Frequently Asked Questions About Bioidentical Hormones
What is Age Management
Age Management is about early detection, prevention and reversal of age related disease. Evaluations include genomic information, uncovering your unique genetic make up that may predispose you to certain conditions, a biochemical evaluation using blood and urine to uncover nutritional deficiencies, extensive laboratory evaluation to detect the earliest signs of a disease, a full endocrine work up to understand how your hormones may be impacting your vitality, dietary and exercise evaluation and recommendation, stress management, and evaluation and treatment of skin aging.
It is the creation of a health program, unique for the individual that allows you greater control over the aging process. The result of this program is more energy, better moods and coping, improved cognition, increased lean body mass, revitalized sex drive and an overall improvement in the quality of life.
What is hormone optimization?
Hormones are the body’s way of communicating one organ system with another. As we age, many of these important hormones begin to decline. Accompanying this decline is loss of vitality and function. Restoring these hormones to more youthful levels allows the individual the ability to regain metabolic fitness and health needed for continued quality of life.
What hormones are evaluated?
Estradiol, Testosterone, Progesterone. DHEA-S, Growth Hormone, Thyroid hormones, Melatonin, Pregnonolone, Insulin and Cortisol.
What are Bioidentical Hormones?
Bioidentical hormones mean to replace a hormone that has the exact chemical structure that the body produces. Usually they are from a plant source and then altered in a laboratory to create the precise chemical structure of the human hormone. This is important as with a change in structure, comes a change in function and metabolism of the hormone, both impacting the safety of hormone replacement.
Are Bioidentical hormones safer?
There is considerable controversy about this topic. Bio identical hormones by their very nature are safer than the synthetic equivalent, however the safety of a hormone depends on many factors, including the chemical structure, the route of administration, (through the skin versus orally), the age of an individual when hormone treatment is initiated and the unique factors of an individual affecting the metabolic pathways of these hormones.
Why should I replace hormones? I hear exercise, diet and good sun block is all I need.
While exercise and diet and an integral part of any age Management program, without hormones, an individual is catapulted into accelerated aging. Estradiol alone has over 400 jobs in the body. One wonders which of these jobs is no longer important as we age? I would venture to say aging gracefully without replacement is not possible. For women, there will be changes in memory, mood, pain threshold, inflammation, hair, skin bones body shape, energy and sex drive.
For men, a loss of testosterone brings self-doubt, increase in body fat, with a loss in lean body mass, sexual desire and function and an increase risk of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.
Who makes these hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are usually made in a Compounding Pharmacy. Many exist, but over time, I have come to trust University Compounding Pharmacy. The pharmacists that work there have special training in the creation of unique creams specific for the individual.
Does Insurance pay for my evaluation and hormone treatment?
Some may reimburse part of your fees, such as some of the routine laboratory evaluation, however, many of the tests performed are not routine and may not be covered. This evaluation is an investment in your future.
How long will I be on my program?
The length of time you remain on your age management program depends on the individual. It is important to remember that when hormone treatment is stopped, the levels quickly revert to pretreatment numbers and may catapult the individual into a state of accelerated aging.
Is HGH a part of my program?
Human Growth Hormone may or may not be part of your age management program, depending on your levels and your presenting symptoms. HGH is indicated for Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency Syndrome. In 1996, the FDA approved HGH for adults who demonstrated signs and symptoms consistent with this condition.
Will I still see my primary care physician?
Some of my patients do retain their primary, while others prefer to see me for most of their issues. Because of my training as a family practitioner, I am very comfortable dealing with most medical problems.