Bioidentical Hormones—An Overview FAQ
Many women may consider receiving hormone replacement therapy as a treatment to ease many symptoms of menopause, which could be mood swings, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness.
BHRT bio-identical hormone replacement therapy also helps with brittle bones and heart disease.
Bio-identical hormones are made from plant sources instead of animals or synthetic sources.
BHRT can help most women who suffer from unbalanced hormones issues feel let themselves once again.
Here at Patients Medical, we treat each patient as an individual no two patients receive the same treatment please read a bioidentical hormone case study below for one of our patients.
Vanessa A. 54 a school teacher from New Jersey was desperate to feel like herself again. She had developed some serious health challenges. She had wild mood swings, frequent headaches, cold and clammy feet alone with hot flashes and night sweats. She asked herself what in the world is going on with my body. Vanessa began to become very depressed and had panic attacks, she would yell at her husband and did not want to be touch at all.
Vanessa came to the conclusion that whatever was wrong with her was wreaking havoc on her body and mind and she had to find help. Vanessa asked around and one of her friends recommended Patients Medical Holistic Center the oldest holistic center in New York. It’s run by Dr. Gulati, a very famous Holistic Doctor. Dr. Gulatti is a Board Certified Holistic Internal Medicine Practitioner with two MD's - one each in Internal Medicine and Pathology. Dr. Gulatti has over 20 years of medical experience and has hospital privileges at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.
After Vanessa did her homework on Patients Medical Holistic Center and Dr. Gulatti she was impressed and decided to give Dr. Gulatti a call. She was quickly given an appointment to come in. Vanessa sat down over 1 hour with Dr. Guatti. After the consultation, Dr. Gulatti suspected Vanessa hormone levels were off. Vanessa did have a lot of questions for Dr. Guatti as she did her homework on BHRT (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy).
Vanessa wanted to know:
Celebrities who use bioidentical hormones
Do bioidentical hormones cause acne
Do bioidentical hormones cause blood clots
Do bioidentical hormones cause breast cancer
Do bioidentical hormones have side effects
Do bioidentical hormones help with anxiety
Do bioidentical hormones help wrinkles
Do bioidentical hormones increase cancer risk
Do bioidentical hormones work
How long has doctor Gulatti practice bioidentical hormone replacement
Along with some other questions too, Dr. Gulatti was happy to sit down with Vanessa and answer all of her questions and assured her bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for women was safe as Dr. Gulatti have work with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for years, Vanessa felt she was in good hands.
Dr. Gulatti ordered some deep level hormone testing for Vanessa so she could get to the root cause of the problem. Vanessa did blood and urine work and made another appointment for next week.
To learn more about Patients Medical deep hormone level testing please visit here (Hormone Level Testing).
On Vanessa next visit Dr. Gulatti went over all the test result with Vanessa. Her results showed that her hormone level was way off. Vanessa's body was metabolizing estrogen very poorly and wreaking havoc on her body and mind. Dr. Gulatti quickly places Vanessa on BHRT (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy), IV protocol dips for low vitamin deficiencies and a handful of pharmaceutical grade supplements that only could be purchased from a doctor.
Vanessa was very happy to find out that her insurance covered a good amount of her test cost. Vanessa began to quickly feel better and her condition was stabilized. She was able to once again feel like her old self! Let’s hear Vanessa in her own words from a review she made about Patients Medical and Dr. Gulatti.
Vanessa A. "Patients Medical has truly altered my life and are assisting me with the health challenges that I am currently faced with. It was through their deep level hormone tests that I learned that I was metabolizing estrogen very poorly which has been wreaking havoc in my body. With their help, I have been able to stabilize my condition. If I hadn't come across Patients Medical...I am convinced that I would truly be in a disastrous place regarding my health right about now. I have learned so much through their guidance and care and I can't say enough about their staff, (particularly their nurses who take care of me when I go in for my blood work and IV protocols). What an exemplary clinic and I recommend them without reservation. They have absolutely changed my life for the better and I thank my lucky stars for having discovered them."
Thank You, Vanessa, it was our pleasure to have you as a patient. Here at Patients Medical, we believe in working to identify the root cause of your medical problem so we can eliminate it forever (if possible) from your body. Our physicians combine the best of conventional and holistic medicine with state of the art equipment to provide comprehensive care and treatment to their patients.
Some impatient patients in the past have complained that our exams or consultations take too long, our test cost too much or our pharmaceutical grade supplements cost too much. If you are looking for the usually 7-minute quick exam with a quick prescription of magic pills then Patients Medical may not be the right fit for you. We care about finding the root and cause of your problem we don’t treat symptoms we treat the whole body and the root of the cause. Doctors at Patient Medical will always make a plan of action just for YOU we never treat two patients the same.
