What are Hormones ?

Hormones in the human body are chemical structures that function as the bodies messengers. Hormones are manufactured and secreted by major endocrine glands in the body which include the pituitary glands, the pineal glands, the thymus glands, the adrenal glands, the thyroid glands and the pancreatic glands. Some hormones are manufactured in the male and female sex organs.

The hormone-producing sex organs are the male testes and the female ovaries. These organs produce gender-specific hormones which perform a wide range of functions. These powerful chemical substances are produced and utilized in very minute quantities but they facilitate great differences and changes within the cells, organs or tissues that they affect all through your body. The supplementation of too little or too much of a particular hormone can lead to substantial changes in your body’s functions and serious consequences. Because of this risky nature, hormone therapy treatments should always be conducted and under strict supervision and monitoring by an expert physician. The physician should use the accurate and correct measurements of a particular patient’s hormonal levels, from commendable laboratory results of the person’s urine, blood and saliva.

After puberty and during adolescence, hormones, particularly the testosterone, plays a very important role in the control and regulation of the male and female sexual characteristics. Concurrently, deficiencies in any of the sexual hormones i.e. testosterone, oestrogen, progesterone and DHEA, may lead to a decreased lack of interest in sex and a drop in sexual desire and libido. The secretion of excess hormones will heighten you sexual anxiety and desire.

Male-specific hormones

Testosterone is the main male-specific hormone which is produced in the male testicles. Testosterone is produced through a joint process that includes the pituitary glands and the endocrine system. This system is known as the hypothalamic pituitary testicular axis. Testosterone serves as the primary natural hormone in the male body. It is generally responsible for the unique development of masculinity and the male characteristics. It is present in both men and women but its functions and effects are more dominant in men because men produce 4-7 mg of testosterone in a day while women produce up to ten times less than this. Even though testosterone is often known and described as a sex hormone, it governs several other functions in the human body and facilitates numerous activities. Other functions that depend on this hormone are;
– It plays a major role in the structural characteristics and muscle differentiation during pubertal changes and general growth and development of the body.
– It regulates the male sexual libido and sexual characteristics.
– It controls fat distribution around the body.
– It influences the brain’s development, concentration and focus, memory, recall and clarity.
– It also facilitates and regulates bone formation, red blood cell’s production, bone density and immune system support.

The Female Specific Hormones

Oestrogen is the main female specific hormone. It is produced in the ovaries. Its function is to stimulate the growth and development of a girl’s breast, sex organs, pubic hair and secondary sexual characteristics. There are three basic oestrogen hormones. They are; estrone, estriol and estradiol. Another female specific hormone, progesterone is also considered as an oestrogen. Together, these hormones work to regulate a wide array of physiological and chemically induced processes. Just as testosterone, oestrogen exists in both men and women but it is more dominant in women. Some of the functions that it facilitates include; the menstrual cycle, it has an impact on moods, it regulates body fat levels, sleep quality, water retention and various functions during the preparation of sex and during sexual intercourse. Oestrogen levels in women can be affected by illness, ageing and certain cancer treatments. This can cause very significant changes in sexual interests and functioning. The most adverse effects of low levels of this hormone can be noticed as a woman transitions through to menopause. The oestrogen production drops substantially during this period which leads to the general symptoms of its deficiency.

Despite this explanation and conclusion, some tests that were performed on some women concluded that the ovarian hormones did not play a major role in the level of a woman’s libido or the sex drive. The 2012 study that was published in the Journal Of Obstetric and gynaecology involved the analysis of 1350 women of 57-85 years of age. The National Social Life, Health and Ageing project compared and contrasted women who had previously undergone the removal of one or both ovaries( bilateral oophorectomy) and women who had both of their ovaries. The outcome was based on a self-report of sexual ideation which looked into several feelings of sexual fantasies, obsessions and sexual thoughts. These factors were chosen because individual sexual fantasies and thoughts about sexual experiences are not limited or affected by a woman’s partner or her physical limitations. Out of the 25.8% of women who had reported to have undergone a bilateral oophorectomy, no significant difference in sexual ideation was reported between the two groups. The results are contrary to the fact that the hormones produced in the ovary have effects on sexual desire.

The Hormone Replacement Therapy

A hormone replacement therapy is an expert prescribed medication of any type of hormone. It is used to treat hormonal related problems and hormone deficiencies in both men and women. Testosterone Replacement Therapy is a form of hormonal replacement therapy where synthetic testosterones are prescribed to treat hypogonadotropic symptoms(low testosterone levels).

The types of hormones that are used for TRT include;

– Natural hormones. These are hormones that are produced by living organisms, animals and plants.
– Endogenous hormones. These are hormones produced in the human body.
– Synthetic hormones. These are hormones that are man made.

Synthetic hormones that are made by various hormone manufacturing companies have side chains that may be added to a natural hormone to produce a larger synthetic product. The end products may have some structural differences and characteristics that are believed to be responsible for the numerous side effects associated with the use of synthetic hormones for HRT.

The key to manufacturing a perfect synthetic hormone lies on the molecular structure of the natural hormone. in order for a hormonal replacement therapy to be successful and fully functional as the natural or endogenous hormones, the chemical structure of the synthesised hormone must be accurately identical to the natural hormone that it was drawn from. Our pharmacy produces numerous types of hormones that have the same exact structural characteristics and chemical composition as its endogenous hormones.

Another matter that poses much speculation and confusion to both the medical service providers, physicians and the public in general, is related to the safety, efficacy and side effects of different forms of HRT. Most studies group all forms of oestrogen hormone replacements under oestrogen replacement therapy. This collective grouping does not differentiate oestrogen from other progestins and from other hormones such as progesterone. The correct approach would be to differentiate uniquely the different types of therapies e.g. ‘ Progestin Replacement Therapy and Progesterone Replacement Therapy’. This will be essential as one will have a therapy administered according to his/her special and specific needs.

Restoring Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal replacement therapy is a treatment that replaces deficient hormones in the human body system with other hormones that have the same structural and chemical properties. Hormonal deficiency can be as a result of illness, ageing or certain unavoidable medical conditions. HRT has greatly improved the quality of life for thousands of men and women who suffer from hormonal imbalance conditions.

The correct and ideal process that should be followed in order to achieve a proper treatment of hormonal imbalance includes; the comprehensive assessment of your hormonal levels, a complete evaluation of the signs and symptoms that you exhibit, replacement of all the deficient hormones in your system using the required means and dosage and finally, monitoring and fine-tuning the therapy. Dealing with your progesterone, oestrogens and androgen levels are just a peek into the world of achieving a hormonal balance. The thyroid, pituitary and the adrenal functions, as well as your nutritional status, should also be considered and evaluated then treated whenever they are indicated.

Conclusion

Because of the uniqueness of every individual’s hormonal structure and chemical composition, working individually is inevitable and therefore depends on cooperation with your physician or your pharmacist to establish exactly what you need and what combination will benefit you the most with minimum side effects. For more information and advice pertaining the development and administration of this medication, feel free to contact our physicians and we will listen to your queries and provide you with the best possible way forward.

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