Where can I go for a consultation/BHRT treatment?
We are presently offering BHRT at our Marin, Walnut Creek, Los Gatos, Monterey and Palo Alto clinics. We will be making it available at some of our other Bay Area locations later in 2015.
Why Are Hormone Therapy and Weight Loss Paired Together?
BHRT is a great complement to JumpstartMD weight management as it may aid weight loss and maintenance and often improves body composition by boosting muscle mass and strength and diminishing one’s fat mass. Moreover, recipient well-being and vigor improve as manifested by increases in energy, motivation and mood, all of which can inspire a virtuous cycle of renewed interest in regular, therapeutic exercise.
Is BHRT an Effective Anti-Aging Treatment?
Absolutely. Suboptimal hormone levels (deficiencies) are responsible for many of the symptoms attributed to “getting older.” Correcting these deficiencies with biologically-identical, natural hormones are safe and simple and can dramatically improve your health, quality of life and youthful vitality.
What Hormones are Optimized?
For women, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone (yes, testosterone is absolutely essential to a woman’s well-being throughout her life), are often optimized depending on individual needs.
Men with male menopause (also known as Andropause or Low T Syndrome are treated with testosterone).
Depending on symptoms and lab testing, men and women may also benefit from natural thyroid hormone and DHEA optimization.
What is the Treatment Process?
The first step in the process is to fill out a gender specific health history questionnaire and have pertinent labs drawn either in our office or elsewhere so that those results can be ready when you meet for a consultation with one of our medical experts. From that exchange, we will customize a treatment plan to restore your optimal hormone levels if needed.
Following that consultation, we can perform an individualized hormone pellet insertion procedure in our office and, if indicated, prescribe oral therapy based on your customized plan.
Follow up testing and a check in occurs approximately 3-6 weeks after the initial pellet insertion or oral dosage to determine if optimal hormone levels of hormone balance have been achieved.
How are the Hormones Delivered?
Progesterone and thyroid are typically taken orally.
Estrogen and testosterone are typically delivered via pellets, which are inserted into the fatty tissue just beneath the skin of the buttock.
What is Pellet Therapy and How Does it Work?
A pellet is a small cylinder slightly bigger than a grain of rice. Manufactured with pharmaceutical grade quality controls, each pellet contains, as an active ingredient, a specific dosage of an FDA-approved bioidentical hormone.
Pellets are placed in the fatty tissue underneath the skin of the buttock through a relatively painless procedures performed in our office under local anesthesia. By using this approach, the hormones in the pellets are spared from “first pass” metabolism into byproducts in the liver, as occurs with oral (pill) therapy.
Each pellet treatment delivers hormones at a consistent level through the day and lasts for up to 3-4 months in women and 5-6 months in men.
What Kind of Results Can I Expect from Treatment?
It may take time to find the optimal balance and your dosages may require adjustment. Although rare, during this adjustment phase, you may experience side effects such as headaches, irritability, mood swings, increased acne, difficulty sleeping or breast tenderness.
If your hormones are balanced properly, you’re eating properly, and you’re active and managing your stress, you may begin to experience any or all of the following:
- Improved memory, mental clarity and quickness
- Bolstered energy levels and mood.
- Decreased anxiety
- Enhanced sexual drive and gratification
- Improved strength, muscle tone, and exercise capacity
- Reduction in body fat and weight
- Diminished hot flashes
The effect of the hormones usually begins within 24 – 72 hours after insertion and reaches its peak efficacy after about 3-5 weeks. The benefits typically start to decline after 3-4 months in women or 5-6 months in men. More muscular, active/athletic people tend to see reduced efficacy sooner.
What Are Potential Side Effects with BHRT?
Potential complications from bioidentical hormone therapy are rare but could include: fluid retention, swelling of hands and feet, breast tenderness or nipple sensitivity, spotting or bleeding, or mood swings and irritability.
Testosterone therapy may rarely cause a slight increase in facial hair in some women. This is typically easily treated if needed. While very rare, hair thinning on the scalp may occur in people that convert testosterone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is also treatable and may furthermore be mitigated by proactive preventative techniques for anyone with those concerns.
What are Potential Complications of a Hormonal Pellet Insertion?
Potential complication of the pellet insertion procedure are also rare but may occur, including minor bleeding or bruising, infection or skin discoloration.
After the insertion of the implants, it is advised to avoid vigorous physical activity for 3 days in women and 5-7 days in men. Early physical activity can cause the pellet to expel. Swimming or submerging in water is not recommended for 5-7 days while the small incision heals.
Is There any Risk of Cancer from BHRT?
Bioidentical hormones are chemically identical to those hormones found in our own bodies. Studies show that, properly delivered, BHRT does not cause cancer. Some studies suggest that bioidentical hormones may exert a protective effect against some cancers.
How Are Bioidentical Hormones Different from Synthetic Hormones?
Bioidentical hormones match the precise chemical makeup of the hormones your body produces naturally and, as a result, are indistinguishable to your body from the hormones that provide it an abundance of beneficial effects. Bioidentical hormones efficacy in promoting quality of life and health is dependent on their presence at optimal levels.
Synthetic hormones were well received for years, as they helped to control symptoms associated with menopause. Yet synthetic hormones are distinct from bioidentical hormones because they are not identical chemical replicas of our natural hormones, and thus not a perfect match in our body. As a result, they have metabolic footprints distinct from natural bioidentical hormones and we have seen the downstream consequences.
Studies have shown synthetic hormones to be associated with a host of adverse consequences ranging from non-life threatening adverse side effects such as bleeding, breast pain, bloating, and mood swings to more dangerous afflictions such as cancer, blood clots, heart disease, and more.
This is why we only advocate for replacing your hormones with an exact replica of your natural human hormones, particularly when the evidence suggests that bioidentical hormones can be highly beneficial to your health and well-being.