Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Why consider Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement?
As we age, many hormone levels naturally start to decline, but there appears to be tremendous health benefits of supplementing that decline with hormone replacement. With this new outlook, we aim to optimize hormone levels and, hopefully, prevent some of the more harsh affects of aging.
Medical science has come to learn that much of the deterioration of aging is preventable with bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Research has discovered improvement in both physical function and psychological well-being in treated individuals, with findings including:
- Improved cardiovascular function
- Improved cholesterol levels
- Decreased body fat
- Increased lean muscle mass
- Improved energy
- Increased muscle strength and endurance
- Decrease in depression and fatigue
- Improved sense of well-being
Bio-Identical Hormones are natural, plant-based hormones that are chemically similar to the hormones we ourselves produce daily. Each person has their unique and ideal hormone blueprint, and hormone levels can be measured and adjusted to match each blueprint. Bio-Identical hormones are formulated by specialized, compounding pharmacies into more effective forms than the standard drug store brands. The ability to individualize a dose is clearly superior to the traditional “one size fits all” synthetic hormone therapy. There are more health benefits and fewer side effects with Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) options.
Common Bio-identical Hormones
The following is a brief description of many the hormones that decrease as we age. Bio-Identical replacements for these hormones are available. Some or all of these hormones may be supplemented during hormone replacement therapy.
DHEA is a precursor to the sex hormones: testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone, and overall promotes an anabolic (protein building) state. It also increases fat metabolism, which reduces cardiovascular risk. DHEA stimulates the immune system, restores sexual vitality, improves mood, lowers cholesterol, and reduces body fat.
Pregnenolone is a parent compound to many other hormones, mainly estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, DHEA, and cortisol. Pregnenolone also functions as a memory enhancer and is a factor in cell repair, particularly in the brain and nerve tissue. It also protects brain function and protects against brain cell injury.
Testosterone is an important hormone that contributes to energy, muscle mass, strength, endurance, decreased fat, increased exercise tolerance, enhancement of well-being, and psychological status. Testosterone protects against cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity and arthritis.
Melatonin is a hormone that possesses powerful antioxidant effects that contribute to disease and cancer prevention. Melatonin deficiency results in poor sleep, jet lag, irritability and premature aging.
Thyroid hormone is metabolic hormone that regulates blood circulation, body temperature, metabolism and cerebral function. It also contributes to energy levels, fat breakdown, lowering cholesterol, protects against cardiovascular disease and improves cerebral metabolism.
Estrogen protects against heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and memory disorders. Estrogen deficiency results in the urogenital (urinary and genital) atrophy, incontinence, saggy breast skin, increased face wrinkles, decreased energy, depression, mood swings, decreased libido and insomnia. The use of estrogen replacement during menopause is a classic example of optimizing hormone levels to younger levels. This then helps to avoid some of the diseases associated with aging (osteoporosis, heart attack, and stroke).
Progesterone is secreted by the ovaries during the second half of the menstrual cycle and can only be produced by an ovulating ovary. After menopause, progesterone supplementation protects against uterine and breast cancers, osteoporosis, fibrocystic breast disease and ovarian cysts.
Cortisol is the hormone responsible for the body’s ability to handle stress. Whether that stress is emotional or physical, both have the same cortisol response, and prolonged stress can markedly deplete cortisol levels. This leads to adrenal fatigue and eventual burn out. Low cortisol levels contribute to fatigue, poor immune defenses, and depression. It also can inhibit the effectiveness of antidepressant medication, making depression more difficult to treat.
Insulin is critical for the glucose (sugar) transport to every cell for energy, and if insulin levels are too low or too high, cell functions are then greatly impaired. Hyperinsulinemia (too high of insulin) contributes to a metabolic syndrome called Insulin Resistance Syndrome (IRS). As many as 75 percent of American adults have this hormone condition, which worsens with age. Insulin Resistance Syndrome often results in high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and/or triglycerides, obesity, gout, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
While no one claims to have discovered a fountain of youth, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy holds great promise for promoting healthier longevity and wellness. If any of these symptoms or conditions have interfered with your day-to-day life, contact us for a personalized assessment and hormone profile and start aging properly!