What Is Hormone Therapy?

Tuesday, 02 Nov 2010 11:09 AM

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Hormone therapy  uses different types of hormones for various medicinal purposes. It includes increasing the level of hormones in a person's body, or blocking or removing hormones from the body. The most commonly practiced hormone therapies are:
 
Male Hormone Therapy: Male hormone therapy, though not a brand new treatment, is comparatively underused. The primary male hormone is testosterone. Male hormone therapy is actually testosterone hormone replacement therapy. The term “andropause” is used to define male menopause. This problem is caused by a deficiency of testosterone. Upon reaching the age of 40, testosterone levels often decrease in men.
This results in various health hazards, including psychological changes including depression, sadness, and irritability. Decreased libido, lack of physical fitness, and increased risk of heart attack are some other symptoms. Male hormone therapy does not immediately reverse the effects of testosterone imbalance. However, studies indicate that male hormone therapy can reduce these risks over time.
 
Treatment generally includes the use of testosterone patches, creams, and tablets. The therapy increases the level of testosterone and prevents its conversion to the female hormone estrogen. Though some studies have suggested positive response to male hormone therapy, nay-sayers claim andropause is just a resultof ageing.
 
Bioidentical Hormone Therapy or Natural Hormone Therapy: Bioidentical hormone therapy includes the use of bioidentical hormones, also called natural hormones, in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. These hormones are identical in molecular structure to natural hormones. The advantage of bioidentical hormone therapy is that a cocktail of hormones is used in this treatment tailored to an individual’s specific requirements.
 
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Hormone replacement therapy is widely recommended for premenopausal, postmenopausal, and perimenopausal women. HRT supplies either estrogen alone or a combination of estrogen and progesterone. The deficiency of estrogen and progesterone results in symptoms such as hot flashes, palpitations, vaginal dryness, depression, and mood swings. HRT not only treats these symptoms but also protects the body from diseases such as heart disease and osteoporosis.
 
Growth Hormone Therapy: Growth hormone therapy is among the most controversial hormone therapies in the history of medicine. The clinical manifestation of growth hormone deficiency in children and adults varies widely. For children, the purpose of growth hormone therapy is to stimulate linear growth. For adults, the goal is usually to improve both physical and psychological performance.
 
Prostate Cancer Hormone Therapy: Testosterone is responsible for the growth of male sex organs and accessory organs like the prostate gland. Testosterone, which cannot identify the presence of cancerous tissue in the prostate gland, continues to stimulate the malignant prostate cells. In this therapy, drugs are used to prevent the synthesis of testosterone, thereby slowing down the growth of prostate cancer.

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