Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy

When it comes to your body, natural is usually better than artificial.

That’s why you should know about bio-identical hormone replacement therapy

You’re probably familiar with the concept of hormone replacement therapy.  But you may not be familiar with the option known as bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).  We at Boston Direct Health think that you should.

First, let’s understand a bit about hormones.  Hormones play a key role in our overall health, acting a little like a combination of an air-traffic controller, an orchestra conductor, a football quarterback and a party planner.  Basically, your body’s hormones serve as an internal communications system between all the cells in your body.  They coordinate everything!  Your digestion, growth, appetite, immune system, even your mood and libido are controlled by your hormones.  Hormones actually have a unique shape that fits into receptor cells just so, like a key fitting into a lock.

Sometimes our hormone levels drop, or they fall out of balance.  That’s where hormone replacement therapy comes in.

As we age, many of us experience a drop in our hormone levels.  For women, during the times of pre-menopause, during menopause and post-menopause, hormone levels drop.  Even though men don’t go through menopause the same way as women, they also find their hormone levels drop as they age.  In addition to the natural decrease of hormones as we age, other factors such as stress, environmental toxins, and medical conditions can lead to an imbalance of hormones.

Hormone replacement therapy can greatly ease the symptoms experienced when hormones are out of balance or when their levels decrease below optimum amounts.  But you may be wary of the idea of artificial hormones.  

There is another option: Bio-identical hormones.

Bio-identical hormones are just what they sound like.  They are biologically, structurally and chemically identical to the body’s natural hormones.  Their molecular shape is identical to the hormones made by the human body, so they “fit” perfectly into the receptor cells.  Synthetic hormones come close to being the right shape, but not exactly, which is why they often have adverse side effects.

How do you know if you might be suffering from an imbalance or a deficiency in your hormone levels?

For women, symptoms include:

  • Insomnia or poor sleep
  • Anxiety/palpitations
  • Depression or just feeling “down”
  • Memory loss or “brain fog”
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles including PMS, heavy menstrual cycles, missed cycles, spotting between cycles
  • Low energy, fatigue
  • Weight gain that’s non-responsive to diet and exercise
  • Irritable bowels and bloating
  • Vaginal dryness, pain during sex
  • Changes to texture of skin, nails and hair

For men, symptoms include:

  • Insomnia or poor sleep
  • Fatigue, feeling lethargic
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Loss of motivation, feeling down and depressed
  • Memory loss/brain fog
  • Weight gain that’s non-responsive to diet and exercise
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Loss of body hair 
  • Lower energy level, endurance and physical strength
  • Reduced exercise tolerance

Of course, there are many possible causes for these symptoms.  A complete medical evaluation is necessary to determine whether these are the result of hormone problems or some other cause.

If you’re feeling like something is off, if you’re just not feeling “right,” if you’re feeling any of the symptoms listed above, you don’t have to just get used to it.  At Boston Direct Health, we don’t accept that feeling sub-par is a natural part of aging.  We think you should feel your best and most energetic at any age.

When you come see us with the types of symptoms listed above, we take it seriously.  We’ll take time with you, and perform a thorough history and exam, including testing and lab work to corroborate and confirm hormonal imbalances and deficiencies. 

We don’t believe in treating symptoms one-by-one with sleeping pills, sedatives, steroids and the like.  Instead, we believe in taking a holistic approach to correct any abnormalities.  We look at the whole picture.  We evaluate your environmental exposures; we look at all your medications how they interact together.  We go over your diet, and check for any nutritional deficiencies.  We work with you to learn how to modify your response to stress to improve resilience.  And, if needed, we will discuss supplementations with bio-identical hormones. 

You don’t have to settle for feeling blah.  Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can give you an improved quality of life, decrease your risk for diabetes by boosting your insulin sensitivity, help you build muscle and lose fat, lower your cholesterol, improve your overall mood, and even decrease your risk of cognitive decline.

Give us a call, and see how much we can help you.  At Boston Direct Health, we’re dedicated to helping you live your best possible life.

We are now accepting new patients. 

Enroll now and enjoy the many benefits provided through Direct Primary Care.

What are bioidentical hormones?

Bioidentical hormones are man made hormones derived from plant estrogens that are biologically, structurally, and chemically identical to the body’s natural hormones. Their molecular shape is identical to the hormones made by the human body, so they “fit” perfectly into the receptor cells. In this sense, they are a better alternative to synthetic hormones, which come close to being the right shape, but not exactly, which can lead to adverse side effects. 

What causes hormone imbalances?

There are multiple factors that can lead to a drop in your hormone levels including but not limited to aging, increased stress, environmental toxins, and various medical conditions.

How do I know if I may be suffering from an imbalance or a deficiency in my hormone levels?

