What is Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormones are messengers that carry signals to all parts of the body to help it regulate almost all of its functions. Some of the functions that hormones help to regulate include reproduction, metabolism, digestion, respiration, urination, defecation, and mental functions. While hormones most commonly decline due to aging, a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, smoking, drinking, stress, and environmental factors can also cause hormones to decline. A reduction in hormone production can cause many issues to arise and may cause many age related diseases.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy uses hormones that are identical in molecular structure and function to the hormones produced in the human body to supplement the body’s hormonal deficiencies. Bio-identical hormones are usually compounded from soy or yams, and they can be dosed according to individual needs. Both men and women can benefit from bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, and they can enjoy the benefits of having balanced hormones without the negative side effects.
Bioidentical Hormone For Men
Men usually suffer from hormonal decline around the mid to late forties or fifties, and during this time, the testicles begin to produce less testosterone. Other androgens, which are male hormones, may also decrease, such as DHEA and Melatonin. This decrease in hormone production can cause the phase known as andropause, which can bring about a series of uncomfortable changes. Some of the symptoms of male hormone decline may include:
- Low Libido
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Low Energy
- Lack of Motivation
- Muscle Atrophy
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Hair Loss
- Increased Abdominal Fat
Bioidentical Hormone For Women
Perimenopause and Menopause are the times when most women experience hormonal imbalances; however, some women experience them during the reproductive years as well. During the reproductive years, women may have increased PMS symptoms, irregular periods, or Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. Perimenopause and menopause bring about another slew of symptoms, which can include:
- Weight Gain
- Hot Flashes or Night Sweats
- Vaginal Dryness
- Low Libido
- Mood Changes
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy can help to balance hormones for men and women, and it can reduce the symptoms that arise due to hormonal imbalances. Dr. Gershenbaum has helped many men and women to improve their quality of life and live healthier, happier lives through his expert anti-aging and bioidentical hormone programs.
Bioidentical hormones mimic the affinity of human endogenous hormones; therefore they are effective on more biological pathways, at all levels. Because bioidentical hormones are an exact structural replica of endogenous hormones side effects are rarely observed, and in the event you do experience side effects, talk with your doctor – the dosage may simply need to be adjusted. The added benefit of bioidentical hormones is that each dose is tailored specifically for your needs, not simply what doses the pharmaceutical company offers (as is the case with synthetic hormones.)
Changes like these take time to evolve. Remember, it took some time for you to lose balance of your hormones, so it will take your body some time to recover. Consistency and compliance every step of the way will improve your results.
Bioidentical hormones may be delivered in the form of creams, patches, pills, gels, pellets of vaginal rings. Bioidentical hormones are designed in a lab and shipped to a compounding pharmacy where they are custom designed to fit the needs of each patient. Synthetic hormones are created in specific, patented doses and delivery methods (not customized), therefore regulation is possible.
Hormones are chemical messengers that cause the body to make changes affecting weight gain or weight loss. Changes in hormone levels are also dependant on the lifestyle we lead and can affect our mood, metabolism, and energy levels.
For example, when males become less active there is often a gradual decline in testosterone. This hormone is known to boost metabolism and has the benefit of helping lower fat levels. Thus, when testosterone is balanced a man’s ideal weight is easier to achieve.
- Men and women have reported increased aggressiveness, acne or irritability during the initial phases of testosterone hormone therapy, but these issues are generally resolved as levels become balanced.
- Some women have reported breast tenderness, spotting, cramping and bloating. These symptoms may be experienced initially with estrogen hormone treatment, but resolve as hormone levels become balanced.
- Occasionally, hormone therapy patients will complain of itching or redness at the injection or insertion site, bit these symptoms diminish as the body adjusts to treatment.
Many individuals may find it beneficial to have their hormones tested in their 20s or 30s to establish an optimal baseline. Once you have determined your baseline, you can take steps to ensure your hormones stay balanced and continue routine testing to monitor hormone levels. In the event of an imbalance at any point in your lifespan, your physician may refer to your baseline and develop a treatment plant to restore levels to that optimal baseline easily.