Bioidentical Hormones

Have you heard of Bioidentical Hormones and wondered if they might help you?

If you are a woman in her late 30s or older and experiencing perimenopausal hormone changes or menopausal symptoms, OR if you are a man experiencing low testosterone, then the answer is yes.

When I was struggling with severe anxiety most doctors wanted to put me on antidepressants and xanax. Little did I know that my anxiety was caused by menopause. I can thank Dr. Brown for that. She was able to help me and get it under control with HRT.

S.P.

Addressing the root cause, rather than the symptoms, can achieve the transformation in your health that you seek.  One cause may result in many different symptoms and likewise, one symptom can have more than one cause.

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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.

What are Bioidentical Hormones?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.

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How are compounded Bioidentical Hormones different?How are compounded Bioidentical Hormones different?

The hormones used in compounded Bioidentical Hormones are the same as those used in commercially prepared pharmaceutical Bioidentical Hormones. Both compounded and commercial pharmaceutical prepared hormones undergo FDA oversight. Compound pharmacies in the United States are subject to FDA inspections as are large commercial pharmaceutical factories.

Will I be taking Bioidentical Hormones for the rest of my life?

Not necessarily. Using Bioidentical Hormones is a quality of life question for both men and women. If you are a woman, you may only need to take Bioidentical Hormones for a short period of time to help yourself transition between perimenopause and post menopause. When using compounded Bioidentical Hormones, we can slowly taper your dose.

For many women, this has allowed them to stop hormones with little or no menopausal symptoms. If unable to stop hormones completely, we recommend that women use the smallest dose of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone needed to control symptoms. Some symptoms like vaginal dryness can persist beyond post menopause but can be treated with hormones other than estradiol.

What exactly are the benefits of using Bioidentical Hormones?

The benefits can be: improved quality of life, relief from perimenopausal/menopausal or andropausal symptoms, preservation of bone density, lower risk of dementia, and possible cardiovascular protection.

Are there any risks from using Bioidentical Hormones?

Over the past 20 years, studies on Bioidentical Hormones have shown that the benefits outweigh the risks. We help our patients make an informed decision by evaluating for pre-existing risk factors and closely monitoring our patients. This includes yearly mammograms, blood work, and monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol. Patients with a history or genetic predisposition for clotting and/or breast cancer are unlikely candidates for any hormone replacement therapy.

How Bioidentical Hormones Can Change Your Life.

Bioidentical Hormones San Jose Integrative MedicineFor some women and men, transitioning through life’s stages can be very difficult. Sleepless nights from stress, PMS, or hot flashes can take a toll on your well being, work, and relationships. Breaking out in a sweat during a meeting can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. One of the little known effects of both perimenopause/menopause and andropause is increased anxiety. If hormone fluctuations are affecting your well being, Bioidentical Hormones may help.

If you would like more information about Bioidentical Hormones, give us a call at 408-357-3422 or book a complimentary phone consultation.

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