Hormonal deficiency or imbalance can be caused by many symptoms including:

For women:
 
– Insomnia or poor sleep
– Memory loss or “brain fog”
– Depression or just feeling “down”
– Low energy/fatigue
– Weight gain that’s non-responsive to diet and exercise
– Anxiety/palpitations
– Abnormal menstrual cycles including PMS, heavy menstrual cycles, missed cycles, spotting between cycles
– Irritable bowels and bloating
– Vaginal dryness or pain during sex
– Changes to the texture of skin, nails, and hair
 
For Men:
 
– Insomnia or poor sleep
– Memory loss or “brain fog”
– Loss of motivation, feeling down and depressed
– Fatigue, feeling lethargic
– Weight gain that’s non-responsive to diet and exercise
– Decreased sex drive
– Erectile dysfunction
– Loss of muscle mass
– Loss of body hair
– Lower energy level, endurance, and physical strength
– Reduced exercise tolerance
 
Of course, there are many possible causes for these symptoms. A complete medical evaluation is necessary to determine whether these are the result of hormone problems or something else.

How are bioidentical hormones prepared?

Bioidentical hormones are made from plant estrogens that are identical chemically to the hormones that our bodies produce naturally, as opposed to traditional hormones, which are derived from the urine of pregnant horses. 

Are bioidentical hormones safer than traditional (synthetic) hormones?

Published papers from PubMed/MEDLINE, Google Scholar, and Cochrane databases have compared the effects of bioidentical and synthetic hormones, including clinical outcomes and in vitro results. Their conclusions show that physiological daya and clinical outcomes have demonstrated that bioidentical hormones are associated with lower risk and are more efficacious than synthetic hormones. Currently, the US Food and Drug Administration and The Endocrine Society claim that there is not yet enough evidence that supports the claim that bioidentical hormones are safer than synthetic hormones.

How is hormone therapy taken?

Some hormone therapies can be taken orally. Others require an injection either under the skin or in the muscle. 

What are the long term health benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?

Studies have found that bioidentical hormones allow for better performance, have fewer side effects, and carry fewer long-term risks. By helping your body and brain return to optimal function, bioidentical hormones can improve your sleep, your mood, increase your libido, provide menopausal relief, and more. By restoring your hormonal balance, you are also allowing your body to produce elastic and collagen proteins, which allows for smoother, tighter skin, fewer wrinkles, and a healthier glow. Balanced hormones can also help you maintain muscle mass, improve your memory, and reduce hair loss. 

Could my hormones be impacting my sex drive?

Hormones regulate your sex drive, mood, and your reproductive cycle. If your hormone levels are low, they are very likely having a negative effect on your sex drive. 

Why do men need testosterone replacement?

Testosterone is a hormone that affects a man’s appearance and sexual development. It builds muscle and bone mass, stimulates sperm production, and improves their sex drive. Low testosterone levels can result in hair loss, fatigue, reduced muscle and bone mass, memory loss, erection difficulties, reduced semen count, depression, and irritability. 

Why don’t traditional doctors prescribe bioidentical hormones?

Traditional doctors often lack the time and/or the resources to seek expertise in bioidentical hormones. Doctors prescribing bioidentical hormones should be able to provide plenty of individualized attention, specialize in hormone health, and have undergone extensive, specialized training. 

What are the side effects associated with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?

You can expect some side effects to occur when you begin bioidentical hormone replacement therapy simply because your body is not used to your new hormone levels. Many of these side effects improve as your body adjusts to these new levels. Some of these side effects include:
– Headaches
– Weight gain
– Acne
– Tiredness
– Blurred vision
– Cramping
– Bloating
– Mood swings
– Indigestion

What can I expect once I’ve become a patient?

As a patient at Boston Direct Health, you will first be asked about your health and wellness goals. We listen to your story and make note of risk factors that may result in abnormal hormone levels, symptoms of abnormal hormone levels, and contraindications to hormones. We then discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of hormones, as well as the benefits and the risks. Depending on your story, we may discuss ways that lifestyle modifications can help improve your hormone levels. Then, we work together to come up with a personalized treatment plan based on your goals, story, and safety. 

Why do women need hormones before, during, and after menopause?

Women’s hormone levels drop before, during, and after menopause, resulting in night sweats, hot flashes, increased anxiety, memory loss, insomnia, poor sleep, and weight gain that’s non-responsive to diet and exercise, to name a few. By keeping their hormones in balance, women can continue living their lives with their mind and body functioning at optimal levels. 

What is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT)?

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) helps men and women who are struggling with decreased or unbalanced hormone levels.

How much does it cost?

Check out our bioidentical hormone replacement therapy page for more information. For pricing and to learn more about membership, contact us today!