Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy

The Aging Process

With age, our hormone levels naturally begin to decrease, a significant factor in the aging process. The human body does not function at an optimal level without adequate hormone balance. At some point, in the lives of both men and women, the endocrine glands fail to maintain adequate hormone levels, and the older we get, the more depleted our hormones become. It is at this point that replacing those hormones becomes desirable and leads to a happier, healthier life.

The key to safe and effective hormone replacement therapy is to use bio-identical hormones and to administer them in as physiologic a manner as possible. The body cannot metabolize non bio-identical hormones in a normal manner; therefore, they persist in the body and exert an abnormal effect which can lead to medical problems.

What are Bio-identical Hormones?

Bio-identical simply means that the hormone is exactly the same molecule as that which is naturally made by your body. This is important because your body recognizes it as such and can metabolize it normally. The term “bio-identical” does not indicate the source of the hormone, but rather indicates that the molecular structure of the replacement hormone is identical to that of the hormone naturally found in the human body. Bio-identical hormones are made by processing of hormone precursors found in plant sources, usually soy and yam.

When is the Right Time for HRT?

When one becomes deficient in any hormone, it is optimal to replace it. Generally women will become deficient in progesterone and/or testosterone in their late 30′s to early 40′s. A lack of estrogen usually doesn’t occur until shortly before or at the menopause (average age of 51).

Replacing all three hormones after menopause is usually necessary for optimal hormone balance.

Hormone Replacement for Men and Women

Hormone Replacement for Women

Benefits of Estrogen Replacement in Women:

  • Relief of Vasomotor Symptoms (Hot Flashes)
  • Reduced risk of Osteoporosis
  • Reduced risk of coronary artery disease
  • Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Reduced risk of colon cancer
  • Relief of vaginal dryness and thinning
  • Reduced risk of arthritis
  • Life expectancy an average of 3 years longer

Benefits of Testosterone Replacement in Women:

  • Enhanced libido
  • Cardiovascular protection
  • Increased energy and vitality
  • Enhanced feeling of well-being
  • Reduced body fat
  • Stronger muscles and bones
  • Relief of depression
  • Cognitive clarity

Benefits of Progesterone Replacement in Women:

  • May reduce risk of breast cancer
  • Minimizes risk of endometrial cancer in women receiving estrogen
  • Counteracts estrogen dominance
  • Reduces anxiety and agitation
  • Reduces depression
  • Improves sleep

Hormone Replacement for Men

Men can experience testosterone deficiency at almost any age, but it is most commonly seen after age 50.

Andropause

Andropause, or male menopause, is caused by a decrease in the hormone testosterone. This occurs in 50-75% of men by the age of 55. Unlike female menopause where there is a definitive landmark – cessation of menses – andropause is characterized by a gradual decline in numerous body functions. The symptoms are actually quite similar in many ways to symptoms of menopause. The most effective treatment of andropause is bio-identical testosterone replacement therapy.

Benefits of Testosterone Therapy in Men:

  • Enhanced libido
  • Cardiovascular protection
  • Increased energy and strength
  • Enhanced feeling of well-being
  • Reduced body fat
  • Stronger muscles and bones
  • Cognitive clarity
  • Enhanced erectile function

How Do I Begin?

Contact Charleston HealthSpan Institute to schedule your consultation. Dr. Wilson will discuss your complete medical history, hormone related symptoms, and general health and wellness issues.

 

We test patients with hormone assays (blood and/or saliva tests) to evaluate baseline hormone status and to help determine initial dosage of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. We continue to assess hormone levels to ensure that our patients are in the optimal hormone range. This assures patients that their treatment is as beneficial and safe as possible.

The hormones that are typically tested for women are the following:

  • FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone)
  • TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)
  • Free & Total Testosterone
  • Estradiol
  • Progesterone

The hormones that are typically tested for men are the following:

  • FSH
  • TSH
  • Free & Total Testosterone
  • Estradiol
  • SHBG

Once the hormone assays have been reviewed by the doctor, patients return for a follow-up visit at which time a customized treatment plan with bio-identical hormone therapy will be discussed and administered. The patient will continue to be monitored with follow-up hormone assays and visits with Dr. Wilson.

 

The goal is for each and every patient to maximize their body’s innate ability to defend itself against premature aging, to achieve a feeling of youthful good health, and to achieve the best quality of life possible.