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Women begin to naturally lose their estrogens (estradiol, estriol, estrone) around the age of 50.

Many people feel that this is the natural course of aging for the body. But why then, do many women feel so badly when this happens? The answer is that estrogen is needed throughout the course of life to regain and sustain optimum health.

Hormones, like estrogen, are essential to every function of the body. From mood, to memory, to muscle, to metabolism, estrogens give women energy and the ability to build…

Estrogens build the skin, hair, heart, bone, muscle, and every tissue in your body. When women go through menopause, the ability to grow new tissue is markedly reduced. Low estrogen can lead to the loss of muscle, bone, brain tissue, connective tissue in the skin, and muscle in the heart and artery walls. In fact, these are only a few of the systems impacted for the rest of a woman’s life when her estrogens decline.

The Symptoms of Menopause

Conventional wisdom is that hot flashes, which afflict up to 80% of middle-aged women, usually persist for just a few years. But hot flashes can continue for as long as 14 years! Unfortunately, the earlier they begin the longer a woman is likely to suffer.

For women who get hot flashes before they stop menstruating, the hot flashes are likely to continue for years after menopause, longer than for women whose symptoms began only when their periods had stopped.

Women who started getting hot flashes when they were still having regular periods (or were in early perimenopause) experienced symptoms for a median of 11.8 years. About nine of those years occurred after menopause, nearly three times the median of 3.4 years for women whose hot flashes did not start until their periods stopped.

Hot flashes, which can seize women many times during the day or night — slathering them in sweat, flushing their faces — are linked to drops in estrogens. Studies have found that women with hot flash symptoms also face increased risk of cardiovascular problems and bone loss.

The list of symptoms for women in menopause is extensive! To assist the reader in evaluating which hormone (or hormones) is causing the symptom, we provide a comprehensive list of symptoms and relate them to possible hormone deficiencies or excess.

Trained providers that are knowledgeable in treating women with menopause use this list to relate the symptoms to the hormone deficiency or excess.


Estrogen Deficiency
Hot flashes Night Sweats Sleep Disturbances
Vaginal Dryness/atrophy Dry Skin Headaches
Foggy thinking Memory lapses Heart palpitations
Heart palpitations Yeast infections Painful intercourse
Depression Low libido Bone Loss
Estrogen Excess
Water retention Heavy, irregular menses Breast swelling and tenderness
Fatigue Craving for sweets Weight gain
Fibrocystic breasts Mood swings Uterine fibroids
Low thyroid symptoms Nervousness/anxiety Irritability
Progesterone Deficiency
Weight gain Swollen breasts Headaches
Low libido Anxiety Mood swings
Irregular menses Depression Cramping
PMS Infertility Fuzzy thinking
Acne Joint pain
Progesterone Deficiency
Somnolence Gastrointestinal bloating Mild depression
Breast swelling Candida exacerbations Exacerbated symptoms of estrogen deficiency
Testosterone Deficiency
Fatigue, prolonged Mental fuzziness Memory problems
Depression Decreased libido Blunted motivation
Muscle weakness Diminished feeling of well being Heart palpitations
Thinning skin Bone loss Vaginal dryness
Incontinence General aches/pains Fibromyalgia
Testosterone Excess
Acne Male-patten hair growth Deepening of voice
Clitoral enlargement Irritability/moodiness Insomnia
Loss of scalp hair
Low Thyroid Function
Fatigue (especially evening) Low stamina Cold extremities
Low body temperature Dry skin Intolerance to cold
General aches and pains Weight gain Depression
Anxiety Scalp hair loss Swollen, puffy eyes
Brittle nails Decreased swelling Low pulse rate/blood pressue
Poor concentration Memory lapses High cholesterol
Heart palpitations Infertility Constipation

 Weight Gain during Menopause

As women approach menopause they endure many symptoms, but one that proves the most difficult for many women to accept is menopausal weight gain.

Not only can a few extra pounds (or maybe more) ravage a woman’s self-esteem and self-image, but weight gain can usher in a host of health concerns that put a woman at risk of developing life-threatening conditions. We know, at Hormones by Design in Austin, we see it every day.

About 90% of menopausal women experience some amount of weight gain. As many women can attest, it’s not just about what they are eating and how much they are exercising, as often they are doing both very well.

On average, women gain between 15 and 20 pounds between the ages of 45 and 55, the stage in life when menopause typically occurs. This extra weight generally does not evenly distribute itself throughout a woman’s body. The weight tends instead to accumulate around the abdomen, and women often notice the shape of their bodies slowly lose their hour-glass figure and begin to take on a rounded shape.

Frustrated as women may be at the knowledge that it is their hormone imbalance causing the weight gain, they often find little relief from their frustrations when seeing their doctor. They are often told “It’s part of getting older” and “It’s a natural part of menopause.” So, women seek out alternative advice from practitioners like those at Hormones by Design in Austin.

