It is my passion to help women feel their best at every stage of life. As a woman, our hormones are very important. The hormones influence a young girl’s life starting in her puberty. A balance of hormonal rhythms will regulate her natural menstrual cycles. Her body needs to make sufficient hormones to support a healthy pregnancy. Thus, hormones are essential at every stage of her life. There comes a time when the ovaries stop producing adequate hormones and she goes from peri-menopause to menopause. The lack of these hormones brings along a long list of symptoms which may vary from person to person. In the mid-thirties, the Testosterone levels begin to drop when she notices that she easily gets tired, gains weight from increase in fat and decline of muscle mass. Her memory seems to decline, for example she forgets names or dates which she remembered before or forgets where she kept her keys. She begins to lose interest in sex, and may have mood swings or anxiety. Closer to menopause when estradiol and progesterone begin to drop, in addition to the above symptoms, she may have disturbed sleep, hot flashes and night sweats, hair-thinning, pain during sex due to vaginal dryness and depressed moods. Besides the above symptoms, post-menopause is the time when she is at increased risk of developing chronic diseases like osteoporosis, cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, breast and colon cancer. Have you thought that all these chronic diseases could have an association to the drop in her hormone levels? Yes, it is true. What can we do to prevent these diseases and help get rid of all the symptoms that is impacting life in a very big way? Not only does the woman suffer by herself, but her family suffers too because what she is going through, especially due to her fluctuating moods.
BHRT stands for Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy which means that the shape of the hormone is exactly the shape of what your body makes, thus making it bioidentical. It is natural and plant-based. Our bodies accept it as its own hormone and responds very well to it rather than to synthetic hormones which come from the Mare’s (horse) urine. The name Premarin (most commonly used synthetic estrogen) comes from Mare’s urine. Mare’s make 50 different kinds of estrogen while we make 3 different kinds. So, if we introduce 50 different estrogens while we only need 3, aren’t we increasing our risk to disease?
BHRT can be offered via different delivery systems. The hormones can be compounded by a pharmacy in a form of a cream, lozenges or pills. It can also be implanted underneath the skin in the form of pellets. Patients can choose their preferred delivery system.
Numerous studies are done and in fact newer studies are constantly published which are in favor of BHRT. Keeping the hormones balanced has many preventative reasons, some of them include maintaining good bone density and preventing osteoporosis, protection against cardiovascular disease, maintaining good levels of blood sugar and prevention against breast and colon cancer.
I have patients who are in their 80s and been on this therapy for more than 25 years. They say that their Primary care doctors are blown away by their bone density results. In their 80s, they feel strong on this treatment. Their cognition does not decline, memory remains sharp and they have an overall feeling of well-being and good energy levels.
After I completed my 4 year medical school and graduated as a Naturopathic Physician, I was very fortunate to get a preceptorship at Dr. Gino Tutera’s clinic that specialized in pellet therapy for BHRT called Sottopelle, which is an Italian word and means “under the skin”. The hormone pellets are actually implanted under the skin with a minor surgical procedure and they slowly release the hormones based on the body’s need. I learned this method from him and saw it change people’s lives. Dr. Gino Tutera was the pioneer who brought the pellet therapy to the U.S. and I was very fortunate to get the opportunity to train under him. He passed away in Nov 2015. I consider him my Guru and mentor and besides being a great doctor, he was a very kind-hearted and compassionate person and that reflected in his bedside manner.
I have been offering this treatment since last 10 years and the practice keeps growing day by day, mostly by word of mouth since the results are fantastic. Besides our local patients, we have patients who fly down from all over the country and internationally.
Yes, I strongly believe in what I offer my patients and always try the therapies on myself. Since I am in my late thirties now, I use the Testosterone alone. I would not need Estradiol and Progesterone till I get closer to menopause. The testosterone keeps my energy levels good, helps my moods and prevents anxiety, helps to keep my memory sharp and helps the libido. It also helps to maintain good muscle mass and burn fat which all women!
Honestly, I see that balancing the hormones using BHRT transforms lives. The women tell me that the difference is like night and day. Patients have come back to me with tears of joy and thank me that they got their lives back again. In fact, I have had women’s husbands thank me, saying that they got their wives back and a few of them have sent me flowers out of appreciation. All of this says a lot about how the hormones have helped.
Before I start a patient on this treatment, I review the patient’s medical history and have them go for a blood draw to check their hormone levels. We also have the patients do Well Women exams which includes a Pap test and Breast imaging like Mammogram. I will evaluate every patient on a case by case basis. Based on the patient’s lab work, symptoms, medical history and age I will determine if the patient is a candidate for this therapy or not.
We run a hormone panel before and after the treatments. The lab results and patient’s feedback on their symptoms are basically two things which will help monitor and adjust the treatment. Every patient receives an individualized treatment.
Thus, if you suffer from any of the above symptoms and wish to get your hormone levels checked, then schedule a consult with a doctor who offers these treatments. You have the right to live a happy and ful-filled life in every way.