Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)
As you age, your hormone production declines. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is administered to maintain hormonal balance and ease the symptoms of aging.
Throughout your life, you are exposed to environmental and dietary toxins, which contribute to the natural decline of hormones. This imbalance can affect you mentally, emotionally, and physically, increasing the risk of age-related illness, such as heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.
The goal of BHRT is to restore the body’s hormonal balance and optimize health during the aging process. The benefits of natural hormone therapy include weight loss, increased energy, enhanced memory, and improved sleep and libido.
At Performance Injury Care & Sports Medicine (PICSM) in Helena, Montana, we will evaluate your hormone levels and prescribe the optimal mix and dose of bioidentical hormones for you.
Are Bioidentical Hormones Safe?
The term “bioidentical” refers to a hormone with the same chemical structure as those naturally made by the body, and they are metabolized by normal metabolic pathways.
Synthetic, or non-bioidentical hormones such as Premarin®, are manufactured with a different chemical structure than those naturally produced by the human body. Studies have shown that synthetic HRT can significantly increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, breast cancer, and blood clots.
Bioidentical hormone therapy is safe and free of the risks associated with synthetic hormones. Studies have shown that the long-term health benefits of BHRT include a reduced risk of diseases associated with aging, such as cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke, and cognitive impairment.
Types of Bioidentical Hormones
You may not realize it, but both women and men create estrogen, a hormone that is actually a product of testosterone. It is also found in abdominal fat. In women, estrogen and progesterone play a critical role in sexual development, mood, ovulation, and lactation after pregnancy. In men, low or unbalanced levels of estrogen significantly increase the risk of heart disease.
Symptoms of low estrogen levels include:
- Sagging skin and breasts
- Increased wrinkles
- Mood swings
- Decreased libido secondary to vaginal atrophy
Benefits of optimizing estrogen levels include:
- Protects against: Osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, hot flashes, strokes, colon cancer, vaginal dryness/itching
- Strengthens: Cardiovascular function, sex drive, bone density, muscle tone, and hair texture
Progesterone, which is produced in the ovaries, regulates the monthly menstrual cycle. In pregnant women, it is also produced in the placenta and plays a role in maintaining pregnancy. Estrogen and progesterone are synergistic hormones, helping to promote optimal female health.
Benefits of optimal estrogen and progesterone levels:
- Reduces symptoms of PMS
- Reduces symptoms of perimenopause and menopause
- Improves bone growth
- Protects against heart disease, and breast cancer
Testosterone is the principal steroid hormone found in both males and females. The testes produces testosterone in males, and the ovaries produce testosterone in females. Testosterone is notorious for its role in sexual function, but it also builds muscle mass, strength, and endurance; decreases fat; and maintains bone density. It is now well-known that testosterone levels decrease with age beginning in the 30s.
Symptoms of low testosterone include:
- Poor skin tone
- Decreased sexual performance and libido
- Decreased muscle mass
- Decreased bone density
With balanced testosterone levels, the following benefits can be experienced:
- Enhance your mood and well-being
- Improve sex drive
- Improve energy
- Improve muscle strength and growth
- Improve skin and decrease wrinkles
- Enhance bone density
- Lower body fat
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol levels
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a very powerful anti-oxidant that is produced from cholesterol. It is the primary building block for all other sex hormones: estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. It is referred to as the “mother of all hormones.”
- Improves immune response, well-being, sex drive, emotional stability, memory, and cognitive function
- Improves bone density; lowers risk of osteoporosis
- Lowers risk of cancer, coronary heart disease, and diabetes
The thyroid produces two hormones: T3 and T4, which are critical for almost every body function. They regulate metabolism, body temperature, nervous system, and menstrual cycles. Healthy levels have been known to protect against coronary vascular disease and cognitive impairment. In addition, thyroid hormones play an important role in the integrity of skin, hair, and nails.
If your body doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism), symptoms may include:
- Weak, cold, tired, fatigued
- Dry skin, thin hair, thin nails
- Weight gain
- Loss of motivation and energy
- Poor sense of well-being and depression
- Bowel function and constipation
If your body makes too many thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism), symptoms may include:
- Weak, hot, fatigued
- Heart palpitations, trembling hands
- Weight loss
Melatonin is a hormone found naturally in the body. It helps regulate other hormones and maintains the body’s circadian rhythm. It helps control the timing and release of female reproductive hormones.
Melatonin possesses potent anti-oxidative effects and a potential anti-cancer agent, because it is one of the best free radical scavengers in the body.
Benefits of optimal melatonin therapy:
- Improves immunity
- Better REM sleep
- Lowers blood pressure
- Decreases migraines
- Powerful antioxidant
This hormone can improve memory and help prevent the mental decline often associated with aging. It is also instrumental in the production of DHEA.
BHRT Treatment Plan
If you have any of the above symptoms, call PICSM today at (406) 422-5817 to schedule your evaluation to start optimizing your hormones and your health. We will:
- Discuss your medical history and BHRT benefits
- Test your hormones levels
- Follow-up to discuss hormone levels and BHRT treatment plan
- Prescribe hormones and review the risks and benefits
- Follow up with you after one month and repeat hormone testing to check progress
You can also use our online form at any time to request an appointment.
By Phillip Steele, MD RMSK CAQ Sports Medicine Performance Injury Care & Sports Medicine Lubricin is a naturally occurring substance found in our joints as part of the synovial fluid. This viscous substance helps to cushion and lubricate our joints. Lubricin appears to be crucial in allowing the articular surfaces of the joint to glide […]