Hormone Pellets have become more prominent recently and we want our patients to be informed about their use and risks.
Successful hormone replacement therapy involves getting just the right doses for the correct balancing of many vital hormones in the body, AND getting it done by the right delivery method, for your individual needs.
There are many types of delivery methods including patches, creams, injections, sublingual drops or troches, capsules and pills. Another form of delivery that has accrued some popularity is hormone pellets.
Sometimes people are interested in hormone pellets because they last for 3 to 6 months. However, any time estradiol is prescribed, progesterone is also prescribed. As women still have to take progesterone daily when using the pellets, this really does not change the fact that you still have daily hormone administering to do.
What are Hormone Pellets?
Pellets are made up of either estradiol or testosterone or sometimes a combination of both. The hormones, estradiol or testosterone, are pressed or fused into very small solid cylinders. These pellets are about the size of a ‘Tic Tac” and are usually inserted in the lower abdominal wall or hip through a small incision which is taped closed. Complications from the insertion of pellets can include minor bleeding, bruising, discoloration of the skin, infection, and possible extrusion of the pellet. The pellets usually last between 3 and 5 months in women and 5-6 months in men.
Side effects can occur when a dose is first given. Sometimes these dissipate and sometimes they don’t. The dose may need to be changed. Some side effects can be linked to a certain hormone in the mixture.
Incorrect hormone doses can cause unpleasant symptoms including:
- Weight gain
- Blurred vision
- Increased facial hair (women)
- Breast tenderness
- Mood swings
- Scar tissue at insertion site
Men and women have reported increased aggressiveness, acne or irritability during pellet hormone therapy. Some women have reported severe headaches, breast tenderness, spotting, cramping and bloating. There are also reports of scar tissue at the insertion site that leave a bump or mark on the skin permanently.
Due to too many drawbacks in their use, Renewed Vitality does not work with hormone pellets, and here’s why.
Hormone levels do not stay the same. There are many factors that cause hormone levels to shift. In addition to the normal aging process; stress, drugs, alcohol, toxins, foods, exercise and other changes in lifestyle cause continuous increases and decreases in our hormone levels and their interactions.
Here at Renewed Vitality we are extremely thorough in testing hormone levels for a wide array of your most vital hormones including the male and female hormones, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, as well as pregnenolone, cortisol, DHEA, insulin function and a complete thyroid panel. Then we work to bring these up to acceptable levels and ensure they are well balanced. If any unwanted symptoms occur, levels can easily be adjusted until you reach optimum levels. With routine monitoring we can ensure that despite these shifts and changes, you can maintain optimum hormone levels long term.
Hormone balance is deeply connected to the food we eat, the exercise we get, the toxins we absorb, the weight we carry, the stress levels we are under and our biological age. How these multiple factors impact the overall hormone picture is crucial, particularly at midlife when many hormone production levels are declining. If you are under too much stress, cortisol floods the system and total hormone production lags. This can also throw other hormone levels out of balance.
With pellets, the dose cannot be changed once it is inserted without surgical removal of the pellet. So if these levels aren’t exactly right, or if hormone levels shift due to stress or shifts in lifestyle, travel, trauma or a host of other factors, your dosages cannot be easily changed once they are inserted.
Getting it right
With thorough testing, monitoring and adjusting, we work to get your hormone levels just right to relieve unwanted symptoms and improve quality of life. When this is occurring, you can experience relief from the unpleasant symptoms caused by hormone imbalances and regain energy, strength and stamina, mental alertness and clarity – now and for many years to come.