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Hormone Replacement Therapy - Essay Example

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Running head: HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY Hormone Replacement Therapy Insert Name Here Insert Affiliation Here Hormone Replacement Therapy Introduction: With advancements in medical science, it has now become possible to overcome any shortcomings, limitations or inconveniences concerning human health…
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Download file to see previous pages HRT is used to replace or replenish any hormone that the body is deficient in, or is not able to synthesize anymore. While the most common use of HRT is the replacement of the estrogen hormone in postmenopausal women, it has found use in many other clinical applications. Some of these include thyroid hormone replacement therapy in patients suffering from hypothyroidism and androgen replacement therapies in treating male hypogonadal disorders. HRT is a very vast and expansive subject. Through this paper, an attempt is made to discuss some hormonal replacement therapies, their uses and side effects. I. The need for hormone replacement and their various applications The basic question in dealing with HRT is to first ascertain why it is actually needed. Hormonal replacement is required for the treatment of many disorders where the normal synthesis of a vital hormone is either malfunctioning or is not functioning at all. For instance, Levothyroxine (L-thyroxine) is used for thyroid hormone replacement in those suffering from hypothyroidism (Cygan and Rucker, 1983, p. 232). In case of menopausal women suffering from symptoms like hot flushes and night sweats, estrogen replacement therapy has largely helped in relieving the unpleasant symptoms of menopause (Barrett-Connor, 1998, p. 457). In other cases, testosterone replacement therapies are being explored for use in counteracting male “andropause”, a term used to refer symptoms like hot flushes, decreased libido and mood swings observed in ageing men (Biundu and Shippen, 2000, p. 429). As is evident, hormonal replacement therapies are vital in most cases, and more and more individuals are considering HRT for getting rid of inconveniences in health. A. Use of HRT in menopausal women 1. Symptoms When the menstrual cycle in women ceases, they are said to have attained menopause. A majority of the menopausal women does not experience any troublesome symptoms and the type and severity of symptoms vary across different races and ethnicities (Barrett-Connor, 1998, p. 457). After the attainment of menopause, the vaginal wall gets thinner and becomes less vascular, leading to symptoms like dyspareunia, i.e. painful intercourse, and vaginal dryness. Hot flushes, mood swings, insomnia and night sweats are other common symptoms (Barrett-Connor, 1998, p. 457). Menopause occurs any time between the ages of 45 to 56 years (Abernethy and Tiran, 2002, p. 2). The level of estrogen hormone dips, thereby aggravating the symptoms. Decreased levels of estrogen lead to increase in vaginal pH, which reduces immunity to infections, decreased blood flow and elasticity, and dryness (Abernethy and Tiran, 2002, p. 16). In view of all these unpleasant symptoms, physicians often recommend HRT. 2. Treatment Estrogen replacement therapies are used to treat these symptoms. “Hot flushes and night sweats are the only symptoms universally reported to respond (usually almost immediately) to oestrogen” (Barrett-Connor, 1998, p. 457). If left untreated, hot flushes disappear in a year or two in some women, and stay for more than 20 years in some others. Intravaginal estrogen helps in treating these symptoms and prevents the risk of urinary tract infection by modifying vaginal microbial populations (Barrett-Connor, 1998, p. 457). Furthermore, the dosage of estrogen hormone in replacement therapies is designed to prevent bone loss and endometrial cancer (p. 460). B. Use of HRT in andropausal men 1. Symptoms Symptoms ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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