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BHRT

The body produces a wide variety of hormones and can be thought of as your life force. They control everything from your physical attractiveness and chemistry, to libido and sexuality, to mating and reproduction. Hormones have hundreds of functions in the body. They affect your brain (mood/concentration), heart, bones, and skin, as well as the health of your internal organs. In women, the cyclical nature of our hormones is obvious, affecting our energy, mood, sleep and weight throughout different times of the month. The natural aging process is the gradual decline of your hormones starting around the age of 30.

The Truth about Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

Not all hormone replacement therapies are alike. There is a world of difference between synthetic hormone replacement, and bioidentical hormone replacement (BHRT), which is what we use in our program. Many men and women rave about their experience using bioidentical hormones. So what’s the difference?

  • HRT is the term used for synthetic hormones. They are drugs that mimic hormones and are made by pharmaceutical companies. They are able to patented, because they do not have the same molecular structure as human hormones. They are rightly encouraged by doctors to use for the shortest time possible due to increased risk of blood clots, stroke, heart disease, breast and ovarian cancers and dementia.
  • BHRT is the term used for bioidentical hormones. They are structurally identical to hormones that are produced by the human body. They are usually compounded in a compounding pharmacy and derived from plants. Knowledgeable doctors will encourage their patients to stay on bioidentical hormones due to many long term benefits such as maintaining bone density, reduce incidence of breast and uterine cancers and lower the risk of heart disease, strokes and dementia.

Treatment related side-effects and the risks of traditional synthetic hormone replacement have prompted more education and options for treatment. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement (BHRT) offers a more effective replacement (you feel better) without the risks associated with standard hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Hormones and Their Effect on Overall Health

Patients may go to their doctors’ office with symptoms of hormone disorders but are often told their hormones, such as thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and adrenal hormones are fine according to standard blood tests. Most doctors evaluate the lab results based on the reference ranges or “normal limits” but only the sickest 5% of the population will have results outside those normal limits.

Thyroid

Your thyroid governs your metabolism and your ability to generate heat and burn calories. Low thyroid levels can cause fatigue, depression and difficulty losing weight. Low thyroid also increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. A full 90 percent of standard blood tests that a typical doctor orders do not detect low thyroid levels.

Adrenals

The adrenal glands control energy, sleep, blood sugar, and the ability to handle stress. Adrenal exhaustion is often the cause of serious fatigue. Unfortunately, in today’s busy world, the body’s stress response is activated so often that the body doesn’t always have a chance to return to normal, resulting in a state of chronic stress. This can lead to adrenal fatigue and a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

DHEA is a human hormone naturally produced by the adrenal glands. It circulates in the blood stream and is converted into other hormones like testosterone and estrogen which affect sexual development and function. It is one of the most important precursor hormones and is converted into the more ‘potent’ androgens, such as testosterone and estrogen.

Pregnenolone

Pregnenolone is sometimes called the “mother of hormones” because it is the basic, raw material from which the body produces cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA. It is produced from cholesterol in the adrenal glands and the brain. Pregnenolone helps maintain levels of key hormones, while promoting mood and memory enhancement, as well as improved energy levels and enzyme activity.

Progesterone

Progesterone is referred to as the happy hormone. When in balance with estrogen, women have no PMS symptoms such as mood swings, migraines, heavy bleeding, anxiety, tender breasts, cystic breasts, ovarian cysts,etc. Progesterone deficiency can occur when a young lady starts menses or after the birth of a baby. In most instances women’s progesterone levels start to decline around the age of 35. When progesterone levels are low, then estrogen levels are not balanced and can cause a host of symptoms. Men also make small amounts of progesterone.

Estrogen

As perimenopause begins for women, estrogen levels begin to fluctuate – sometimes high and sometimes low. This see-saw is often what creates the symptoms associated with menopause like mood swings, hot flashes, decreased elasticity of the skin, and vaginal dryness. As a woman progresses towards menopause, the ovaries produce less and less estrogen until blood tests may not be able to detect any estrogen at all.

Testosterone

Testosterone is most commonly thought of as a male hormone, but it plays an important role in women’s health too. In women, testosterone is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands. Testosterone in women promotes strong, healthy bones, muscle strength and endurance. It also contributes to a woman’s overall sense of well-being and energy level.

Testosterone may be best known for its critical role in male libido. Studies have shown that treatment with testosterone can significantly improve libido and sexual satisfaction in women as well.

The most common symptoms associated with low testosterone in men include fatigue, loss of libido, sexual dysfunction, and decreasing mental clarity. Testosterone is an anabolic steroid, contributing to:

  • Muscle mass
  • Bone strength and density
  • Sexual vigor
  • Initiative
  • Sense of wellbeing

Over 25 million men between the ages of 35 and 55 experience some negative effects of low testosterone. In addition to quality of life challenges, such as loss of libido and fatigue, decreased testosterone levels increase your risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart Attack
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Stroke
  • Prostate Cancer

Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy

Hormones fight infection and heal injury, fine-tune the way we deal with stress, control our inner heating apparatus (aka night sweats), permit and encourage a good nights’ sleep, balance levels of minerals, adjust the burning of fuel (and fat) for energy and underlie your sex drive. Balancing and optimizing your hormones can increase the quality of your health and overall life.

Bioidentical Hormone Therapy addresses a wide-range of problems that many women and men experience and is used for treating such symptoms as:

For Women:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain/increase in body fat
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Poor sense of well-being
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Loss of interest in family and career
  • Mental fatigue and loss of focus
  • Premenstrual Syndrome
  • Panic and/or anxiety attacks and palpitations
  • Insomnia and/or restless sleep
  • Hot Flashes and/or night sweats
  • Hair loss
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Infertility

For Men:

  • Loss of muscle mass and size
  • Decline in libido
  • Poor sense of well-being
  • Loss of interest in career goals
  • Depression
  • Loss of energy
  • Mental fatigue and loss of focus
  • Loss of physical agility and stamina
  • Weight gain/increase in body fat
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Panic and/or anxiety attacks
  • Insomnia and/or restless sleep
  • Night sweats
  • Infertility

While bioidentical hormones can provide great results, we handle each patient on an individual basis and work with you to determine which treatments will bring optimal results based on your unique symptoms and test results. Compounded medications, such as bioidentical hormones can be formulated at any dose or strength needed, with fewer fillers, and in any delivery method-oral pills, sublingual troches, nasal sprays, or transdermal creams or gels. We will inform you of the advantages of each choice and delivery method to help you choose what will work best for you.

For more information on bioidentical hormones and our treatment approach, please call and speak to our Patient Representative at 877-508-1177.

Handouts

Hormones 101
Growth Hormone