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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Hormone Therapies for Various Health Conditions


Hormone therapies are treatments that use hormones or substances that can control hormones to treat certain health problems. Here are some examples:

Hormone therapy is commonly used for managing menopause symptoms. Medications like the Vivelle Dot and Estrogel can increase hormone levels to ease menopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. Hormone replacement therapy is a treatment for women who have reached menopause and are no longer producing certain hormones. The dosage of this therapy needs to be carefully adjusted to each woman’s needs.

But hormone therapy isn’t just for menopause. It’s also used for treating cancers like prostate and breast cancer. In these cases, the therapy aims to decrease the hormone levels that the cancer cells need to grow.

For prostate cancer, a common treatment is to lower the level of androgens, which are male hormones. This can slow down how fast the cancer grows. When a man can’t have surgery to remove the prostate or undergo radiation therapy to shrink the tumor(s), Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is an option. 

However, this treatment can have strong side effects like decreased sexual desire, diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, and even hot flashes, similar to those women experience during menopause. Regardless, if your PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) levels decrease after receiving any form of hormone therapy, it’s likely to be seen as a positive outcome.

However, sometimes the cancer becomes resistant to this treatment and continues to grow. Researchers are trying to find new treatments to overcome this resistance.

Doctors first check how responsive the cancer is to hormones when it comes to breast cancer. Depending on the response, they can choose the most suitable treatment. One of these treatments is trastuzumab, a drug that works against a protein called HER2 found in some breast cancer cells.

In sarcopenic obesity, which is a condition where someone has low muscle mass and high-fat mass, some hormones and vitamins can help. But, the best way to prevent and treat this condition is still through proper nutrition and regular exercise.

There are new treatments that use a hormone called GLP-1, for diabetes. This hormone helps the body produce more insulin only when it’s needed, so it doesn’t cause low blood sugar. It also helps the body make more insulin.

Another less common use of hormone therapy is growth hormone therapy. This can help people with growth issues grow taller and develop more fully. But the most common type of hormone therapy is likely the bioidentical hormone therapy for menopause. This makes sense because all women go through menopause at a certain age. So, it’s a treatment that’s consistently relevant for generations of women.

​​Hormone therapies can lead to different side effects based on the type of treatment and the illness being addressed.

For instance, breast cancer treatments using hormone therapies might result in hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood swings. Treatments for prostate cancer that involve reducing male hormones can lead to heart-related issues and changes in blood fats. Hormone therapies for conditions like muscle-related obesity and diabetes could result in stomach-related symptoms and low blood sugar.

Hormone therapies can also be used to manage side effects that arise from chemotherapy. For example, people who had chemotherapy treatments during their childhood or teenage years can face hormone-related issues, fertility problems, and hindered growth. Certain hormone therapies, like humanin analogs, can help protect against these side effects caused by chemotherapy, like stunted growth.

Remember, the specific side effects can vary from person to person and depend on the dosage of the therapy. It’s essential for patients to have open discussions with their doctors about potential side effects and to report any side effects they notice during treatment.

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