BIOidentical hormone replacement therapy

What are bioidentical hormones?

Hormones are chemical messengers that tell the body what to do, and control almost all tasks in the body. These tasks include brain function, growth, breakdown of food, and sex and when these messengers are not balances, many people report negative symptoms.

Bioidentical hormones are defined as man made hormones that mimic the hormones produced by the human body such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. When someone has an imbalance in their hormones, these bioidentical hormones can be used to replace what the body is not providing. There are prescription based hormones produced by drug companies and compounded homones which are custom made by a pharmacist based on a providers order. Both the FDA-approved and compounded hormones come in a variety of doses and routes of delivery (pills, creams, gels, sprays, and vaginal inserts).

Why are bioidentical hormones used?

As men and women get older, many of the key hormones in the body begin to have decreased levels. Low estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone values can cause negative symptoms in men and women and may seem common to those past menopause including:

  • Hot flashes

  • Night sweats

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Loss of interest in sex

  • Pain during sex

  • Problems sleeping

  • Loss of energy

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of muscle mass

  • Weight gain

  • Foggy thinking

  • Mood changes

  • Memory loss

Treatment for these symptoms is to replace the hormones lost with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Symptoms will improve with treatment, and the negative effects of these low levels do not have to affect your quality of life! With all treatments, there are risks and benefits, so your Ageless Aesthetics and Wellness FNP will discuss the variety of options available, the risks and benefits of each and guide your therapy based on your preferences

What is Low T in Men?

Testosterone is a vital hormone for men. When testosterone levels are normal, men are able to easily build muscle, have high levels of energy, retain an adequate sex drive, sleep better, and much more. Low testosterone levels can negatively affect men’s overall well being. Your low energy, lack of sex drive, weight gain, and more may not just be “normal aging, and your provider at Ageless Aesthetics and Wellness is here to help.

How common are bioidentical hormones?

The use of the compounded type is very common in the U.S. in women in menopause. The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) reports that about 1.4 million women are using this treatment. NAMS notes that that is 40% of all prescriptions for hormone therapy in women who are in menopause. The number of men using this treatment is not noted.

How are bioidentical hormones given?

There are many ways to get bioidentical hormones. These include pills, patches, creams, gels, shots and implanted pellets. Your Ageless Aesthetics and Wellness provider will decide which method is best for you. You may try more than one way before you find one best suited for you.

How is my dose decided?

A patients symptoms and needs are evaluated and doses are adjusted in order to keep the dose to the minimum required to relieve your symptoms.  Routine blood or saliva tests will be used to check your hormone levels and evaluate your changing needs.

 

Are bioidentical hormones safe?

The bioidentical hormones that have been approved by the FDA have been tested for safety. They have passed the FDA’s very strict standards and have been shown to be safe.

What are the risks of bioidentical hormones?

It has been shown in research studies that there are risks for women who take synthetic hormones, called hormone therapy (HT) which is different from BHRT. HT can increase the risk of blood clots, stroke, and gallbladder disease. Biodentical hormones are safer than regular HRT as the body does not see them as a foreign substance. It is important to follow up with your Ageless Provider and monitor your levels to keep them in a safe range and prevent any risks associated with increased hormone levels.

What are the side effects of bioidentical hormones?

 

Side effects can occur when a dose is first given. The body is not used to the new level of hormones. The dose may need to be changed. Some side effects can be linked to a certain hormone in the mixture. Many side effects get better as the body adjusts to the new level of hormones. Some common side effects include:

  • Weight gain

  • Blurred vision

  • Tiredness

  • Acne

  • Increased facial hair (women)

  • Headaches

  • Breast tenderness

  • Spotting

  • Cramping

  • Bloating

  • Mood swings

  • Indigestion

You may see redness or have itching at an injection site or where you apply your hormones if you use a patch, cream or gel.

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