Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)
Despite the increasing numbers of men and women affected by hormonal fluctuations, knowing where to turn for education and treatment can be difficult. The medical system can be antiquated and not evolve with current research and increasing knowledge. This leads to lots of uncertainty amongst medical providers on viable and safe treatment options; and it is often difficult for a busy primary care practitioner to stay current on the ever-changing information. For both men and women alike, publicized negative outcomes, such as the Women’s Health Initiative, have left patients not knowing where to turn or what to believe. It is crucial for anyone looking for hormone optimization to select a provider who specializes in hormone health and continues to advance their knowledge with continuing education in the specialty. Any treatment plan should include a comprehensive medical history including medications, detailed laboratory data, a conversation with you about your desires and goals and regular follow-ups, as well as education on all the treatment options that are available to you.
So what is all this talk about “bio-identical hormone replacement therapy”? Named as such because it replenishes the hormones in our bodies to achieve maximal functioning by using compounds that are structurally identical to those in the human body, or “bio-identical.” They are highly effective at reducing or eliminating symptoms in men and women, with improved safety and efficacy compared to synthetic drugs.
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT, has actually been around since the 1930’s but regained popularity over the last several decades. Such hormones are derived from naturally occurring sources such as soy or yams, and compounded in a lab or pharmacy. These compounding pharmacies are regulated by the FDA and medications are made in exact dosages and strengths for you. Bio-identical hormones are designed to be indistinguishable structurally from the natural hormones made in the human body. This ultimately leads to enhanced effectiveness while reducing risks and side effects. Such bio-identical replacement allows for a treatment regimen that design specifically for you and your needs. And you get a healthier, happier, higher quality of life.
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What are bio-identical hormones?
These are substances that are compounded by a pharmacy as an exact replica of the hormones that are naturally produced by the human body. They are typically derived from plants such as soy or wild yams.
What is the difference between synthetic hormones and bio-identical hormones?
While both are created in a lab or pharmacy, only bio-identical hormones match human hormones – molecule for molecule. Synthetic hormones are similar but not identical.
What types of bio-identical hormones are available?
Bio-identical hormones are available in numerous forms, including creams/gels, sublingual troches, pills, injections and pellets.
What bio-identical hormones may be prescribed for me?
There are a wide range of bio-identical hormones available that are used to treatment numerous symptoms or conditions. Some common ones include testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, thyroid hormones, DHEA, melatonin, amongst many other. Contact a bio-identical hormone specialist at Re-new Institute today to schedule your consultation to learn more.
How do I know which form of hormone replacement therapy is right for me?
The first and most important step is to schedule a consultation with a physician specializing in hormone replacement therapy. Your consultation will include a comprehensive history including medications, a physical and bloodwork to determine your levels. A Re-new physician will also focus on your symptoms and your goals and tailor therapy to you. Treatment may include a comprehensive approach of hormones, peptides, diet, exercise and supplements to optimize your wellness.
How do I know if I am a candidate for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy?
Usually a consultation with a trained physician and some bloodwork, in conjunction with your symptoms and goals will determine if you are a candidate. Call Re-new today to learn more and get on the pathway to feeling like you again.
What are the side effects from bio-identical hormone replacement?
The side effects are variable amongst men and women and are usually easily treated with dosing adjustments. The presence of side effects is often a clue to the trained provider, on how your body is reacting and the balance that is being restored. Some common side effects include acne, elevated blood pressure, polycythemia or increased red blood cell count, bloating/water retention, hot flashes, night sweats, sleep changes and mood lability. At Re-new Institute, our physicians are highly trained and certified in hormone replacement therapy, and can help guide your pathway to health while minimizing side effects.
What is pellet therapy?
Pellet therapy is a type of bio-identical hormone replacement in which a small “pellet” is inserted under the skin, typically of the buttocks. Often estrogen and testosterone can be replaced in this delivery system. The benefits of pellet therapy is a sustainable delivery system that offers customized convenience. Typically, pellets are inserted approximately every 3 months and are slowly metabolized by the body. They are the only form of bio-identical hormone replacement that mimics the body’s natural, pulsatile release of the hormone delivered. At Re-new Institute, our physicians are highly knowledgeable and trained in pellet therapy, in addition to the various other forms of BHRT.
Why didn’t my doctor talk to me about or offer bio-identical hormone replacement?
Traditional primary care providers today are tasked with seeing more patients with less time due to the ever changing landscape of medicine. They often don’t have the time or resources to invest in seeking expertise in hormone replacement therapy. The physician’s at Re-new have traditional training but have sought the additional, extensive training and knowledge required to specialize in hormone replacement therapy and anti-aging medicine.
Will insurance cover bio-identical hormone replacement therapy?
There are many variables that influence this answer such as the specific insurance you have, your deductible, your bloodwork results and your symptoms. The best way to find out is to schedule a consultation at Re-new today!