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Signs You Need Hormone Replacement Therapy

Are you feeling a bit off but aren’t sure why? If you are struggling with fatigue, decreased libido, a low mood, difficulty sleeping, weight gain, or a hard time putting on muscle despite diet and exercise – you might need hormone replacement therapy. 

Many think hormone declines only come with age, but that is only one risk factor of hormone imbalance. Lifestyle factors such as stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, too much exercise, certain medical conditions, and menopause can also contribute to hormonal disruptions.

Whether you are in your 60s or 20s, you could have less than optimal hormone levels and need hormone replacement therapy to get them back into a healthy range. 

In this blog, we’ll cover a brief “hormone 101”, discuss why balanced hormones are important for your health, identify signs indicating the need for hormone replacement therapy for men and hormone replacement therapy for women, and tell you where to find qualified clinics that offer men’s hormone therapy and women’s hormone replacement therapy near you.

What are Hormones? 

Hormones are chemical messengers produced by various glands throughout the body. They are needed at healthy levels to regulate numerous bodily functions, including metabolism, growth and development, mood, sexual function, reproduction, and more. 

You can think of hormones as the body’s internal communication system, ensuring that different organs and systems work together properly.

In both men and women, key hormones include estrogen and testosterone. These hormones, along with others like progesterone and cortisol, play vital roles in maintaining overall health and well-being. When these hormones decline or become imbalanced, it can lead to a variety of symptoms and health issues ranging from weight gain and muscle loss to impotence, low sex drive, heart disease, osteoporosis, and more.

Which Hormones Can Become Unbalanced?

Several hormones in the body can drop to unhealthy levels or become imbalanced, leading to a range of symptoms and health issues. Some of the most common hormones that can be affected include:


Primarily known as the female sex hormone, estrogen also plays a role in bone health and cardiovascular function. Imbalances in estrogen levels can lead to symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and irregular menstrual cycles.


While often associated with men, testosterone is also present in women, albeit in smaller amounts. Imbalances in testosterone levels can affect libido, muscle mass, mood, and energy levels in both men and women.

Thyroid hormones (T3 and T4)

The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism, energy production, and body temperature. Imbalances in thyroid hormones can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, weight changes, and temperature sensitivity.


Progesterone plays a key role in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. Imbalances in progesterone levels can contribute to menstrual irregularities, mood swings, and difficulty conceiving.


Known as the stress hormone, cortisol helps regulate the body’s response to stress. Imbalances in cortisol levels can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and mood disturbances.

How do Hormones Become Unbalanced?

Most people think aging is the only thing that causes hormones to plummet. That’s not true. While hormones certainly drop with age, young people can experience hormone declines or imbalances due to various factors. 

Here are some common ways hormones can become unbalanced:


As men and women age, hormone levels naturally decline, particularly in hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. This decline can lead to hormonal imbalances and associated symptoms.


Chronic stress can lead to elevated cortisol levels, the body’s primary stress hormone. Prolonged exposure to high levels of cortisol can disrupt other hormone levels, leading to imbalances and a range of associated symptoms.

Poor Sleep

Inadequate sleep or poor sleep quality can disrupt the body’s natural hormone production and regulation processes. Sleep deprivation can affect hormones involved in appetite regulation, stress response, and growth and repair.

Dietary Habits

Poor dietary choices, such as excessive consumption of processed foods, sugary snacks, and refined carbohydrates, can impact insulin levels and lead to insulin resistance. This can, in turn, affect other hormones involved in metabolism and energy regulation. Additionally, extremely low-fat diets can disrupt hormone balance, particularly in women. Essential fatty acids found in healthy fats are crucial for hormone production and regulation. 

Extreme Exercise

Intense or prolonged exercise without adequate rest and recovery can stress the body and disrupt hormone levels. Overtraining may lead to imbalances in cortisol, testosterone, and thyroid hormones, impacting energy levels, mood, and reproductive health.


Excess body fat, especially around the abdomen, can promote inflammation and insulin resistance, contributing to hormonal imbalances. Obesity is associated with disruptions in hormones such as leptin, which regulates appetite, and adiponectin, which influences insulin sensitivity.  Being overweight is also strongly associated with reductions in total testosterone.