Hormonal Causes of Weight Gain

As aging progresses the metabolism naturally slows, setting the physiological stage for weight gain. Although age itself can lead to plumped midsections, as a woman’s hormones fluctuate prior to menopause (and preparing for a permanently reduced hormonal level), they are likely to experience weight gain.

A drop in estrogen and progesterone can increase a woman’s appetite and cause her to eat up to 67% more, according to one study. An increase in appetite coupled with a slower metabolism with the onset of menopause can cause weight gain in women. This could, perhaps, account for the 12% jump in the number of women who are overweight in midlife compared to women in their 20’s and 30’s.

A woman’s hormones have complex functions in her body, including weight control. Here’s a list of the different hormones that can affect weight gain and how:


As a woman’s ovaries produce less estrogen, her body attempts to find the hormone in places other than the ovaries. Fat cells can produce estrogen, so her body works harder to convert calories into fat to increase estrogen levels. Unfortunately, fat cells don’t burn calories the way muscle cells do, which causes weight gain.


Water retention is often linked to menopause because water weight and bloating decreases progesterone levels. Though this doesn’t actually result in weight gain, clothes can feel a bit tighter, and a woman may feel as though she’s heavier.


Testosterone helps a woman’s body create lean muscle mass out of the calories consumed. Muscle cells burn more calories than fat cells do, increasing metabolic rate. As testosterone levels drop, fewer calories are transformed into lean muscle mass, thus a woman’s metabolism winds down.

Low Thyroid

Women with an underactive thyroid often experience weight gain because their metabolic rate slows down because of the condition. In some cases, hyperthyroidism can also cause weight gain, but that is rare. Thyroid hormones essentially regulate calorie consumption in the body. With an underactive thyroid, fewer calories are burned and converted into energy. Instead, they are stored in the body.

Weight gain does not have to be an inevitable part of aging and menopause. Instead, it is possible to identify common reasons for weight gain during this period, so that the issue can be addressed.

 Emotional Changes of Menopause

At around age 50, the ovaries stop producing estrogens. The ovaries have produced the greatest share of the body’s estrogens for decades, and when they quit, the blood levels of estrogens drop dramatically.

Many women go through this change feeling fine, both physically and psychologically. Nonetheless, some women are bothered by symptoms, including hot flashes, depression, irritability, anxiety, and other problems.

Hormone shifts can affect moods. It can be disturbing to find yourself feeling uncharacteristically nervous or depressed or having memory lapses. Sometimes these feelings can even strain your relationships with others. It helps to know that the psychological effects of menopause are temporary. Likely, you’ll soon get back on an even keel. Here are the most common psychological accompaniments of menopause.

Although the commonly known symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and night sweats, eventually disappear, the symptoms of anxiety, depression and poor memory may go on indefinitely. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) may help you conquer many of these symptoms without the aid of other pharmaceutical drugs.


Women who have never had a problem with anxiety before may become more self-conscious and worried about minor events. In some cases, panic attacks occur. Mental health professionals have a variety of effective treatments. Many people feel much better just knowing what the condition is. The most important piece of advice is not to let anxiety restrict your activities. When anxiety or panic disorders cause people to avoid stressful situations, the result can be an ever-tightening leash that keeps them from enjoying life. Anxiety can lead to avoidance of many aspects of normal life. Prompt treatment prevents this.

 Depression and Irritability

Depression can be a problem for menopausal women. Irritability is also common. When considering treatment for depression, irritability, or anxiety, it is important to explore the full range of available options. The first step is to get your diet in order and to get regular exercise to help stabilize hormone shifts and reduce physical symptoms that can aggravate mood problems. Psychotherapy can be very useful, and new short-term techniques have demonstrated their effectiveness at considerably less investment than is demanded by traditional therapies. New antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs have fewer side effects than older medications.

 Poor Memory and Concentration

Some women find that menopause brings occasional memory lapses, often related to reduced ability to concentrate. This can be upsetting and annoying. Forgetting words which are just on “the tip of the tongue” is a frequent complaint. Being disorganized and unable to multi-task can negatively affect your work performance.

 Safe and Effective Hormone Therapy

Much confusion exists in the general public as well as mainstream medicine that hormone replacement for women is dangerous, and should be avoided, or at least used for only a very short time.

Many women are rightfully concerned about the link between the use of estrogen and cancer. This is an area of intense research and debate. To date, studies such as the Women’s’ Health Initiative have shown us the dangers of using non-bioidentical hormones such as Premarin and Provera (a synthetic hormone). However, to date, there is no study that links BHRT, especially when used in the context of balancing all of one’s hormones, to this risk of increased cancer. Think about it, the time in our lives when we were the healthiest and cancer-free were when we were in our late 20s, the exact same time when our hormones were their strongest!

Some may try to make you believe that an herb or a dietary supplement like soy can replace what a woman is missing. Although a few of these products may relieve some of the symptoms of menopause, they provide no long-term protection against heart disease, osteoporosis, or Alzheimer’s disease. We believe in listening to a woman’s symptoms, testing a woman’s hormonal levels, and then prescribing exactly what she is missing, her hormones!

