Who needs Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)?
Almost all of us over the age of 40 (and in many cases over 30) begin to experience hormone imbalance. Over our lifetime, along with the aging process, we are exposed to environmental and dietary toxins, which contribute to the natural decline of hormones.
Hormones are very powerful: When they are in balance, life is good. We feel energetic, happy, sexy, and other labs like cholesterol are affected positively. Your body is more responsive healthy diet and exercise. On the other hand, when hormones are out of balance, multiple symptoms can arise. If you have any of the following symptoms, you may be experiencing hormonal imbalance:
- Hot flashes/night sweats
- Food cravings
- Weight gain/inability to lose weight
- Foggy thinking
- Decreased libido
- Hair loss
- Vaginal dryness
- Breast tenderness
- Arthritis/joint pains
- Insomnia/sleep disturbances
- Poor concentration
- Inability to build/maintain muscle
- Irritability/mood swings
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Impaired immune system/frequent infections
Is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy for You?
Many factors contribute to hormonal imbalance such as aging, genetics, increasing daily stress or conditions such as adrenal fatigue, thyroid disease or metabolic syndrome. The disturbances can cause a variety of different symptoms. Often the symptoms are confused with the signs of aging. This can have a negative effect on your life. You may be experiencing one or many of the symptoms listed above.
There is really not much we can do to prevent hormonal imbalances. As we age, our hormone levels will fluctuate and decline. But you can restore hormone balance through natural bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. And once your hormones are in sync again, the negative symptoms usually disappear.
Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is an alternative to conventional hormone therapy such as conjugated estrogens and Medroxyprogesterone. BHRT uses both natural and synthesized hormones, which are identical to the molecules of hormones that the human body produces. It is customizable to your body’s needs and requirements, unlike “one size fits all’ conventional therapy.
Balancing your hormones is a crucial step to attaining optimal overall health. Hormones are the chemical messengers of your body, so when they’re properly balanced and functioning, all of you body systems work more smoothly.
Men, who suffer from the symptoms of andropause or women suffering from menopause or Perimenopause, use bio-identical hormones to replace natural hormones that decline in their bodies with age.
In order to balance your hormones for optimal health and wellness, it is critical to be evaluated by a highly trained physician – including comprehensive lab testing and in depth initial questionnaires – prior to creating a personalized treatment plan.
What are bio-identical hormones?
Bio-identical hormones have the exact same molecular shape and structure as the hormones made in the human body. These hormones generate the same physiologic response in the body, as do hormones already produced by the body. Plant sources (sterols) provide the starting material, which can be converted in the laboratory to specific bio-identical hormones.
By contrast, synthetic hormones are intentionally different. Drug companies cannot patent a bio-identical structure, so they most often invent synthetic hormones that are patentable (Premarin, Prempro, and Provera being the most widely used examples) or provide ‘bio-identical” hormones in a unique delivery so the delivery mechanism becomes patentable.
Are bio-identical hormones safer than the synthetic versions?
We long ago concluded that the answer to this question is yes. But that doesn’t mean bio-identical hormones are perfect. The great appeal of bio-identical hormones is that they are natural, and our bodies can metabolize them as it was designed to do, minimizing side effects. Synthetic hormones are quite strong: often producing intolerable side effects. Moreover, the compounded bio-identical hormones can be matched individually to each individual’s needs — something that’s just impossible with mass-produced synthetic products.
European medical studies suggest that yes; bio-identical hormones are safer than synthetic versions. While this makes perfect sense, we must be cautious because they have not been well studied especially for long-term use. And in any case, we recommend that women and men never think of any drug as completely safe.
BHRT (Bio-identical Hormones):
- Chemical structure exact replica of human hormones
- Fits hormone receptor exactly
- Helps with all hormonal symptoms
- Individualized dosing
- Lab testing/monitoring available
- Must be obtained from compounding pharmacy
- Costs more
CHT(Conventional Hormone Therapy):
- Chemical structure different than human hormones
- Fits hormone receptor well
- Helps with hot flushes and vaginal dryness
- One-size-fits-all dosing
- No monitoring tests available
- Can be obtained at a regular pharmacy (e.g., CVS, Walgreens, Kroger)
- Insurance may pay for your prescriptions
Hormone Pellet Therapy
Composed of either estradiol or testosterone, bio-identical hormone pellets are larger than a grain f rice and smaller than a Tic Tac.
During a sterile procedure, the Nurse Practitioner applies a local anesthetic, makes a small incision and inserts the pellet in the fatty tissue under the skin – typically the upper flank (males) or buttock (women).
The pellets release testosterone or estrogen into the bloodstream based on cardiac output.
Pellets are more convenient that creams in that one does not need apply daily. There is much better absorption as well.
Endothelial Function Testing
Using pulse wave technology, we can run a 3minute test on your pulse and evaluate
· the elasticity or stiffness of your arteries, which is a major cardiovascular risk factor.
· Heart rate variability, how adaptable is your cardiovascular system and how well balanced is your nervous system,
· Arteriosclerosis, thickening and stiffening of your blood vessels which restricts blood flow to your vital organs and tissues
CIMT – Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
Ultrasound that can detect cardiovascular disease in its earliest stages. It detects if there are cholesterol or other plaques on our carotid arteries. Also measures the thickness of your arteries thus your vascular age. You are as old as your arteries.
eVox – Brain Function Blueprint
This brain map uses functional neuroimaging to painlessly measure and analyze the electrical activity of your brain. It helps your provider visualize the brain as it processes information.
Helps assess for early dementia and Alzheimer’s: thus we can engage prevention therapies earlier.