Hormone replacement therapy and degenerative joint disease

Hormone replacement therapy and joint disease

Danielle R. Steilen-Matias, MMS, PA-C

Hormones drive the immune system and help repair damaged joints. A patient who experiences thinning hair, loss of sex drive, decreased muscle tone, dry skin, menstrual cramping, irregular menses, chronic fatigue, decreased body temperature, and a feeling of coldness has a hormone deficiency until proven otherwise. Waves of new research are now connecting  hormone deficiency with degenerative joint pain and osteoarthritis.

Like everything else in our bodies, hormone levels need to be balanced. The body needs their hormones balanced in order to function the way they were meant to function. When your hormones are off balance, it is a sign that the body is not working correctly. When the body does not function optimally, it cannot heal the way it is supposed to heal. For instance, having high estradiol levels can decrease the ability of the body to make fibroblasts, the cells needed to make connective tissue. This is a consideration for women who are on birth control, as it can hamper healing ability. Low hormone levels can most definitely alter your ability to heal, let alone make you feel sluggish and unhealthy.

We commonly ask patients to check the following hormone levels to help optimize healing

We commonly ask patients to check the following hormone levels to optimize health, healing, and aging: thyroid, TSH, DHEA, pregnenolone, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, melatonin, and cortisol at least to start. For the person in chronic pain, it is very likely that at least one of these levels will be suboptimal. Always keep in mind that certain hormones are anabolic, meaning they grow connective tissue, where others are catabolic and promote its breakdown. When deficient, supplementing with natural hormones will generally enhance healing. More important is hormonal balancing, making sure that the  hormonal milieu is anabolic and not catabolic.

The science connection between hormone levels, chronic pain, and inflammation

Hormones can help reduce risk of  joint replacement complications

Hormones as anti-inflammatory:


Hormones rebuild cartilage:

There is a connection between painkillers and hormone replacement therapy that makes pain worse

Many people believe that testosterone is only a male hormone, but it plays a pivotal role in the female body chemistry as well. Man or women, if one has a low testosterone level, then they will likely experience more difficulty healing.

Testosterone is made by men in the testicles, and females the ovaries. There is also a small production that is created in the adrenal glands. Although the adrenal gland is able to produce a small amount of testosterone, many patients of both genders suffer from depleted adrenals as a result of stress. This stress can arise from pain, lack of sleep, and a myriad of personal issues. So sometimes treating adrenal fatigue to optimize hormone production is called for.

Prolotherapy Specialists

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Danielle Steilen-Matias, PA-C | Katherine Worsnick, PA-C | Ross Hauser, MD | David Woznica, MD

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