Environmental Toxins

Exposure to environmental toxins such as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) found in plastics, pesticides, and certain household products can interfere with hormone production and signaling in the body.

Medications and Medical Conditions

Certain medications, such as birth control, corticosteroids, and thyroid medications, can impact hormone levels. Additionally, medical conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), diabetes, thyroid disorders, and adrenal insufficiency can lead to hormonal imbalances.


Women experience hormonal shifts during menopause, which can cause a variety of symptoms due to fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels.

What is Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men and Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women?

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is widely recognized as the gold standard for restoring hormone levels, providing one of the safest and most effective means to achieve hormone balance and overall well-being.

HRT for both men and women involves replacing hormones that are deficient or imbalanced with synthetic or naturally derived hormones. The goal of HRT is to alleviate symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances, such as hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, and decreased libido.

HRT can be administered through various methods, including pills, patches, creams, gels, and injections, depending on your needs and preferences.

Because HRT involves balancing delicate hormonal levels, it is important to consult with a qualified healthcare provider experienced in hormone replacement therapy to determine if HRT is appropriate and to discuss the potential risks and benefits associated with this treatment.

12 Signs You Need Hormone Replacement Therapy 

If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, especially more than one, it could indicate that your hormones are at an unhealthy level or out of balance and that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) might be beneficial for you:

1: Low Sex Drive

Decreased libido or impotence can stem from hormonal imbalances, particularly in testosterone levels. Testosterone is a key hormone responsible for sexual desire and function in both men and women.

When levels decline, it can lead to a decrease in sexual interest and performance. Additionally, other factors such as stress, relationship issues, medications, and underlying health conditions can also contribute to changes in libido.

2: Weight Gain

Hormonal imbalances, such as fluctuations in estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, insulin, and cortisol levels, can contribute to unexplained weight gain. Estrogen and progesterone play roles in metabolism and fat distribution, while testosterone affects muscle mass and metabolism. 

Insulin regulates blood sugar levels, and cortisol is known as the stress hormone, both of which can influence weight management. Factors like diet, physical activity, genetics, and lifestyle habits also play significant roles in weight regulation.

3: Loss of Muscle Mass

If you notice that you have less muscle mass or are having trouble putting on or keeping muscle, it might be low testosterone. Declining testosterone levels can contribute to a loss of muscle mass and strength. Testosterone is crucial for maintaining muscle mass; lower levels can decrease muscle size, strength, and endurance. 

4: Mood Swings

Hormonal fluctuations, particularly in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels, can impact neurotransmitters and brain chemistry, leading to mood swings. Estrogen and progesterone influence serotonin and dopamine levels, neurotransmitters that regulate mood and emotions. Testosterone also plays a role in mood regulation.

5: Low Energy

Hormonal imbalances, particularly in thyroid hormones (T3 and T4), cortisol, and insulin can affect energy levels and metabolism. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism and energy production, while cortisol affects the body’s stress response and energy regulation.

Insulin helps regulate blood sugar levels, which impacts energy levels.

6: Memory Loss or Brain Fog

Hormonal fluctuations, particularly in estrogen and thyroid hormones, can affect cognitive function and memory. Estrogen plays a role in neurotransmitter activity and neuronal health, while thyroid hormones influence brain development and function.

Imbalances in these hormones can lead to symptoms like forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, and mental fog. Factors like stress, sleep disturbances, dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, and underlying health conditions can also impact cognitive function.

7: Digestive Issues

Hormonal imbalances, such as fluctuations in estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol levels, can affect gastrointestinal function and digestion. Estrogen and progesterone influence gut motility, immune function, and inflammation, while cortisol can impact digestive processes and gut health. Imbalances in these hormones can lead to symptoms like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort.

8: Trouble Sleeping

Hormonal fluctuations, particularly in estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, and melatonin levels, can disrupt the sleep-wake cycle and interfere with sleep quality. Estrogen and progesterone influence sleep patterns and promote relaxation, while cortisol regulates the body’s stress response and can impact sleep.

Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Imbalances in these hormones can lead to symptoms like difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up feeling unrested. Additionally, factors like stress, poor sleep hygiene, caffeine, alcohol, and underlying sleep disorders can contribute to sleep disturbances.

