesses, a process that is specialised and monitored throughout treatment at the High Life Clinic.

There are several different types of Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) including more traditional HRT treatments eg oestrogen patches, as well as bioidentical hormones. Bioidentical hormones are synthetic compounds that have been designed to behave in the same way, and to mimic the response of the natural hormones in your body.

Menopause / Perimenopause

If you have some or all of the following symptoms, it's possible you could be menopausal. These symptoms can include:

  • Loss of enthusiasm for life or depression
  • Feeling listless or lacking in energy and having little enthusiasm for exercise
  • Noticing a decrease in mental alertness
  • A decrease in libido and desire for physical intimacy
  • An increase in body fat particularly around the stomach area
  • Insomnia and night sweats
  • Hot Flushes
  • A decrease in bone mass
  • Feeling more irritable than before

These symptoms are often misdiagnosed, especially in younger women. Premature ovarian failure is often overlooked and many young women will go without treatment for years. At the High Life Clinic, we advocate the use of long term HRT in women whose lives are affected without it and will provide any necessary monitoring.

Andropause (Male menopause)

If you are over the age of 35 and have some or all of the following symptoms, it's possible you could be andropausal. These symptoms can include:

  • Loss of enthusiasm for life or depression
  • Feeling listless or lacking in energy and having little enthusiasm for exercise
  • Noticing a decrease in mental alertness
  • A decrease in libido and desire for physical intimacy
  • Symptoms of mild to moderate Erectile Dysfunction
  • A decrease in muscle mass
  • An increase in body fat particularly around the stomach area
  • Insomnia and night sweats
  • A decrease in bone mass
  • Feeling more irritable than before

These symptoms are often treated individually or are misdiagnosed. A typical example would be that rather than treating the male menopause as a whole and looking at the issue of possible low testosterone levels, individuals may find symptoms of depression are relieved with antidepressants while erectile dysfunction may be treated with Viagra.

What the High Life Clinic will do for You

By listening carefully to your history and testing your hormone profile, we will be able to treat your symptoms with tailored, individual hormone replacement therapy, which could lead to noticeable improvements within 7 to 14 days. When combined with a healthy lifestyle it's possible that you could feel completely different within 3 to 5 weeks.

Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men

  • Increased energy levels
  • Increased strength and muscle mass
  • Improved muscle tone
  • Fat loss
  • Higher sexual drive
  • Improved concentration levels and memory
  • Better sleep
  • Thinning hair may begin to regrow
  • Muscle aches and joint pains can decrease
  • Bone strength can improve
  • Increased protection against heart disease

Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women

  • Increased energy levels
  • Helps to prevent vaginal dryness and thinning
  • Helps to prevent hot flashes and night sweats
  • Higher sexual drive
  • Improved muscle tone
  • Fat loss
  • Improved concentration levels and memory
  • Improved mood
  • Wrinkles can decrease
  • Bones are protected against osteoporosis
  • Reduced risk of heart disease

Our clinic combines fitness, nutritional supplements and proper nutrition with hormone replacement therapy for both men and women.

Each hormone program is individually tailored to correct hormone imbalance symptoms that can include the menopause, perimenopause and the andropause. The andropause is the male menopause, and can be caused by a deficiency of testosterone, and/or DHEA.

The use of hormone replacement therapy, when combined with exercise and good nutrition can help men and women regain the physical, mental, emotional and sexual health enjoyed during their 20s and 30s.

How Easy Is It to Have My Hormone Profile Tested?

Testing is simple as all we need to do is to book an appointment for our doctor to take a blood sample. All the necessary information can be obtained from this single sample.

What will the Hormone Profile Test Tell Me?

There are several different types of specific hormone tests available, and through having a specific profile and analysis you can learn exactly which hormones are deficient or need balancing. We will discuss which profile you require during your initial medical assessment and consultation.

Your hormone profile will show if you are deficient in one or more hormones. If you are then this could be causing some of the symptoms listed above, and may be affecting your health. A hormone blood test profile can also discover the cause of pre-existing conditions, and can be used to check vitamin and mineral levels and to detect any deficiencies. This can show whether or not you'd benefit from making changes to your lifestyle or to your diet.

Thyroid Dysfunction

Thyroid disorders are among the most common medical problems and affect up to 1% of the general population. Females are much more likely to be affected than men. Thyroid disease can have a significant health effect, with issues that include fertility problems and menstrual disturbances.

There are two thyroid hormones that are active in the human body - Tetraiodothyronine (T4) as well as Triiodothyroinine (T3). T4 is produced in the thyroid gland and then converted to T3 in the peripheral tissues. T3 is considered the ‘active’ thyroid hormone, which your body can use.

Thyroid hormones are responsible for metabolic processes in all of the cells in your body. As a result, thyroid dysfunction can lead to a large array of symptoms.

Primary hypothyroidism

The most common thyroid problem in the general population is Primary thyroid failure, with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis the most common cause of this. Other causes include iatrogenic thyroid failure (thyroid surgery or radio-iodine therapy) and post-partum thyroiditis.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • dry skin
  • general muscle aches
  • lethargy
  • weight gain
  • hair loss
  • disturbed menstrual cycle (heavy menstrual bleeding or reduced/ disrupted menstrual cycle)
  • sub-fertility
  • loss of libido

Testing for Primary Hypothyroidism

Primary hypothyroidism can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. The blood test will be to assess the following hormones:

  • Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • Free T4
  • Free T3
  • Thyroid antibodies

Treatment of hypothyroidism

The standard treatment for hypothyroidism is Levothyroxine, a synthetic T4. It is typically started at a low dose before being titrated upwards to achieve symptom relief and optimal biochemistry.

The levothyroxine (T4) version needs to be converted to the active T3 version which your body can use. In some people the conversion step is dysfunctional, meaning they have optimal levels of T4, and so the biochemistry looks normal, but they have insufficient amounts of active T3, leaving them very symptomatic, despite the normal blood tests. These individuals may benefit from the use liothyronine (T3) or from combination therapy with levothyroxine and liothyronine together.

Wellness

Feeling well is of utmost importance and is dependant on a number of factors including:

  • Hormonal balance
  • Nutritional status
  • Fitness
  • Mental health

It is essential to have all the above factors optimised in order to feel our best and enjoy a good quality of life. There are several hormonal imbalances that significantly impact wellness such as thyroid imbalance, adrenal fatigue and cortisol imbalance.

Hormones that may need balancing can include the following:

  • Testosterone
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Thyroid
  • Melatonin
  • Cortisol
  • Vitamin D
  • Oestrogen (also known as Estrone, Estriol and Estradiol)
  • Progesterone