Are you suffering from chronic pain? It may be time to consider the role that your hormone balance is playing in the cause of that pain. Hormones are chemicals that are produced in the endocrine glands and keep the body functioning properly by sending it signals. The endocrine system is in control of regulating the growth, development, homeostasis, metabolism, reproduction, and responses within the human body. Using a network of glands, the system secretes different hormones and uses the blood stream to deliver them to the appropriate part of the body.
There are a variety of hormones that are used for specific messages to cells, organs or tissues. The amount of hormones that are sent and delivered are vital to smooth functioning. When out of balance, you can imagine, the body may start manifesting a wide range of problems. Supplementing hormones that are not naturally being produced by the body, has been a therapy method used to treat imbalances. The following study from research performed in 2010, found hormone therapy to possibly help alleviate chronic pain symptoms.
In the Case of Osteoarthritis
In 2010, a study was published in the Arthritis and Rheumatism journal that observed how estrogen and testosterone therapy may relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis. The researchers wanted to test cells that are found within tissues affected by osteoarthritis called chondrogenic progenitor cells. These cells are known to help damaged tissues regenerate when they are activated by estrogen and testosterone.
The researchers took that information and tested the CPC by examining 372 tissue samples from patients who had undergone total knee replacements. They added estrogen and testosterone into the joint fluid of the knee to test cell regeneration.
The cells in fact did regenerate the tissue. Interestingly, the regeneration was relative to the hormone: sex of the patient relationship. The female’s cells were primarily influenced by the estrogen hormones and the male’s cells were primarily influenced by the testosterone hormones. The conclusion was that the hormone replacement therapy in the joint fluid could possibly help to repair the effects of osteoarthritis in patients by repairing the damaged tissue using CPC cells.
Testosterone in the Case of Chronic Pain
Now, many people hear testosterone and assume that it is a hormone applicable exclusively to men. However, both males and females have testosterone hormones in their body. It is just not the primary hormone in women. Men have a higher concentration of testosterone.
You may have heard about supplements of testosterone for helping men build muscle or increase energy, but did you know it can also help with chronic pain relief? That is right, testosterone is involved in the body’s natural opioid activity by keeping the receptors working well. The body naturally produces opioids important for pain control, and they can be properly received to reduce the amount of pain experienced through receptors working optimally. Doctors may prescribe testosterone hormone therapy in patient’s they think may have low levels in order to increase the receptors efficiency.