What are bioidentical hormones?
Bioidentical Hormones are a replica of the hormones naturally produced by the body. The difference between bioidentical and synthetic hormones is that, although both are created in labs, synthetic hormones are not identical to the hormones naturally created in your body. Bioidentical hormones match your body’s hormones, molecule by molecule.
Depending on your symptoms and which hormone(s) your body needs, your Renewed Vitality Provider may choose to prescribe bioidentical hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid hormones, DHEA, cortisol, pregnenolone, melatonin, or others as needed.
Why should I use bioidentical hormones?
Over the last 100 years, as we have doubled our life expectancy, the soft tissue glands that create our hormones are being forced to produce them longer than ever. Our increasingly stressful lives, poor nutrition, and lack of proper fitness result in declining levels of hormones in our bodies as well.
Men and women have successfully used bioidentical hormones for decades. Men suffering from andropause or women with menopause or perimenopause can turn to bioidentical hormones to replace the natural hormones that have declined as their bodies have aged.
In well-known medical journals, researchers have reported that bioidentical estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are not only safe but also have a positive impact on preventing conditions such as heart attack/disease, stroke, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, colon cancer, Alzheimer’s, and periodontal disease.
Why do women need hormones before, during, and after menopause?
No matter your age, if your hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) are unbalanced or have declined severely, you may suffer ill effects such as:
- hot flashes
- night sweats
- trouble sleeping
- mood swings
- memory loss
- vaginal dryness
- difficult periods
- loss of your sex drive
- weight gain
Women with balanced hormones integrated with proper nutrition and fitness can have a better quality of life as they age.
Why do men need testosterone replacement?
As men age, production of testosterone declines, and they experience symptoms of low testosterone. Testosterone maintains mental focus, energy, metabolism, muscle mass, fat levels, and sex drive. By balancing a man’s hormones with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, men can restore their vitality and reduce the symptoms of andropause.
When should I consider bioidentical hormone therapy?
Your body’s natural hormones begin to decline after your mid-20s, and hormone imbalance symptoms are frequently present in your mid-30s. Men and women often start replacing hormones between the ages of 35 and 40. If you are experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance, it is best not to wait.
What are the side effects associated with bioidentical hormones?
Because bioidentical hormones have the same molecular structure as the hormones made naturally by your body, there are relatively few side effects. Side effects occur mainly when the dosage of hormones is too high for the individual. Renewed Vitality clinical staff monitors and evaluates each patient consistently to ensure balanced and proper dosing.
Are there dangers in hormone therapy?
Much confusion exists between the words synthetic, natural, and bioidentical in relation to hormone replacement. Most believe synthetic is bad and natural is good, and in most situations, this is true. However, the most important issue is whether the hormone is 100% human bioidentical. The source of the hormone, whether natural or synthetic, is not as important as making sure the compound exactly matches what the body produces naturally. When a compound is bioidentical, the body can easily use it to heal itself.
The problem with most synthetics is that only synthetic hormones can be patented and sold at a much greater profit. Because of this, pharmaceutical companies have created synthetic hormones that attempt to mimic natural hormone function. Yet, these synthetics are structurally and functionally different from the natural hormones they are attempting to replace.
These synthetic hormones can help the initial symptoms but often produce negative side effects such as bloating, headaches, fatigue, weight gain, increased clotting, heart disease, and possibly cancer. Bioidentical hormones, by contrast, are structurally identical to those our bodies would normally produce. Instead of causing disease, they can actually prevent disease and help maintain a healthy body.
Bioidentical hormones like estrogen and progesterone may be derived from wild yams or soy. A wide variety of bioidentical hormone replacement options exist, and our skilled providers will help determine which one is optimal for you.
Over the past few years, some of the larger pharmaceutical companies have realized that there is a sizeable market for bioidentical hormones. While they cannot patent bioidentical hormones, they can patent the application method, such as creams, gels, patches, sprays, etc.
Individualized dosages are also available from compounding pharmacies. Our providers are happy to give you guidance on what works best for your health and your budget.
How long until I see results using hormone replacement therapy?
While it varies with each person and depends on which hormone therapy you are using, you can expect to see some relatively immediate results. Results will improve over the following three to six months. We need this much time to allow for the full and proper balancing of your hormones.
What is the best age to consider hormone replacement therapy?
We believe that most people should have their hormones checked by the age of 40 or earlier if they are experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance, menopause, or andropause. The way to prevent illness and optimize your health is to take an active role in addressing healthcare risks before they become a problem. Getting tested when you still feel good gives you a benchmark for later comparison when the inevitable happens, and your hormones begin to decline.
Are these hormones approved and regulated by the FDA?
The FDA has approved the ingredients in bioidentical hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. However, state and local pharmacy boards have jurisdiction over them, not the FDA. It is important to know you are using the highest quality compounding pharmacy and that they follow the most stringent guidelines with excellent quality assurance.
Do I need to take these hormones forever?