Hormones by Design in Austin, Texas is now accepting new patients. Get your vitality back, call us to schedule your appointment today!


Just Because You Are Going Through Menopause Does Not Mean That Your Sex Life is Over!

Menopause and sex CAN go together with ease, despite what you might have heard. After all, it’s no wonder that women can lose their sex drive when hormones start to decline! Mental and physical changes can be unpleasant, and those can cause you to lose your desire for sex.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling hopeless about your sex life, which may cause you to lose the vitality that you once had. Sex isn’t just about physical pleasure. It’s also a special way to experience emotional and physical intimacy with your partner. When you are having intimate sex, the feel-good hormones are released into your system such as dopamine and oxytocin.

These are good for your health and well-being. Sex also benefits your cardiovascular system. We understand that it’s not all about sex. It’s also the way you FEEL as you’re going through this time of your life. Many women, just like yourself, may feel like the “old” you are gone, but that’s not the case! Mid-life can be a beautiful time and give you more wisdom and confidence than you’ve ever had before. Not only that, but you can also feel more comfortable with your sex life than ever!
asian middle aged couple

The “Change”

As you enter mid-life, hormone levels begin to fluctuate and decline. This can affect the quality of your sex life along with other aspects of your health and well-being. Fortunately, times have changed considerably! You have a lot more options including bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

Depending on your age, you may remember your mother or grandmother talking about “the change” and how old it made them feel. This is not the case anymore!

You might be wondering how you know that you are in menopause. It is more of a process than a one-time event. For example, “menopause” is defined as the cessation of menses. You are technically menopausal one year after you had your last menstrual cycle.

However, this process of hormonal changes can take some time. The time frame leading up to menopause is referred to as perimenopause and it’s a natural form of aging.

Perimenopause can happen over a period of just a few years for some, or it can take several years, each person is different. In general, the hormones that will decline are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

Other Factors Can Hasten Onset of Symptoms

While the process of perimenopause to menopause is generally gradual, there are some factors that can bring on symptoms more suddenly including:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes and other chronic health conditions
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Family history of earlier menopause
  • Cancer – some cancer drugs cause the ovaries to stop producing hormones.
  • Hysterectomy – A hysterectomy will cause you to experience full-on menopausal symptoms just weeks after your surgery (especially if you have had your ovaries removed).

How Hormones Affect Your Sex Life

Hormones affect your overall health and mental state. You may feel like you no longer desire your partner or even dislike them. Please know that it is the decline in hormones that is causing you to feel that way. We want to reassure you that you are not crazy, even though you may feel that way at times!

There is hope and relief available for you at our clinic in Austin. Our providers are all expertly trained in bioidentical hormone therapy. They can look at your hormone levels and symptoms and help you get your vitality back…including your sex life!

What Causes Hormones to Decline?

  • Age
  • Lifestyle
  • Diet
  • Illness
  • Stress levels

Hormone Balancing

Women only need a small amount of testosterone supplementation compared to men. Most report feeling like their old selves again after just a few weeks with increased mood and motivation. Other hormonal shifts occur in the perimenopause and menopausal stages of life such as decreased progesterone and estrogen. All hormone levels should be tested for optimal health and well-being.

Symptoms of Perimenopause/Menopause Can Include:

  • Loss of the desire to have sex (libido)
  • Painful sex
  • Less frequent or weaker orgasms
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Irregular or heavier periods
  • Brain fog
  • Irritability
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Decreased ability to handle stress
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive hair growth in unwanted places
  • Loss of energy
  • Hair loss
  • Heart palpitations
  • Changes in skin texture


While estrogen is the “primary” female hormone, progesterone and testosterone are equally important. All the cells in the vagina have both estrogen and progesterone receptors.  Estrogen is the hormone that keeps the vagina elastic, moisturized, and well-supplied with blood flow.

Estrogen levels start to fluctuate and decline during perimenopause. These fluctuations can happen in an irregular manner. This is why you may start to experience irregular or heavier periods during perimenopause.

Lower estrogen levels can cause the internal environment in the vagina to change. You are likely to experience symptoms such as vaginal dryness, atrophy, itchiness, burning, and painful sex. Sex may not be as pleasurable since dryness and atrophy can cause it to be painful.


Estrogen and progesterone complement each other. Starting in perimenopause, progesterone levels can wane before estrogen. When you don’t have enough progesterone, estrogen dominates. A lot of women do not realize that estrogen dominance is the cause of symptoms such as:

  • Low sex drive
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Depression/mood swings
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Irregular periods
  • Insomnia

As progesterone levels fall in perimenopause, estrogen can start to spike. This can cause additional issues such as thickening of the uterine lining, creating fibroids, or even causing endometriosis. Estrogen dominance can also cause periods to become much heavier with clotting.


Testosterone is a hormone that is directly related to libido. It’s a myth that only men have testosterone; women produce it too, just at much lower levels. Unlike progesterone and estrogen which fluctuate and decrease during perimenopause, testosterone is a more gradual decline.

