Bioidentical Hormones are an exact replica of the hormones that are 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 and bioidentical hormones match your body’s hormones, molecule by molecule. Depending on what your symptoms are 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 which 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 the symptoms of andropause or women suffering from 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 the bioidentical hormones, 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 what your age, if your female hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) are unbalanced or have severely declined, you may suffer ill effects such as hot flashes, night sweats, trouble sleeping, mood swings, depression, anxiety, memory loss, vaginal dryness, difficult periods, fatigue, loss of your sex drive and even 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 the hormone testosterone begins to decline and they experience symptoms of low testosterone. Testosterone is the hormone that is responsible for maintaining 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?
In general, your body’s natural hormones begin to decline after your mid-20s and hormone imbalance symptoms are frequently present by your mid-30s. Men and women often start replacing hormones between the age 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 of the hormones made naturally by your body, there are relatively few side effects. Side effects occur mainly when the dosage of hormone is too high for the individual. Renewed Vitality clinical staff monitors and evaluates each patient consistently to assure balanced and proper dosing.
Are there Dangers in Hormone Therapy?
It’s important to understand some wording about hormones. We have all heard the words synthetic, natural and bioidentical. There is a lot of confusion surrounding these words 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 or not 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 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 substances that are structurally identical to those our bodies would normally produce. Bioidentical hormones, instead of causing disease, can actually prevent disease and help maintain a healthy body.
Bioidentical hormones such as Estrogen and Progesterone may be derived from wild yams or soy. There are a wide variety of bioidentical hormone replacement options. Our skilled providers will assist in determining which one is optimal for you
Over the past few years some of the larger pharmaceutical companies realized that there is a sizeable market in 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 with improving results over the follow three to six months. This amount of time is needed to allow for the full and proper balancing of your hormones.
What is the best age to consider Hormone Replacement Therapy?
At Renewed Vitality 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 to optimize one’s health is to take an active role in addressing health care 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 ingredients in Bio-identical Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are approved by the FDA. 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 and have 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 decided to stop 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 about 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, yet we encourage you to continue your usual visits with them.
Why don’t most doctors prescribe Bioidentical Hormones?
Traditional doctors do not usually 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 have 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 an extra covalent bonds or molecules are added so that it can be patented). Synthetic hormones act as toxins because their chemical makeup cannot be metabolized properly. Renewed Vitality only uses natural bioidentical hormones. Unlike synthetic hormones, bioidentical hormones or natural 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 WHI study that was stopped prematurely in the summer of 1992 because of an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease that was seen in women taking Prempro. This 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-bio identical 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 bio-identical hormones at Renewed Vitality and the two main estrogens that we replace are E2 – Estradiol and E3 – Estriol. As far as heart disease, bio-identical hormone therapy has never been shown to increase the risk of heart disease and 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 results of studies done on synthetic, non-bio-identical hormones to assess risks of bio-identical Hormones. When an educated provider prescribes bio-identical 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 it. 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, you should 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.
Care Credit is another option. We accept Care Credit, which is a separate company from Renewed Vitality. It can be used to pay for labs as well as any other services or products at Renewed Vitality.
- Must be at least $200.00 per transaction
- No interest if paid within 6 months (Renewed Vitality Only Offers the 6 months no interest)
- If you take over 6 months to pay it off, interest is charged, starting retroactively from the purchase date. You will need to contact care credit directly for more info, or to apply go to carecredit.com or call (800) 365-8295
How much does lab work cost on average for people who use the Quest discount to pay for themselves?
On average the initial set of labs cost around $500.00, and the subsequent lab tests for follow up appointments cost about $300 to $400.
Will insurance cover my medication costs?
That varies by insurance plan and provider. Please call the number on the back of your insurance card and ask.