Not necessarily. It depends on how well your body responds to hormone therapy. Also important is how well you manage your diet, sleep patterns, exercise, and stress levels that will assist you in regaining hormonal balance. Some patients can wean off various hormones once they become balanced and have fewer symptoms of menopause or andropause.
There are also patients who can wean off adrenal and thyroid support once their adrenals or thyroid glands have healed. There is no single answer for everyone. It depends on your individual hormone stability and how well your diet and lifestyle will support everything else.
In the worst-case scenario, if you stopped hormone therapy, your body would return to the state it was in before initiating your program.
Will this treatment interfere with my currently prescribed medications?
Generally, no! Some medicines may actually be reduced or no longer needed.
Will you take over as my doctor?
One great feature of Renewed Vitality is our clinical approach to your treatment and care. Our Renewed Vitality physician is happy to communicate with your current primary care physician. However, we encourage you to continue your usual visits with them.
Why don’t most doctors prescribe bioidentical hormones?
Traditional doctors rarely have the time or the resources to seek expertise in this field of hormone replacement therapy. Our Renewed Vitality staff undergoes extensive training in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and has specialized knowledge and interest in this area.
What are synthetic hormones?
Synthetic hormones are derived from plant progesterone and animal estrogens but are not identical to the hormones your body uses (generally, extra covalent bonds or molecules are added so that they can be patented). Synthetic hormones act as toxins because your body cannot properly metabolize their chemical makeup. Renewed Vitality only uses natural bioidentical hormones. Unlike synthetic hormones, bioidentical hormones are replicas of the body’s own natural hormones. Those made from soy, yams, and other plant extracts are changed in a lab to be biologically identical to the same hormones your body makes.
I heard that estrogen might increase my risk for a heart attack or breast cancer. Is this true?
No, that is not true. Not all estrogens are created equal. Fears of increased risks of heart disease and breast cancer with estrogen therapy have mainly come from the Women’s Health Initiative study. They stopped this study prematurely in the summer of 1992 because of an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease seen in women taking Prempro. The study actually highlights the risks of estrogen therapy using non-bioidentical (synthetic) hormones, which is NOT the type used by Renewed Vitality.
Hormones that are non-bioidentical use a one-size-fits-all approach to hormone therapy with hormones that are foreign to a woman’s body. We cannot generalize these study results to all estrogens. Conversely, bio-identical hormones, which are the same as what is in your body naturally, have been proven to be safe.
We use bioidentical hormones at Renewed Vitality, and the two main estrogens that we replace are E2 – Estradiol and E3 – Estriol. As far as heart disease, no study has ever shown bioidentical hormone therapy to increase the risk of heart disease. As a matter of fact, hormone replacement with bio-identical hormones has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease.
In summary, we cannot use the results of studies done on synthetic, non-bioidentical hormones to assess the risks of bioidentical hormones. When an educated provider prescribes bioidentical hormones in the proper manner, there are no increased risks of the occurrence of breast cancer or heart disease.
Why don’t you take insurance?
When a practice chooses to accept insurance, insurance companies tell the practice how much time they can spend with each patient, what illnesses and conditions they can treat, and how they can treat them. In order to get to the root cause of the problem and provide optimal treatment, we find we need more time and more treatment options than insurance companies are willing to work with.
Many PPO insurance plans will reimburse you for some of the costs of your appointments. We can provide you with the information you need to file for reimbursement upon request.
Will insurance cover the cost of my laboratory expenses?
Many insurance providers will cover your lab work 90-100% or at least part of the cost of the laboratory expense. To be sure, call your insurance provider at the number on the back of your card and ask what their policy is for blood work done by out-of-network providers.
Are there other options to cover the cost of labs if I have no insurance or a high deductible?
Renewed Vitality refers so many patients with such large quantities of labs to Quest Diagnostics that Quest Diagnostics offers a special discount to patients who either have no insurance or a high deductible. This discounted rate is 75% to 80% less than their usual listed price.
We also accept CareCredit, which is a separate company from Renewed Vitality. You can use it to pay for labs and any other services or products at Renewed Vitality. Some important information about using CareCredit at Renewed Vitality:
- Each transaction must be at least $200.
- No interest if paid within six months (Renewed Vitality Only offers six months of no interest).
- If you take over six months to pay it off, interest is charged, starting retroactively from the purchase date. You will need to contact CareCredit directly for more info. To apply, go to carecredit.com or call (800) 365-8295.
Free Phone Consultation with our New Patient Coordinator
Renewed Vitality is a place of hope. Our knowledgeable providers are experts in their field and take the time to find the underlying causes of hormonal imbalances and illness. We will work with you using proven, scientific-based technology in a warm and compassionate environment. We are here to help you restore your health so that you can live a life of vitality and wellness.
Please contact our New Patient Coordinator for your free phone consultation. She can answer any questions or concerns that you may have and give you additional information about our providers, our protocols and fees, what is covered by insurance and what is not, and any other details you may need. She can also get you booked for your first appointments if you decide we are a good fit for you. There are no obligations to book an appointment.
Please call 214-740-4703 to learn more, or complete the form below, and we will contact you. We would love to hear from you!