For both men and women, testosterone usually peaks in the late twenties to early thirties and then gradually starts to wane. On average, women’s testosterone levels at age 50 will be about half of what they were in their twenties.

If a woman has had a hysterectomy, that can contribute to low testosterone (especially if the ovaries are removed). If you’ve had a hysterectomy, chances are that you have been thrown into full-blown menopause within a very short time and your symptoms are going to be much more severe.

Current research shows that testosterone supplementation can drastically affect how women feel overall. Most women noted an increased sex drive/libido.

They also see better results when exercising because muscle mass will increase, and body fat will decrease when testosterone is in balance. Studies also report that women see an overall change in mood and are more motivated and energized.

The Symphony of Hormones

menopause and sex

Hormones act in a synergistic manner with each other. If one is out of balance, others are likely to be as well. These signals “tell your body what to do and when to do it.” Proper hormone levels are essential for your health.

There are some providers out there who advertise that they can help you feel better with hormone replacement therapy. But, beware! Not all hormone replacement therapy is the same.

At Hormones by Design by Forum Health in Austin, we only use bioidentical hormones. These hormones are the same chemical structure as the hormones your body makes.  You won’t find Hormones by Design using formulas like Premarin (made from pregnant horse urine) that the female body cannot utilize properly.

Our philosophy

We understand that lab results don’t always give us the full picture. Your diagnostic testing may show that you are in the “normal” range, but you are still not feeling good. We always listen to you and what symptoms you are experiencing before we start treatment. We offer our services in a warm, compassionate, and safe environment…and we want to help YOU.

Our office in Austin, Texas is now accepting new patients. We want to help you cruise through perimenopause and menopause without the misery your mother and grandmother felt. Call us today!



The conversation around menopause should be more open, widespread, and informative, helping women prepare for this stage of their life and their wellbeing.

It’s not just the infamous hot flashes – menopause comes with a slew of symptoms that can alter your quality of life, and since it’s practically impossible to just “ignore” them, it’s best to prepare yourself beforehand and learn how to manage each one of them.

As a natural process, menopause can vary from one woman to another, but there are certain lifestyle habits as well as common symptoms that most face. With that in mind, here are a few simple tips you can take to heart if you’d like to prepare yourself or manage the symptoms more easily.

  1. Get your workout in the morning 

Controlling your body temperature during menopause is far from easy, but some simple lifestyle changes can make all the difference. For starters, consider switching your workout routine to start exercising in the morning. Training hard in the evening and too close to bedtime can trigger elevations in your body temperature, making it all the harder for you to unwind and fall asleep.

With your workout sessions scheduled for the morning, you can then set up your day more easily, so that you can dedicate your evening routine to soothing activities like reading, meditation, and gentle stretching.  These things help your body to unwind and prepare for restful sleep.

  1. Supplement support  

Consider taking immune-boosting vitamin and mineral combos to help strengthen your body’s natural defenses so that you can optimize your meals, calories, and macronutrients over time with your mind at ease. You can also check if you have specific deficiencies and then target those nutrient groups with supplementation as well as nutrition. The key thing to remember is that this is different for everyone, so it’s important not to give up until you find what works for you.

  1. Set up regular checkups 

Many women think that since their reproductive years are over, they no longer need regular well woman exams. However, even in menopause you still need to schedule regular checkups so that your physician can provide the guidance and support you need.

Your physician can also help you prevent or minimize loss of bone density, fatigue, as well as monitor your health for any issues. Keeping up with preventative health exams like mammograms and colonoscopies are also important. There’s no need to go it alone – medical professionals are able to help you when you’re not sure how to stay healthy and energized.

  1. Manage the mood swings 

Any transition in your life often comes with emotional changes. So, it’s only natural that menopause comes with mood swings. But the core culprit for those mood swings is the hormonal changes your body is going through. That’s why it’s best to focus on the cause, rather than just mitigate the consequence. One of the easiest ways to help keep your hormones in check is with your nutrition.

Make sure your nutrition is versatile and healthy, and that you spend enough time in the sun, so that you’re not depriving your body of vitamin D. In addition, choose whole foods that aren’t highly processed or packed with hormones, antibiotics, or preservatives. Go for natural sources to help keep your immune system strong and contribute to balancing your hormones.

Ensuring that you get the proper amount of (and good quality) sleep will also help keep your mood in check.

  1. Keep your mind active, too 

Is brain fog getting in the way of your work performance, social life, or enjoying a good book? Or maybe the mere idea of forgetting to turn off the stove is making you anxious? In any case, issues with focus and memory can be tricky to tackle. The most effective way to help yourself is to keep your mind active.

Take up learning a new language or a new hobby to challenge yourself. It doesn’t have to be a daily activity, but the more, the better. You can try games that involve planning and thinking, such as sudoku, and mindfulness activities like meditation and Thai chi can also help with lowering your stress levels and keeping your mind engaged.

