Although the wisdom that comes with age is nice, the wrinkles, ailing joints and general frailty are not. That’s why it is no surprise that ‘anti-aging’ is such a hot topic. Luckily, the key to anti-aging is within your reach. When it comes to relaying messages, inducing reactions and protecting tissue it’s all about your hormones.

Your hormones are chemical messengers that are keeping your body functioning. From regulating metabolism and growth to controlling immune function and reproduction, hormones are major players in all that you do and all that you are physically at least.

Most people associate human growth hormone and DHEA with aging, but progesterone, testosterone, estrogen and cortisol play a role in aging as well. If the delicate balance of any one of these hormones is destroyed, it can take a serious toll on your body, mind and spirit and be mistaken as classic signs of aging.

DHEA is a precursor hormone produced from cholesterol by the adrenal glands inside the body. This hormone plays a crucial role in the formation of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone as well as fuels the transformation that occurs as the body grows and matures.

Around your mid to late twenties, DHEA begins a gradual decline, which contributes to the aging process. By the age of 70, you generally have less than 10 percent of the DHEA you had in your twenties. Therapy with DHEA can be helpful in treating auto-immune disorders, obesity, dementia, osteoporosis and chronic fatigue. In some cases, it may be more effective to replace testosterone or estrogen to correct imbalances rather than DHEA , due to its role in converting to the sex hormones.

Progesterone serves multiple functions in the body of both men and women. It is vital for regulating the sleep cycle, as well as boosting immunity and brain function. In women, progesterone is an essential hormone of the reproductive process. Many women will experience fluctuations of progesterone throughout their life cycles. An imbalance of this hormone can lead to symptoms classically associated with aging, such as poor sleep, moody swings and foggy thinking.

Progesterone also serves as a precursor hormone, converting to estrogen, testosterone or cortisol on the steroid hormone pathway. Low levels of progesterone can lead to increased levels of cortisol and low levels of the sex hormones, which will trigger impaired immune function and a host of other issues associated with hormone imbalance.

The hormone HGH (human growth hormone) is secreted by the pituitary gland and is crucial for normal development and maintenance of organs and tissues especially in children. HGH enhances tissue growth, increases muscle mass and strengthens bone density throughout the life cycle.

Hormone therapy with HGH is most commonly used in the medical industry to treat children with stunted growth or young people suffering from hormone deficiencies. In a few cases, HGH may be necessary for treatment of hormone imbalance in adults, but this is rare.

When FDAapproved HGH is prescribed, it is in the form of a powder with a diluting solution for use as an injection. This is the only formulation that has been approved by the FDA. Of the HGH sprays and pills that are available without a prescription, few have been proven to be effective.

A specialized physician can help you determine if hormone therapy will treat or reverse your hormone imbalance and the symptoms often linked to advanced aging. Lab testing, followed by a thorough consultation, will ensure you get the quality treatment you need to live better and longer.