Bioidentical hormones are different than synthetic hormones. Synthetic hormones are the ones found in birth control pills or prescribed through a regular pharmacy, for example Premarin or Prempro. Instead, Bioidentical hormones are plant-based, meaning the starting substance of these are yam or soy and then in the lab they are made into the exact structure of the hormone that our body makes, therefore called “Bioidentical”. As we age, hormone levels decline, and it is the time we not only begin to experience a long list of symptoms but are also prone to diseases like osteoporosis and heart disease. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy when used appropriately, can help women have a smooth transition from peri-menopause to post-menopausal years.
Some of the common signs and symptoms include:
▪️ Hot Flashes
▪️ Night Sweats
▪️ Difficulty sleeping
▪️ Vaginal Dryness
▪️ Brain fog
▪️ Memory issues
▪️ Decline in Energy
▪️ Decline in Libido
▪️ Joint aches & pains
There are 3 kinds of testing available: blood, urine, and saliva
I generally order blood work since it is quick & easy to get to a local lab and is generally covered by the patient’s medical insurance.
I check for:
● FSH or Follicle Stimulating Hormone
There are typically 3 forms- creams, troches/ lozenges and pellet therapy
I go over the pros and cons of each treatment type and let my patient decide which form they would like to begin with.
If you ask me which is my favorite type of treatment, I will say it is the Hormone Pellet Therapy. Scientists have published positive research on the benefits of this therapy in authoritative international journals for decades. Bioidentical pellet therapy was originally developed in Europe during the 1930s. The highly respected pioneer of Endocrinology, Dr. Robert B. Greenblatt, learned about this method and introduced it to his U.S. colleagues in 1939. I consider myself fortunate to learn this therapy from one of the pioneers himself, Dr. Gino Tutera. He was a Board-Certified Ob/Gyn and my respected late Guru/mentor.
As we age, hormone deficiency causes the body’s systems to weaken. That’s why your bones lose calcium, your blood pressure may be a little or a lot higher than it used to be, you can’t seem to lose weight, your sex life is suffering, and why you just don’t have the energy or vitality you used to. Wonder why you just don’t feel like yourself anymore? Because your body is not balanced.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Pellets replicate what the human ovaries and testicles did when you were younger – delivering the same steady, 24/7, low dosages of hormones that the body once created. This restores the body’s organs, systems and functioning to their healthy youthful state. As a result, sexual performance is reinvigorated, energy and vitality improves, bone loss decreases while muscle mass increases, and the body functions as it should.
After the lab results are in and patient has had a consult and is ready to get started on the pellets, I determine the dose based on their age, test results and medical history. This way, each patient’s dose is individualized to them. In the treatment room, the patient lays on one side and the pellets are to be administered in the upper outer hip region. So, first the site needs to be numbed with a local anesthetic and then the pellets are placed under the skin in the subcutaneous fat by making an incision and guided by a trocar. Once they are placed, the site is closed with steri strips and tegaderm and they are given post care instructions to follow for 3 days. The procedure is quick and easy. The hormone pellets sit in the subcutaneous fat layer, surrounded by blood vessels. As the heart beats and circulates blood around it, the hormones are slowly released. Thus, if the heart is beating faster like during exercise, then the pellets are used quicker compared to when heart rate is slower during sleep.
As long as one likes, and it is beneficial to them. I have literally seen women age “gracefully” with the pellets. They remain stronger physically into their 60s and 70s and sharper mentally as well. The best part is their primary care doctors are blown away by their Bone Density Results since they come back normal. The risk of fractures and developing osteoporosis increases after menopause but considering this treatment will actually help prevent that.
On average, women come back every 4 months for new pellets, but the range is 3 to 6 months typically. Each time, we alternate the side of the hip they get pellets to avoid scar tissue formation. In the first year of treatment, bloodwork is required each time they get new pellets. Over time, as we learn what dose works out the best for patients, they are not required to do blood work before each visit.
The simple answer is “No”. No-one knows if and when one can get cancer, with or without hormones. Remember that we are replacing the hormones that once your body made, so it is not something un-natural to your body, but something the body is used to having.
