23 Jul Body RX Guide to Hormone Replacement Therapy
You may have heard about BHRT from a friend, family, or co-worker that may have lost weight, or just made a dramatic improvement and looks and feels incredible. You may ask yourself, what is BHRT? Do I need it? What are the benefits, risks, and how do I get started? In this Guide to Hormone Replacement Therapy, we hope to provide as much information as possible to help you in your research, and hopefully your decision to begin a journey toward a better quality of life.
BHRT – Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy: What is it?
Hormones regulate many important functions in your body, including:
- Sleep functions
- Cardiovascular health
- Brain function, energy, and memory
- Metabolic function
- Bone production
- Healthy cells
- and much more
Sometimes, our hormonal balance can be interrupted, by our environment, habits, diet, nutrition, aging, or genetics. This can lead to many different acute and chronic health issues.
BHRT, or Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy, is a term describing the medical treatment of persons diagnosed with a hormonal imbalance or deficiency. This includes hormonal imbalances experienced by men and women:
- Low Testosterone in Men and Women
- High Estrogen in Men
- Low Estrogen in Women
- Thyroid disorders
- Adrenal disorders
- Medical Weight Loss
- Low Libido in Men and Women
- Men experiencing the signs of Andropause
- Women experiencing signs of Menopause
- Bone Loss and Fracture Prevention for post-menopausal women
BHRT may also be used to help with many of the underlying causes of a number of chronic conditions.
Hormonal Imbalances: Testing Your Levels
Hormonal imbalances may involve more than just Low-Testosterone in men and an estrogen imbalance in women. For example, a man or a woman may experience growth hormone deficiencies, thyroid hormone deficiencies, low Vitamin D levels, low DHEA levels, an imbalance in CBC levels, estradiol, or a number of other biological metrics we use. It’s important to consider each person’s unique needs based on their medical history or current medications.
We perform a full hormonal blood panel which provides an extensive look into the health of your endocrine system.
The full hormonal blood panel includes the following:
- Cortisol Total levels
- Vitamin D
- Testosterone Free and Total
- Free T-4
- Free T-3
- Complete Metabolic Panel
- Lipid Panel
This blood test helps provide us with a detailed look into the current state of your hormone levels so we can accurately optimize and correct any deficiencies.
Other Forms of Testing for Hormonal Imbalance
There are other providers which advertise other hormonal tests such as saliva testing for checking your hormone levels, but according to the FDA, this test is only useful for detecting if a woman is menopausal, and not effective for measuring hormone levels for hormone treatment dosages:
“Hormone levels in saliva do not accurately reflect the amount of hormones a woman has in her body for the purpose of adjusting hormone therapy dose levels. A woman’s hormone levels change throughout the day, and from day to day.”
Source: FDA.gov (via Wayback Archive)
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement vs. Non-Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement
The Bio-Identical part of BHRT refers to using hormones that have the same molecular structure as your own natural hormones. Using hormone replacement treatments that are not bio-identical may lead to risks commonly associated with HRT such as breast cancer and other health risks.
Here at Body RX, we provide bio-identical hormone replacement treatments sourced from the highest grade pharmaceutical providers.
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Hormone Replacement Therapy helps identify and correct any hormonal deficiencies caused by a number of issues including aging. Don’t wait to start HRT! At BodyRx the process is as follows: 1. Initial Consultation (in person or phone call available) 2. Blood Work: get a full hormonal blood panel. This gives us a detailed overview of your current hormone levels. 3. Doctor Visit Give us a call at either one of our convenient locations to get started on your individualized Hormone Replacement Therapy Program!
Do I Need BHRT?
Although the only way you can be certain you need BHRT is to get a full hormonal blood panel available and doctor diagnosis at one of our offices in Miami, there are a few signs and symptoms that can point to the signs of a hormonal imbalance, menopause, or even andropause (male menopause).
Symptoms both men and women can experience:
- Low sex drive (desire)
- Erectile Dysfunction in men
- Vaginal Dryness in women
- Irritability in men or women
- Low energy
- Memory Loss
- Mood Swings
- Lack of focus and/or brain fog
- Weight Gain
- Inability to lose weight
- Added visceral body fat in the abdomen area
- Hot Flashes
If you are near or past 30 years old and can feel the signs and symptoms of aging, the answer to this question could be yes.
What are the risks of taking Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Although many of the published medical studies on the effects of Hormone Replacement on men and women are either outdated or focus on the use of synthetic hormone replacement medications like certain estrogens or progestins, one of the greatest risks of BHRT is the increase of hemoglobin and thickening of the blood, leading to blood clots in men and women. This can be a serious problem for BHRT patients if not properly monitored by a medical provider with years of experience specializing in optimizing hormone levels.
Here at Body RX, our patients are very closely monitored with routine bloodwork and are provided with personalized medical service, which means we take into account every detail of their medical history, as well as current medications, before prescribing a protocol that includes BHRT.
Side Effects in Men
Depending on the BHRT medication, minor side effects in men can include the following:
- Fluid retention
- Reduction in production of natural testosterone leading to decreased testicle size
Side Effects in Women
As with all medications, there may be minor side effects woman can experience when taking BHRT.
- Possibility of hair growth
- Breast tenderness
As with any of the treatments we provide at Body RX, our BHRT for Women is completely personalized for you and includes close monitoring to minimize any side effects you may experience.
What are the Benefits of BHRT?
Relief of Symptoms
Prevention of Memory Loss
How Fast Can I See Benefits of BHRT?
Most patients see results in the first 2-4 weeks, and in some cases, can see results within the first week of BHRT treatment.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Medications
Hormone Replacement medications provided by Body RX are available in injection form and topical cream.
Supplements To Take Along With BHRT Treatments
Vitamin supplements help supply your body with essential nutrients to maintain or improve health.
When you visit Body RX, you’ll be able to take a micro-nutrient test in addition to your full hormonal blood panel. A micro-nutrient test helps provide a comprehensive analysis of 31 vitamins, minerals, amino/fatty acids, antioxidants, and metabolites.
Patients on BHRT may be recommended to take the following supplements based on their nutrient deficiency and need:
- Vitamin D
- Omega Fish Oil
- Co-Q 10
- Saw Palmetto
- Milk Thistle
- Vitamin C
Nutrition While on BHRT Protocol
Patients are recommended to have a healthy, well-balanced diet and to abstain from alcohol consumption.
What you should limit on BHRT
- Fructose corn syrup
- Dairy products
- Cereal bars containing fructose corn syrup
- Do not eat food containing preservatives
- Do not eat anything containing GMOs
Body RX Daily Nutritional Recommendations on BHRT
- Eat small meals every 3 hours
- Take enzymes like Amylase, Lipase, and Bromelain
- To prevent dehydration drink at least 2 Litres of water a day, which equals eight cups (8 oz)
- Take Live Probiotics (must be cold and in liquid form)
- Add Caralluma Fimbriata root (suppress hunger)
- EGCG Green Tea Extract to take before working out (an antioxidant and helps maintain a healthy weight with a healthy diet)
Because nutritional needs can differ from person to person, we recommend calling our offices to ask about our nutritional counseling services personalized to each individual patient.
Sleeping Habits While on BHRT Protocol
Exercise Routines During Hormone Replacement Therapy Treatments
While on BHRT, it’s recommended for patients to at minium do fasted cardio for at least 30 minutes a day. If you are doing an amino acid (Lipo B or L-Carnitine), inject prior to fasted cardio