Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can refer to the treatment of many conditions with medications that contain hormones, but it’s most commonly used to treat menopause symptoms in women, low testosterone in men, and hypothyroidism. Despite being very common, many people have misconceptions about HRT and assume it’s risky or otherwise unsafe. The truth is hormone therapy has many benefits for people with low hormone levels. Here are 15 of the most important benefits of HRT.
#1. HRT can prevent osteoporosis
There is a direct link between the loss of estrogen in menopause and the development of osteoporosis, or loss of bone mass. Osteoporosis is much more common in women than men and postmenopausal women are at the greatest link of bone loss because estrogen helps maintain bone mass.
Multiple studies have confirmed that hormone therapy can prevent osteoporosis, including one study that concluded no other alternative treatments can help with osteoporosis prevention. Even very low doses of HRT can help with bone protection.
#2. Hormone therapy is the only effective treatment for all menopause symptoms
While there are some effective options to treat individual symptoms of menopause, hormone therapy is currently the only treatment that is effective at treating all menopause symptoms, including vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse, hot flashes, night sweats, and irritability. Some research has also indicated that HRT can improve libido after menopause.
#3. HRT can improve mood problems caused by low testosterone
Numerous large studies have found a link between low testosterone and mood swings and depression. Testosterone replacement therapy can help treat emotionally distressing symptoms of low T, such as erectile dysfunction and weight gain, while also improving mood.
#4. It can improve erectile dysfunction
Human growth hormone and testosterone are both essential for male sexual maturation and function. One study has suggested that growth hormone induces erections. Men with low testosterone are also at risk of developing erectile dysfunction, which can sometimes be treated with testosterone therapy. HRT can replace the need to take a pill before sex and it can offer other benefits of testosterone replacement.
#5. It can treat hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism occurs when the body fails to produce enough thyroid hormone, which helps control the body’s metabolism. Hypothyroidism is very common and affects about 10 million Americans. The standard treatment for hypothyroidism is thyroid hormone replacement therapy, which can help reverse weight gain, fatigue, and cholesterol levels.
#6. Hormone replacement can improve sleep quality
Hormone deficiency can reduce sleep quality in men and women. Poor sleep can sometimes be the result of a deficiency of estrogen, testosterone, or growth hormone. This link goes both ways: sleep deprivation can also affect hormone production. One study has suggested that sleep deprivation reduces growth hormone production and alters the sleep-wake cycle. In menopausal women, sleep problems are often the result of hot flashes, insomnia, mood disorders, depression, and sleep-disordered breathing. Poor sleep is also a lesser-known symptom of low testosterone that can be brought on by anxiety, depression, and chronic fatigue.
#7. HGH therapy can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
Men and women deficient in growth hormone have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and a lower life expectancy, according to one study. In this Swedish study, researchers found patients had higher levels of trigycerides and higher body mass, suggesting the hormone deficiency affects lipoprotein metabolism.
#8. Human growth hormone can improve muscle strength
HGH is known to boost muscle strength and improve exercise performance by stimulating the production of collagen in the tendons and skeletal muscle. A study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology found that men over 50 who received HGH therapy had increased muscle strength after six months.
#9. HGH can reduce fat mass
According to one study, HGH therapy and hormone therapy plus exercise can reduce fat mass by an average of 5 pounds over 26 weeks. This is in addition to a similar gain in lean muscle mass. The fat loss is mostly in the abdominal region and this type of fat has been associated with several health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
#10. Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy can boost lean muscle mass
The same study found that HGH treatment as well as hormone therapy combined with exercise can improve lean muscle mass by an average of 5 pounds over 26 weeks. While study participants weighed about the same at the end of the trial, their body composition had changed for the better.
#11. Hormone therapy can improve mood in women
Research has confirmed that hormone therapy can improve depressive symptoms and mood in women as a result of menopause.
#12. HRT can improve quality of life
Men and women who are good candidates for hormone replacement therapy can enjoy a dramatic improvement in quality of life and a reduction of symptoms. For menopausal women, hormone therapy can mean improved sleep and reduced pain and muscle aches.
Hormone replacement therapy has the power to change a patient’s life after struggling with the effects of hormone deficiency. The benefits can vary by person, but many report an improved quality of life and reduction of symptoms after beginning a HRT regimen.
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