Woman suffering from hot flashes is wondering if HRT can help her.

What Is HRT? Benefits, Risks, And Who HRT Is For

If you’re searching for relief from hormonal imbalances, you’ve likely come across something called HRT and may wonder what HRT is. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is commonly used to treat a range of symptoms rooted in hormonal imbalances. More specifically, HRT is used to bring relief to menopausal and postmenopausal women, as well as men with low testosterone. Understanding the benefits and risks can help you decide whether to integrate it into your healthcare strategy if you’re wondering whether you’re a candidate for HRT treatment. 

At Spectra Wellness Solutions, we know HRT can benefit the right patient as part of a root-cause approach to healing and health enhancement. That’s why we’re helping you deep-dive into what HRT is, its benefits, and its risks. 

What Is HRT?

As previously mentioned, HRT is a medical treatment that involves hormonal supplementation for patients suffering from hormonal imbalances. More specifically, HRT is often used for women going through menopause or men with low testosterone levels.

A few things to keep in mind about what HRT treatments are include the following: 

  • HRT can be administered in various forms, including pills, patches, gels, creams, and injections.
  • The most common hormones used in HRT are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
  • The hormones can be derived from natural or synthetic sources depending on the type of HRT.
  • The dosage and duration of HRT will depend on various factors, including the patient’s age, medical history, and specific symptoms.

Overall, HRT is a treatment that can be highly effective for those experiencing hormonal imbalances. However, consulting a trusted medical professional such as a functional medicine practitioner is crucial to ensure you receive the most appropriate HRT treatment for your health needs. 

Who Should Receive HRT?

HRT candidates are likely undergoing natural or medical hormonal interruptions that result in an imbalance that affects overall health. Understanding what HRT is naturally leads to exploring what types of patients will benefit from HRT. Some examples include the following:

Menopausal Women

Women experiencing menopause may benefit from HRT to alleviate symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and mood swings. HRT may also help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and heart disease, which can become more common after menopause.

Women With Premature Ovarian Failure

Premature ovarian failure occurs when the ovaries stop functioning before the age of 40, leading to a drop in estrogen levels. HRT can help to alleviate symptoms and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Women Experiencing Surgical Menopause

Women who have had their ovaries removed surgically may also benefit from HRT, as their bodies will no longer produce estrogen.

Men With Low Testosterone

Men with low testosterone levels may benefit from HRT to alleviate symptoms such as low sex drive, fatigue, and muscle weakness.

What Are HRT Benefits?

Patients who research what HRT is and proceed with the treatment find massive relief from unpleasant hormone imbalance symptoms, often including some of the most common benefits:

  1. Alleviating Menopause Symptoms: HRT can help to alleviate symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. The result is increased quality of life, continued enjoyment of intimacy, and decreased overall discomfort. 
  2. Reducing Osteoporosis Risk: As women age and estrogen levels decline, the risk of developing osteoporosis increases. HRT can help to maintain bone density, which increases overall safety, mobility, and quality of life for women as they age. 
  3. Reducing Heart Disease Risk: Estrogen has been shown to have a protective effect on the heart, and HRT may help to reduce the risk of heart disease in women.
  4. Alleviating Low Testosterone Symptoms: HRT can help men with low testosterone overcome common testosterone imbalance symptoms such as low sex drive, fatigue, and muscle weakness. 
  5. Improved Cognitive Function And Mood: Some studies have suggested that HRT may help to improve mood and cognitive function in menopausal women.

What Are HRT Risks?

Just like any medical treatment, HRT has risks to consider, which is why it’s so important to work with a functional medicine doctor. Functional medicine doctors perform in-depth patient intakes so they have a comprehensive picture of your health: mind, body, and spirit. A thorough intake and cutting-edge testing ensure minimal risks of any health treatment before starting.

The most common HRT risks include the following:

  1. Increased risk of breast cancer: Studies have shown that long-term use of estrogen-only therapy can increase the risk of breast cancer. Combined hormone therapy, including estrogen and progestin, has also been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
  2. Increased risk of blood clots: Both estrogen-only therapy and combined hormone therapy have been associated with an increased risk of blood clots. 
  3. Increased risk of stroke: Combined hormone therapy has been associated with an increased risk of stroke.
  4. Increased risk of heart disease: While estrogen is a positive cohort regarding heart health, some studies have suggested that combined hormone therapy may increase the risk of heart disease for certain women.
  5. Other potential risks: HRT may also be associated with other potential risks, including gallbladder disease, dementia, and urinary incontinence.

It’s important to note that the risks of HRT vary depending on a range of factors, including the specific type of therapy used, the length of treatment, and the individual’s medical history. That’s why working with a trusted medical professional who performs comprehensive assessments and offers the latest testing and diagnostic methods is so important. 

Getting Started With HRT & Functional Medicine

Are you ready for a conversation to learn more about what HRT is and if it’s right for you? At Spectra Wellness Solutions, we are passionate about helping our patients optimize their wellness and live a life full of vitality. We’ve helped hundreds of patients through HRT and are happy to have a conversation as a first step to help guide you to the right decision. Schedule an appointment today to get started. 

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