Hello again from the Compound Lab!
I’ll be continuing the discussion on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), so if you missed the previous weeks’ posts, I’d encourage you to read those first.
As I mentioned last week, HRT comes with both risks and benefits. From the offset, it should be noted that for both men and women HRT is primarily about symptom control.
For women, HRT has a history of being used to help prevent certain diseases, but more recent studies show that the increased risk in other conditions doesn’t justify use of HRT for disease prevention alone. More specifically, HRT may reduce the risk of heart disease, bone loss, and dementia for women, but it can increase the risk of clotting (strokes, heart attacks, etc.) and breast cancer. In other words, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.
That said, HRT’s symptom control is well documented, especially for menopausal women between the age of 50 & 59. Hot flashes are the most common symptoms that can be relieved with HRT, but mood instability and poor sleep are also good targets.1
For men, HRT is usually only recommended if both symptoms and lab measurements suggest low testosterone—and if there’s no underlying factor causing it. Symptoms of low testosterone can include sexual dysfunction, low energy, and mood instability, which can then be relieved by treating with HRT. At appropriate doses, testosterone is usually well tolerated, but it can increase blood pressure and potentially increase the risk of prostate cancer.2
Your medical provider can make the best determination about your individual risk vs benefit profile, so if HRT is something you’re curious about, I encourage you to check with them to see if it’s a good fit for you. If they agree that HRT is a good fit, we have many ways to provide you with the HRT you need… which I’ll share next week!
As always, we're available in the lab Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm. Or you can email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
Until next time,
UpToDate: Menopausal Hormone Therapy: Benefits & Risks
Endocrine Society, 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines: Testosterone Therapy for Hypogonadism
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