What are Hormones?
Hormones are chemical messengers that act within the body to co-ordinate and regulate many normal functions from growth, development and puberty through to stress responses and fertility. Hormones affect every cell in your body and create a complex and inter-connected network of physiological responses to every moment of your life. If any of these connected networks become disrupted the resulting symptoms can be wide-ranging.
Conventional treatment options for hormonal disorders most often involve replacing the missing hormones (e.g. in the case of insulin treatment in diabetes of hormone replacement therapy in menopause) or control the imbalanced hormones in order to manage the associated symptoms (e.g. in the case of disrupted female hormones in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome where the oral contraceptive pill may be prescribed.
Homeopathy and Hormones
Homeopathy offers a holistic approach to health and well-being that can be used alongside conventional treatment options in hormone disorders. Homeopathic medicine treats the person as a whole, rather than treating specific conditions or symptoms in isolation: for a homeopath, named conditions are not necessarily the most important thing to consider when deciding on a treatment strategy.
Homeopathic treatment places an equal importance on both emotional and physical wellbeing, especially in the context of your personal story. This holistic philosophy is one of the main differences between homeopathy and conventional treatment strategies and can lend itself well to the complex nature of hormone-related problems.
Homeopathy and Women’s Health
The numbers of female patients that seek homeopathic consultations can be almost twice that of men so many homeopaths have developed a special interest in women’s health issues. This may be focused on fertility and pregnancy or menstrual disorders, premenstrual syndrome and menopause.
There is some preliminary evidence to suggest that homeopathy can be beneficial in managing the distress of women’s health issues. For example, homeopathic treatment has been shown in small clinical trials to help women coping with hot flushes and other distressing symptoms of menopause; an audit of an NHS Well Woman Clinic in Sheffield also found that 81% of 102 patients reported improvement in their experience of menopause after seeing a homeopath.
Homeopathy and Men’s Health
Some homeopaths have developed a special interest in men’s health issues focusing on psychosexual issues, fertility and prostate health. Fertility problems affect one in 7 couples in the UK, with most male-related cases being due to low sperm counts or poor quality sperm which can in turn be related to testosterone levels. A pilot study involving 45 sub-fertile men found that individualised homeopathic treatment improved both the number and quality of sperm. Additionally, an observational clinical trial of over 200 men in India with early symptoms of benign growth of the prostate showed that 85% of patients reported improvement in urination symptoms.