From proper nutrition to healthy doses of exercise, your menopausal and postmenopausal years can be fulfilling and vibrant with the right tactics implemented. Remember that symptoms can be different for every woman, so if you need any help to manage those specific symptoms and issues, you can always schedule an appointment with our bio-identical hormone therapy providers and take a restorative approach to managing your menopause in the years to come.

The Austin, Texas location of Hormones by Design is now open and is accepting new patients. Call us today to schedule your new patient appointment!



Hormones are the chemical messengers of your body. They travel through your bloodstream, instructing different organs and tissues on what to do. From reproduction to regulating your metabolism, your hormones control all of your body’s major processes.

Even a small hormonal imbalance can have negative effects, including diabetes, weight gain, infertility, depression and more. A good parallel is to consider what happens when you add too much salt to your food. You ruin it! Your hormones are like ingredients that need to be properly balanced.

Hormone injections and supplements are two common methods that we use at Hormones by Design to combat hormonal imbalances. However, in this post, we take your attention to six ways you can help to balance your hormones naturally in your daily life.

Get enough sleep

Sleep is arguably the most important factor affecting hormonal balance. Nothing can save you from hormonal imbalance when you don’t get enough restorative sleep – not even nutrition or exercise! Poor sleep and sleep deprivation have been linked to imbalances in hormones like cortisol, insulin, ghrelin, and leptin.

Based on a study by the International Journal of Endocrinology, getting poor or too little sleep can result in diabetes, obesity, and problems with appetite.

Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily, but it’s important to note that quality also matters. Going through the five stages of each sleep cycle is important for the release of growth hormones.

Exercise regularly

The right kind and amount of exercise will positively impact your body’s hormones. A major benefit of exercise is its ability to increase insulin sensitivity and decrease insulin levels.

Insulin is an anabolic hormone that allows our body’s cells to take sugar from the bloodstream and use it as energy. Low levels of insulin result in constant fatigue, anxiety, irritability, and pale skin. On the other hand, high insulin levels have been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Many types of physical activities, however, have been found to modify hormone levels. Aerobic exercise, strength training, walking, and many other exercises will help lower your risk of many diseases.

Manage stress

We live in an insanely fast-paced world, where no one ever seems to take a break. This high level of stress affects two main hormones – cortisol and adrenaline.

Cortisol is the stress hormone that helps us cope with long-term stress. Adrenaline is responsible for our fight or flight mechanism, which helps us to react instinctively to danger. While these hormones fluctuate depending on the current condition, they are meant to be regulated by your body.

However, in high-stress environments, cortisol levels remain high. This saps an immense amount of energy, which causes you to eat more, putting you at the risk of obesity. If your adrenaline levels remain elevated, it can result in high blood pressure and anxiety. That’s why you need to effectively manage your stress level.

Avoid sugar and refined carbs

Sugar and refined carbs have been found to play a role in issues such as insulin resistance and metabolic disease. Fructose, in particular, increases insulin levels, especially in overweight people with prediabetes or diabetes. Common sources of fructose include honey, maple syrup, high-fructose corn syrup and refined table sugar. A diet high in refined carbs like pretzels and white bread may promote insulin resistance.

That’s why it’s advisable to eliminate sugar from your diet. It is particularly important to stay away from sugary beverages. Eating a low- or moderate- carb diet instead of refined carbs may help overweight people reduce their insulin levels.

Consume healthy fats

While fat is important for the proper functioning of the body, unhealthy fats like trans fats have been found to cause insulin resistance and increase belly fat storage. That’s why it’s good to consume only high-quality natural fats.

Coconut oil, pure MCT oil, and palm oil contain medium-chain triglycerides, which help to provide the liver with energy. MCTs are also known to reduce insulin resistance.

Dairy fats and monounsaturated fats in olive oil and nuts can also help increase your insulin sensitivity. It also helps balance the hormone responsible for appetite regulation and the digestion of protein and fat.

Eat enough protein

Consuming enough protein is very important because it provides the body with amino acids, which the body can’t make on its own. Amino acids assist in the creation and growth of muscles, connective tissue and skin. They aid in healing and repair, as well as digestion.

To maintain your hormonal balance, eating protein is non-negotiable. Consuming protein decreases ghrelin (which is our hunger hormone) while stimulating the production of other hormones that make you feel full.

Common sources of protein include lean meat and poultry, fish, and eggs, among many others. Aside from being a good source of protein, fatty fish also contains long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that help decrease insulin levels while increasing insulin sensitivity.

Wrap Up

Other natural tips worth mentioning include:

  • Eating a high-fiber diet
  • Drinking green tea
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Stopping smoking

Your hormones influence both your physical and emotional well-being. Adopting these practices into your lifestyle will help you enjoy better overall health. You can put these recommendations into practice today along with seeing a bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) provider at Hormones by Design! Our Austin, Texas location is now open and accepting new patients! Call us today to schedule your appointment and Feel Better from Day One!


In the realm of men’s health, the delicate balance of hormones plays a pivotal role in overall well-being. As medical knowledge advances, we’re gaining a deeper understanding of the impact that hormone imbalances can have on various aspects of life.

