Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormones are chemical messengers produced in the body that have specific effects on other cells and organs. Puberty, pregnancy, aging, and a variety of conditions and diseases effect hormone production and use. Examples of a few hormones are thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, pregnenolone, melatonin, and growth hormone.
Determining which hormones require replacement is first done by Saliva testing. Treatment can include the use of naturally derived or bio-identical hormones (non-synthetic), plant hormone precursors, herbs, amino acids, homeopathic medicine or some combination of the above.
At The Coliseum MediClinic, we offer the Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), as this was designed with women in mind, but is also very effective for men.
Some hormone imbalance symptoms include:
Migraines, hot flashes, rapid heartbeat, cardiovascular complications
Vaginal dryness, itching, bleeding, unusual discharges, urinary complications, painful intercourse
Muscle pain, joint pain, back pains, thinning of bone structure
Skin related issues, acne around the mouth and jawline, dry, itchy, burning, general thinning of skin, swelling, tenderness
Mental symptoms: depression, fatigue, tiredness, moodiness, irritability, sleeping disorders
PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome)
This is just a short list of potential problems. There is a lot of medications and advice on how to deal with the symptoms, there is not many therapies designed to work with the source of the problem. The goal of Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy is to restore the balance in endocrine system by replenishing missing hormones. Many symptoms stop altogether. Certain women require hormonal therapy early, before the menopause starts, this can be related to problems with ovaries producing vital hormones.
Which hormones should I get tested?
The major sex hormones to assess are estradiol, progesterone and testosterone. Estrone and estriol are also important sex hormones to consider testing. The main adrenal hormones are DHEA and cortisol. These seven hormones will provide crucial information about deficiencies, excesses and daily patterns, which then result in a specifically tailored treatment approach and one far more beneficial than the old "shotgun" approach. Below is a brief description of each of these hormones:
There are three forms made by the body: estrone, estradiol and estriol. The form used in past hormone replacement therapies is estradiol, often in the form of concentrated pregnant mare’s urine (premarin). It is a proliferative (causes growth) hormone that grows the lining of the uterus. It is also a known cancer-causing hormone: breast and endometrial (uterine) in women and prostate gland in men. It will treat menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia and memory-loss. With the bio-identical formulas estriol is matched with estradiol (biest) to provide protective effects and additional estrogenic benefits. The other major protector in keeping estradiol from running amok is progesterone. Estrone and estriol are also useful hormones to test, especially in history of cancer.
Called the anti-estrogen because it balances estradiol’s proliferative effects. It is considered preventive for breast and prostate cancers as well as osteoporosis. In addition, too little progesterone promotes depression, irritability, increased inflammation, irregular menses, breast tenderness, urinary frequency and prostate gland enlargement (BPH).
An anabolic hormone (builds tissue) that is essential for men and women. The proper level of testosterone is necessary for bone health, muscle strength, stamina, sex drive and performance, heart function and mental focus, for both men & women.
An important adrenal gland hormone, which is essential for energy production and blood sugar balance. DHEA is a precursor to other hormones. DHEA is a marker for past and current stress as well. If low, unable to cope with stressful conditions is a major symptom. If high, a very stressful lifestyle is likely.
Your waking day hormone (highest in the morning and lowest at night). It is necessary for energy production, blood sugar metabolism, anti-inflammatory effects and stress response. Some of the common imbalances identified through hormone testing include estrogen dominance, estrogen deficiency, progesterone deficiency, androgen (testosterone and DHEA) excesses or deficiencies, adrenal dysfunction and adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal "Stress" Hormones
To be human, everyone of us has a pair of adrenal glands (approximately the size of walnuts) that sit on top of your kidneys. These little yet very important glands produce adrenaline energy everyday. So, if you live, work, play a stressfull lifestyle, eventually these adrenal glands will become exhausted. Adrenal stress is demonstrated with your cortisol levels being high to low. Adrenal fatigue or exhaustion is when your cortisol level is low AND your DHEA is low. Adrenal exhaustion includes the following symptoms:
Early morning fatigue
Hitting the snooze button every morning and dragging your a$$ out of bed
Fatigue all day long
Sometimes, wired but tired at bedtime...because your brain is active and your body is stressed out
Decreased recovery from exercise
Abdominal belly fat that jiggles every time you walk
Anxiety and nervousness
Stress is unavoidable, which is why we have a physiologic system in place to help us cope. Under stress, the adrenal glands produce the hormone cortisol plus the catecholamine hormones adrenaline and noradrenalin. Exposure to stress can result in what is known as the General Adaptation Syndrome, which has 3 major stages:
Alarm Stage: Bursts of the hormones cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenalin are released in response to a stressor, resulting in”fight, fight or freeze” responses.
Resistance Stage: the body uses high cortisol levels to free up stored energy that helps the body physically resist the stressor. If cortisol levels remain elevated, symptoms may include: feeling tired but wired, difficulty sleeping, and anxiety. Excess cortisol also interferes with the action of other hormones (progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid), creating more hormone imbalance and more symptoms.
Exhaustion Stage: The adrenal glands are either depleted from producing too much cortisol or are reacting to the detrimental effects of high cortisol. Symptoms of low cortisol may include fatigue (particularly morning fatigue), increased susceptibility to infection, and decreased recovery from exercise, allergies, and low blood sugar, burned out feeling, depression and low sex drive. Other hormones can be affected particularly aldosterone and DHEA.
Male Hormone Decline "Andropause"
Andropause symptoms due to declining hormone levels are common in men as they age. The modern lifestyle of high stress levels and poor fitness and nutrition habits paired with an increased life expectancy have a substantial affect on the male body. With your hormone-producing glands being forced to work harder and longer, it is no wonder that hormones become imbalanced over time.
In men, this hormone imbalance often has the biggest impact on testosterone and cortisol (the stress hormone). With testosterone and cortisol levels out of proper range, men experience a range ofandropause symptoms.
Night sweats in men
Low libido or sex drive
Hot Flashes in Men
Gynecomastia (male breasts)
Neurotransmitters (Brain Hormones)
This panel is important for both men and women, providing baseline and monitoring information for patients of all ages. It is especially useful in individuals who are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
Mood disorders, depression, anxiety
Fatigue, lack of stamina, insomnia
Chronic illness, immune deficiency
Cognitive confusion, learning challenges, declining memory
Weight issues, appetite control
Low libido, sexual dysfunction
PMS, menopause, andropause
Fibromyalgia, chronic pain
*Neurotransmitters tested: Serotonin, GABA, Dopamine, Epinephrine, Norepinephrine, Glutamate
With Brain hormone testing, our doctor can test you before we treat for effective results you can feel. With test results, our doctor will sit with you and explain what it is that is unbalanced, how this affects your health, and your clinical options to treat (both pharmaceutical AND natural).
The clinical goal is to balance the brain hormones, and when they are balanced, the individual will be balanced.