Introduction to Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormones are chemicals produced in the body that carry messages from their organ of origin to specific cells. These cells, designed to keep the body’s natural balance in check, carry out the instructions received.
As one matures into, through and beyond menopause, or andropause in the case of men, major disruptions to the body and mind occur. We do not process information, metabolize energy, or function as well as we did in our twenties.
Aging is often associated with a deterioration of one’s quality of life. Fatigue, low energy, loss of motivation, weight gain, decreased sex drive, depressed mood, anxiety, irritability, loss of memory and/or concentration are symptoms of a body in decline.
Fortunately, we have the knowledge and the tools to deal with aging’s fallout safely and with minimal to no side effects. The key, in my opinion, to remaining vigorous, vibrant, and mentally sharp well into our 80’s and 90’s is to restore and balance declining hormone levels.
Hormone replacement therapy, specifically hormones identical to the ones’ mother nature provides, are the juice of life!
Remember the day you drove your first new car, quite possibly a Tarantula, (1) off the showroom floor? It is all polished and shiny on the outside. Inside, there is a new car smell. Under the hood, perfection. The oil is clean the air, brake and transmission fluids waiting for the engine to roar are topped off. The filters pristine. The front end is aligned.
Our hormones are our fluids. By preserving and restoring them to youthful levels, we can maintain a moderate to high level of fitness and vitality not achievable by diet and exercise.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for women eliminates night sweats, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, itching, and painful intercourse. Energy levels improve, fat loss accelerates, and muscle tone responds to exercise once more. Sex drive, mood, memory and concentration all improve. Wrinkles smooth, bones are protected from osteoporotic fracture, and heart disease risk is reduced.
The benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for men include improved energy levels, increased muscle mass and tone, improved exercise endurance, improved fat loss, improved sex drive & performance, improved memory & concentration, improved sleep, hair re-growth on the scalp, decreased joint pain and muscle aches, improved bone strength, cholesterol levels, and protection against heart disease.
The Hormones and What They Do
Estrogen-decreases osteoporosis, plays a role in protecting the heart, and improves memory. It reverses thinning skin and drying mucous membranes, especially vaginal dryness, and treats hot flashes and night sweats.
Progesterone-reverses menopausal symptoms, aids restful sleep, protects neurons in the face of a traumatic brain injury, reduces agitation, irritability and mood swings. It is the first hormone to decline at the onset of perimenopause, its’ symptoms often mistaken for anxiety, depression and panic attacks.
Testosterone-helps maintain muscle and bone strength, restores sex drive and libido, improves overall sense of wellbeing, reduces “bad” cholesterol and exhibits anti-depressent properties.
Thyroid-is our “gas pedal” telling our organs how fast or how slow to operate. Adequate thyroid levels maintain metabolic processes in body such as appropriate levels of blood sugar. Low thyroid levels result in high cholesterol and heart disease. Indeed a free T3 less than 3.1 pg/ml is a stronger independent predictor of than than hyperlipidemia or compromised cardiac ejection factor.
Cortisol-is released in response to stress. High stress levels result in chronically high cortisol levels. Cortisol levels are frequently abnormal in autoimmune and chronic fatigue states.
Insulin-is produced in the pancreas and regulates carbohydrate metabolism. Abnormal insulin levels result in blood sugar abnormalities and premature atherosclerosis.
Vitamin D3-behaves as a hormone. It controls the immune system, improves neuromuscular function and mood, and protects the brain and heart against toxic chemicals. It plays a roll in sleep, blood sugar control, and maintainence of bone health.
DHEA-regulates estrogen and testosterone and plays a role in bone health and mood disorders. DHEA enhances immune function, helps prevent diabetes, and facilitates weight loss.
Growth Hormone-reduces body fat, increases muscle mass, prevents cardiovascular disease, improves lung function, enhances sexual performance, is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and sharply improves the mental acumen of those with moderate to high growth hormone levels
Pregnenolone-aids in stress reduction, memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, fatigue and energy production. It improves immunity.
