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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Hormones
Growth Hormones [posted 1/14/99]
Answer: Prescription only, check with an endocrinologist. I'd call them first and see what the doctor's philosophy is. Some will not prescribe it for any purpose, others for "height challenged". They will only work if your growth plates are open. These close in men by 25 and women by 16-18 depending on onset of menses.
Effedrine Usage [posted 11/5/98]
Answer: Ephedrine is a hormone made by the adrenal and is used medically to raise blood pressures etc. There would be few uses in a gym except to enhance performance, this drug raises heart rate, blood pressure, etc for a short time. It will enhance performance,but, potentially stress your heart while it is in your system. Very short acting.
Estrogen Creams [posted 8/13/98]
Answer: No, systemic estrogen can.
Androderm Patches [posted 8/4/98]
Answer: The testosterone can be administered as an every 3-4 week shot, which is how it was done prior to the patches. Also, some patients "prime" the area with steroid cream for a week prior to the patch and this helps the ring occasionally. As to your method, I have no way of guessing without checking your testosterone levels.
Not Enough Estrogen [posted
Answer: Why not just increase the dosage to 2.5 mg? Anyway, topical vaginal cream is available for the dryness. Clonidine can block the hot flashes. If you are just not receiving enough estrogen, increase the dosage until your symptoms abate - a very simple solution.
Answer: Human growth hormone will not be picked up in most urine drug screens. It is a natural hormone and will be present in all urine in minor amounts. Growth hormone will only help if your growth plates on the ends of your bones are open. If closed, (in men in the early 20s) there will be no increase in height. There will be no age reversal.
Ces Conjugated Estrogens
Answer: I can help with conjugated estrogens, but I don't understand the ces part.
Answer: In general, estrogen is a very beneficial drug for most women and should be taken for lifetime unless their are undesirable side effects. The only major risk is cancer of the uterus(which you no longer have) elevated blood pressure, and increased risk of phlebitis. There is a possible risk of increased breast cancer, but so far all the studies(at least 8 major studies) have shown little or no effect in increasing breast cancer(indeed a couple that the risk is slightly less). There have been many studies documenting the beneficial effect of estrogen. Your highest risk for death or disability is a stroke or heart attack(still the number one risk for women-not cancer) and estrogen is the only drug which will decrease the risk of coronary disease. One major study of nurses showed that regular use of estrogen increased both the longevity 10% and increased the quality of life as well(less disability, pain etc.). That was an amazing study. Indeed, if men could take estrogen we'd all live to 100 and be healthy. There are some holistic alternatives to estrogen and some organic methods to decrease some of the side effects of withdrawal, but as you can see I am generally in favor of estrogen. There are some women who should not take estrogen. These are women who have had breast cancer already, women who develop major elevated blood pressure on estrogen or who develop significant phlebitis.
Hormone replacement therapy
Answer: I wish I could tell you the answer. Unfortunately, this has never been adequately researched. It is clear that all woman with intact uterus linings need progesterone to cycle the lining and prevent uterine cancer. However, since you no longer have a uterus, progesterone is not an issue-- concerning uterine cancer. There are some who advocate cyclic progesterone to decrease breast cancer risk. Although theoretical arguments can be made there is no evidence of any direct benefit; however, research is lacking here. I usually recommend that women without a uterus do not take progesterone.
Answer: Serotonin levels can be checked and will be elevated with drugs like Elavil. Whether this will be effective depends on your initial levels. It also sounds like your estrogen dosage needs to be watched closely to ensure that you are not over replaced. Lower dosage may help your problems markedly.
Progesterone after hysterectomy
Answer: Studies so far have not demonstrated a major beneficial effect of progesterone. However, there have been relatively few studies and not followed for long periods. I would recommend that you get a base line bone density. If this is very low start a drug like Fosamax or possibly calcitonin replacement. If the density is high repeat in a year when you start estrogen. It is true that estrogen deficiency will accelerate bone loss and that replacement after 6-12 months will never recapture this loss. Focus on weight bearing exercise, ensuring adequate Vitamin D intake and adequate calcium. Most physicians recommend 1500 mg or so a day of calcium. Excess calcium will not help your bones, but a deficiency clearly will.
Female hormone replacement therapy
Answer: These hormones are measured all the time by either endocrinologists, internists, or gynecologists. The measurement may be a 24 hour urine collection, measuring serum levels of hormones or pituitary hormones responsible for triggering estrogen production.
Answer: In adults, testosterone is responsible for maintenance of libido. Libido is also regulated by psychic factors. Hence if testosterone deficiency is thought to be the cause then administration of the hormone is the answer.
Answer: Estrogen decreases all intravascular and coronary events. It apparently does this through its effect on good cholesterol, although research into other effects is currently in progress.
Answer: Vasopressin is a hormone produced by the hypothalmus and then converted
to AVP. AVP is used to concentrate urine and its absence leads to very dilute urine and
the inability to concentrate urine. Different drugs affect AVP, the most common being
alcohol. Alcohol inhibits AVP leading to dilute urine(and subsequent dehydration)
following alcohol, which is part of the "hangover" effect. Other drugs which
affect AVP release are nicotine, morphine, and antidepressants. I know of no effect on
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