BHRT for Women-The Basics
One thing is inevitable, we are all aging. We all age at the exact same pace, and there is no stopping it. As a woman continues to age, she will likely start having symptoms of hormonal imbalances indicative of menopause. Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are the reproductive hormones that when imbalanced can cause a plethora of symptoms. A hormonal imbalance is ultimately when your hormones are not where they should be, meaning your body could be producing not enough of a hormone or even too much of one. These imbalances can cause someone to notice fatigue, loss of libido, night sweats, weight gain and mood swings just to name a few. When hormone levels drop some women may not notice it much at all, others can feel like their lives have been seriously disrupted. Often the negative symptoms can be described as not being able to recognize themselves, physically or emotionally. Bioidentical hormone therapy can often address these overwhelming symptoms and improve an overall feeling of well-being.
Some are told that menopausal symptoms are just the normal part of aging and encouraged to accept it. Unfortunately, many women do. Often women will seek the advice from a doctor, this will typically lead to testing their hormone levels. Sometimes lab results can be considered “normal” even though lab companies can have different ranges as to what is considered to be “normal” range. These ranges in the medical community are in place to create a baseline. Although these guides are helpful to identify vast deficits or surges, they are not a true “one size fits all” approach. Often women land within the “normal” hormonal range but based on their specific symptoms can be too low or too high on a hormone level for their body specifically. Some women with “normal” hormone levels are prescribed medication that could be harmful or even amplify the side effects that they were plagued with in the first place. This is in no way an attempt to discredit a doctors’ analysis, but sometimes it is wise to at least get a second opinion from a medical professional that specializes in hormone replacement specifically.
Appropriate hormone replacement therapy involves getting the correct doses for your body specifically. Two women can be very similar in age, weight and even symptomatically. However, they may both respond differently to hormone replacement therapy. Nobody is going to have the exact same deficiencies and nobody is going to see the same symptom relief by the exact same treatment. This is why that Bioidentical hormone therapy is so individualized. Your treatment is based on your specific improvement. So it is very important to take note of the relief of some of your symptoms. For example, make a note of when your night sweats have subsided or the noticeable increase in energy you noticed while doing household tasks. The goal is to properly balance your hormones for your body as an individual, so your personal feedback is essential to achieving this.
There are many types of delivery methods including patches, creams, injections, and pills. Another form of delivery that has been in use since 1938 and has regained popularity is hormone pellets. Pellets are an effective way to deliver hormones in women. Hormone pellets are convenient because it is not something to keep up with on a daily basis and studies report that they deliver a more “steady state” of hormones mimicking nature. To create hormone pellets, a compounding pharmacist will fuse estrogen or testosterone into small compressed cylinders.
During an initial consultation, the Provider will review your symptoms, present the expected
benefits of therapy, and review with you any potential side effects. You will have appointments at an allotted amount of time between insertions to come back in to check your labs. This timeframe is determined by the medical professional that is keeping track of your specific treatment. These pellets, some of which are similar in size to a grain of rice, are placed just beneath the skin in the fatty tissue of your outer hip. The area is numbed first and some describe slight soreness or bruising in the first days following the insertion, this is normal and will typically resolve on its own. Once your pellets are placed, in a short in-office procedure, then you are on your way to feeling better. One thing to keep in mind is that hormone balance is not something that is achieved overnight. Keep in mind that it took years for your hormones to decline so patience is important while they balance out. Just remember you will get there.
This time in life is often when women are empty nesters or enjoying retirement. Ultimately, what good is it to finally reach the point in life that you can sit back and relax if you feel miserable? There are safe ways to feel better, and there are options that can greatly improve your quality of life.