Hormone Replacement Therapy Specialist (BioTE) | Chicago

1. What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a treatment used to alleviate symptoms associated with menopause by replenishing the hormones that the body no longer produces naturally. It typically involves the administration of estrogen and, in some cases, progesterone. HRT can be delivered through various forms, including pills, patches, gels, and implants. It aims to relieve common menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and vaginal dryness, and to prevent long-term biological changes like bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis.

2. Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy

HRT offers numerous benefits, particularly for women experiencing severe menopausal symptoms:

  • Symptom Relief: It effectively reduces hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and mood swings.
  • Bone Health: HRT helps in maintaining bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
  • Heart Health: Some studies suggest HRT may have a positive effect on heart health if started early in menopause.
  • Quality of Life: By alleviating debilitating symptoms, HRT can significantly improve overall quality of life and well-being.
  • Reduced Risk of Certain Cancers: HRT can lower the risk of colon cancer.

3. How to Prepare for the Appointment

To make the most of your appointment with Dr. Adeeb Alshahrour at the Women’s Health Center of Chicago, it’s important to come prepared:

  • Medical History: Compile a comprehensive medical history, including menstrual history, menopause symptoms, and any previous treatments for menopause.
  • Family History: Gather information on any family history of hormone-related conditions, such as breast cancer or osteoporosis.
  • Current Medications: Bring a list of all medications, supplements, and vitamins you are currently taking.
  • Questions and Concerns: Write down any questions or concerns you have about HRT. Consider topics such as side effects, benefits, and the different types of HRT available.
  • Symptom Diary: Keep a diary of your menopausal symptoms, noting their frequency and severity.

4. What to Expect During the Appointment

During your appointment with Dr. Alshahrour, you can expect a thorough evaluation and discussion:

  • Discussion: Dr. Alshahrour will review your medical and family history, your current symptoms, and any concerns you have about HRT.
  • Physical Examination: A general physical exam may be performed, including a pelvic exam if necessary.
  • Diagnostic Tests: Depending on your medical history, Dr. Alshahrour may recommend blood tests to check your hormone levels, as well as bone density scans if osteoporosis is a concern.
  • Treatment Plan: Dr. Alshahrour will explain the different types of HRT, their benefits, and potential risks, and help you decide on the most appropriate form of HRT for your needs.
  • Questions and Answers: This is an opportunity to ask any remaining questions and ensure you fully understand the treatment plan.

5. Aftercare

After starting HRT, ongoing care is crucial to ensure the treatment is effective and to manage any side effects:

  • Follow-Up Appointments: Regular follow-up appointments with Dr. Alshahrour are necessary to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment.
  • Symptom Monitoring: Keep track of your symptoms and report any changes, improvements, or side effects to Dr. Alshahrour.
  • Healthy Lifestyle: Maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep to support your overall well-being.
  • Bone Health: Continue any recommended supplements or medications for bone health, such as calcium and vitamin D.
  • Routine Screenings: Stay up-to-date with routine screenings like mammograms and Pap smears to monitor your overall health.

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Dr. Adeeb Alshahrour, MD

About Dr. Adeeb Al-Shahrour

Dr. Adeeb Alshahrour is an obstetrician-gynecologist in Chicago, Illinois and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and St. Anthony Hospital-Chicago. He received his medical degree from University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Common side effects of HRT can include bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and mood changes. More serious risks include an increased risk of blood clots, stroke, and certain types of cancer. Dr. Alshahrour will discuss these in detail with you.

The duration of HRT varies for each individual. Some women may use it for a few years to manage severe symptoms, while others may need it longer. Dr. Alshahrour will help determine the best duration for your treatment.

HRT is not a weight loss treatment, but it can help manage menopausal symptoms that might indirectly influence weight, such as improving sleep and reducing mood swings.

HRT is not suitable for everyone. Women with a history of breast cancer, blood clots, liver disease, or certain other conditions may be advised against HRT. Dr. Alshahrour will assess your individual health profile to determine if HRT is right for you.

Alternatives to HRT include lifestyle changes, non-hormonal medications, and natural remedies like phytoestrogens. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and acupuncture have also shown benefits for some women. Dr. Alshahrour can discuss these options with you if HRT is not suitable.