Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Are you suffering from the symptoms of declining hormone levels?
• Difficulty sleeping
• Low energy
• Weight gain
• Changes in body shape and composition
• Mental fatigue and loss of focus
• Hot flashes
• Increased anxiety and panic attacks
• Mood swings
• Hair loss
• Poor sense of well-being
• Insomnia and restless sleep
• Changes in hair and skin texture
• Difficulty with sexual performance
• Loss of libido
• Has sex become painful
As men and women age, hormone levels decline and increase the risk of developing many conditions and diseases associated with aging:
• Heart disease
• Depression, anxiety and mood disorders
• Cognitive decline
At Radiantly Healthy MD, we use Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) to maintain optimal hormone levels. BHRT is a hot topic these days. Much of the interest has been initiated by people who are extremely interested in maintaining an active, vital lifestyles throughout their lives. Popular culture icons such as Oprah, Dr. Phil and Suzanne Somers have also generated curiosity and interest.
Hormone optimization plays a significant role in anti-aging, but hormonal imbalances can occur at any age and treating even mild hormone deficiencies can dramatically improve your quality of life.
What Exactly Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)?
Popularly, the term “bioidentical” refers to prescription hormones that have the same structure on a molecular level as the hormones produced by and circulating within the human body.
Pharmaceutical companies offer BHRT in standardized dosages. For example, Vivelle, Divigel, and Estrogel are bioidentical estradiol and Prometrium is bioidentical progesterone. Premarin and Prempro are NOT bioidentical. There really isn’t a bioidentical testosterone available at appropriate dosages for women, but many options are available for men.
Compounded bioidentical hormone therapy (CBHT) is prepared by a pharmacist for a specific patient following a physician’s prescription. CBHT is available in an array of delivery methods (e.g., creams, sublingual lozenges or “troches”, and vaginal suppositories) and dosages. Common compounded formulations include estriol alone, “bi-est” combinations (estradiol and estriol) as well as progesterone, pregnenolone, testosterone, and DHEA. Unlike conventional HT and manufactured bioidentical hormones, CBHT is not regulated and approved by the FDA because it is not a standardized pharmaceutical product. The ingredients used in the CBHT are from FDA approved manufacturers. The current argument frequently raised against CHRT is based upon the lack of FDA oversight and regulation. This is inconsistent with current medical practices in other areas. For example, conventional medical practitioners frequently prescribe compounds such as “magic mouthwash” and topical pain formulations without FDA regulation and the controversy!
BHRT is a clinical specialty where the physician measures your current hormonal status and utilizes that information to bring you to an optimal, balanced state. In a recent survey, less than half of the healthcare providers who prescribed custom-compounded bioidentical hormone therapy actually felt comfortable doing so! This underscores the importance of having an experienced, educated prescriber! For physicians, there is not a recognized official “certification” or “specialization” in the prescribing of bioidentical hormone therapy. Many pharmacies are branching out into cash pay services and CHRT is one. It is also important to make sure that the pharmacy has invested in the necessary equipment and training as well. PCCA and PCAB are two certifying organizations for compounding pharmacies.
When considering Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, know that when your physician interprets your laboratory results as “normal,” that doesn’t necessarily mean “optimal.” An analogy frequently used by Rebecca Hunton, MD is that the lab results simply tell me if I am in the women’s (or men’s or children’s) department at Macy’s. Your clinical symptoms actually guide us into the right “size” or dose.
Some people believe that BHRT is the “miracle cure” for their ailments and that all their problems will disappear! This simply isn’t the case. As an integrative/functional medical practice, we recognize that replacing hormones without addressing other imbalances does not restore health and vitality!
Located in Indialantic, our board-certified medical director Rebecca Hunton, MD and the team at Radiantly Healthy is dedicated to helping you become radiantly healthy and correcting your hormone imbalances! Contact us today to schedule your consultation and learn more about our exciting treatment options.