Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) FAQ'S
What hormones decrease with age?
Estrogens refer to a group of similar hormones produced in the body. These are the dominant steroid hormones for the female body and brain health. The main three are estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3). Estrogens protects against heart disease, osteoporosis (thinning bones), MCI (mild cognitive impairment or memory loss) and are the primary treatment of the female menopausal symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, moodiness and poor memory. In men, the lack of estrogens will decrease sex drive.
Progesterone is primarily produced in the ovaries just prior to and after ovulation. It is also produced in large quantities by the placenta during pregnancy and in small quantities by the adrenal glands. Progesterone reduces symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Research indicates that progesterone (not progestins which are synthetic progesterone like drugs in birth control pills and prem-pro) may reduce the risk of uterine cancer and protect breast tissue from acts of estrogen when used in hormone replacement therapy. Progesterone when taken by mouth also has a calming effect and can treat the anxiety and insomnia associated with menopause and peri-menopause.
Testosterone is present and extremely important in women as well as men. In men, testosterone is mainly produced by the testicles and in smaller quantities by the adrenal glands. In women, testosterone is produced in both the ovaries and the adrenal glands. Testosterone is the dominant steroid hormone for male body and brain heath. Testosterone contributes to maintaining muscle mass, strength and endurance, decreased body fat, increased exercise tolerance, a healthy sex life, good mood, good memory, and enhancement of well-being and psychological status. In women, testosterone is important for a healthy sex drive, lean muscle mass and energy levels.
DHEA is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. This hormone is a precursor to other sex hormones. DHEA was one of the first hormones used in anti-aging for its positive effects on the body in rebuilding and regeneration of tissue. Recent studies point to DHEA as an anti-stress hormone, reversing the effects of stress on the immune system.
Pregnenolone is the parent hormone of all the steroid hormones and is produced in the adrenal glands. It is also produced in the brain, liver, ovaries, testicles, and the myelin sheath of nerves. Pregnenolone may enhance mood, energy, memory, and brain and nerve tissue repair.
Cortisol is produced in the adrenal glands. It is the hormone that prepares the body to endure stress and illness. It causes activation of the immune system, makes your brain more aware, increases blood pressure, increases blood sugar and makes blood clot faster. All of these things are important for short term survival but can create premature aging if we have too much cortisol.
Thyroid refers to a group of metabolic hormones produced in the body. The two main thyroid hormones are thyroxine or T4, and triiodothyronine or T3. T4 is produced by the thyroid gland. It is the inactive thyroid hormone in the body. T3 is produced in the brain and liver via the conversion of T4. It is the active form of thyroid hormone in the body. Thyroid hormone regulates temperature, metabolism and cerebral function.
Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland in the brain it tells our body when to go to sleep. It is a circadian rhythm hormone-thereby affecting the patterns of sleep. Research has shown that the cells of the body rejuvenate and repair during the deeper stages of sleep. Improved sleep patterns serve to energize the body and improve mood.
Who Can We Help?
Candidates for BHRT include women who are suffering from menopause symptoms and are looking to put an end to hot flashes, night sweats, memory loss, mood swings, weight gain, and low libido. BHRT can be specifically designed for each individual woman suffering from menopause symptoms, peri-menopause, or severe PMS. Many women who are in menopause or peri-menopause may already be taking standard medications like antidepressants or Prempro (horse derived estrogens with a progestin called MPA) that are not treating all of their hormonal deficiencies. Those medications don’t do a good job of treating most symptoms for women and may put them at increased risk for heart disease, blood clots and breast cancer (Prempro).
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can also be used by men who are experiencing weight gain, fatigue, stress, lost libido and other unwanted symptoms. These symptoms are usually the result of low testosterone. BHRT for men uses different types and levels of bio-identical hormones to manage the hormone levels in the body and let men enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle.
How does it work?
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) produces many beneficial results that help patients enjoy their later adulthood with the same energy and vitality as they did during their youth. Quite simply the treatment restores your optimal and natural hormonal balance to allow you to look and feel your best. There is no reason to let decreased hormone levels hold you back from continuing an active life. BHRT can increase and enhance your energy level, libido, memory and immunity to optimal levels. One of the largest appeals of bio-identical hormones is that they are natural, so our bodies can metabolize them as they were designed to do, minimizing side effects. Synthetic hormones frequently produce unpleasant side effects. Additionally, bio-identical hormones are individually matched to each patient’s specific hormonal needs, as opposed to giving all people the same treatment and never measuring the results.
What to expect:
Our patients tell us they experience a return of youthful feelings and vitality within days to weeks. Women frequently see hot flashes and night sweats improve or disappear within days to weeks. Positive changes in energy level, vitality, improved mood, sleep, sex drive, memory and skin quality soon follow.
Male patients on testosterone therapy usually experience the return of great energy levels, improved thinking, improved sex drive and performance as well as overall improved sense of well-being within a few days- weeks.
What are the treatment options?
There are many varied forms of treatment available to optimize hormone levels.
For MEN these options include:
- Commercially prepared transdermal gels or solutions (such as Axiron, Fortesta, Androgel)
- Custom compounded gels or suspension from a compound pharmacy
- hCG injections which may increase a man’s own testosterone levels
- Testosterone injections- usually every 3-5 days
- Long lasting (6 months or more) custom compounded bioidentical testosterone implants- note that this is NOT the TESTOPEL that is commercially available and only lasts 3 months on average
For WOMEN the options include:
- Commercially prepared transdermal bioidentical estradiol gels and patches (Elestrin, Estrogel, Divigel, Alora, Vivelle)
- Custom compounded transdermal bioidentical estradiol gels
- Custom compounded testosterone gels
- Commercially available progesterone pills
- Custom compounded progesterone pills
- Long lasting (3-5 months) custom compounded bioidentical estradiol and testosterone implants
Please note that women will require treatment with estradiol, progesterone and testosterone in most cases.
How do I get started?
Don’t wait! Call today to change your hormones and change your life for the better. To schedule your appointment with Dr Cox call Oculus Skincare and Longevity at 404-843-3636 . This website contains almost all the information you will need to learn about what to expect at your initial appointment (see). If you still have additional questions we suggest you schedule a complimentary “coffee break” with the doctor. You may also contact our patient coordinator by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I get this type of treatment from my internist/Family Doctor or GYN?
There are few physicians in these more traditional areas of practice that use these types of treatment. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time, research and continuing education to become adept at these treatments. Many physicians don’t have the time or the financial resources for this further education. The time involved to properly educate patients and to support them in their journey does not mix well with the traditional medical practice dependent upon insurance reimbursements. Most doctors have less than 15 minutes with each patient so you can imagine trying to explain something so complicated as hormones in that amount of time. It is really just not possible. And you have several physicians’ organizations that disseminate information about hormones based on old and inaccurate data to their members. So you may well encounter a physician who tells you that you should not be using hormones, that they are bad for you and you don’t need them. We have materials specifically for physicians to educate them about what we do and are happy to share this information with your physicians if they wish.