We now have cutting-edge breakthrough Genetic DNA Testing available to address many of your health issues. Contact us to learn more about Genetic DNA testing so we can design a unique wellness plan just for you. Read more about our Genetic DNA Testing here.
by Rashmi Gulati, MD
What many patients are surprised to learn is that all of the below are classic signs of hormonal imbalance—and yet all can be treated safely and effectively at Patients Medical, where we specialize in bringing your hormones back into sync with bioidentical hormone therapy and other natural interventions.
...Have irregular periods or heavy bleeding?
...Suffer mood swings, irritability, or worsening PMS?
...Experience anxiety, depression, or panic attacks?
...Struggle with hot flashes or night sweats?
...Lie awake half the night, then feel exhausted and like you have brain fog the next day?
...Find it difficult to maintain a healthy weight (no matter what you eat)?
...Wish you had fewer wrinkles and a smoother complexion?
...Develop frequent headaches
...Respond poorly to stressful situations?
...Worry about your low libido?
Today there's a lively and ongoing debate surrounding bioidentical hormones. Suzanne Somers has long been an advocate, authoring several books about her wellness journey that tout their benefits. Even Oprah has become a believer, frequently featuring the topic on her show, and inviting such notable guest experts as Christiane Northrup, MD and Lauren Streicher, MD.
But why all the controversy? What exactly are hormones, and is it safe to replace them? How is a synthetic hormone any different from a bioidentical one? Why is hormonal balance all that important to wellness? And if it is, what is the best way to achieve it?
If you're curious about hormones, you are in the right place. Patients Medical has a wealth of experience in addressing our patients' questions and concerns about their hormones. Let's take a closer look at hormones, and how balancing them holds the key to unlocking long-term health and wellness.
Many of our physiological processes are regulated and mediated by an elegant but complex,interconnected network of hormones and signaling pathways known as our endocrine system. Should these pathways be perturbed by the effect of our modern lifestyle, aging, disease, or medical treatments, then hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be recommended to reset the system, rebalance the body's chemistry, eliminate symptoms, or reduce the risk of developing complications.
Although some naturally derived hormones are in use today, the vast majority of patients are still being treated with manufactured hormones that are not bioidentical. Both types of hormone molecules are chemically synthesized and purified in laboratories, allowing dosages to be standardized. But most drug companies design synthetic hormones to have subtle structural differences from natural hormones. Biological molecules cannot be patented, so some aspect of their structure or delivery must be changed in order for drug companies to patent and profit from distribution of the hormone product. The alterations are typically made to portions of the hormones deemed unimportant to their function. Some hormones used in replacement therapies are instead derived from animal tissues and product, then chemically modified.
In contrast, "bioidentical" hormones are synthesized such that they are structurally identical to their natural counterparts. Thus, these hormones offer the efficacy of manufactured hormones but with the advantage of being identical, at a molecular level, to what the body would normally produce. For these reasons, bioidentical hormones potentially offer the safest, most natural options for those undergoing hormone replacement therapies.
While perimenopause is a normal body transition for women, it can sometimes be fraught with physical and emotional struggles, and with very complicated symptoms, some of which may be confounding others. At Patients Medical, hormonal imbalance is our number-one health specialty priority. Dr. Rashmi Gulati devotes a considerable portion of her practice to interacting with women who seek relief from the symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Every woman deserves to know what it feels like to be healthy and hormonally balanced—and to enjoy life fully—no matter what her age.
Diseases treated using Bio-identical Hormones
Different kinds of diseases may occur when an imbalance of necessary hormones prevails in the human body. For example, an imbalance in estrogenic hormones may cause strokes, osteoporosis, vaginal dryness, atrophy, and Alzheimer’s disease. A hormonal imbalance in Progesterone may lead to uterine cancer, breast cancer, and ovarian cysts.
perform five different types of activities in human body – Growth, Repair, Sexual reproduction, digestion and Homeostasis. Bio-identical hormones, when applied in the proper way and dosage, may also delay the aging process or may prevent early aging signs. There are three major diseases associated with imbalance in the hormones. These diseases are;
Replacement of the hormone insulin has been a mainstay of diabetes treatment since its therapeutic benefit was discovered in the 1920’s. Insulin is normally secreted by the pancreas to help balance blood sugar, which increases upon ingestion and breakdown of foods. The insulin attaches to cells and promotes uptake of sugar from the blood to fuel various metabolic processes. Mediation of this process also keeps the blood clear of excess sugars, which can potentially cause other severe health complications. Diabetes typically results from a lack of insulin secretion from the pancreas or insulin resistance of the cell receptors. For most diabetics, supplementation of insulin is a routine part of treating and managing their condition.
