Facts and Questions About Bioidentical Hormones
Tacoma Washington Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Specialist, Barbara Mack, M.D. offers advanced Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy programs to men and women suffering from hormonal imbalances and decline. Because hormones control thousands of functions in the human body, optimal hormone balance is essential for supreme states of health. Doctor Mack always performs the appropriate testing to determine if a patient is a candidate for Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. Before beginning Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, many women and men have important questions about getting on a customized plan. Some frequently asked questions regarding Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy include:
What forms of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy are available?
Currently, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is available in the form of pellets, which is the method that Doctor Mack prefers to use. Bioidentical Hormones can also be delivered in the forms of patches, oral medications, injections, or suppositories. A hormone replacement specialist considers the patient’s other health issues before recommending a specific approach. For example, people with high cholesterol tend to do better with the patch but worse with oral medications. Because people with sensitive skin may have an adverse reaction to the patch, another method is usually preferred. If one method is not tolerated well, the patient can always switch to another method.
What testing do I need to determine if Bioidentical Hormone Replacement is right for me?
This depends on the patient’s gender and the types of symptoms he or she is currently experiencing. For women, most doctors choose to test hormone levels by collecting a saliva sample or by conducting a follicle stimulating hormone test. For this test, a doctor collects a blood sample three times in 60-minute intervals beginning at a specific time. Performing simple blood tests on male patients can determine current testosterone levels.
What symptoms can be alleviated with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Both men and women commonly report low sex drive, hot flashes and night sweats, weight gain, mood swings, and fatigue. Problems that affect men alone include loss of muscle tone, erectile dysfunction, low sperm counts, and loss of body hair. Women frequently complain of vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, and worsening issues with premenstrual syndrome. This is just a small sample of the dozens of symptoms that either gender may experience as a result of imbalanced or low hormone levels.
What age groups benefit most from Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Women tend to experience problems with hormone imbalance when they start perimenopause, which happens several years before actual menopause. This could be anywhere from the mid 30s to the early 50s. Men’s bodies start producing less testosterone around the age of 30, but the effects are often not felt until around age 40. In either case, people who are at or near middle age usually benefit from Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy treatments the most.
What is the difference between Bioidentical Hormones and other synthetic hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are an exact replication of the hormones naturally produced by the body in terms of cell and chemical structure. They are derived from plant extracts and manufactured by a compounding pharmacy to be of maximum benefit to the patient. Synthetic hormones, on the other hand, are altered and replaced with unnatural chemical ingredients. Medical studies conducted in Europe over the past decade indicate that Bioidentical Hormones are safer overall than synthetic ones.
What types of hormones are offered with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Every patient receives the appropriate hormone replacement for his or her gender. The most common types of hormones given by injection, oral medication, patch, or suppository include estrone, estradiol, progesterone, thyroid hormone, and testosterone. A treatment specialist decides on the specific hormones to use in replacement therapy based on the result of the patient’s hormone tests and self-reported complications of hormone imbalance.
Can Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy help alleviate menopause symptoms?
Yes. By the time a woman has completed menopause, her body stops producing estrogen altogether. Prior to that, the reduced production of estrogen can cause a wide range of symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain. By replacing what the body has lost, balance is restored and the symptoms are greatly reduced or even eliminated.
Barbara Mack, M.D. has helped countless men and women in the Tacoma Washington area to balance their hormones and regain their vitality. To learn more about how Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy can improve the overall quality of life and boost youthfulness, contact Tacoma Washington Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Specialist, Barbara Mack, M.D. to schedule a free BHRT consultation!