3 Types of Hormone Therapy

3 Types of Hormone Therapy

When most of us think of hormones, we think of puberty and sexual health. Hormones do absolutely play major roles in each of these areas, but these specialized chemicals do a lot more than that. In fact, they play a role in many bodily functions, including metabolism and growth.

Without hormones, we couldn’t live. But sometimes, hormone production goes awry, and hormone therapy is needed to prevent serious problems (like cancer growth) or relieve unpleasant healthy symptoms.

As a leading medspa and aesthetics practice in Modesto, California, Ego offers three types of hormone therapy aimed at helping women and men relieve their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Here’s how to decide which type is right for you.

Hormone therapy options

Hormone therapy is used either to suppress production (or the effects) of a hormone or to supplement low levels of a hormone your body naturally produces. The type of therapy you need depends on the condition that’s being treated.

At Ego, our expert team offers several types of hormone therapy using these three approaches.

Surgery

Surgery removes part or all of a gland to either drastically limit or completely stop the production and suppression of specific hormones. Surgery is usually used to treat certain types of cancer, but it may also be used for overactive glands that can’t be controlled using conservative methods. For instance, either all or part of the thyroid gland may be removed if a benign growth is causing the gland to produce too many hormones.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses prescribed doses of highly targeted radiation to destroy cells that produce hormones. Some radiation therapy uses medication that helps “focus” the radiation on specific cells. As a result, radiation therapy may cause less damage to surrounding tissues compared to surgery.

Hormone medication therapy

Hormone medications work in one of two ways: to suppress hormone production or to supplement existing levels of hormones. Supplementing your own natural hormones is sometimes referred to as hormone replacement therapy, or HRT.

Medications to suppress hormone production either work on the gland that produces the hormone or act on the cell receptors that are affected by the hormone. These medications can be used alone or in combination with another treatment. For example, in thyroid cancer, medication is often prescribed following radiation therapy to help prevent future thyroid tumors.

HRT

In HRT, either estrogen (for women) or testosterone (for men) is supplied through pills, injections, patches, or creams and gels, helping to replace natural hormones that have been depleted by aging or from underlying medical problems.

During HRT, your hormone levels are routinely checked through blood tests, so your therapy can be adjusted as your needs change. HRT can be helpful in combating symptoms associated with menopause and low testosterone.

In women, HRT is frequently used to help manage polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or to relieve menopause symptoms, like:

For men, HRT typically is only recommended to treat hypogonadism or other medical problems affecting testosterone production. Though it isn’t routinely recommended for age-related decreases in testosterone, it may be prescribed when that decline has a major effect on sexual function.

Hormone therapy and your health

Even though hormones affect your health in a lot of ways, they work “behind the scenes.” That means that while you may notice unusual or uncomfortable symptoms, there’s no way to tell on your own what’s causing them. 

At Ego, treatment begins with a comprehensive exam, including lab tests and diagnostic imaging when needed. Our team uses that information to ensure the treatment you receive is optimized for your symptoms and your health. To learn more about hormone therapy at our Modesto practice, call our office, or book an appointment online today.

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