As we age, the hormones in our body begin to decrease over time. We know this process more acutely as Andropause for men, and Menopause for women. Fluctuating hormones levels can cause a lot of undesirable changes in the body. Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone are all vital to how our bodies function and how we feel daily. They effect mood, weight, our ability to deal with stress, and our libido. Keeping hormone levels in check, for both women and men, is essential to healthy living.
Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
Every person experiences changes in hormone levels a little differently. That being said, there are common symptoms that can indicate it is time to get your hormone levels checked and consider Hormone Therapy.
- Hot Flashes
- Night sweats
- Brain fog
- Difficulty sleeping
- Decreased libido/Sexual dysfunction
- Weight gain
- Excess belly fat
- Mood swings, anxiety, or depression
- Muscle loss
- And more…
Traditional hormone replacement therapy relies on synthetic hormones administered orally via a pill to rebalance levels. As with all medications, synthetic hormone replacement therapy pills can have a number of side effects. Additionally, traditional hormone medications are only available at specific dosages with a “one-size-fits-all” prescription level. And since synthetics are not as easily absorbed by the body, the effectiveness may vary.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), delivered through a custom compounded pellet inserted just under the skin or a cream, is an effective, and natural, way to treat hormone imbalance. Unlike synthetic hormone replacement therapy, BHRT uses hormones that are biologically identical to the hormones in our bodies. Derived from natural plant sources such as soy and yams, bioidentical hormones can be more easily assimilated by the body without the side effects commonly associated with synthetics.
The only way to know if you need bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is through specific laboratory testing. There are specific lab panels available to determine if your hormones are imbalanced.
Custom Compounded Pellets
Pellet therapy is a sustainable delivery method for bioidentical hormone therapy. Every three to four months a pellet made of bioidentical hormones is inserted under the patient’s skin, usually on the upper part of the buttocks. The pellets, which contain customized levels of estradiol, progesterone, or testosterone, are slowly metabolized over the course of three to four months, releasing the bioidentical hormone in much the same manner as the body’s natural hormones are secreted.
New blood tests are taken regularly to ensure that the pellets are effective in normalizing hormone levels. Your Functional Medicine Practitioner will adjust your compounded pellets with each new blood test, so your therapeutic levels are always optimized for your specific needs.
When to Begin BHRT Treatment
The optimal age for treatment varies per person. Some people may be affected at a younger age than others by adverse health conditions that impact hormone balance. However, on average, men and women may begin to experience agerelated hormone imbalances around the age of 40. Symptoms of andropause, perimenopause, and menopause, which classically occur around middle-age often prompt many individuals to seek treatment through hormone balance. Many individuals may find it beneficial to have their hormones tested in their 20s or 30s to establish an optimal baseline.
As men age, production of the hormone testosterone begins to decline and many men 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 therapy, men can restore vitality and reduce the symptoms of low testosterone (also known as andropause).
Women may experience fluctuations in their hormone levels throughout the lifespan. Imbalances can occur due lifestyle and environmental factors, as well as expected changes, such as onset of menses, pregnancy, childbirth, perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. Imbalances of hormones, including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone can lead to many uncomfortable experiences, like night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, depression, and anxiety. The most common decline seen in menopausal and post-menopausal women is estrogen. When estrogen levels become unbalanced, women may experience symptoms such as low libido and bone loss. The bone loss that women experience due to declining estrogen levels can lead to osteoporosis and increase the likelihood of bone fractures. Adjustments to a woman’s hormone levels through bioidentical hormone therapy and lifestyle changes can reduce or eliminate these discomforts and improve overall health
Senara Health and Healing Center, located in Peoria, Illinois, offers a multidimensional approach to chiropractic, functional and anti-aging medicine, and wellness care. Using the latest advancements in holistic health, they advance their mantra, Live Life Well, to their guests. Established as Kramer Chiropractic in 2002, the facility moved and expanded it’s services in late 2011 to Senara Health and Healing Center & Spa.Senara Medical Weight Loss and Anti-Aging Center was launched in 2015.