Melatonin—is essential for proper immune and inflammatory responses. Melatonin may increase one’s life span. It resets your daily rhythm, acts as a natural sleeping pill and is useful for shift workers and combating jet lag.
Why “Bioidentical” Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Bioidentical hormones are exact replicas of the hormones naturally produced by the body in terms of cell and chemical structure. They are derived from plant extracts and manufactured by compounding pharmacies. “Synthetic” hormones, on the other hand, are altered and contain unnatural chemical ingredients. Medical studies conducted in Europe over the past decade indicate that Bioidentical Hormones are safer overall than synthetic ones. (2)
Natural estrogen increases endothelial nitric oxide, protecting against endothelial dysfunction. (3) Natural estradiol is cardio protective, decreases the risk of acute myocardial infarctions and decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. (4) Measurements of the internal carotid artery lumen are 224% wider when patient is administered Estradiol for greater than 6 months. (5)
Natural progesterone improves mood, sleep, acts as a diuretic, has no effect on glucose metabolism, maintains estrogen induced arterial dilation, improves lipid profiles, has a beneficial effect on cardiovascular function, reduces estrogenic stimulation of breast tissue, and protects against breast cancer.
Natural progesterone effects are often confused with progestins, synthetic progesterone. Natural progesterone stimulates production of new bone, enhances the action of thyroid hormones, improved libido, restores cell oxygen levels, induced conversion of E1 to the inactive E1S, promotes Th2 immunity, and is neuroprotective promoting myelination. (6-7)
Natural progesterone decreases the risk of developing breast cancer. A study of 80,000 postmenopausal women over 8 years using different kinds of HRT found women using estrogen in combination with synthetic progestin had a 69% increased risk of developing breast cancer when compared to women who never took HRT. Women who used progesterone in combination with estrogen had no increased risk of developing breast cancer compared to women that did not use HRT and also had a decreased risk in developing breast cancer compared to the women that used progestin. (8)
Natural testosterone lowers total cholesterol and raises HDL. Synthetic testosterone does the opposite.
What to Expect from A Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Program?
Hormones do not exist or function in a vacuum, and our goal is to optimize all the essential hormones to safe, youthful levels. Restoration of hormones is not isolated to testosterone for men and estrogen and progesterone for women. We measure and monitor 9 specific hormones to maintain optimal health.
At the Clearfield Medical Group, we listen carefully to your concerns and symptoms, perform appropriate testing, then develop with you, a personalized Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy program. Countless numbers of patients in our care use Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy to restore health and vitality!
To begin your journey toward a renewed you, call the Clearfield Medical Group at 775-359-1222, or email us, email@example.com, today.
- For those of us old enough to remember, the Tarantula 5000 was the sports car Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke) drove and his wife Laura (Mary Tyler Moore) damaged in a parking lot in an episode titled “Scratch My Car and Die” aired March 25, 1964
- Smith, P., What You Must Know About Women’s Hormones. Garden City Park, NY: Square One Publishing, 2010.
- Novensa, L., et al., “Equine estrogens impair nitric oxide production and endothelial nitric oxide synthase transcription in human endothelial cells compared with the natural 17(beta)-estradiol,” Hypertension 2010; 56(3):405-11.
- (Jonas HA et al, Ann Epidemiol, 1996, 6 (4) : 314-23
- Murkes, D., et al., “Effects of percutaneous estradiol-oral progesterone versus oral conjugated equine estrogens-medroxyprogesterone acetate on breast cell proliferation and bel-2 protein in healthy women,” Fertil Steril 2011; 95(3):1188-91
- Wood, C., et al., “Transcriptional profiles of progesterone effects in the postmenopausal breast,” Breast Cancer Res Treat 2009; 114(2):233-42.
- Fournier, A., et al., “Unequal risks for breast cancer associated with different hormone replacement therapies: results from the E3N cohort study,” Breast Cancer Res Treat 2008; 107(1):103-11.