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Swiftwater Integrative Medicine
BIODENTICAL & HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY

Bioidentical Hormones Pros and Cons

A decrease of hormones in the human body can cause many of the most prominent indicators of aging, such as low energy and lack of motivation, weight gain, lack of muscle tone, joint discomfort, and low libido.  Health concerns like high cholesterol, osteoporosis and osteopenia and early signs of dementia are also related to low hormones.  Hormone production declines as we age, leaving us feeling quite differently than we did when we were younger. Natural hormone replacement treatment may help restore hormone levels and reverse the aging process, making it one of the best things you can do for anti-aging.

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Feel Your Best Inside and Out

What is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?

Most people have no idea just how important hormones are in their daily lives. Hormones, in fact, control most of our bodily functions. Overall health may become impaired when our hormones are imbalanced. Anxiety, diminished mental clarity, insomnia, persistent tiredness, loss of muscle mass, and loss of libido are all indications of hormonal imbalance.

We believe that managing your hormones is critical for optimal health. We use topical creams, injections and oral capsules  to provide Bioidentical Hormone Replacement treatment. Our Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is a complete solution that not only addresses the symptoms listed above, but also delivers other health advantages, including heart protection, dementia prevention,  as well as joint,  muscle and bone  protection. Below you’ll find additional information about the Hormone Replacement Therapy we provide.

Symptoms of hormonal imbalances among women

When women’s hormonal changes are out of whack, they suffer several symptoms, including but not limited to

  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes
  • Low libido
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Lack of muscle tone
  • Belly fat
  • Skin wrinkling
  • Dry eyes
  • Hair loss
  • Poor ability to find the right words
  • Short-term memory changes.

 

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Symptoms of hormonal imbalances among men

Men may experience symptoms of hormonal changes as well, though they are less well-known than women. This is where they will want to consider testosterone therapy. Low levels of testosterone are associated with the following symptoms:

  • Reduced muscle tone
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Fatigue that doesn’t go away with time
  • Increased body fat
  • Irritability
  • Lack of motivation
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Brain fog

Are you a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy?

Our physicians are experts in hormone replacement therapy. They will  run labs, analyze your results and tell you if you’re a good candidate for these therapies or whether we should look into alternative possibilities. We run full hormone panels to better understand the signs of hormone imbalance.

Hormone replacement, however, is not for everyone. In general, hormone replacement treatment should not be used if you have or have had endometrial cancer, breast cancer, some types of blood clots, stroke, or blood clots in lungs.

Hormone replacement treatment is ineffective for males with good  testosterone levels, which range between 600 and 900 nano-grams per deciliter.

What are bioidentical hormones and how do they work?

The term “bioidentical” refers to hormones that are chemically identical to those produced by your own body. Bioidentical hormones are made from plant estrogens that are then synthetically altered in a lab to be chemically identical to human hormones. Progesterone, estrogen, testosterone and DHEA are the most often used hormones.

Frequently Asked Questions

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The approach of administering bioidentical hormones is straightforward and flexible.   Our physicians prescribe either creams, patches,  oral capsules, or injections. 

Hormones are absorbed through the skin when used in a cream or patch form and do affect your systemic blood levels – contrary to what you may have read. 

Oral capsules are absorbed through the digestive tract first and then reach the bloodstream.

Testosterone is not available orally.  We can and do prescribe injectable testosterone for some men when compounded highly concentrated testosterone cream has failed.

We generally recommend topical estrogen and testosterone for men and women as this provides a consistent daily dose, is highly flexible as it allows for twice-daily dosing if needed,  and results in less of a roller-coaster effect (high highs and low lows) that leave you with intermittent undesirable symptoms.

What sets our hormone replacement therapy services apart is found in

  • Our delivery techniques
  • The thorough tests we run to monitor your treatment
  • The follow-up care you receive to make sure you are feeling your best on this therapy.

Every individual is unique and will respond differently.  Our providers have been optimizing hormones for  men and women of various ages for over a decade, and they were trained by the founders of this therapy.    

  • Testosterone: For testosterone therapy, we use compounded testosterone creams prepared in Atrevis base to deliver the best absorbed testosterone at a dose tailored specifically to your body. Commercially available topical preparations like Androgel are ineffective and too low in concentration to deliver an appropriate dose for most men. Injectables can work well for some men, but there is a roller-coaster effect in the high levels on the injection day followed by low levels several days later.  This can significantly effect energy, emotions, and erectile function for a lot of men.  Oral testosterone is no longer recommended as it causes blood clots frequently and can lead to stroke.
  • Estrogen: For estrogen therapy we often use topical creams, patches or oral or vaginal tablets. These will all deliver an even daily dose. Estrogen creams are compounded and tailored specifically to what your individual body needs. Oral capsules do add a little more work for your liver, as your digestive track processes the estrogen before delivering it to your blood stream; however this is still an easy and effective form to use.
  • Progesterone: Progesterone is also delivered either as an oral capsule or a cream. Both work well. Oral progesterone capsules help many women sleep much deeper, but, like oral estrogen, they do require a little work from your liver to process through the digestive tract.

We do not recommend pellet therapy as this can cause many undesirable side effects, most commonly overdose if your doctor chooses the wrong dose for your body, or if your body is more sensitive to hormones than others.

After a few days on a new hormone regimen, people generally notice an increased sense of well-being and resolution of many common symptoms like hotflashes, nightsweats, low libido, and fatigue.

When a patient starts bioidentical hormones replacement they may initially experience some of the following negative effects:

  • Bloating
  • Acne
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Mood swings.

Bioidentical hormone replacement treatment has the same dangers as standard hormone replacement therapy. (Please see above for a list of conditions that might render you ineligible for hormone replacement treatment.)

Hormone replacement treatment has been proven in studies to raise the risk of several disorders and diseases if it is prescribed in doses that are too high for your body, and if proper testing and management is not performed by your doctor. These disorders/diseases include

  • Gallbladder disease
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots.

We now know that topical estrogen, when used topically with bioidentical hormones, does not increase risk of breast cancer.  Likewise, testosterone does not increase risk of prostate cancer.  Like many things in life, balance is key.  Too-low hormones is not good for you, and too high hormones or out of balance hormone levels (i.e. high estrogen and low progesterone) is also not good for you.  If you think about it, both breast and prostate cancers happen in women and men after age 50, when hormone levels are typically lower than they once were. 

If you have already had breast or prostate cancer, adding in bioidentical hormone replacement could cause that cancer to grow. This is why we recommend preventative screening for breast and prostate cancer to prevent this situation from happening.

Contact us for all the help that you need with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. We are confident you’ll be impressed with the results!

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