Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Programs
Hormones are chemicals that are produced within our bodies. They are responsible for each stage of our development and growth from infancy through puberty, reproduction, and old age. Hormones maintain the chemical balance within our bodies by controlling major functions including our metabolism, immune system, reproductive systems, nervous system, and many others.
As we age, our normal hormone levels begin to fluctuate and decline, which has physical and mental effects in both women and men.
Because no two patients are alike, the treatment plan for each patient will be different. Thus, if hormone replacement therapy is needed, it is definitely not a “one size fits all” approach.
Bioidentical hormones can be given using static or cycled (“biomimetic”) dosing. Dr. Schaffer offers both options. For those interested in “biomimetic” dosing, Dr. Schaffer is a Wiley Protocol certified physician.
Because she wants her patients to feel better as quickly as possible, Dr. Schaffer closely monitors each patient once they begin hormone replacement therapy, so she can make dosage adjustments as needed, based on symptoms. She also checks labs periodically to assure hormone levels are in the optimal range. She encourages patients to call her at any time with questions or concerns.
Dr. Schaffer is truly passionate about this area of medicine, and has experienced first-hand the benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. She looks forward to helping you feel your best.
What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
The first hormone replacement supplements were developed in the 1930 to provide relief from the symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, etc. These first hormone supplements were “bioidentical”. That is, their molecular structure is identical to the molecules created by our own bodies.
Synthetic hormone supplements were first developed in the 1940’s. Unfortunately, the mass-produced synthetic hormones do NOT match the molecular structure of the naturally occurring hormones in our bodies. Synthetic hormones are animal-derived, from the urine of pregnant horses, and often produce unpleasant side effects such as nausea, fluid retention, and dizziness.
Bioidentical Hormones are hormone supplements that are plant-derived, primarily from soy and yam. These are also manufactured by pharmaceutical companies such as Upjohn, which have been manufacturing bioidentical hormone products for over 70 years. The bioidentical powders and other elements are then compounded into topical creams by “compounding” pharmacies, according to a doctor’s prescription.
Creams are preferred because when bioidentical hormones are taken orally they go straight to the liver, which converts them into a different hormone. Therefore the preferred method of delivery for bioidentical hormones is in the form of creams or gels or sub-cutaneous suppositories, which are absorbed directly from the skin into the bloodstream.
There are many benefits and advantages to using bioidentical hormones.
One of the most important is that the dosage can be tailored to each individual’s unique hormone requirements. Hormone balance is extremely delicate, and each person is different. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy supports this individual approach and fine tuning for optimal benefits.
Other benefits of Bioidentical HRT include the following:
- Improved weight loss
- Improved sex drive
- Improved look and feel of hair and skin and nails
- Improved mental health
- Improved memory
- Improved mood and emotional balance
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Decreased risk of osteoporosis
The physicians at our clinic are educated and trained in the effective use of bioidentical hormones for the relief of symptoms caused by age-related hormone imbalance in women and men. By providing hormones that are an exact biochemical match of your own hormones, it is possible to restore your hormones back to the balance you had in your 20’s and 30’s.