Bio-identical hormones are very different from the synthetic counterparts and sometimes have opposite cellular effects. Bio-identical hormone pellets are compounded using hormones from FDA approved sources, blended with certain plant substances that create a molecular structure that is “bio -identical” to what our bodies produce naturally. Synthetic hormones are quite different and are not molecularly identical to what our bodies produce naturally. Some commonly prescribed synthetic hormones are Premarin and Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate). Premarin is used to replace estrogen and is derived largely from the urine of pregnant mares (horses). Hence….Premarin: a contraction of Pregnant Mares Urine (PRE-MAR-IN). The biology of horses and humans is different. Although Premarin contains estrogen, it is largely horse estrogen; not human estrogen. Bio Identical pellets use 17 Beta Estradiol which is the human form of estradiol. It is largely reported that women that begin Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) see an improved quality of life due to the relief of the symptoms associated with peri-menopause or menopause. Many symptoms of menopause can truly affect daily living such as hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, loss of libido, vaginal dryness and lethargy to name a few. Women also describe changes in their skin and hair as menopause approaches.
Testosterone is often overlooked as an important part of menopause treatment. Low Testosterone levels are responsible for lack of energy, depression, anxiety and incontinence. Adequate levels of testosterone are optimal for mental as well as physical health. It helps to increase lean body mass and decrease body fat. Illnesses such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s may have association with low testosterone levels.
Several practitioners choose to treat patients with BHRT pellet therapy. Pellets deliver a consistent level of hormone(s) to the body over a period of a few months. Pellets are implanted subcutaneously and may not be as likely as oral hormone replacement for risks of blood clots. Implanted pellets are very convenient for patients, since there is nothing to remember other than implantation/lab appointments.
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is a treatment process whereby your deficient hormones are replaced at regular intervals to restore the natural balance and rhythm of your body. Hormones exist is a delicate balance and it is not enough to replace one hormone without consideration of the others. This is a process that should be carefully monitored in an ongoing effort to evaluate symptoms and analyze lab values. Your hormone composition is unique to you. It is never a “one-size-fits-all”.
Do you feel exhausted or abnormally stressed out? Do you have hot flashes, night sweats or unusually high anxiety? These symptoms could be related to hormone deficiency. Find a practitioner that specializes in BHRT to run the appropriate tests for you to see if you may benefit from treatment. Make sure the practitioner has experience and specific training in BHRT. Also, keep track of your symptoms as well as symptom relief while you are getting treatment. It is important to keep track of what is working as it helps the practitioner manage your care to more effectively enhance your results.