9: Hair Loss

Hormonal imbalances, such as fluctuations in estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid hormones, can contribute to hair loss. Estrogen and progesterone play roles in hair growth and follicle health, while testosterone can affect hair growth patterns.

Thyroid hormones influence hair growth cycles and follicle function. Imbalances in these hormones can lead to symptoms like thinning hair, hair loss, and changes in hair texture. 

10: Bone Density Loss

Hormonal imbalances, particularly in estrogen and testosterone levels, can contribute to bone density loss and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Estrogen plays a crucial role in bone formation and maintenance, while testosterone contributes to bone health in both men and women.

Imbalances in these hormones can lead to decreased bone density, increased bone fragility, and a higher risk of fractures. 

11: Menopausal or Perimenopausal Symptoms

Menopause and perimenopause are natural stages in a woman’s life marked by hormonal changes, particularly declines in estrogen and progesterone levels. These hormonal fluctuations can lead to symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse, and urinary problems.

12: Being 40+

Reaching the age of 40 or older is a significant factor in why you might be experiencing hormonal changes. As we age, hormone levels naturally decline, particularly in hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. These hormonal shifts can lead to a variety of symptoms, including those mentioned above. 

Additionally, aging itself can impact the body’s ability to regulate hormones effectively, making it more susceptible to imbalances and associated symptoms. Therefore, if you’re 40 years old or older and experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to consider the possibility of hormonal imbalances and discuss HRT with a qualified HRT provider.

Is Hormone Replacement Therapy Safe? 

Research and clinical studies have consistently shown hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to be a safe and effective treatment option for individuals experiencing declines in hormone levels and hormonal imbalances. These studies have demonstrated significant improvements in quality of life, symptom relief, and overall well-being among patients undergoing HRT.

Furthermore, HRT has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of specific medical conditions, such as menopausal symptoms and hormonal imbalances. 

Of course, individual responses to HRT may vary. Treatment plans should be personalized to each patient’s needs and medical history. Still, when HRT is administered at the appropriate dosage and closely monitored by an experienced healthcare provider, the likelihood of experiencing adverse side effects is minimal. 

Moreover, the health risks associated with untreated declining or imbalanced hormones far outweigh any potential risks associated with HRT. Overall, the evidence supports the safety and efficacy of HRT as an effective treatment option for restoring hormonal balance and enhancing quality of life.

Can Hormone Levels Return to Normal Without HRT?

Whether your hormones will return on their own depends on the root cause. For example, if your hormones are only slightly imbalanced due to lifestyle factors or birth control, changes in diet and medication might help restore balance.

However, in many cases, hormonal imbalances are more complex or persistent, requiring hormone replacement therapy to replenish or balance levels.

Consuming nutritious foods, exercising regularly (without overdoing it,) lowering stress levels, and getting enough sleep can assist in naturally improving your hormonal health, with or without HRT.

Will I Need to Take HRT Forever?

How long you need to take HRT depends on individual circumstances. Sometimes, HRT may be a short-term intervention to address specific symptoms or imbalances. Once hormone levels stabilize or the underlying cause is addressed, treatment may be discontinued. 

However, in other situations where hormonal deficiencies are chronic or age-related, ongoing hormone replacement therapy may be necessary to maintain optimal hormone levels and manage symptoms effectively.

It’s essential to work closely with a qualified hormone replacement therapy provider to determine the most appropriate treatment plan and duration based on your individual needs and health status.

How to Determine if Hormone Replacement Therapy is Right for You

If you’re experiencing any of the signs of declining or imbalanced hormone levels, especially more than one, it’s a strong indication that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) should be considered. 

Less than optimal hormone levels can decrease quality of life and lead to a host of health issues. If you believe you have hormone health issues, it’s important to address the situation as soon as possible. 

At Relive Health, we specialize in HRT for men and HRT for women. 

When you visit one of our clinics, the first step in determining if HRT is right for you is to undergo a thorough assessment, including a comprehensive 52-panel blood analysis and body composition evaluation.

This initial step provides essential information to tailor your treatment plan to your needs and goals. From there, our highly trained medical professionals will analyze your symptoms, blood work, and lifestyle factors and develop a customized HRT treatment plan.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of hormonal imbalance, schedule a consultation at a Relive Health near you to explore the benefits of hormone replacement therapy for your health and well-being.