What are Bioidentical Hormones?
Bioidentical Hormones are molecularly identical to those that naturally occur in the human body. The hormones originate from a plant source and are then compounded into identical forms of our own natural estrogen (estradiol & estriol), progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and pregnenolone. Being bioidentical, your body is able to recognize the hormone and use it appropriately. These hormones are used in Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) preparations.
What can Bioidentical Hormones do for you?
Suffering from debilitating hot flashes? Are you snapping at the kids and feeling especially irritable? Staring at the ceiling every night at 3 AM, unable to go back to sleep? Suddenly have no sex drive or motivation? Aches and pains for no reason? If so, Bioidentical Hormones may help.
Any and all of these symptoms can be due to perimenopause, menopause, or andropause. Depending on your unique complaints and physiology, bioidentical progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, pregnenolone, and/or estradiol/estriol may give you relief.
How do I know what hormones are right for me?
We are able to identify which hormones you need by evaluating your age, present symptoms, history, and hormone lab values. Hormone prescriptions are customized for each patient in order to eliminate symptoms. Hormones are fabulous for some patients but may not be appropriate for others. You may only need a small amount of progesterone to find relief while another woman may need estrogen, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone.
We do not follow the ‘one-size-fits-all’ model. Rather, we individualize hormone dosing based on patient symptoms and response, health history, serum hormone levels, patient goals, and risk prevention.
What testing is done?
We perform routine, wellness and hormone blood tests. These tests can be ordered through local labs like LabCorp or Quest, or specialty labs. Hormones (in addition to sex hormones) that may be tested for, are adrenal and thyroid. In some cases, we will order urine analysis of sex hormones.
How is Dr. Brown’s approach different from my Ob/Gyn’s or PCP’s
Dr. Kimberly Brown ND, LAc is a Bioidentical Hormone specialist who has been studying and using Bioidentical Hormones in her patients for many years. She believes personalized treatment is key.
Most Ob/Gyns and PCPs are only familiar with pharmaceutically prepared bioidentical estradiol and progesterone which only come in limited and defined dosages. Although this simple approach may help some women, it does not help all and is not a holistic approach for alleviating symptoms or decreasing long term risk. High doses of these commercially prepared products may increase long term risks.
As a side note, commercially available testosterone for men can be individualized by most PCPs but is unavailable to women. The only testosterone available to women at this time is from compounding pharmacies and must be a formula submitted by a doctor or naturopathic doctor.