Is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy for you?
It is not a secret, its a reality . As we age our health declines gradually and in the process there is noticeable changes in the body , adverse health conditions and uncomfortable symptoms. Most of these factor are contribute to Hormonal Imbalance as well as menopause and perimenopause in women , and andropause in men.
Over the course of a lifetime, aging and toxic exposures cause a natural decline of hormones and the responses to these declines vary from person to person. Genetics along with lifestyle choices, such as personal habits, dietary intake and physical activity play a role in your exposure and how well your body functions as you experience the aging process.
As a result of hormone imbalance related to these conditions, you may be experiencing one or a combination of what have become known as the classic symptoms of aging:
- Weight gain
- Limited energy
- Hair loss
- Low sex drive
- Mood swings
- Poor concentration
- Memory loss
What are Bioidentical Hormones?
Bioidentical hormones – are replicates of the same chemical structure as the hormones that are produced naturally by our bodies they are derived from naturally occurring sources, such as yams and soy. Based on your hormone levels, we can individually tailor a bioidentical hormone pellet specifically designed for you.
What is Pellet Therapy?
This is an old (as old as Premarin) and well-documented method of delivering bioidentical hormones that utilizes small pellets about the size of a grain of rice that are painlessly inserted under the skin (the procedure is less painful than having your blood drawn). We’ve found the easiest and best place to insert them is under the skin of the lateral buttocks. The hormones in the pellets are bioidentical (exact molecular match of human hormone) and consist of either estradiol, the most important of the three female human estrogens, and testosterone. Some women are surprised to hear that they might need testosterone replacement as well as estrogen replacement. Perimenopausal women and post-menopausal women usually need some of both. Testosterone levels are usually around 5-10% that of a man. Testosterone helps with a number of issues including libido, mood stabilization, brain function, and bone density.
Pellets are synthesized from soybeans. They are either pure estradiol or pure testosterone. Other than a small amount of stearic acid as is common in pharmaceuticals, there are no other ingredients in them. They dissolve completely with no residual under the skin over a 3-6 month period. Even though they are made from soybeans, it’s very unlikely that soy sensitive individuals would have a problem tolerating them.
The pellets are manufactured by special compounding pharmacies in the Midwest. The ingredients (estradiol or testosterone) are U.S.P. pharmaceutical grade, and our primary source states, “In our state-of-the-art Class 100 clean room, we compound sterile custom tailored prescription medications utilizing strict aseptic techniques. Our pharmacy staff has specialized training ensuring that each preparation is formulated with the strictest standards for sterility, according to Missouri State Pharmacy Board and ASHP/USP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists/U.S. Pharmacopeia) guidelines.”
Pellet therapy is used to defeat the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. Suzanne Somers has authored two very informative books, “The Sexy Years” and “Ageless,” where she describes the symptoms of menopause as the Seven Dwarfs of Menopause – Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Sleepy, Bloated, Forgetful, and All Dried Up. These symptoms respond extremely well to subcutaneous bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.
Inserting these little pellets into the body is sort of like inserting tiny new ovaries, because they do what the ovaries used to do – slowly release hormones into the bloodstream in a manner similar to how the ovaries did.
Many women have tried various kinds of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and have simply been dissatisfied with the way they have felt. Others have worried about reports of increased breast cancer or heart attacks. But because bio-identical subcutaneous hormone replacement is so different from conventional HRT, it is unlikely that negative data on conventional HRT even applies to pellet therapy. Many patients don’t do well on any other form of HRT except subdermal bio-identical pellet therapy.
How is the pellet inserted in the body?
Using a local anesthetic, they are painlessly inserted under the skin of the hip, through a tiny incision, using a small insertion device. After the pellets are inserted, a small piece of tape is placed to close the incision. The whole thing takes only a few minutes, and the amount of discomfort one feels is actually less than getting a blood test.
Your hormone levels are checked before and after your first insertion, and as needed after that. Based upon world medical literature, years of experience, and thousands of patients, we know what levels will usually produce optimal results.
Indications for Pellet Therapy
Symptoms of Menopause/Perimenopause
Decreased sex drive
Symptoms of Andropause
Decreased sex drive
Erectile dysfunction (ED)
Increased sleepiness after dinner
Decreased sports performance
Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men
Many of us are getting to the point where we can really start to enjoy life but our bodies seem to be less capable of delivering the level of fitness and health we desire. We’ve begun to feel more tired and we have less enthusiasm about the world around us. We also tend not to exercise as much as we used to. We seem to get sick much more frequently. Our sexual stamina and performance are not what they used to be, and to add insult to injury, we are storing fat in places we never thought possible! See hormone symptoms below.
We specialize in Hormone Therapy for men as a preventive medical treatment focused on regaining and maintaining optimal health, vitality and vigor. Improving metabolic function and optimizing hormones likeTestosterone, HGH (Human Growth Hormone), DHEA and others, can give men a better opportunity for a healthy and vigorous life. Male hormone replacement therapy can have a significant and positive impact on men’s health including fitness, strength and sex drive.
What is Andropause and does the male form of menopause exist due to low hormone levels?
Andropause or the male menopause occurs gradually over time and is characterized primarily by low levels of Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone in men. The world of modern medicine has made enormous strides in the last 20 years. The diagnostic tools, surgical procedures and advanced research techniques have changed medical care for the better. Open heart surgery finds the patient at home after several days. Many cancers, including prostate and colon cancer, are more treatable and have a higher survival rate. The list of these medical advances could fill several text books. Male hormone therapy has likewise advanced, becoming more effective and more readily available in a variety of hormone medications than ever before.