Now, if you have an active hormone positive breast cancer, then it would not make sense to add more hormones and fuel the growth of it. Although, there are studies that indicate that Testosterone therapy actually prevents Breast Cancer. I have patients who benefit from this therapy even after they have had cancer and are done with their treatments. The benefits are wonderful.
I ask all my patients to have Breast Imaging regularly, Mammogram and/or Ultrasound that is indicated with their history. I also encourage them to do self-breast exams at least once a month.
If one has a strong family history of Breast Cancer, then I ask the patient to consider genetic testing.
Schedule a consult with Dr. Thacker to find out if BHRT is an option for you. Call our office at 480.581.8708
“I am here to help you Feel Your Best Self”
~ Dr. Meghna Thacker ~
Estrogen is a very important female hormone. As women, we make 3 different kinds of estrogen:
We make it primarily in the first half of our menstrual cycle, called the follicular phase. As we get closer to menopause, our ovaries slowly stop producing this hormone and we may suffer from symptoms of “Too Little Estrogen”.
On the other hand, sometimes women will suffer from Estrogen Dominance or “Too Much Estrogen”. Estrogen gets stored in our body fat, thus one way to reduce symptoms of “Too Much Estrogen” is to reduce Body Fat by making healthy food choices and exercising. There are some supplements like DIM and Calcium D-Glucarate that help in reducing high estrogen levels. Please Do Not guess and randomly use supplements. They have therapeutic effects, and it is best to consult with a doctor before you decide to try something new.
Testosterone therapy has become extremely popular, not just for men but also for women! Yes, as women our ovaries produce Testosterone hormone along with the other female hormones. As we approach 40s, we notice some changes like lower energy, lower sex drive, brain fogginess, more body fat & more..!
Guess what? All this can happen as our Testosterone levels decline. Testosterone is a bone building hormone and plays a key role in preventing osteoporosis. On the other hand, too much Testosterone can be related to acne, hair loss and unwanted body hairs. Thus, balance is the key. If you want to find out if Testosterone therapy will benefit you, schedule a consult with me.
Progesterone is another important hormone that we women make. It is primarily made in the second half of the menstrual cycle called the Luteal phase. It is a calming hormone and sometimes prescribed when one experiences difficulty sleeping or is having anxiety. I prescribe it when needed in its natural, bioidentical form. It is made from a natural plant-based ingredient-yam.
When we use hormones in their bioidentical forms, they have wonderful effects on us since the structure of the hormone is same as what our body makes. This is unlike the synthetically prepared Progesterone which is commonly available in Birth Control Pills. If you are having difficulty conceiving or suffer from other hormonal imbalances like PMS and/or PCOS, schedule a 15-minute free consultation with me to see how I can help you.
As women, we all will go through menopause. Every woman is different and goes through this natural process differently. Some go through surgical menopause if they have a hysterectomy. Typically, we associate hot flashes with menopause, but truly there can be a wide array of signs and symptoms. Since our hormones play such a huge impact on our overall health, a lack of them can cause this to happen.
I am a huge believer of hormone balancing not only because I have seen it play a huge role in women’s lives but also because of its value in prevention. It keeps the bones strong, preventing osteoporosis, keeps the heart-healthy, helps in blood sugar balancing, keeps the memory sharp and the list goes on….
If you are experiencing any one or more of the symptoms mentioned above and are looking to get tested, then what’s the next step?
Yes, I have seen many women that have had testing done and been told by their doctors that they don’t require any treatment. Are you one of those? Well, by the time I see these women looking for help, they are in tears and in desperate need for some treatment.
My first plan is getting appropriate testing done. Yes, there are many different ways the hormones can be tested. Let’s find out what is the best way for you.
When it comes to treatment of Menopause or for that matter anything I am helping my patient with, I always like to check in on the foundation. Meaning a check in about their food intake, exercise, stress management, Bowel function, water intake & sleep. All of these factors play a key role in their hormone health.
Then, there are people who have mastered the above and yet suffer from signs and symptoms of hormone deficiency. I completely get it! Menopause is a natural aging process that all of us women will go through and there are natural treatments available that work wonderfully well. Not only do they help with all the signs and symptoms that one is suffering with but also play a key role in prevention of chronic diseases.