BIO- IDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY (BHRT)
What is “Menopause”?
Throughout the aging process, our bodies change and we develop certain hormone imbalances and deficiencies. Menopause is defined as the time at which menses has stopped for one year, however, symptoms can become apparent several years before actual menopause occurs. This is referred to pre-menopause or peri-menopause. These feelings can be uncomfortable, but can be alleviated and even eliminated completely with Hormone Replacement Therapy.
Common Symptoms of Menopause Include:
- Hot Flashes
- Mood Swings
- Weight Gain
- Decreased Libido
- Trouble Concentrating
- Vaginal Dryness
- Trouble Sleeping
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (also known as BHRT) is a means of replacing those hormones that are no longer being produced naturally by the body. Not only are we replacing deficient hormones, but we are trying to balance current hormones to eliminate symptoms of menopause and the aging process. The most important hormones to balance when assessing menopausal symptoms are Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone.
- Estrogen imbalance is responsible for night sweats, hot flashes, dry skin, and also contributes to fatigue.
- Progesterone imbalance is responsible for sleep difficulties, depression, irritability, anxiety, mood swings, migraines, and palpitations.
- Testosterone imbalance is responsible for low libido or sex drive, inability to orgasm, fatigue, memory issues, poor concentration, and magnification of joint pain and stiffness.
At Performance Medical Clinic, your evaluation will include a detailed consultation and extensive blood analysis to identify both deficiencies and imbalances. We use Bio-Identical Hormones, as these have shown to be extremely effective. Not only are Bio-Identical Hormones more effective, they are safer than pharmaceutical counterparts such as premarin, medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), and other synthetic hormones. Bio-Identical hormones are the exact chemical structure that your body intended to use. Studies have shown that the use of bio-identical hormones can actually decrease the rate of hormonal related cancers (breast, endometrial), and there is less risk of blood clots or cardiovascular events.
Bio- Identical Hormones come in multiple formulations including:
- Creams – applied to skin daily, creams are the preferred method for delivering hormones for women, as they can be easily titrated as hormone needs change. Creams can also be stopped for a few days per month to allow hormone receptors in the body to maintain their sensitivity to circulating hormones. In most cases, if multiple hormones are needed (Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone) all the hormones can be compounded into one cream for ease of use.
- Pills – Some hormones are available in oral formulations, and some are not. Estrogen and testosterone should not be taken orally as this increases the risk of potential side effects. However, Progesterone is safe to ingest orally, and may be prescribed this way, if deemed necessary by your physician.
- Intramuscular Injections – Injections are usually given biweekly to women to maintain Testosterone levels. They are relatively painless and can be given at home.
- Pellets– Pellets are inserted every 3-4 months through a very quick and easy office procedure, with no downtime. After insertion, capillaries begin to form around the pellets. As blood flows over the pellets, our bodies slowly absorb the hormone. Pellets are “cardiac driven”, meaning that as your heart rate increases, more hormone will be released as the body needs it. This is unlike other therapies, which are time released, and therefore prevents the “roller coaster” effect of those delivery methods.
Benefits of Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy:
- Decreased Blood Pressure
- Decreases oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL (good cholesterol), which diminishes your risk of coronary artery disease and can decrease risk of strokes
- Improved mood and sense of well being
- Anti- Aging effects- diminishes fine lines and wrinkles
- Aids in formation of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which depresses anxiety, irritability and decreases pain sensitivity
- Some studies show that estrogen may stimulate production of choline acetyltransferase an enzyme that helps prevent Alzheimer’s
- Maintain bone density and prevents osteoporosis
- Fewer blood clots (DVT) compared to synthetic hormones like conjugated estrogens, premarin, prempro, and provera
Keep in mind Bio-Identical Hormones are always superior to pharmaceutical alternatives like Premarin and Prempro.
To learn more about Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women…
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