When addressing age-related changes, male hormone replacement therapy/testosterone replacement therapy emerges as a powerful tool for optimizing health and vitality. In this blog, we delve into the balancing act of male hormone replacement and explore its myriad benefits for overall health.

The Role of Hormones in Men’s Health

Hormones serve as messengers in the body, coordinating various physiological processes that influence physical, mental, and emotional well-being. In men, testosterone is a key hormone that does so much more than maintain sexual function. It plays a central role in maintaining muscle mass, bone density, energy levels, and even mood. However, factors such as aging, stress, and certain medical conditions can lead to a decline in hormone levels, resulting in a range of health challenges.

Male Hormone Replacement: A Personalized Approach

Male hormone replacement therapy involves restoring hormone levels to their optimal range, aiming to replicate the balance that was present in youth. This therapy is not a one-size-fits-all solution; it’s a precise approach that personalizes treatment to an individual’s specific needs. The therapy typically includes testosterone replacement in various forms, including injections, gels, or patches.

Balancing Act: What are the Benefits for Overall Health?

Enhanced Physical Vitality: Testosterone is closely linked to muscle mass and bone density. Male hormone replacement therapy can help maintain or regain muscle strength, enhance physical performance, and promote healthy bone density.

Improved Mood and Mental Well-Being: Hormone imbalances can contribute to mood swings, irritability, and even depression. Male hormone replacement therapy can support better mental health by promoting a more stable mood, increased focus, and overall cognitive well-being.

Boosted Energy Levels: Fatigue is the most common complaint among men experiencing hormone imbalances. Male hormone replacement therapy can contribute to increased energy levels, helping individuals feel more energized and engaged in their daily lives.

Heart Health: Hormone imbalances can impact heart health, increasing the risk of cardiovascular issues. Male hormone replacement therapy has been associated with improvements in cardiovascular health markers, potentially reducing the risk of heart-related complications.

Weight Management: Hormones play a role in metabolism and body composition. Male hormone replacement therapy can help regulate metabolism, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of obesity-related health concerns.

Enhanced Libido and Sexual Function: Testosterone is a key factor in sexual health. Hormone replacement therapy for men can lead to improvements in libido (sex drive), erectile function, and overall sexual satisfaction.

Improved Quality of Life: Perhaps the most significant benefit of male hormone replacement therapy is its impact on overall quality of life. By addressing hormone imbalances, individuals can experience a renewed sense of vitality, improved mood, and increased enjoyment of life’s activities.

Hormones by Design by Forum Health in Austin, Texas: Your Path to Vitality

Achieving overall health isn’t just about treating symptoms; it’s about restoring balance. Male hormone replacement therapy offers a path to achieving this equilibrium, addressing hormone imbalances that impact physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

If you are looking to optimize your health, male hormone replacement therapy stands as an innovative solution that can help transform your life. At Hormones by Design, our team collaborates closely with patients to develop customized treatment plans that address specific health concerns. Our new clinic in Austin is now open at 2200 Park Bend Drive and is ready to help men restore the balance in their life. Call today for an appointment!


Dementia affects millions of people all over the world, and the numbers continue to grow as the population ages. While there is no cure for dementia, there are treatments that can help slow down its progression.

One such treatment is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which involves taking estrogen and/or progesterone after menopause.

In this blog post, we will look at the effects of estrogen and progesterone on dementia.

I am a woman over the age of 65, should I take Estrogen?

The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, and research has shown that estrogen can help to protect the brain against Alzheimer’s. One study found that women who took estrogen after menopause were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who did not take estrogen.

However, it is important to note that this protective effect was only seen in women who took estrogen before they turned 65. For women who started taking estrogen after age 65, there was no protective effect against Alzheimer’s.

There are a few possible explanations for this. First, it is possible that the brain is more susceptible to damage from Alzheimer’s disease after menopause when levels of estrogen start to decline.

Second, it is also possible that the protective effect of estrogen wears off after a certain number of years.

Finally, it is also possible that taking estrogen after age 65 has no effect on Alzheimer’s disease, and the difference in risk between women who took estrogen before and after age 65 is due to chance.

Estrogen can help women with hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness, which are common symptoms of menopause.

Estrogen can also help to improve mood and cognitive function. Most women feel that the quality of life that HRT gives them outweighs any additional chance of developing dementia. Remember, you should always talk to your doctor before starting any treatment.

What effect does progesterone have on Alzheimer’s?

Progesterone is another hormone that has been studied for its potential to protect the brain against Alzheimer’s disease.

However, the results of these studies have been mixed. Some studies have found that women who take progesterone are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, while other studies have found no effect.

It is possible that the conflicting results of these studies are due to the fact that progesterone levels decline with age, and so it may only be effective in protecting the brain if it is taken at a young age. It is also possible that the conflicting results are due to chance.

Progesterone replacement can help women moderate mood swings, deal with stress, and improve sleep quality. So most women find it very beneficial during menopause and even during peri-menopause.

