Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone Therapy (HT), commonly called Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), is the expected therapy for women and men whose hormone levels have dropped, whether through the aging process or for some other reason. As women and men live longer, hormone therapy has become a way to feel good, look great, and live a healthy vibrant life with strong healthy bones.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy vs. Synthetic or “Natural” Hormones
It’s simple. Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) provides the same physiological effect as the hormones they are prescribed to replace. They have the same molecular structure as the hormones produced in the human body. Having the same, exact chemical structure as the endogenous hormones, bio-identical hormones will provide the same physiological responses. Synthetic hormones do not have the same molecular structure. In fact, many provoke side effects that may be undesirable, or even harmful. Natural hormones may mean, “found in nature” not man-made in a laboratory. Plant estrogens (phytoestrogens) are similar to, but not identical to human estrogen. Manufacturers claim to produce “natural” products because patients are requesting “natural”. Bio-identical hormones are “natural” but “natural” may not mean bio-identical. For this reason, most patients and physicians prefer bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.
Restore Health, researchers, and healthcare providers use the terms “natural” and “bioidentical” to mean molecularly identical to the hormones produced in your body. Individualized, low-dose bioidentical hormone therapy is an alternative approach to synthetic hormone therapy. It uses what are called bioidentical (natural) hormones like estradiol, estriol, progesterone, cortisol, testosterone, and DHEA. The chemical structure of these hormones is exactly the same as the hormones produced naturally in the body.
A low-dose bioidentical hormone therapy prescription can be easily customized for each patient’s unique needs by qualified compounding pharmacy making customized medications. Individualization includes testing current hormone levels with a highly sensitive saliva test, determining the specific combination of hormones required, and prescribing at the lowest effective dose, thereby minimizing unwanted side-effects.
Bioidentical prescriptions can be administered in a variety of forms including tablets, capsules, patches, and creams. The ability to customize the strength as well as the dosage form is unique to compounding pharmacies and an option many patients find appealing as it enables them to have their medication tailored to their individual needs and preferences.
Synthetic hormones are made in laboratories, en masse, and have a chemical structure similar, but not identical, to the hormones produced in the body. Because they are not identical, synthetic hormones cannot be counted on to act in the same way human hormones do. They may or may not produce the symptom control you desire. They may also produce potentially dangerous side effects such as an increased risk of heart attack, blood clots, stroke, and breast cancer. Furthermore, synthetic hormones are prescribed in a one-size-fits-all standard dose, not a low dose individualized for each patient. This “one-size-fits-all” approach increases the chance that the prescribed drug will produce unwanted and potentially dangerous side effects.
Bioidentical hormone therapy has been enhancing the quality of life for countless men and women, protecting many from chronic and debilitating disease for nearly thirty years. If your healthcare provider is not offering this choice to you, then it is up to you to take responsibility for educating yourself and your provider about this important option for healthy living and healthy aging – or to find another healthcare provider who is willing to listen and work with you.
Restore Health provides pharmaceutical grade bio-identical hormones for bio-identical hormone therapy protocols. For more information, please contact one of our pharmacists today.
Bioidentical Hormones Available through Restore Health
Restore Health offers a variety of options for taking hormones, and a variety of testing options. You can take hormones through your skin in gel, or cream form, whichever works best for you. A transdermal patch delivers continuous hormone therapy. Oral tablets for each hormone or combinations can be individually compounded for you.
Our exclusive Restore® program incorporates a simple, effective saliva test to measure a baseline hormone profile for up to five hormones: estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and cortisol, as well as a urine NTx test to measure rate of bone loss. Follow-up testing is suggested at three months, and then annually (or as needed to affect the desired therapeutic outcome.)
With a prescription from your healthcare provider, Restore Clinical Services will mail your home testing kit directly to you. In packaging we’ve provided, you send your samples directly to our state-of-the-art laboratory for testing. Samples are collected in the comfort of you own home. No needles required.
The natural hormones compounded individually by Restore Health’s pharmacists are prescription medications, and are used to manage symptoms of PMS, perimenopause, and menopause. Unlike synthetics such as Prempro®, bioidentical hormones are often better tolerated. And, because bioidentical hormones can be prescribed at low doses tailored to a individual’s hormone needs, there can be maximum benefit with the lowest possible dose. Choosing among various low-dose estrogens is a decision best made by you and your healthcare provider based on the specific symptoms that need to be managed, and accurate test results.
Restore Health Offers Expert Help
Together with your healthcare provider, the expert pharmacists at Restore Health develop individualized treatment options from your self-assessment using our noninvasive tests.
The consulting pharmacists at Restore Health work with our patients and their healthcare providers to customize individualize low-dose natural hormone therapy regimens. Ask your healthcare provider to call 1-800-558-7046 for a comprehensive consultation with a pharmacist.
Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT)
Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) restores declining hormone levels associated with menopause (women with a personal history or a family history of breast cancer may not be candidates for estrogen replacement). The principal estrogens in a woman are estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3). Estradiol is the most potent of these estrogens and is produced by the ovary. Estrone and estriol are both metabolites of estradiol and are less potent, with estriol being the weakest. The most common form of ERT is a compounded formulation of Bi-Est (80% estriol / 20% estradiol) and Tri-Est (80% estriol/10% estradiol/10%estrone). The percentages of estrogen in each compound can be adjusted based upon test results to achieve an optimal patient outcome.
Progesterone Replacement Therapy
Progesterone (P4) is a hormone produced in women by the adrenal glands, the ovaries and in the placenta during pregnancy. In men, smaller amounts of progesterone are produced in the testes and adrenal glands. Progesterone interacts with and mediates estrogen. Progesterone is known as a precursor hormone for estrogen, luteinizing hormone, and testosterone, among others. To a certain extent, progesterone controls the production of these other hormones and can help balance any deficiencies or excesses of them in your body. In addition to helping relieve the symptoms of menopause and PMS, progesterone is known to enhance energy and sexual libido, and to heighten feelings of well-being. Progesterone should not be confused with progestin. Progestin is a chemical synthetic and is unable to synthesize other hormones or help our bodies produce the other hormones it needs to function at full potential. Progesterone can be administered orally (powder or micronized in oil base), vaginally or rectally (with suppositories), through injections or topically with transdermal creams or gels.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
Testosterone, although a primary male hormone, also plays a role in women’s health. A decline in testosterone levels in men may be indicated by symptoms including loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, deterioration in ability to concentrate, poor muscle tone and strength, lack of endurance and mood swings. A decline in testosterone levels in women may accompany a decreased libido, irritability, weight gain, loss of lean muscle and osteoporosis. Testosterone contributes to energy levels, overall sense of well being, increases lean body mass and helps in building strong bones.
For people not producing high enough levels of testosterone, Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) may be appropriate. This therapy should be considered when hormone deficiency has been clinically proven through laboratory testing of blood serum or saliva.
Testosterone can be administered orally, topically (creams or gels) a pellet implant (pellet placed underneath the skin) or injectable form. Testosterone taken orally should not be considered a primary method of delivery. Topical application of testosterone is usually the preferred method for TRT. Restore Health offers testosterone creams, gels, capsules and tablets in a variety of strengths. Although there are advantages to different dosage forms, the physician should consult with the patient for the most appropriate dosage compliant form.