What are Bioidentical Hormones?
You may have heard about the dangers of using man-made compounds such as Provera and Premarin to serve as a hormone substitute intended to supplement the hormones that naturally occur in your body. The dangers are real. Premarin is actually made from an extract of the urine of pregnant mares (as in horses). Yes, this compound contains a human estrogen (estrone), but it also contains a number of equines (i.e. horse estrogens) that are not found in humans. Consequently, the use of Premarin and Provera together have produced a number of adverse effects, such as increased risk of breast cancer, stroke, and heart problems.
The levels of the hormones Progesterone and Estrogen (in women), and Testosterone (in men) tend to decline as you age. However, just because your body isn’t making as much doesn’t mean that you don’t need them!
Fortunately, there is a safe alternative to these potentially dangerous man-made compounds – Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, or BHRT. Dr. Bertolino specializes in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for patients in Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Williamsville, NY and the surrounding area.
Bioidentical Hormones are exactly what their name implies – compounds that are identical to the natural molecules that your body produces. These are not chemicals made from animal waste, rather, they are formulated from soy products or yams by pharmacists to match your body’s hormones identically. Through Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, patients are likely to reap the benefits of the human hormones without the side-effects associated with non-human hormones.
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Hormones Are Essential
Progesterone increases bone mass and Testosterone helps to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and improves cognitive function. That being said, a loss or decrease of hormones can have adverse impacts, including:
- Increased likelihood of heart disease
- Bone loss
- Decreased cognitive function
- Loss of muscle mass
- Reduced sex drive
- Restless leg syndrome
- Mood swings
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Thinning of skin.1
Until recently, the majority of hormone replacement therapy applications were done orally with pills, placed directly on the skin with creams or gels, or via injection. There are problems with all of these applications, including improper dosages, patches falling off, and the patient’s failure to take pills as prescribed.
The newest technique is the implanting of a time-release pellet underneath the skin on the buttocks. By implanting the dosage beneath the skin, you are ensured of getting the proper dosage released regularly. Each implant can last six months. Dr. Jack Bertolino is the only physician in Western New York to offer this cutting-edge procedure.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy FAQs
What Are Bioidentical Hormones?
Life has a way of changing us all over time. Our endocrine system changes as our sex organs decline in life, causing a decrease in production of hormones which help us as males or females. Also included in this is the thyroid gland, which manages our metabolism. Our parents and grandparents also spoke about “change of life,” and they were right. However, they didn’t have the ability to help themselves and accepted their fate. Hormone replacement has been around for decades but it had been mismanaged, causing serious problems and decreased quality of life. Today through research we as physicians can give back safely and effectively what our elders and relatives could have only imagined.
What is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy or BHRT?
In the 1970’s and up through today, the pharmaceutical industry has been putting billions of dollars into hormone replacement therapies but little to no responses to quality of life and safety have been addressed. Premarin (now Prempro) is an FDA approved hormone for peri menopause and menopause, which still today can cause serious side effects and does not treat the underlying problem or balance the individual. Synthetic thyroid replacement, again, doesn’t hit its true targets and patients decline through life.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is a safe proven alternative that uses compounded, not conventional or synthetic products. These hormones are plant based and to date are the closest match to the human endocrine system. These hormones balanced effectively, give safe proven results for both health and quality of life.
Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Safe?
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is a safe proven alternative that uses compounded, not conventional or synthetic products. These hormones are plant based and, to date, are the closest match to the human endocrine system. These hormones balanced effectively, give safe proven results for both health and quality of life.
There have been no cases of breast or uterine cancer with a bioidentical hormone in the literature. So what are the dangers associated with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy? Like any medication, there are precautions. If you remember, oral birth control pills can and did cause blood clots. If you are monitored appropriately, however, with proper laboratory evaluation and follow up, this should not be a problem. Individuals especially females can develop some breakthrough bleeding and breast tenderness but these are not symptoms that lead to cancer. All patients need a primary care physician and GYN for continuing care. Mammogram yearly are necessary, and will be required, as in any practice in America.
Will Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Cause Weight Gain or Help Me Lose Weight?
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy in women can at times cause some bloating, but not weight gain. Physiologically muscle mass increases and body fat mass decreases. But again this is not a weight loss remedy.
Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Right for You?
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is not for everyone. Blood tests prior to your procedure will determine whether your hormone levels are low enough to warrant a BHRT supplement. They will also help to determine if your symptoms are caused by other physical problems or illnesses.
Dr. Jack Bertolino would be happy to meet with you and discuss your options for helping you to look and feel better with bioidentical hormones at Smooth Solutions Medical Aesthetics. We are proud to serve patients from Buffalo NY, Williamsville NY and surrounding areas with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. Call (716) 633-6100 or fill out a Contact Form to schedule your appointment.
Learn More About Bioidentical Hormones
Download a technical whitepaper that goes into detail about Bioidentical Hormones and the science behind them, authored by Steven F. Hotze, MD and Donald P. Ellsworth, MD.