Do I have a higher risk of developing dementia if I am on HRT?

The answer to this question is not clear. Some studies have found that women on HRT are at a higher risk of developing dementia, while other studies have found no effect. The conflicting results of these studies may be due to chance.

It is also important to note that the risk of developing dementia increases with age and family history regardless of whether or not a woman is on HRT.

Most women feel that the benefit to their quality of life (by reducing hot flashes and night sweats and increasing libido) is enough to negate the possibility of an increased risk of dementia. It is also important to note that many studies are not done with bio-identical hormones, and instead use synthetic hormones.

Remember that before starting any treatment you need to discuss it with your medical provider.

We are happy to test your hormone levels at Hormones by Design. Our newest location in New Braunfels, TX is accepting new patients.  Call us at 830-627-7979 today!


Do you sometimes have trouble sleeping? Are you finding it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep at night? If so, you’re not alone.

Millions of women deal with insomnia every year. And while there are many potential causes, one of the most common is menopause.

In this blog post, we will discuss the relationship between menopause and insomnia and look at some of the possible treatments.

What is menopause and what are the symptoms

Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years.

It typically occurs around the age of 51, but menopause can occur earlier or later depending on individual health and hormonal factors.

Menopause is caused by a decline in the production of estrogen and other reproductive hormones.

This decline leads to changes in a woman’s menstrual cycle and eventually to the cessation of menstruation.

Symptoms of menopause can vary from woman to woman, but they are often characterized by hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood swings, and sleep disturbances.

While menopause is a natural part of aging, the symptoms can be disruptive and even debilitating for some women.

Fortunately, there are treatments available that can help manage menopausal symptoms and minimize their impact on quality of life.

What causes insomnia during menopause?

Menopause is a time of great change for women. Not only are there changes in hormone levels, but also changes in sleeping patterns.

Many women find that they have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep during menopause. There are several possible causes of insomnia during menopause.

First, the hormonal changes that occur during menopause can disrupt the body’s natural sleep cycle.

Second, menopause can cause hot flashes and night sweats, which can make it difficult to sleep.

Finally, stress and anxiety can also contribute to insomnia during menopause.

How to treat insomnia during menopause

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for menopause-related insomnia, there are a few treatments that can help. Here are five of the best treatments for menopause-related insomnia:

  1. Hormone therapy: For women who are experiencing menopause symptoms due to a decrease in hormone levels, hormone therapy can be an effective treatment. This can be done through a pill, patch, or cream that replaces the hormones that are no longer being produced by the body. We only recommend bio-identical hormones.
  2. Sleep aids: Over-the-counter sleep aids can be helpful for menopausal women who occasionally have trouble sleeping. These include melatonin, valerian root, CBD and more.  Remember to always talk to your doctor before starting any supplement as it can interact with other medications.
  3. Relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help to ease menopause symptoms and promote better sleep.
  4. Exercise: Exercise can help to improve sleep quality by reducing stress and anxiety. It is important to avoid exercising too close to bedtime, however, as this can make it difficult to fall asleep.
  5. Dietary changes: Making dietary changes such as avoiding caffeine and eating a light evening dinner can also help menopausal women get a better night’s sleep.


Does menopausal insomnia go away?

As any woman who has gone through menopause knows, the hot flashes and night sweats can be difficult to deal with. But menopausal insomnia can be even more disruptive, causing sleepless nights and fatigue during the day.

The good news is that menopausal insomnia is often temporary, and there are a number of things that women can do to help themselves get some relief, which has been discussed earlier in the blog post.

Can menopause cause severe insomnia?

There is some evidence that menopause can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythms, making it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. While more research is needed to confirm these connections, it’s clear that menopause can potentially cause severe insomnia.  If you are suffering from insomnia, talk to your doctor about it.

How can I increase my sleeping hormones?

There are a few things you can do to help increase your sleeping hormones. One, as mentioned earlier, is to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, as both can interfere with sleep. Another is to establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible.

Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day helps to regulate your body’s natural sleep cycle. Finally, make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet, and that the temperature is comfortable. Creating an environment that is conducive to sleep can help your body to produce the hormones needed for a good night’s rest.


Menopause can be a difficult time for many women, both physically and emotionally. One of the most common complaints during menopause is insomnia, which can be caused by a number of factors.

Fortunately, there are a number of treatments that can help to ease menopausal symptoms and promote better sleep. If you’re struggling with menopausal insomnia, talk to your doctor about the best treatment options for you.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us. We would be more than happy to help!  Our newest location in New Braunfels, TX is accepting new patients.  Call us at 830-627-7979.



Testosterone plays a part in many functions in both the male and female bodies. As men and women age, their bodies produce less and less testosterone.

But how do you know if you need to boost your testosterone level?

In this blog post, we will take a look at the symptoms of low testosterone and different therapies to increase or replace testosterone.

How does a woman know if she has low testosterone?

The most common symptom of low testosterone in women is a loss of libido. You may also experience fatigue, depression, anxiety, or brain fog.

