Hormone replacement

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As men and women age, our hormone levels decline. Some of the symptoms of declining hormones are: mood swings, weight gain (especially around the abdomen), headaches, water retention, carbohydrate cravings, decreased libido, changes in sexual function, decreased energy, sleep disturbances, decreased muscle mass, changes in menstrual cycles, hot flashes, night sweats, breast tenderness and brain fog. These symptoms can contribute to aging, decreased quality of life and decreased longevity. Replacing low hormones or addressing hormonal imbalance can alleviate many of these symptoms.

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is defined as substances that have the same chemical and molecular structure as hormones produced by the human body. Both bioidentical hormones and synthetic hormones are synthesized in a lab. Therefore, it is important to understand that bioidentical and “natural” are not synonymous terms, as natural refers to the source of the hormone.  Phytoestrogens are plant-derived, “natural” estrogens found in soy products like soy milk, tofu, and tempeh. These phytoestrogens are structurally dissimilar to the endogenous human hormones and result in weak receptor binding and modest clinical effects. Hormones used in bioidentical  hormone replacement, which are structurally similar to endogenous human hormones, are generally derived from soy and yams, but they need to be commercially processed to become bioidentical. Thus, bioidentical hormones are not completely “natural,” and natural hormones are not necessarily bioidentical. In addition, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a broad term that includes custom-compounded hormones, as well as non-compounded, FDA-approved bioidentical prescription hormones.

So how do patients decide which option is best for them? First, it is important to note that whether the hormone is bio-identical or synthetic, there are risks, and there is no completely safe option. In the largest clinical trial to date, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Study, 27,000 participants were involved, and initial findings showed that a combination of estrogen-progestin synthetic hormone pills increased risks of certain health conditions like heart disease, stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer. Follow-up studies showed that risks can vary depending on age, type of hormone therapy, and personal medical history. Women who begin hormone therapy at age 60 or older, or more than 10 years from the onset of menopause are at greater risk of the above conditions. However, if hormone therapy is started before the age of 60 or within 10 years of menopause, the benefits appear to outweigh the risks. The risks of hormone therapy vary depending on whether estrogen is given alone or with progestin, and on the dose and type of estrogen. Your family history, your personal medical history, risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, blood clots, liver disease, and osteoporosis are important factors in determining whether hormone replacement therapy is appropriate for you.

benefits of hormone therapy

The benefits of hormone therapy may outweigh the risks if you’re healthy and you have symptoms like: moderate to severe hot flashes, vaginal dryness, itching, burning and discomfort with intercourse, need to prevent bone loss or fractures, and/or experience early menopause or have estrogen deficiency. There are various options or routes for replacement which include: oral tablets/capsules, patches, topical creams/gels, troches, vaginal inserts and pellets. The method or route for replacement chosen for a patient, depends on patient preference, and ease of  use.

At Solis Health and Beauty, we take a thorough health history to determine each patient’s eligibility for hormone replacement therapy. Our provider is an expert in hormone replacement, and has 10 years of experience in advanced practice in treating women throughout the lifespan with hormonal imbalance. We offer all routes of delivery for hormone replacement, including FDA approved preparations, and compounded preparations, including pellets. We also order and draw hormone levels to help guide the treatment plan and dosing for each patient. Each treatment plan is customized to each patient’s individual needs.

We allot 1 hour of time for every visit, to ensure that we are able to provide a comprehensive evaluation. We don’t want you to feel hurried, like you often find at other medical offices. This is your time to address your symptoms and concerns, while we formulate a customized solution for your hormone replacement

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

No, women often think breast cancer is their biggest threat, but the biggest danger they face after menopause is  heart disease. Long term clinical trials published in 2020, showed a significant reduction in breast cancer diagnosis and mortality in women using estrogen only HRT. About 42,000 women die in the U.S each year from breast cancer, and in contrast almost 400,000 women die each year from heart disease.

Yes, if started around the time of menopause onset, there appear to be cardiovascular and bone protective benefits, decreasing risks for heart disease, heart attack and osteoporosis.

Absence of period for 1 year is menopause, and after completion of the one year, a woman is considered postmenopausal. However, bothersome symptoms can continue. A simple blood test can be drawn to check hormone levels and determine if a patient has entered menopause, if they have had a hysterectomy prior to menopause onset.

Women with a history of hormone mediated breast cancer, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, stroke, heart attack or uncontrolled/untreated high blood pressure.

Menopause has a definite effect on a woman’s metabolism. According to research from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), published in March 2019, menopause causes your body to gain fat and lose lean muscle mass approximately 2 years before your last menstrual period, and until 2 years into your post menopausal period.

We use standard pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens, but also use accredited sterile and non-sterile compounding pharmacies throughout the United States.

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