About Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)

Q. Why do women often need hormones before or after going through menopause?

A. Hormones control virtually all of our bodily functions, including our immune, reproductive and metabolic systems. In other words, they control our physical and mental health. Therefore, when hormone levels decline, we suffer both physically and mentally. The restoration of these hormones helps us to strengthen our bodies, renew our minds and regain our youthful zeal.

Once menopause starts, your ovaries no longer produce hormones. In fact, prior to menopause, when women’s ovaries first begin to gradually make less estrogen, they are perimenopausal. Because hormones, especially estrogen, are involved, a variety of symptoms often occurs when women are either perimenopausal or menopausal. These situations are both best treated by restoring the lowered hormone levels.

Q. Why do men need testosterone replacement?

A. Just as with women, when men get older their hormone levels drop. This includes testosterone. It’s important for men to maintain their testosterone level because this hormone offers bone, cardiovascular and brain protection; helps maintain mental clarity, bone density and muscle mass; increases energy; decreases fatigue and regulates libido.

Q. Do side effects vary between synthetic and bio-identical hormones?

A. Bio-identical and synthetic hormones are not the same.

Bio-identical hormone molecules are identical in structure to the hormone found naturally in the body. Synthetic hormones have a similar structure but are not exactly the same as those produced by your body.

Pharmaceutical companies cannot patent natural or bio-identical compounds. However, they can patent chemically different molecules, and therefore make a profit from them, an extremely big profit.

Because they are chemically different, synthetic hormones act differently and produce substantially different effects. As a result, they should never be considered the same or used interchangeably with bio-identical hormones. They’re different.

While many studies have shown extensive harmful effects from synthetic hormones, medical literature shows many beneficial effects from bio-identical hormones and no harmful effects.

Q. How quickly will I see results from BHRT?

A. Result time varies from person-to-person. There are patients who see results in just three to four days. Others see them within 10 – 14 days.

Q. When should bio-identical replacement therapy (BHRT) be considered?

A. Most patients come to us for BHRT when they have lost their energy and feel tired all the time. It’s not unusual for them to have gained weight that they now can’t seem to lose. It’s also typical for new patients to tell us they’ve lost their joy and enthusiasm for life.

When you come to The Steelman Clinic for an appointment, we’ll listen as you describe your symptoms. In addition, since medical literature has shown blood tests to be more accurate in determining hormone levels than saliva tests, we’ll perform blood tests to determine where your hormone levels stand.

Women, you may well have decreased levels of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and thyroid, and therefore can benefit from BHRT, if you have:

  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Decreased libido
  • Hot flashes
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Increased facial wrinkles
  • Sagging skin and breasts
  • Urogenital atrophy
  • Loss of muscle tone
  • Restless sleep

If you have had a total hysterectomy (had your ovaries and uterus removed) or have gone through menopause, you should start BHRT as soon as possible.

If instead, you are approaching menopause and experiencing irregular cycles, you should have your hormone levels evaluated.

Take our Female Hormone Replacement Questionnaire.

Men, you may have decreased levels of testosterone, and therefore would benefit from BHRT, if you have:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • A decrease in muscular strength and tone
  • Decreased libido
  • An inability to maintain an erection

If you suffer from one or more of these symptoms, definitely have your hormone levels checked.

Take our Male Hormone Replacement Questionnaire.

Q. Do I have to take the hormones forever?

A. No, you don’t have to. But if you do decide to stop you will quickly begin to suffer once again from the same problems and symptoms you had prior to starting BHRT. Remember, once menopause starts, your ovaries no longer produce estrogen and progesterone.

Q. Will BHRT interfere with the prescribed medications I currently take?

A. Not usually. In fact, after you’ve been on BHRT for a short time, you may find previous medications you were taking can either be reduced or will no longer be needed.

Q. If I start receiving BHRT treatment from The Steelman Clinic, does that mean you’ll assume the role as my primary doctor?

A. No, it doesn’t. Our practice at The Steelman Clinic is specialized and limited to BHRT and weight loss. If you’d like for us to communicate with your current physician, however, we’d be happy to do so.

Q. Can I use my health insurance for your BHRT services?

A. The Steelman Clinic is an out-of-network provider for all major health insurance plans.

We ask you to pay in full at the time you receive our services. Our services are NOT covered by either Medicare or Medicaid.

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