There are other potential symptoms as well, such as hot flashes or night sweats, osteoporosis, hair loss, and vaginal dryness.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor. They can run some tests to see if your testosterone levels are indeed low.

How does a man know if he has low testosterone?

older man testosterone loss

The most common symptom of low testosterone in men is a loss of libido. You may also experience erectile dysfunction, fatigue, depression, anxiety, or brain fog.

There are other potential symptoms as well, such as hot flashes or night sweats, osteoporosis, hair loss, and testicular shrinkage.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor. They can run some tests to see if your testosterone levels are indeed low.

What are the different therapies to increase or replace testosterone?

There are a few different therapies that can be used to increase or replace testosterone. The most common is testosterone replacement therapy, which can be done via injection, patch, gel, or dissolvable tablet.

There are also testosterone boosters, which are supplements that can help increase your testosterone levels. 

Why are there no pharmaceutical testosterone pills?

The answer to this is two-fold. First, testosterone is a hormone, and hormones are not typically taken in pill form because they are not easily absorbed by the body.

Second, testosterone pills can have serious side effects, such as liver damage.

There are rapid dissolving tablets (also called orally disintegrating tablets) or Troches that can be compounded with specific testosterone dosing in them.

These dissolve under your tongue or between your cheek and gum to safely give you the dose of testosterone required daily.

What is medical testosterone made from?

Most testosterone therapy is made from synthetic testosterone. This means that it is not identical to the testosterone that your body naturally produces.

We recommend bio-identical testosterone. This is testosterone that is identical to what your body produces. It is made in a laboratory from plant sources.

What classification is testosterone?

Testosterone is classified as a controlled substance. This means that it can only be prescribed by a licensed medical provider and dispensed by a pharmacy.

This also means that if you are prescribed testosterone to take daily, you will most likely need to show your ID at the pharmacy to pick up your medication.

What medications or supplements can I take to help with my low testosterone?

Most people need testosterone replacement therapy, however, there are also testosterone boosters, which are supplements that can help increase your testosterone levels. One of those supplements is DHEA.

DHEA is a hormone that the body uses to make testosterone. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, as they can interact with other medications you may be taking.

What lifestyle changes can I make to help with my low testosterone?

There are a few different lifestyle changes that can help with low testosterone in men or women. First, you can try to lose weight if you are overweight. Second, you can exercise regularly. Third, you can try to reduce stress in your life.

Lastly, you can make sure to get enough sleep each night. All of these things will help improve your overall health and well-being, which can in turn help increase your testosterone levels.

Which therapy is right for me?

The best way to figure out which therapy is right for you is to talk to your doctor. They can help you figure out if your testosterone levels are indeed low and then recommend the best course of treatment.

If you are prescribed testosterone replacement therapy, they will also be able to help you decide which delivery method is right for you. 

Here at Hormones by Design, we help both women and men with low testosterone. Call our newest location in New Braunfels, TX to make an appointment 830-627-7979. We are happy to help you!



What is a hysterectomy or oophorectomy?

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, and an oophorectomy is the surgical removal of the ovaries. Hysterectomies and oophorectomies can be performed together or separately.

Why do you get a hysterectomy or oophorectomy?

There are many reasons why a hysterectomy or oophorectomy may be recommended.

Some common reasons include:

  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Cancer of the uterus, ovaries, or cervix
  • Severe bleeding during menses

What are the consequences of a hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy?

The loss of the ovaries can cause a woman to experience a sudden and drastic decrease in estrogen levels (also called surgical menopause).

This can lead to numerous health problems, including osteoporosis, heart disease, and cognitive decline. Symptoms of low estrogen include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep problems
  • Foggy thinking
  • any many more

What are my estrogen replacement options/alternatives?

Fortunately, there are several ways to increase estrogen levels naturally. One option is bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), which involves taking estrogen injections, pills, patches, or creams.

In fact, most patients need estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone to feel their best after a hysterectomy or oophorectomy.

Natural vs. Synthetic Estrogens

There are two main types of estrogen therapy: synthetic and natural:

Synthetic estrogens are made in a laboratory and are not identical to the hormones produced by the body.

Natural estrogens, on the other hand, are derived from plant sources and are chemically identical to the hormones produced by the body. This is often termed “bio-identical.” The most common form of estrogen used for HRT is Estradiol.

woman speaking with nurse

How long should you take estrogen after a hysterectomy?

This is a question that should be discussed with your doctor. Typically, patients will take estrogen therapy for the rest of their lives. However, some women may only need to take it for a few years.

If you are considering a hysterectomy or oophorectomy, it is important to talk to your medical provider about hormone replacement before the procedure. Here at Hormones by Design, we specialize in BHRT.

We can help you with determining your estrogen levels and help you make a plan for the best method to replace all your needed hormones.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our new New Braunfels location at (830) 627-7979. We would be happy to help!

There are hundreds of clinics attempting to treat hormone imbalance. What makes us different? We listen, then we take action. We can start your treatment on day one. Faster treatment = feel better faster!
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