What is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and what does it treat?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is most commonly used to treat the symptoms of menopause. It can also be used to treat low testosterone levels in men. Bioidentical hormones are manufactured in a lab to have the same molecular structure as the hormones made by your own body. This allows us to take an individualized approach with each patient treated by our bioidentical hormone replacement therapy doctors. We begin with laboratory tests of your hormone levels, what we call a hormone panel. When warranted, we prescribe a precise dosage of bioidentical estrogen, testosterone or DHEA that is created in a compounding pharmacy to meet the needs of the individual patient. Each patient is monitored carefully through regular follow-up hormone panels to ensure they achieve symptom relief at the lowest possible dosage. In the initial stages we will test a hormone panel every three months. Once balance is restored, we’ll do one panel a year at the time of your annual exam. Bioidentical hormones are thought to be safer than synthetic hormones and carry two practical advantages:
- They can be matched to the patients individual needs as opposed to the one dose fits all approach of synthetic hormone treatment
- They are more easily metabolized which is thought to minimize side effects
If you suffer from symptoms of menopause or low testosterone and are interested in learning more about how bioidentical hormone replacement therapy might be right for you call: 770-676-6000 or contact us to schedule an appointment.
While bioidentical hormones are manufactured to have the same molecular structure as the hormones made by your own body synthetic hormones are intentionally different. Drug companies can’t patent a bioidentical structure so they invent synthetic hormones that are patentable (Premarin, Prempro and Provera being the most widely used examples). These are thought to be harder to metabolize, carry more serious side effects and dosages are not tailored specifically for the individual.
Progressive Medical Center is always cautious when prescribing bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Although results have been positive and they are thought to be safer than synthetic hormones they have not been well studied for long-term use. The great majority of women can rebalance their hormones without the use of drugs. We have found that close to 85% of patients can find relief through an approach that combines medical-grade nutritional supplements, gentle endocrine support and proper diet and nutrition. We recommend that every patient start with this combination approach before turning to hormone therapy. We don’t recommend that any hormones be used long-term unless essential for symptom relief and only with a complete risk assessment. We also don’t support the idea that bioidentical hormone therapy should be used indefinitely for anti – aging purposes.