The simplest definition of HRT is medicinal therapy that uses hormone supplements to balance your levels to what they were when you were experiencing virtually perfect health. This aids in not only feeling better than ever, but also in preventing or managing chronic diseases.
One of the hallmarks of getting older is a decline in hormone levels. Production of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, DHEA, melatonin, human growth hormone and other hormones tapers off after we reach our 20s and 30s. Age-related decline of hormones greatly contributes to the signs and symptoms of aging that really kick in around age 40.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is natural, plant-based, professionally compounded hormones that are molecularly identical to the hormones your body produces. This makes them a safer alternative to synthetic hormones, which often come with negative side effects and serious health risks. Bioidentical hormones — hormones NOT manufactured and branded by a pharmaceutical company — are a cornerstone of what we practice at the Institute for Personalized Medicine.
The Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Some of the chronic conditions and that benefit from balancing hormones naturally are depression, diabetes, fatigue, heart disease, insomnia, migraine headaches, obesity and osteoporosis. We even use BHRT for cancer prevention.
As long as the hormones are not synthetic, BHRT is perfectly safe. Only bioidentical HRT is considered safe enough to be available over-the counter in some health-food stores and pharmacies. Keep in mind that hormone therapy must be specifically tailored for each individual and therefore many supplements have to be ordered by a physician capable of accurately interpreting the results of testing and determining the perfect dose for optimal balance.
Synthetic vs. Natural
Traditional Hormone Replacement Therapy done with synthetic hormones has very little resemblance to anything found in nature. These chemicals are totally foreign to your body. The dissimilar nature of their chemistry is what contributes to the multitude of side effects we often hear about with HRT drugs.
Bioidentical hormones are found in your body, while the synthetic versions are not. They cannot be patented by a drug company because they are found in nature, in your body.
Furthermore, bioidentical progesterone and estrogen are better tolerated than conventional drugs. Plus, they give patients the peace of mind that they’re using therapies that are safe and natural.
Complete hormone balancing is typically undertaken by different medical specialists. Female issues are typically treated by OB/Gyns, male issues by urologists, thyroid & diabetes by general endocrinologists, and adrenal issues by endocrine super-specialists. This fractured approach leads to a lack of continuity of care as well as even more imbalances from the types of drugs that are being passed off as hormones, but in reality are patented, synthetic compounds.
To make matters worse, OB/GYNs and other specialists are often primarily surgeons who are not really that interested in hormones. They prescribe the same birth control pills, etc. to everyone that comes to them. For an older woman, they may add a sleep aid and an anti-depressant to treat menopausal symptoms, creating a “cocktail” that can cause even more hormone imbalance.
What We Do
At the Institute for Personalized Medicine, we are hormone specialists who prescribe only natural, plant-based bioidentical hormones, identical to the hormones your body produces on its own on a molecular level. We never prescribe synthetic hormones which often come with negative side effects and serious health risks. Our goal is simply to stabilize unbalanced hormonal levels, returning them to what they were when you were in your physical prime, to help you achieve optimum wellness. We often administer those hormones through the skin rather than orally, meaning they can bypass the liver and you can bypass flooding your body an excess of substances.
Your individualized HRT treatment will include hormone testing, a personalized hormone therapy program and follow-up evaluations.
First, you will fill out a comprehensive confidential questionnaire. We will arrange a consultation with one of our hormone doctors to discuss your hormonal imbalance symptoms, review your blood test results and discuss your treatment options. If need be, we will prescribe customized, compounded bioidentical hormones and pharmacy-grade supplements that meet your unique needs. You can choose a compounding pharmacy, or we can give recommendations. We will recommend only those compounding pharmacies we have personally audited to ensure they meet the most stringent quality control standards.
Your individualized therapy program, based on your age and medical status, may include the following bioidentical hormones: progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, thyroid hormones, melatonin, DHEA and adrenal hormones.
During your therapy, we will reevaluate your hormone levels periodically to ensure that you are maintaining optimum balance. To teach you how to balance your hormones going forward, we will also offer nutritional guidance and support.