Category Archives: Bioidentical Hormones

Jennie’s Corner: Customizing Your BHRT Treatment

There is not one way to take hormones. You have a few choices to pick from, and we can help you choose the right method to incorporate into your lifestyle easily. Our most popular method of bio-identical hormone replacement (BHRT) is pellet therapy. Estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone are all available in pellet form. Pellets are simply small implants. Pellet sizes can vary from the tip of a pencil eraser to a little larger than a grain of rice. During a quick office visit, a provider will locally anesthetize the area, so no pain is felt. Once the area is numb, a very small incision is made, and the pellets are inserted just beneath the skin. The pellets are slow timed-release implants that will last 3 to 4 months. By the end of the 4 months, the pellets have been completely absorbed by our body, and it is time for new pellets to be inserted. Many of our patients prefer this method, simply because they come in for a 15-minute procedure just 4 times a year and then don’t have to worry about remembering to take something on a daily basis.

For men, there are two other options when it comes to testosterone replacement therapy. They can choose either creams or injectables. Creams are made by a compounding pharmacy, and dosing is customized specifically to what the patient needs. Creams must be applied every single day. As for injections, testosterone is injected into the thigh muscle, and patients are taught how to self-administer. Administration for injection happens once or twice weekly.

For women, another option you can choose for hormone replacement is creams. Depending on whether or not you still have a menstrual cycle, creams can be applied continuously or following your menstrual cycle. When initially starting on creams, you can expect to apply up to three different creams on a daily basis, one for each hormone. This is so the provider can easily adjust your dosing as needed, depending on your lab results and how you feel. Once your dosing becomes consistent, it may be possible to compound your hormones together to limit the amount you have to apply on a daily basis. Some women prefer this method because it is less “invasive” than pellet therapy. Another benefit is that dosing can easily be adjusted at any time during therapy, depending on how the patient feels.

October’s Featured Labs: Blood Tests vs. Saliva Tests vs. Urine Tests – Which is Best?

Steroid hormone levels found in the blood are mostly bound to carrier proteins. as much as 95% of the time. As long as they are attached to these proteins, they are considered inactive and unable to absorb into target tissues. Only steroid hormones that are unbound or disconnected from these proteins are able to absorb into target tissues and have their natural effect on our bodies. Essentially, what is displayed in blood is not a direct correlation to your level of tissue hormone absorption. Especially for topically applied hormones, monitoring levels via blood oftent leads to overdosing. For this reason, we only use salivary or urine hormone levels for management of your BHRT.

Unlike blood testing, salivary hormone testing calculates the bioavailable or “free” levels of steroid hormones. Going further, urine testing of hormones can even check hormone metabolites and give the patient a closer look at how their steroid hormones are metabolizing. These two specialized tests give us a more accurate level of your tissue absorption of hormones, which then we are able to customize your care to your needs through your ongoing bio-identical hormone replacement therapy treatments.

October’s Featured Service: Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)

Everyone is familiar with the benefits of hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) to help relieve menopausal and andropause symptoms, such as hot flashes, low libido, poor sleep, irritability, and others. However, not too many people know or understand the long-term benefits bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can have.

Conventional, also known as synthetic, hormone replacement has been shown in research to increase risk of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, dementia, and stroke. On the other hand, physiologic or bio-identical hormone replacement (BHRT) may have a more positive outcome. In one 3-year study, BHRT, used transdermally, assisted in reducing inflammatory markers, such as CRP, decreased blood clotting factors, and improved quality of life.

Low testosterone has been correlated with coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, increased risk of developing type II diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Studies have shown that testosterone replacement can decrease inflammation, lower total cholesterol, and improve insulin resistance.

Similar to testosterone, appropriate estradiol replacement can also improve HDL and help decrease total cholesterol. In addition to this, estradiol also helps maintain bone structure, helps maintain memory, and assists in the absorption of essential nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc.

Progesterone replacement is often not recommended conventionally after a hysterectomy. The line of thought is that its sole function is to help maintain a pregnancy, which is no longer needed at a certain point in a woman’s lifespan, and since there is no longer a uterus, estrogen alone is not a risk. On the contrary, natural progesterone replacement is needed to help balance estrogen. Its other beneficial effects include reducing rates of high blood pressure, acting as a natural antidepressant, stimulating the production of new bone, and enhancing the action of thyroid hormones.

Because of the many potential benefits of BHRT listed above, you can see why it is also known as anti-aging medicine. BHRT is not just used solely to minimize the symptoms of menopause, but when it is used long-term, it can extend your life and optimize vitality.

From the Desk of Dr. Stevens: Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)

This month, we look at a familiar yet still somewhat controversial topic: bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). The good news is that the benefits and safety of BHRT are becoming more and more mainstream. The general public is steadily becoming more aware that there are treatments for symptoms and conditions often times neglected or minimized by the healthcare provider. There’s an impressive body of knowledge that supports the use of BHRT as a healthy adjunct to an austere diet and daily exercise for improving our health and longevity. I hope you enjoy the brief overview here and that it may answer more questions than create. Please give us a call if you have any questions and we will be pleased to answer them.

In good health,

Dr. Stevens