hormone replacement therapy

Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy

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When your hormones become balanced, age really is just a number

Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (bHRT) is a safe and effective therapy when prescribed by an experienced physician. It is a simple way to replace low levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone for men and women.

Bio-identical hormones are made from plant-derived products, such as yams, with molecules that are exactly the same to that of our own. Synthetic hormones such as oral estrogens or testosterone injections are structurally different from our own hormones and the body recognizes that they are foreign. With comparable, if not superior results, the primary difference and benefit of bio-identical hormones is that we are using the exact same natural hormone that our body already has. Applied topically to the skin with individualized prescription formulas, bHRT can be a life changing therapy for those suffering from hormonal imbalance.

As we age, our bodies produce less than adequate amounts of hormones and these effects are compounded with stress, diet and inactivity. With greater attention towards preventative health, the average life span is increasing which means people are living in menopause or andropause (male menopause) for longer periods of time. For some, little to no treatment is needed and they just want to understand the changes that are happening to their body. For others, this can be a very difficult time and may require a combination of laboratory testing, lifestyle changes, nutrient optimization, botanical support or hormone replacement therapy. It is so important to find a physician who is knowledgeable in all of these treatment areas as integrative medicine is the best approach to any health condition.

Perhaps what is most surprising is that the symptoms of low hormone production are increasingly common for men and women as early as their mid-30’s. For young men, low testosterone levels can be due to sports injuries causing repetitive head trauma throughout the years, post-viral syndromes, poor lifestyle, etc. For young women, hormone replacement therapy may be appropriate for heavy, painful or irregular periods, PCOS, severe PMS, or long term oral contraceptive use causing irregular cycles, to name a few.

After age 30, people will start to feel a change in their body and may report a myriad of symptoms including decreased energy, low sex drive, low motivation, sleep disturbance, unexplained weight gain, brain fog, anxiety, or fatigue. Common findings that I also see in this population of patients are high blood pressure, high cholesterol and bone loss. Hormone management becomes so important to improving our entire health picture. Consult with Dr. Sarah Shell if you suspect that you have a hormone imbalance. You deserve to have the energy and health to live your life the way you choose.