HOW TO KNOW IF BHRT IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
As we get older, many of us just blame it on age when we fatigue easily or put on weight that’s hard to get off. Some of us suffer from insomnia, irritable bowels, dry skin and hair loss. And then there’s the drop in our libido, as if as we get older, we’re just not that interested in sex anymore. We can get moody or even depressed, or experience memory loss and poor concentration.
Many times, hormonal imbalance is the root cause of these many symptoms. Such imbalance can occur due to natural changes, including menopause in women and a drop in testosterone in men. In addition, environmental and dietary toxins can accelerate hormone imbalance and difficult symptoms. But a diminished quality of life isn’t a foregone conclusion. If your hormones are imbalanced, bioidentical hormone therapy may be able to effectively treat it.
WHAT IS BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY?
Natural hormones, such as estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone, are produced in various glands throughout the body. These hormones regulate an enormous range of body functions. When our glands under or over produce hormones, we begin to experience symptoms like those listed above.
Bioidentical hormones are hormones derived from plants. They are chemically identical to those the human body. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) uses these hormones to help address symptoms related to hormonal imbalance. BHRT most often seeks to increase or balance the hormones estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and adrenal hormones.
Treatment includes a comprehensive review of a patient’s current hormone levels, healthy history, and needs. According to this detailed information, we will prescribe a customized treatment plan that may include hormone pellets,or tablets. The length of treatment also depends on your individual needs and how you are feeling – some people may require hormone therapy indefinitely while others many only need hormones until their symptoms have subsided.
Through diagnostic hormone testing, we can determine your hormone levels and your unique bioidentical hormone needs. Our process includes:
- A comprehensive review of symptoms, medical, family and personal history
- Testing - blood laboratory analysis
- Natural hormone balancing
- Ongoing evaluations
- Quality compounded pharmacy
- Highest quality supplements
- Nutrition planning
- Body Composition Analysis
Initially, you will need comprehensive lab panels to assess your body functions and your hormone levels. After that, a treatment plan can cost between $150 and $250 a month.
Bioidentical hormone therapy has a few potential side effects which are classically linked to dosage—as your hormone levels improve, your dosage may need to be adjusted. If you notice side effects, contact your physician. These side effects might include increased acne or irritability for men and women. Women may experience breast tenderness, spotting, cramping, and bloating. These side effects tend to wear off as hormone levels balance. It is vitally important to work with doctors, who are proficient in evaluating and treating symptoms and are passionate about creating a relationship that insures their patients receive the best care possible.WHAT ARE YOUR SYMPTOMS?
Take the quiz to see if you are a candidate for HRT - HRT QUIZ
WHO NEEDS BHRT?
If you are experiencing the classic symptoms of aging, you may want to explore BHRT to help you feel healthier and more youthful (and often with an increased libido). These symptoms can include:
- Weight gain
- Limited energy
- Hair loss
- Low sex drive
- Mood swings
- Poor concentration
- Memory loss
As noted above, menopause or andropause might be the root cause behind these symptoms. At the same time, environmental and dietary toxins can upset hormonal imbalance or make existing hormonal imbalance worse. If symptoms like these have begun to affect your quality of life, you could be a candidate for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
You may want to consider BHRT if you’re experiencing conditions or diseases that result from an imbalance of hormones, such as:
The good news, for both men and women, is that hormonal balance can be achieved, as long as you are evaluated by a highly trained physician — including comprehensive lab testing and in-depth initial questionnaires — prior to creating a personalized treatment plan.
IS BHRT DIFFERENT FROM OTHER HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPIES?
According to a report produced for the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, patients report greater satisfaction with bioidentical hormone therapy than with a therapy that uses a synthetic hormone.
“Bioidentical hormones have some distinctly different, potentially opposite, physiological effects compared with their synthetic counterparts, which have different chemical structures,” states the report. Physiological and clinical data have indicated that a bioidentical hormone is associated with a diminished risk for breast cancer, compared with the increased risk associated with synthetic hormone, notes the report.
“Physiological data and clinical outcomes demonstrate that bioidentical hormones are associated with lower risks, including the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, and are more efficacious than their synthetic and animal-derived counterparts,” states the report.
Furthermore, the FDA has approved certain bioidentical hormones, and your physician might rely on these, or develop a therapy specific to your needs, consulting with a compounding pharmacy to develop the right dose unique to you. For this reason, it’s crucial that you work with a trained physician in developing the right formulation for you and to continually assess your response to therapy.