Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement
Simply put, hormones are life-long essential chemical messengers that can affect growth, behavior, reproduction, emotion and more….
A hormone is secreted by one organ or tissue and then travels through your bodily fluids to support other tissues. Your hormone levels fluctuate every day, but when they are inappropriately depleted or over-produced significantly, they can lead to negative physical and emotional symptoms.
Estrogen, Progesterone, DHEA, Testosterone, Thyroid hormone, and Melatonin are hormones. Men and women have all of the above hormones, but at different ratios. Testosterone plays a key role in male reproduction, muscle growth, bone mass, body hair, libido, and the production of new blood cells, etc. Estrogen and progesterone are the key hormones in women during the reproductive years as well as after menopause. Estrogen helps women to regulate body temperature, maintain lustrous hair and nails, promote skin elasticity, increase libido, improve memory and brain function.
Estrogen isn’t a single hormone, but an entire class of hormones including estriol (E3), estradiol (E2), and estrone (E1). Estradiol is an essential hormone for women. It is responsible for sexual function, emotion, reproductive development, and bone health. It’s also tied to gynecological conditions like fibroids, endometriosis, and some cancers unique to women. Estradiol is believed to be protective against heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and memory disorders. Estradiol also protects against vaginal atrophy, urinary incontinence, as well as symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and temperature regulation.
DHEA stands for dehydroepiandrosterone. DHEA is one of the hormones secreted by the adrenal gland. It is a precursor for both estrogen and testosterone depending on the circumstances, but it also has a direct cellular action by itself. DHEA helps regulate the immune function and acts on the cells through androgen receptors. Studies have linked an increase in mortality rate in patients who have two little or too much DHEA. DHEA levels can cause generalized fatigue or low energy, weight gain, male pattern baldness or hair loss, hirsutism, irritability, anger or depression, infertility, changes of voice, and changes of the muscle structure.
Thyroid hormones affect every cell in the body by controlling the rate of the metabolism. They are essential in the regulation of body temperature, metabolic rate, energy, and reducing fatigue. They can raise or lower body temperature. They can increase or decrease 1. your heart rate, 2. rate of movements of food going through your gastrointestinal tracts, 3. rate at which your body burns calories affecting whether you gain or lose weight, 4. Temperature and the ability to tolerate cold/heat.
Melatonin is a vital hormone naturally produced by the pineal gland to regulate the internal rhythm of wakefulness; i.e. when to wake up, when to go to sleep, and when to feel tired. If melatonin production becomes impaired, you may find it difficult to fall asleep. Melatonin production decreases as a person ages. Melatonin was first reported as a potent antioxidant, a free radical scavenger and a mitochondrial antioxidant. Recently, melatonin was found to have anti-inflammatory effects, and act as an immune modulator which might be useful in fighting infections and can be an adjuvant in cancer treatment.
When ignored, hormone imbalances can cause severe deterioration of general health and overall quality of life. However, Dr. Faria can correct estradiol and testosterone imbalances using bioidentical hormone therapy via pellet implants. With sophisticated blood testing, she can also optimize your thyroid and adrenal hormones using appropriate thyroid or adrenal supplements and/or medications according to your individual biochemistry needs. Balancing these chemical-messengers is a crucial step toward healing and restoration of a better quality of life.
What are the symptoms of hormone imbalance?
Hormone deficiency affecting testosterone, estradiol, thyroid may cause numerous symptoms, including:
Many women also experience difficulty sleeping, dry eyes, and migraine headaches. Researchers have even linked hormone deficiency to Alzheimers, osteoporosis and central obesity.
When ignored, hormone imbalances can cause severe deterioration of general health and overall quality of life. However, Dr. Faria can correct estradiol and testosterone imbalances using bioidentical hormone therapyor optimize the levels of thyroid or adrenal hormones via medications/ supplements.
As an experienced Dermatologist, she can also help you to look the best as well as feeling your best. She believes that restoring the inner health “to feel good” is as important as facial rejuvenation.
What are the benefits of bioidentical hormone therapy?
As we age, hormone levels will decline. By correcting hormone decline with appropriate doses of the hormones (testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, thyroid, DHEA, and melatonin), we can bring these “chemical messengers” back to the levels of a much younger person. This will not only relieve the negative symptoms of aging, but also promote overall improvement of health, functions of all the organs and a better quality of life.
Bioidentical hormone replacement is far safer than traditional synthetic hormone treatments. It is the most effective way to treat menopause and andropause symptoms. It is safer than traditional synthetic hormone treatment. While there are situations where the use of synthetic hormones is appropriate, they carry risks which may outweigh their benefits.
Unlike bioidentical hormones, which match the chemical structure of your natural hormones, synthetic hormones are chemically altered. That makes it difficult for your body to assimilate them. Synthetic hormones have been linked to increased risk of:
Synthetic hormone treatments can also cause your body to have severe fluctuations and higher hormone levels than normal. That leads to unwanted androgenic side effects like acne, hair loss, deepening of the voice, and the growth of facial hair.
Properly designed, monitored, and administered bioidentical hormone replacement therapy maintains hormone levels so that they approximate the optimal levels produced naturally by your body of a younger age.
How does bioidentical hormone therapy work?
Dr. Faria delivers hormone therapy to replace testosterone or estradiol withbio-identical cream, tablets, or through pellets implanted under your skin. Thenatural plant-base testosterone and/or estradiol allow the bio-identical hormones to be easily released and assimilated by the receptor cells of the tissues- based on your activity levels- in a process similar to the normal release by glands in your body.
Accurate testing of your hormones is an essential initial step for effective treatments. Dr. Faria will test your blood hormone levels and design a treatment plan with you. It takes about two weeks to receive the lab results,then if you wish to have a pellet implant, she inserts these pellets under the skin of your upper hip after using lidocaine for your comfort. The area is dressed with water-proof dressing for 2 weeks.
Six weeks after the pellet implant, Dr. Faria will check your blood hormone levels with lab testing to see how your body is responding. At this time, she may adjust the dosage to reach optimal balance. To maintain your optimal blood hormone levels, and to minimize the returns of the negative symptoms, the pellet implants need to be repeated every 4-6 months for women and 6 to 9 months for men as your body uses up the implanted hormones over time.
If you’re experiencing symptoms associated with hormone imbalance, call Dr. DuyenFaria, DO at DNA Associates, 703-828-1133.