David Sloan PhD, DNM – Bioidentical Hormones Whitby
For most people, the first thought that comes to mind regarding hormone imbalance is a woman in menopause. A decline in a woman’s hormone levels, which may include estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, is generally seen at a stage in life known as menopause. The decline is usually rapid and dramatic and accompanied by symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, sleep disorders, and a loss of sex drive.
Unbeknownst to most of us, however, men go through a period or phase similar to a woman in menopause, known as andropause. This phase is sometimes referred to as ‘man-o-pause’ or ‘midlife crisis,’ and it is experienced by nearly every male at some point in his lifetime as hormone levels decline, although the onset is much more gradual than in women and therefore not as readily noted as are those symptoms affecting women in menopause.
Who Needs BHRT and Why?
Any man or woman of any age that suffers from symptoms of hormone imbalance should seek out advice and possible treatment. People age as a result of changes in hormone levels, not the reverse. Staying young and healthy is the key to a better quality of life and longevity.
Is Hormone Replacement Therapy Safe?
It depends on who you talk to and what type of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) you choose. In a nutshell, many studies have shown the safety and efficacy of Bio-Identical HRT (BHRT) as opposed to the long term use of the synthetic hormones frequently and until recently used, namely Premarin or Prempro. These synthetic imitators have been shown to be unsafe and not beneficial in certain subsets of women in a large multi-center trial known as the Women’s Health Initiative study, released in 2002.
What is Bio-Identical Therapy (BHRT)?
BHRT is a therapeutic process where hormones that are deficient in the body are supplemented utilizing compounds that are the exact replica of those the body normally produces and utilizes. It is because of this natural approach to hormone replacement that the side effects of BHRT are minimal in relation to those seen with synthetics. Bio-Identical Hormones are derived from a natural plant source like soy, yam or other plant that is available only through compounding pharmacies. They are exact duplicates of those hormones found within the body. BHRT is essentially giving back and balancing those hormones that the body can no longer produce.
This type of therapy has been documented and researched in the medical literature for nearly a century yet has been pushed aside since the advent of the pharmaceutical industry and development of the patent process. In other words, once again, wealth beats out health.
What Can BHRT Do For Me?
BHRT can greatly improve your quality of life through the following benefits:
- Reduce or eliminate hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, weight gain, and low sex drive in women
- Reduce fatigue, loss of muscle tone, erectile dysfunction, low sex drive and weight gain in men
- Improved sleep
- Relief from anxiety and depression
- Increased mental clarity, focus, energy and memory
- Greater capacity to get your body back into shape
- Decrease, reverse and prevent chronic disease states such as; heart disease, stroke, cancer, dementia and osteoporosis
Take this Hormone Health Assessment to see if BHRT is right for you!
How Do I Obtain BHRT?
Most conventionally trained physicians know little about BHRT and therefore dismiss it totally as being an option, despite their concerns surrounding the safety and value of the synthetic derivatives. Fortunately, this does leave you with a choice. Either you can take your chances with the synthetic derivatives, do nothing, or seek out a qualified practitioner trained and experienced in Bio Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy.
I’ve heard that there are Different Types of BHRT, is this True?
Yes there are a variety of different forms of BHRT, all of which have their individual accolades. Some of the most commonly used forms are:
- Oral/Rectal/Vaginal Suppositories
- Patches, Creams, Lotions and Gels
Which is the Preferred mode of Therapy?
The choice should be a personal one and discussed between the doctor and the patient. It should take into consideration the ease of administration, cost, and the presence of any other medication or therapies you are currently receiving.
Which Hormones will I Receive?
Both men and women naturally produce all three sex hormones, Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone. The type and dosage amount of the hormone required is individually based on the results of your lab testing and your body’s needs.