Menopause is another common condition for which hormone replacement is considered. During menopause, ovarian function ceases, depriving the body of estrogen and progesterone, both of which are vital for helping balance many aspects of physical, mental, and sexual health. Estrogen replacement therapies have been part of menopause treatments since the 1930’s and are intended to alleviate many of the common symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood disturbances, and the atrophy of uterine and vaginal tissues. In addition, the supplementation of estrogen and progesterone can help ward off osteoporosis and many types of cancers that appear to strike more frequently due to the physiological changes that occur during menopause. These treatments not only extend a woman’s life, but improve the quality of her health and well-being during the later years.
Low level hormone replacement can also be quite helpful in reducing the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). As progesterone and estrogen levels fluctuate during the menstrual cycle, some women experience anxiety, depression, mood swings, headache, acne, breast tenderness, and other discomforts. Many of these symptoms can be relieved through nutritional modification, but should dietary changes prove ineffective, hormonal supplements may be considered.
In men, levels of the hormone testosterone naturally begin to decline after age forty. Unlike with menopause in women, production of this sex hormone does continue, but some men experience noticeable changes in their more masculine traits. Beard growth, muscle tone, and libido may all become reduced. The perceived loss of virility, as well as reduction in testosterone, can lead to anxiety, self-consciousness, and other emotional symptoms. Because there is still sufficient testosterone for the male body to remain healthy, hormone replacement therapies for men in this context are somewhat controversial.
The thyroid gland releases hormones that control the speed and efficiency of metabolism. An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) that secretes too many hormones can put the body in overdrive, causing hyperactivity, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath. This state can deplete the body’s energy sources more quickly than a person can replenish them, leading to extreme weight loss, fatigue, and other chronic conditions. Conversely, an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) results in lethargy, low blood pressure, weight gain, and sensitivity to cold. Treatment of low thyroid hormone conditions (hypothyroidism, or to compensate following aggressive treatment of hyperthyroidism) is very effectively handled through replacement with synthetic thyroid hormones.
Adrenal disorders are also candidates for hormone replacement. The adrenal gland is mainly involved in the secretion of hormones related to the body’s stress response, such as cortisol and adrenaline. Insufficiencies of these hormones may be due to medical conditions such as Addison’s disease, autoimmune adrenalitis, or adrenal tumors. More often, however, the causes of adrenal insufficiency are unknown. Some cases are thought to be caused by a syndrome known as adrenal fatigue, in which the adrenal gland has become worn out due to chronic stress, causing lower levels of hormone to be released. In all of these cases, adrenal hormone replacement can be helpful for alleviating the many symptoms, which may include dizziness, nausea, weakness, fatigue, low blood pressure, and muscle pains.
travelers take the hormone melatonin to help recover from jet lag. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland that helps regulate the daily cycles of sleeping and waking. Levels of this hormone naturally increase in response to darkness, eventually peaking in the middle of the night and tapering off as the morning hours approach. Upon traveling to another time zone, travelers may take melatonin to become sleepy at more appropriate times, adjusting their bodies to the local daily schedule. People that must quickly change their sleep schedules for work (if they must start working the night shift, for example) may also take melatonin. Although distribution of melatonin-containing products is prohibited in some countries, they are available in the US and considered safe for short term use.
The Truth about Bio-Identical Hormones Therapies
Because bio-identical hormones are structurally the same as biological hormones, their use has long been supported by health professionals committed to providing natural health care for their patients. Although compelling clinical data for some of these treatments were still unavailable, these doctors stood by the logic that bio-identical hormones would be metabolized in the same ways as biological hormones, thus producing byproducts the body would recognize. Bio-identical hormones seemed the best way to maximize the health benefits of hormone replacement while minimizing the risks of side effects and complications.
Those skeptical of the benefits of bio-identical hormones were quick to point out that these new hormone therapy protocols were untested and unsupported by conventional medicine. They boasted the safety profiles of many commonly prescribed synthetic hormone therapies and made accusations about the lack of FDA approval for bio-identical hormones. As it turns out, there are quite a few bio-identical hormones on the market that are FDA approved (and have been since the early 1990’s), and researchers have continued to investigate their potential for many years.
In a peer-reviewed study published in January 2009, hormone replacement researcher Dr. Kent Holtorf revealed his comprehensive analysis of the available studies on bio-identical hormones. (Please see Postgraduate Medicine, vol. 121, issue 1, Jan. 2009.) Specifically, he examined whether bio-identical estradiol, estriol, and progesterone were safer and more effective in hormone replacement therapies for menopausal women. He compared the impact of the hormones on patient symptoms, the physiological responses that occurred, and the risks of cancer and heart disease. His conclusion:
"Based on both physiological results and clinical outcomes, current evidence demonstrates that bioidentical hormones are associated with lower risks than their nonbioidentical counterparts. Until there is evidence to the contrary, current evidence dictates that bioidentical hormones are the preferred method of HRT."
