Hormone Basics and FAQ
It's simply about balance.
When your hormones are unbalanced, you just don't feel like yourself. Even if you're living a healthy lifestyle with good nutrition and regular exercise, you're not reaping the full reward of your efforts if your hormones are imbalanced.
Naturally Balance Your Hormones
If you don't have proper hormone balance, you're not going to feel your best. Your hormones affect almost every aspect of your overall health, so you need optimal hormone balance for your body to function well. But it is a balancing act; it's easy for your hormones to become imbalanced. I can show you how to balance your hormones naturally and safely.
Hormonal Balance Basics
Many factors contribute to hormonal imbalance such as aging, genetics and increasing daily stress. The disturbances can cause a variety of different symptoms. Often the symptoms are confused with the signs of aging. This can have a negative effect on your life. You may feel fatigued, irritable or have trouble sleeping. You may experience hot flashes or night sweats, or your libido or even digestion may suffer.
There is really not much we can do to prevent hormonal imbalances. As we age, our hormone levels will fluctuate and decline. But you can restore hormone balance through natural bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. And once your hormones are in sync again, the negative symptoms usually disappear.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is an alternative to conventional hormone therapy such as conjugated estrogens and medroxyprogesterone. BHRT uses both natural and synthesized hormones which are identical to the molecules of hormones that the human body produces. It is customizable to your body’s needs and requirements, unlike “one size fits all’ conventional therapy.
LifeTime Health Center offers bioidentical hormone therapy and recommends proper fitness and nutrition for women and men. This preventive medical approach inhibits stress induced signs of menopause and andropause.
When your hormones are properly balanced, you'll feel much better, younger, more energized and more emotionally settled. Hormonal balance affects other efforts to improve your health, so when your hormones are optimally balanced, you'll see much greater benefits to eating right and exercising.
Balancing your hormones is a crucial step to attaining optimal overall health. Hormones are the chemical messengers of your body, so when they're properly balanced and functioning, all of you body systems work more smoothly.
Finding the Right Balance
So how can you reach this elusive hormone balance? With accurate testing and medical supervision you can discover your current hormone levels. By using a combination of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, nutrition plans and exercise guidance, LifeTime Health Center can help you naturally balance your hormones and feel better than you have in years.
Who needs Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)?
Women suffering from early menopause symptoms looking to put an end to hot flashes, night sweats, memory loss, mood swings, weight gain, and low libido. The individualized programs for each woman suffering from early menopause symptoms, menopause, perimenopause and severe PMS will benefit.
Men experiencing andropause(the male menopause) who want to get a grip on weight gain, lost libido, fatigue, stress, energy, muscle mass and body fat. For men, andropause happens gradually and when diagnosed, the symptoms can be successfully treated using bioidentical HRT.
What Are Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Services?
- A comprehensive review of symptoms, medical, family and personal history
- Testing - saliva or blood laboratory analysis
- Natural Hormone balancing
- Ongoing evaluations
- Quality compounded pharmacy partners
- Highest quality supplements
- Fitness programs, nutrition planning, stress reduction plans
Hormone FAQWhy should I use bioidentical hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are an exact replica of the hormones naturally produced by the body. The difference between bioidentical hormones and synthetic hormones is that, although both are created in labs, synthetic hormones are not identical to the hormones naturally created in your body. Bioidentical hormones match your body's hormones molecule by molecule.
Depending on what your symptoms and which hormone(s) your body needs, Rene’ McCarty, PA-C, may choose to prescribe bioidentical hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid hormones, DHEA, melatonin or others as needed.
Human life expectancy has doubled over the last 100 years. The soft tissue glands responsible for producing hormones are being forced to produce even longer. Factor in our increasingly stressful lives, poor nutrition and lack of proper fitness; the results are naturally declining levels of hormones in our bodies.
Our patients have successfully used bioidentical hormones for years. Men, who suffer from the symptoms of andropause or women suffering from menopause or perimenopause, use bioidentical hormones to replace natural hormones that decline in their bodies with age.
Comprehensive research proves the bioidentical hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are not only safe, but have a positive impact on diseases like osteoporosis and prostate cancer.
Rene’ attends multiple conferences a year specific to hormone therapy. She has been treating women and men with bio-identical hormones for many years and has a broad background in women’s health. She continuously reads and studies hormonal function extensively, focusing on hormone replacement therapy and the many benefits provided to her patients, as it is her passion in medicine.
