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Bio-identical Hormones

Bio-identical Hormones

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Bio-identical hormones are substances that are identical to the hormones produced naturally by the body. Hormones are chemical messengers that are secreted directly into the blood, which carries them to organs and tissues of the body to exert their functions. These bio-identical substances can replace estradiol, estriol, progesterone, and testosterone, and others when our bodies cannot generate sufficient quantities of these essential hormones. In addition to treating sex hormones, we also treat thyroid, adrenal, pancreatic, and other hormones.

By replacing the natural hormones your own body is unable to make, Bio-identical Hormones can help all your body’s systems operate as needed. Hormones have a variety of functions, including:

Development and growth
Metabolism of food items
Sexual function and reproductive growth and health
Cognitive function and mood
Maintenance of body temperature and thirst

Why Should I Use Bio-identical Hormones?

Many conditions can cause your endocrine glands to produce inadequate levels of natural hormones. Replacing them allows the functions to continue at optimum levels.  Testing will identify which hormone is needed, and how much should be replaced.

In the past 16 years, research has elucidated the difference between the animal derived estrogens and synthetic progestins previously used and bio-identical hormones. Bio-identical hormones are hormones with a molecular structure identical to our own. What is becoming clear is that the benefits of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) far outweigh the risks for the majority of women and men if used properly. Safety depends on what type of hormones, how they are taken, your metabolism (detoxification), and the hormone levels in relation to other hormones.

Hormone optimization, nutrition, stress reduction, and exercise are all necessary factors for healthy aging. Hormonal treatment to correct deficiencies, if used safely, can improves quality of life, decrease overall inflammation and provide anti-aging properties. Adrenal hormones, thyroid, progesterone, testosterone and estrogen must be balanced in relation to one another to function properly.

What Conditions Can Bio-identical Hormones Treat?

Providing optimal hormone levels can correct issues such as fatigue, weight gain, weight loss, fluid retention, muscle and joint pain, depression, trouble thinking, memory issues, dry skin, sensitivity to cold, muscle weakness, hair loss, hoarseness, swelling, and many more.

See more at “What Can Bio-identical Hormone Therapy Do for You?

How Often Will I Need Treatment?

Dosage and frequency depends on which hormone is being replaced, and how much of it your own body is still producing.

How Do I Take the Hormones?

Each hormone has optimal forms to take, including oral, transdermal creams, oils, and lotions, injections, and patches. Your practitioner will discuss with you the best form for you.

How Much Time Does Treatment Take?

Some treatments will show improvement within days, others may take 6-8 weeks to tell is things are improving. Talk to your practitioner to find out what to expect.

What Kind of Testing Is Used?

Again, depending on the hormone, you may need blood tests, saliva tests, or urine tests. Your practitioner will let you know if there are any special conditions to prepare for the testing, such as doing the test at a certain time of day or month, or fasting.

Is It Safe?

Multiple studies demonstrate that the positive effects and low risk of appropriately used bio-identical hormones can create or maintain hormonal balance throughout the life cycle. Bio-identical hormones are different from the widely used synthetic hormones which were shown to present specific health risks in the Women’s Health Initiative Study of 2001. Multiple studies over the past several years have demonstrated positive health benefits from the appropriate use of bio-identical hormones.

PATIENTS WITH THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS SHOULD NOT USE HRT

  • Uterine cancer
  • Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding
  • Pregnancy
  • Breast cancer
  • History of blood clots (although route of administration may make the difference)
  • Severe liver and gallbladder disease

See more discussion on pros and cons of safety issues in hormone replacement therapy in Why Might You Want to Use Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Where Do I Get My Bio-identical Hormones?

Some of the hormones can be purchased from Gordon Medical with your practitioner’s order. Other hormones can be prescribed and filled at any local pharmacy. Some will require compounding.

The compounding pharmacies we use include:

College Pharmacy – Colorado
Dollar Drug – Santa Rosa
Health First Pharmacy – Windsor
Women’s International Pharmacy – Arizona and Wisconsin

See GMA Articles and Podcasts on Bio-identical Hormones

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