Bio-Identical Hormones Risk Factors
The risks of hormone therapy vary greatly depending on the particular hormone being replaced. As described in the previous section, short term use of melatonin for jet lag poses a low risk. Thyroid hormone supplementation is considered one of the safest of the long term treatments, given that the activities of the hormones are regulated in the body through feedback mechanisms. Typically, thyroxine (T4), the precursor form of the active thyroid hormone is replaced. The body can convert this prohormone to its active form, triiodothyronine (T3) whenever thyroid hormone activity is needed. This conversion ends when there is sufficient thyroid hormone available, limiting the risk of thyroid hormone overdose.
Insulin treatments for diabetics also have an excellent track record, though such long term treatments require vigilance from the patient. Both the timing and the quantity of the insulin dose are critical for properly controlling blood glucose. Dosages must be adjusted on an individual basis, selecting the route and concentration based on how quickly the insulin should act. Food intake, exercise, and any illnesses can all require adjustment of dosages, as well. If not enough insulin is available, the diabetic will suffer the effects of their high blood sugar. Too much insulin can potentially be lethal, so managing doses carefully and knowing how to respond in an insulin emergency are critical for all diabetics and their families.
Adrenal insufficiencies such as Addison’s disease are normally treated through replacement of adrenal hormones, such as cortisol. Daily doses are formulated to mimic the natural levels of this corticosteroid hormone, which fluctuates during the day and has a wide variety of effects on other aspects of body physiology. Insulin efficacy, immunity, inflammation, electrolyte balance, blood pressure, and bone formation are just some of the bodily processes that can be affected by adrenal hormone levels. Low levels of adrenal hormones may also be prescribed for more moderate adrenal insufficiencies, such as those related to adrenal fatigue. If the adrenal gland is still functional, special care must be taken to regulate dosage to avoid side effects, such as immunosuppression, which can leave a person susceptible to infections and illnesses. High blood sugar, bone loss, weight gain, and loss of muscle mass are also risks. The adrenal gland may additionally decrease output if the hormones are externally supplemented for extended periods of time, so dosages should be appropriately tapered toward the end of treatment to avoid withdrawal.
Testosterone replacement for men that have lost testicular function due to cancer or other diseases has long been accepted as an appropriate way to maintain the strength of secondary sex characteristics and healthy “maleness.” There is has been much discussion regarding the appropriateness of testosterone replacement for aging men, however. The effects of reduced testosterone as a natural part of aging lead to thinning hair, weight gain, sexual problems, and other symptoms that many men would rather not face. Although restoration of testosterone can somewhat reverse these effects, it is important for patients to thoroughly discuss their cases with their doctors to determine whether there are other acceptable options. Low testosterone as a result of aging does not, in itself, pose health risks. Testosterone replacement therapies, however, may raise blood pressure, thicken the blood, raise cholesterol levels, and increase the risk of prostate cancer.
There have been many warnings in recent years surrounding the replacement of estrogen and progesterone in women experiencing menopause. While there are certainly significant benefits to relieving symptoms and promoting well-being, a 2002 report called into question whether these benefits outweighed the potential for side effects and complications. Although osteoporosis rates were lower, the incidence of stroke, heart attack, and blood clots were modestly higher in women taking synthetic estrogen and progestin (the synthetic replacement for progesterone used in conventional protocols). Breast and uterine cancers were also slightly more prevalent than in women not receiving these hormone replacements.
Following these reports, hormone replacement ceased to be the default for menopausal women. It was concluded that further study was needed to more closely examine the risks and benefits of these conventional hormone therapies, as well as the emerging protocols involving bio-identical hormones. Given the recent data regarding the increased safety and efficacy of bio-identical hormones, many women are now choosing these over traditional synthetic hormone mixes.
Begin Your Journey to Wellness with Patients Medical
Our job at Patients Medical is to listen, to connect the dots between a patient's medical history, symptoms, and their underlying causes. Patients Medical is a superb place for women and men to secure integrative and holistic health care from providers who give personalized care, partner with the patient to focus on the root cause of their illness, support their recovery, and help them maintain good health.
To make an appointment with one of our physicians, please call us at 1-212-794-8800. We look forward to hearing from you.
Next Steps For Supplement Therapy:
Many of us will benefit by taking supplements for the issues discussed on this page.
To order the supplements, please visit our supplements store website www.mysupplements.store Or call 1-212-794-8800 to place an order.