At LifeTime Health Center, we believe most people should have their hormones checked by the age of 40 or earlier if they are experiencing symptoms of menopause or andropause. The way to prevent illness and to optimize one's health is to take an active role in addressing health care risks before they become a problem. Getting tested when you still feel good gives you a benchmark for later comparison as the inevitable hormone changes and decline begin.
In general, your body's natural hormones begin to decline after your mid-20s and hormone imbalance symptoms are frequently present by your mid-30s. Men and women often start replacing hormones between the age of 35 and 40. If you are experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance, it is best not to wait.
Synthetic hormones are not identical to the hormones your body produces. “Designer” or synthetic hormones commonly have an extra covalent bond or molecule added so the hormone can be patented. Synthetic hormones act as toxins in the body because their chemical makeup cannot be metabolized properly.
LifeTime Health Center recommends only bioidentical hormones. Unlike synthetic hormones, bioidentical hormones or natural hormones are replicas of the body's own natural hormones. This allows the body to use them optimally without long term side effects or problems.
No matter what your age, if your female hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone) are unbalanced, you may suffer ill effects such as hot flashes, night sweats, trouble sleeping, mood swings depression, anxiety, memory loss, vaginal dryness, fatigue, loss of your sex drive and even weight gain. Women with balanced hormones integrated with proper nutrition and fitness can have a better quality of life as they age.
Production of the hormone testosterone begins to decline as men age, just as in women and many begin to experience symptoms of low testosterone. Testosterone is the hormone responsible for maintaining mental focus, energy, metabolism, muscle mass, fat levels and sex drive. Men can restore their vitality and reduce symptoms of andropause by balancing hormones with bioidentical hormone therapy.
It definitely varies with each person and depends on which hormone therapy you require. Generally, you can expect to see benefits in a few weeks and full results within three to six months. It will take some time to allow your body to properly balance your hormones and build up depleted stores. It is worth the brief reorganization of hormones to feel well again.
High stress levels are very common in individuals with unbalanced hormones. Regulating hormones with bioidentical hormone therapy will certainly help to decrease stress levels and increase general feelings of well-being. When your body undergoes chronic stress, the over production of the hormone cortisol, produced by the adrenal glands, gradually wears the body down. Chronic stress can have a wide range of effects on your overall health. Stress is linked to high blood pressure, arrhythmia, blood clots and atherosclerosis. Stress has also been found to worsen pre-existing symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), erectile dysfunction, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). While stress reduction techniques may be helpful in the short term, the long term effects of chronic stress usually require medical intervention.
Yes. A deficiency of testosterone, estrogen, or other types of hormonal imbalance can cause a low libido. Replenishing these hormones can improve sex drive and quality of life.
Pellet therapy is a sustainable delivery method for bioidentical hormone therapy. Every three to six months a pellet, made of bioidentical hormones, is inserted just under the patient's skin either on the upper part of your buttocks or the upper arm. The pellets contain customized levels of estradiol or testosterone and react to the needs of the body. They dissolve slowly, releasing the bioidentical hormones over time.
Hormones are like stop-lights. When they are balanced, the light is green and you will get the optimum results from your nutrition and fitness programs. When they are imbalanced the light is red, often making it difficult to lose and easy to gain weight.
Hormones are chemical messengers that cause the body to make changes affecting weight gain or weight loss. Changes in hormone levels are also dependant on the lifestyle we lead and can affect our mood, metabolism and energy levels.
An example is when men become less active with age and begin to gain weight. Very often a gradual decline in testosterone can result, worsening the lethargy and weight gain. Testosterone is known to boost metabolism and has the benefit of helping lower fat levels. Subsequently, when testosterone is balanced a man's ideal weight is easier to achieve, no matter what age.
If our team finds your overall health and hormonal balance could be improved through vitamins and supplements, we will prescribe or suggest them to you. LifeTime Health Center recommends only high grade vitamins and supplements for their patients so they get the most benefit from each supplement.
Not necessarily, it depends on how well your body responds to bioidentical hormone therapy. If you commit to manage your diet, sleep patterns, exercise and stress levels, this will help you regain hormonal balance quicker and impact your bioidentical hormone therapy.
Many patients wean off various hormones as they become balanced and have fewer symptoms of menopause or andropause. Some patients even come off adrenal and thyroid support once their adrenals or thyroid glands have healed. There is no one size fits all answer as it depends on your individual hormone stability and how well your diet and lifestyle balance to support your body. In the worst-case scenario, if you decided to stop bioidentical hormone therapy, your body would return to the state it was in before initiating your program.
