Hormones, hormones, hormones. We hear about hormones mostly in reference to the normal agitated, attention seeking, distressed, attitude riddled teenager. We attribute hormones to mood swings and hot flashes plus other physiological happenings that effects how we feel. In fact, most of how we connect these events are actually true! Hormones play a huge role in our body’s regular functions and behaviors. Some of these functions range from basic needs such as hunger to more intricate needs such as; reproduction and emotions.

What are Hormones?

Hormones are chemical messengers that communicate to the brain, control in a particular bodily function. Hormones are produced by various types of endocrine glands and thus are a part of the Endocrine System. Just to name a few, some of these are; the Hypothalamus, the Parathyroid, Thymus, Pancreas, Thyroid (a major one), Pituitary, Adrenal, Pineal and lasts but not least-the Ovaries and Testes, whew! A lot right? That is why this blog post will not be going into much detail about each endocrine gland separately, however, if you would like to learn more about them, you should visit https://www.hormone.org/hormones-and-health/the-endocrine-system.

We will discuss hormones as they relate to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and chronic pain; however, at Advanced Spine & Pain Interventions HRT is offered for many conditions. As discussed earlier, hormones are a valued and essential part of our well-being. They help regulate physiological changes and needs within the body that makes us who we are, though when they are not functioning properly, there are many significant impacts that affects how we perform or feel during the day. Some examples of hormonal dysfunction are those that cause an imbalance due to too little or high content in the bloodstream. Hormone imbalance can affect your sexual and reproductive health; muscle growth, bone strength/density and is linked to depression or anxiety.

Taking Tylenol, Ibuprofen or similar medications in the same class have been known to cause painful ulcers and damage to some organs in the body. In using these medications it is important to adhere to the recommended daily dosage found on the label packaging. However, the continuous use of an over-the-counter pain killer to chase away the pain of a chronic migraine is not ideal!

Causes of hormone imbalance

There are researched studies that suggest various reasons why hormones may become imbalanced. I have listed some below that are greatly, connected to the loss of hormones:

  1. Chronic Opioid Therapy ( Chronic pain treatment)
  2. Underlying medical conditions
  3. Stress
  4. Puberty
These are just to name a few, if you are interested in learning more about the causes of hormone imbalance, you should visit https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321486.php
Although Chronic Opioid Therapy is an excellent source of treatment for chronic pain, there are adverse effects involved. It is a known scientific fact that chronic opioid therapy lasting 3 or more months is association with hormonal imbalance. Often chronic pain patients on long-term opioid medications will experience emotional/psychological distress including depression, insomnia, anger, dissociation to name a few. Physiological effects may also include infertility, bone loss/osteoporosis, respiratory or cardiac effects. These outcomes may contribute to a lower quality of life requiring interventions both to alleviate chronic pain and replace depleted hormones.

The Intervention

Hormonal Replacement Therapy is often confused with many other conditions for which this treatment is popularly used. One notion often confused is, Hormonal Therapy (HT) and Hormone Replacement therapy (HRT). The difference is that one suppresses the hormones (like in the case of having breast cancer) and the other raises hormones (like in the case of menopause). As this relates to Chronic Opioid Therapy, where hormones are reduced or deranged, HRT is an intervention to help revitalize or repair the system.

How is HRT Performed?

The replacement of hormones by HRT can be performed in various ways such as, administration of tablets, patches, creams, injectables and pellets. These are all convenient ways in which an individual dealing with the loss of hormones can go about repairing the system. Another great detail to add is that most insurances cover the medication needed for hormone replacement therapy. With this being said, after the three month mark of HRT, a blood test that is also covered by insurance is tested to monitor for normal hormonal levels.
Note: Patients with a history of smoking, breast cancer, liver and cardiac disease, are not considered candidates for HRT. Your Provider would make the final determination.

What happens next after HRT?

Patients who experience chronic pain with a subsequent derangement in their hormonal system could experience an improved quality of life after intervention with HRT. Additionally, improvement in pain control is observed as a result. HRT is a great intervention in which any patient who is experiencing an imbalance of hormones, can find relief and live a happier life. The benefits are vast!

If you are anyone that you may know are experiencing any symptoms that describe an imbalance in hormones please visit https://atlpainspecialist.com/hormonal-therapy/ for more information about our Hormone Replacement Therapy intervention program.

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About the Author

Dr. Woodley Mardy-Davis is fellow-ship trained and triple board certified through The American Board of Anesthesiology and The American Board of Addiction Medicine. Board Certifications include Interventional Spine/Pain Medicine, Anesthesiology and Addiction Medicine. Dr. Davis specializes in nonsurgical and minimally invasive surgical treatments of the spine, and musculoskeletal system.

Dr. Davis’ skills are honed in the fluoroscopically and ultrasound guided procedures to intervene in the disorders of the spine and musculoskeletal system. Dr. Davis advocates a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to acute, chronic spine and pain disorders through the use of innovative diagnostic tools, treatment interventions and successful rehabilitation.