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      FAQ about Bio-Identical Hormones

      What are Bio-Identical hormones?

      Bio-Identical hormones are an exact structural replica of the hormones that are naturally produced by the body. The difference between Bio-Identical hormones and synthetic hormones that, although both are created in labs, synthetic hormones are not identical to the hormones naturally created in your body while Bio-Identical hormones match human hormones molecule by molecule.

      Depending on what your symptoms are and which hormone(s) your body needs, your practitioner at The Center for Anti-Aging & Weight Loss may choose to prescribe Bio-Identical hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid hormones, DHEA, melatonin, or others as needed.

      Who Needs Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)?

      Bio-Identical hormone replacement therapy benefits men and women of various ages suffering from hormonal imbalances. Each treatment plan is uniquely tailored to the individual. To select the right therapy, you must understand all the available options for therapy and exactly how Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy (BHRT) can enhance your life and well-being.

      How Do You Know if Your Hormone Levels are Unbalanced?

      If you are considering Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), you may be experiencing symptoms that may be keeping you from feeling like yourself. Those symptoms may be the earliest signs of aging, such as foggy thinking, sleeplessness, muscle loss, or low energy. Furthermore, conditions of aging like menopause in women can cause hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain while even post-menopausal women experience symptoms including but not limited to hair loss and low libido. Aging also has an effect on men known as andropause, which is caused by the fluctuation of testosterone levels.

      Human hormones play a significant role in maintaining the proper function of the body. Whatever the reason you are seeking ways to feel better, the first step in determining if your symptoms are the result of a hormonal imbalance and that you are a candidate for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, is comprehensive lab testing.

      Lab testing assesses the current status of your natural hormones. Your physician at the Center for Anti-Aging & Weight Loss will use the results of this lab testing along with your medical history and current symptoms to make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. Hormonal imbalances may be treated with bio-identical hormones.

      What is the difference between Bio-Identical and synthetic hormones?

      The difference between Bio-Identical hormones and synthetic hormones is dual fold. Unlike Bio-Identical hormones, synthetic, or conventional, hormones may be patented by pharmaceutical companies; therefore dosage varies only by milligrams dictated by your doctor, while the molecular structure of the prescribed hormone is the same for every single person on that drug. Additionally, synthetic hormones are NOT created structurally the same as human endogenous hormones, which often leads to uncomfortable side effects. While synthetic hormones can mimic the effects of endogenous hormones on certain biological pathways, they rarely offer the same effectiveness at a deeper, molecular level.

      Bio-Identical hormones mimic the affinity of human endogenous hormones; therefore they are effective on more biological pathways, at all levels. Because Bio-Identical hormones are an exact structural replica of endogenous hormones, side effects are rarely observed, and in the event, you do experience side effects, talk with your doctor—the dosage may simply need to be adjusted. The added benefit of Bio-Identical hormones is that each dose is tailored specifically for your needs, not simply what doses the pharmaceutical company offers (as is the case with synthetic hormones.)

      Why do women need hormones before, during, and after menopause?

      Hormones affect a multitude of pathways in the body. Women may experience fluctuations in their hormone levels throughout their lifespan. Imbalances can occur due to lifestyle and environmental factors, as well as expected changes, such as the onset of menses, pregnancy, childbirth, perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. Imbalances of hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone can lead to many uncomfortable experiences, like night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, depression, and anxiety. The most common decline seen in menopausal and post-menopausal women is estrogen. When estrogen levels become unbalanced, women may experience symptoms such as low libido and bone loss. The bone loss that women experience due to declining estrogen levels can lead to osteoporosis and increase the likelihood of bone fractures. Adjustments to a woman’s hormone levels through Bio-Identical hormone therapy and lifestyle changes can reduce or eliminate these discomforts and improve overall health and well-being.

      Why do men need testosterone replacement?

      As men age, production of the hormone testosterone begins to decline and many men experience symptoms of low testosterone. Testosterone is the hormone that is responsible for maintaining mental focus, energy, metabolism, muscle mass, fat levels, and sex drive. By balancing a man's hormones with Bio-Identical hormone therapy, men can restore vitality and reduce the symptoms of low testosterone (also known as andropause).

      Why don't traditional doctors prescribe Bio-Identical hormones?

      Traditional doctors do not usually have the time or the resources to seek expertise in Bio-Identical hormones. The Center for Anti-Aging and Weight Loss physicians undergo extensive training in Bio-Identical hormone therapy and have specialized knowledge of anti-aging medicine.

      Are Hormones Affecting Your Sex Drive?

      Are hormones affecting your sex drive? The answer is likely a resounding yes. Regardless if you are enjoying a healthy sex drive, a high sex drive, or agonizing over a low sex drive, in most cases, your hormones are in control. For some patients, emotional and psychological factors play a role in sexual desire. For both men and women, sex drive that has diminished with age, menopause, andropause, or pregnancy is likely linked to a hormonal issue. Approximately 70 percent of low libido issues are related to a hormonal imbalance. Low libido due to hormonal imbalance does not mean that you are helpless. In fact, you can take an active role in resetting your hormones to reclaim your sex drive.

      What can I expect once I've become a patient?

      Upon becoming a patient, The Center for Anti-Aging & Weight Loss team will book your initial consultation, and order your necessary labs at the time of consultation. Approximately a week later, the doctors will contact you to discuss your lab results. A team member will then contact you to confirm your first appointment. This appointment will consist of annual physical and Bio-Identical hormones prescribed and tailored specifically for your needs based on your lab results and medical history.

      A few months after your initial consultation, you will need to schedule your subsequent lab testing and appointment. This appointment will allow your physician to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments for achieving optimal results and hormone balance. As you move forward on the program, appointments will be scheduled every three to four months to discuss your progress, make any necessary adjustments to your prescriptions, and discuss any concerns or successes you may have at this point in your treatment.

      What are the side effects associated with Bio-Identical hormones?

      Bio-Identical hormone therapy has a few potential side effects which are classically

      linked to dosage — as your hormone levels improve, your dosage may need to be adjusted. If you notice side effects, contact your physician.

      • Men and women have reported increased aggressiveness, acne, or irritability during the initial phases of testosterone hormone therapy, but these issues are generally resolved as levels become balanced.
      • Some women have reported breast tenderness, spotting, cramping, and bloating. These symptoms may be experienced initially with estrogen hormone treatment, but resolve as hormone levels become balanced.
      • Occasionally, hormone therapy patients will complain of itching or redness at the injection or insertion site, these symptoms diminish as the body adjusts to treatment.

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