Yes, birth control pills are a type of hormone therapy but are different from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Birth control pill hormones are synthetic. Synthetic hormones have differences in their chemical structure that are not a replica of the body's natural hormones.
Traditional doctors do not usually have the time or the resources to seek expertise in bioidentical hormones. Rene’ McCarty, PA-C, has committed to extensive training in bioidentical hormone therapy and has specialized knowledge in women’s hormonal concerns. With more than 20 years of experience in family medicine and women's health, she has specialized training in the use of bio-identical hormones. She continues her ongoing education to stay aware of the most up to date research available on bioidentical hormone therapy.
Yes. Bioidentical hormones are compounded prescription drugs that are produced in a specialized pharmacy. Each prescription is hand made from the highest quality ingredients and made by pharmacists that specialize in formulating drugs. Since every patient is unique, the strength or the dosage form needs to be specially made to fit the individual.
A compounding pharmacy is a specialized pharmacy that makes individualized bioidentical hormones prescriptions by hand. The quality of the ingredients used, the expertise of the pharmacist and the quality of customer service are all critical decisions on what pharmacy you want to use. Rene’ McCarty uses local compounding pharmacies, those she has personally met with, to ensure they are the very best at what they do. After all, if the prescription is not effective (due to the pharmacy) then your results will be less than optimal.
Because bioidentical hormones have the same molecular structure of the hormones made naturally by your body, there are relatively few side effects. Side effects occur mainly when the dosage of hormone is too high for the individual. Rene’ McCarty monitors and evaluates each patient consistently to assure balanced and proper dosing. Keeping follow up appointments is essential to your success.
No, that is not true. Not all estrogens are created equal. Fears of increased risks of heart disease and breast cancer with estrogen therapy have mainly come from the Women’s Health Initiative study that was stopped prematurely in the summer of 1992 because of an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease seen in women taking Prempro, a synthetic hormone. The study actually highlights the risks of estrogen therapy with non-bioidentical (synthetic) hormones, which is NOT the type used by LifeTime Health Center.
Hormones that are non-bioidentical use a one-size-fits-all approach to hormone therapy with hormones that are foreign to a woman's body. Conversely, bioidentical hormones, which are the same as what is in your body naturally, have been proven to be safe. LifeTime Health Center uses bioidentical hormones. The two main estrogens that they replace are E2 - Estradiol and E3 - Estriol.
Bioidentical hormone therapy has never been shown to increase the risk of heart disease. In fact, hormone replacement with bioidentical hormones has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease.
We cannot use study results done on synthetic, non-bioidentical hormones to assess risks of bioidentical hormones. When an educated provider prescribes bioidentical hormones in the proper manner, there are no increased risks of the occurrence of breast cancer or heart disease.
The ingredients in bioidentical hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are approved by the FDA. However, state and local pharmacy boards have jurisdiction over them, not the FDA. It is important to know you are using the highest quality compounding pharmacy and that they follow the most stringent guidelines and have excellent quality assurance.
Typically, the answer is no. The only time when medications will interfere with bioidentical hormones (and vice-versa) is when the medications you're taking contain hormones, like birth control and certain acne medications. In many cases certain medications will no longer be needed once hormone levels are restored to a healthy balance. This generally happens because balanced hormones improve your overall health. It's important to talk with your healthcare provider about any medications and supplements you're currently taking to know for sure if the interaction will have any adverse effects.
LifeTime Health Center can care for chronic conditions (high blood pressure, diabetes, hypothyroidism). Wellness services such a Pap smears, family planning, contraception and routine lab work are also available.
You may bring along any lab work, bone density, mammograms, PAP smears, or other diagnostic tests you have had done in the past year. We will not need the actual x-rays or ultrasounds, only the report. You may need to do a new, complete female or male hormone panel which includes both blood and saliva tests. As our hormones are not static, this comprehensive diagnostic panel will help us determine exactly where your hormone levels stand today. We can then customize a therapy tailored to meet your individual needs.
LifeTime Health Center does not accept any insurance as payment, including Medicare, Medicaid or Workers Compensation. We accept cash, checks and credit cards. Payment in full is expected at the time of service. This allows the clinic to continue to provide high quality, expert health care at an affordable cost to patients. Our service costs are considerably less than average medical practices.
We will give you the estimated cost of any service prior to providing the service.
That is a possibility, but results may be delayed by factors out of our control if our office does not process the order and samples. Also, while many orders for hormone levels are routine, your individual case may indicated specific testing. This is why we do a complete evaluation before recommending testing.