Hormone therapy for men, prescribed and monitored by progressive doctors is quickly taking an important place in the medical practice and treatment of men’s health. In the past, most doctors didn’t take hormone treatments for men seriously and many had thought that hormone medications were just for women. Even today, some doctors are not aware that declining hormones like testosterone, human growth hormone, DHEA and thyroid in men can cause problems including erectile dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, weight gain, muscle loss and osteoporosis, and fail to recognize “Male Menopause” and Andropause as a treatable condition.
Andropause Symptoms (Low to High)
Hormonal imbalance in men. Usually around the fourth decade of life – affected men will experience symptoms of Andropause, a hormonal deficiency that impacts their health. The first symptoms many men experience is a subtle downward shift in strength, energy and sex drive. You may lose your enthusiasm for life’s challenges which you previously enjoyed – your work, competitive edge, or physical capacity to compete at past sporting levels. As testosterone and growth hormone levels decline, weight gain, muscle softness, inability to sustain erections, moodiness, bouts of depression and insomnia become increasingly frequent.
Low hormone symptoms in men. Common symptoms of male hormonal deficiency due to low testosterone and human growth hormone are disorders of mood – particularly anxiety, irritability or depression. Sexual function, performance and libido also decline, but urinary and prostate disorders amplify. You may prematurely age as skin thins, wrinkles and sags, eyelids droop, hair grays and thins. Your body muscle mass decreases, your breast tissue, belly and waistline enlarge as uncontrolled weight gain increases. Fatigue, sleep disorders and lack of concentration increase while drive, desire, memory and mental acuity decline. Below, is a list of the most common symptoms men experience during andropause due to a testosterone and HGH deficiency that affects men’s hormonal health.
- Decreased sexual desire
- Weight gain or obesity
- Lack of energy or fatigue
- Muscle weakness or softness
- Sleep problems and insomnia
- Hot flashes or night sweats
- Skin wrinkling; thinning hair
- Muscle and bone density loss
- Lack of sexual function or arousal
- Depression or deep sadness
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Withdrawal from others
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Shyness and loss of drive
- Irritability and mood swings
- Memory loss and lack of focus
Frequently Asked Questions
What are hormone pellets made of?
They are derived from soybeans, and are biologically identical to human forms of estradiol and testosterone. There is also a small amount of magnesium stearate added to the prepelletized powder to help it flow better during the pellet making process. The pellets are specially manufactured by select compounding pharmacies using strict manufacturing standards. The pellets are completely biodegradable under the skin leaving no residue whatsoever.
What can I expect bioidentical subdermal hormones to do for me?
The quality of life given back to every man or woman is second to none. You may experience any or all of the following.
Increased energy levels
Restore or increase sexual drive
Consistency in moods – no more roller coaster effect
Relief from anxiety and depression
Decreased body fat
Increased mental clarity and focus
Greater capacity for getting the body in shape
How often will I need them inserted?
It depends on the person, but anywhere from 4-6 months. Occasionally “booster” doses are given before then.
Does is matter what time of my cycle or day to have my blood tested?
For women, it’s best to have your hormone levels checked a week prior to, during, or after your period at any time of the day. For men, it’s best to have your testosterone levels checked early in the morning when they are highest.
How will I know when it’s time for more pellets? Do I need a blood test every time?
People can usually tell when it’s time for more by how they feel. If you feel they’ve worn off before a 3-month time period, your blood levels should be rechecked to see where you’re at. If it’s been longer than 4 months, you can get more pellets without another blood test. Between 3 and 4 months is on a case by case basis. All patients should have an office visit either with Dr. Epperly or their regular family doctor annually.
Are there any side effects and/or complications?
Unlike other forms of hormone therapy, there are very few side effects and they are usually transient. You could get some breast discomfort, nipple tenderness, bloating, and rarely a pellet site could get infected or the pellet could come out. As with hormone therapy in general, some women get a return of menstrual type bleeding particularly if the progesterone is given cyclically rather than continuously. Usually, this bleeding is easily managed by adjusting the doses of the pellets or the progesterone. With the testosterone pellets in women, there are occasional incidences of increased or darker hair growth or mild acne, but these issues are generally minor and easily managed.
I get horrible headaches, will this help me?
Yes! Subdermal estradiol pellet implants have had great success in dramatically reducing hormone-related migraine headaches.
Why doesn’t my doctor suggest these as an option?
The great majority of physician training is on horse estrogens and/or synthetic hormones (e.g PremPro). More than likely they were never trained on the use of bio-identical subdermal hormone therapy. Also important is the fact there are no drug company sales representatives speaking to doctors on a regular basis about pellet therapy.
How long will it take for the pellets to get into my system and work?
Twenty-four to seventy-two hours. Results are almost always seen within a few days to weeks.
If I am a woman, do I still need estrogen after menopause?
Bioidentical estrogen is the most important hormone for a woman to protect her against heart attack, fatal stroke, loss of teeth, as well as osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s and maybe even Parkinson’s Disease. Synthetic estrogen taken orally does not offer the universal benefits.
I have no libido, what will this do for that if anything?
Good hormone balance will usually greatly improve your sexual desires.
Will I grow unwanted hair from the testosterone?
That can sometimes happen, but it is most often rather mild and can be minimized by adjusting the dose of the testosterone pellet.
Do I need other medications?
Unless the uterus has been removed, women will also need progesterone, to protect the uterine lining. This is given either as drops under the tongue or pills.
Is there any risk of Cancer?
“No studies have associated biogenetical hormone replacement with increase risk of cancer”.
For more information please schedule a complementary consultation at Le Nouveau Anti Aging Clinic.