So, what are hormones? Hormones are chemical messengers in our body that communicate between our brain and organs, such as from our brain to our sexual organs, even to our muscles, bones, skin, even to our vitality.
How do you know if you need hormones or have a hormonal imbalance? For women some of the signs include fatigue, brain fog, weight gain, night sweats, hot flashes or flushing, low sex drive, trouble sleeping, irritability, anxiety, mood swings, low mood, muscles loss, discomfort during intercourse and osteopenia/osteoporosis (bone loss). Men may experience low sex drive, fatigue, weight gain, loss of muscle mass, increased body fat, mood changes, irritability, brain fog, decreased bone mass, man boobs and increased waist size
What are today’s Bioidentical Hormones and are they safe? Today’s hormones are made safer by being structured like our own exact natural chemical structure . That’s why they are called Bio-Identical.
In the past, synthetic hormones were used that were not like our own or not “natural.” There was a study over 20 years ago evaluating these unnatural hormones called the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) that showed increased cardiovascular risk and breast cancer. The lead investigator of the study then came back a few years later stating that there were lots of variables in the study like person’s age at start of treatment and what was used.
Now, women treated with hormones have been shown to have a decreased risk of colorectal cancer, fractures and diabetes. Oral natural progesterone reduces breast cancer risk, helps reduce anxiety and improves sleep. The best news was that if women started hormones in their 50’s or at menopause, they had reduced risk of mortality (death). We also know, from research done by Dr Dale Bredesen, that hormone replacement actually helps prevent or decrease dementia.
How are bioidentical hormones applied or administered? There are many options including topical vaginal, even oral progesterone, but my favorite is pellet therapy. Pellets are convenient in that they bypass the liver, are easy to insert by doctor, and only have to be given every 3-4 months for women and 5-6 months for men. There are no daily creams to apply, and you get better levels of steady hormone delivery.
For hormone pellet insertion, we simply numb a small area on the hip and make a tiny incision where we insert the pellet—a little smaller than a tic tac. It doesn’t require any stitches, only a small patch which you remove after 5 days.
Bioidentical hormone therapy is a safe and effective way of dealing with a hormone imbalance for both men and women.