How to Get Started With Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
What is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and how it can help? It’s quite possible that a hormone imbalance could be why you don’t feel well—hormone imbalance can cause many unpleasant symptoms for both men and women. If you are experiencing fatigue, weight gain, headaches, muscle or joint pain, or lack of sex drive, your symptoms could be a sign of hormonal imbalance.
Symptoms such as these may prompt you to seek the care of a bioidentical hormone replacement therapy specialist, or you may have been referred to us by another healthcare provider. Let’s take a deep dive into how to get started with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy!
How Do I Know If I Need Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Decreasing hormone levels are a normal part of the aging process, but in some cases, low levels can cause unpleasant symptoms like:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Lack of sex drive
- Weight gain
- Mood changes
- Memory loss
Both men and women can benefit from bioidentical hormone therapy. If you think you might have symptoms of a hormone imbalance, the first step is to have your hormone levels checked with laboratory testing. Our hormone specialists can determine if you have a deficiency and what treatment can help you feel better. Hormone therapy is not a one size fits all approach; with bioidentical treatment, we have many treatment options that can be customized to your treatment goals.
What Does Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Really Do?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy treats hormone deficiencies in both men and women. Estrogens, progestins, and androgens, or testosterone, are hormones that may be given to treat deficiency. Hormones given to treat deficiency are considered synthetic or bioidentical. But what’s the difference? And why does it matter?
Synthetic Hormones (Avoid)
Synthetic hormones are hormones that are created or made in a lab setting. They are “look-alike” replacements for your body’s natural hormones, but are not exact replicas. These hormones are chemically altered. An example is the commonly prescribed medication Premarin. This medicine is often used to treat menopause symptoms like hot flashes. It is made from the chemically altered urine of pregnant mares.
When looking for hormone therapy programs, always make sure they offer bioidentical hormone options and not synthetic hormones!
Bioidentical Hormones (The Gold Standard)
Bioidentical hormones are created from natural plant-based materials and they are just that—identical to the hormones made by our bodies. They are an exact match for our hormones and replicate the exact molecular structure of natural hormones. Bioidentical hormones can be formulated into pills or creams, both of which we offer here at Your Wellness Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
What Doctors Specialize in Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
If you are considering the treatment of hormone deficiencies, you’ll want to look for a healthcare provider well-versed in diagnosing and treating hormone issues. You also want a provider that understands and meets your individual needs. Many patients think their primary care provider or gynecologist is the best place to start. Unfortunately, these providers are often unsuited for evaluating and treating hormone problems.
Traditional healthcare providers are not always trained in ordering and interpreting extensive hormone evaluation lab panels. They may look at one or two surface values and recommend commonly available synthetic prescription medications instead of personalized bio-identical hormone therapy. This treatment approach may not adequately address the underlying hormone issues and can result in unpleasant side effects. Unfortunately, the patient may be left with inadequate treatment that does not address their concerns and could cause more problems.
Here are a few questions to ask when you are looking for a bioidentical hormone specialist.
What are your qualifications?
- Is your specialist board-certified?
- What degrees and certifications do they have?
- Do they specialize in hormone therapy?
- How long have they been practicing bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?
- Do they stay current on new practices in bioidentical hormone therapy?
How will you determine if I need hormone therapy?
The plan for hormone therapy should be individualized to you. Be wary of providers who refrain from spending time asking questions about your individual health concerns, history, diet, and lifestyle to consider a comprehensive health plan. Providers should be able to describe what type of laboratory testing they will perform and how specific therapy and doses will be tailored to your treatment.
What type of hormone therapy do you use in your practice?
Steer clear of a provider who uses only synthetic hormone replacement. Providers should be able to discuss bio-identical hormone therapy and be well-versed in all administration methods—topical or pellet therapy. Your provider should also tell you how they will evaluate your response to treatment and make any dose adjustments.
The best providers will take a total person approach to your care. They’ll not only address hormone imbalances but be able to counsel you on lifestyle factors, dietary strategies, supplements, and more. Hormones are affected by many factors, and addressing each area will result in optimal outcomes.
We want you to maintain a relationship with your primary healthcare provider and get the bioidentical hormone replacement therapy help you need. Collaborative care that includes your primary doctor allows a comprehensive approach to your health. We work closely with the following local healthcare providers who may have referred you to us for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy help.
How Do I Get Started With Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Finding out if you are a candidate for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy starts with a consult and laboratory testing. The easiest way to begin with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and optimize your testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen is to fill out a health history form.
Our providers will review your goals and health history before contacting you to schedule your initial bloodwork. You can call us at (513)-791-9474 with any questions!