BIO-IDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT
Why Replace your Hormones?
Aging is the product of the long term, and permanent decline of all of the hormones in the body. As our hormones decline, many diseases will increase while our quality of life decreases. For example, common diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, osteoporosis, and many others may be the simple result of having long term hormonal and nutritional deficiencies.
Therefore, many of the symptoms of aging can be stopped and even reversed by correcting all of the underlying hormonal imbalances. Each hormone, as it declines with the aging process, produces physical changes in each patient that of course will make a person look and feel older. These changes are important clues as to the underlying hormonal deficiencies present and can be used by an experienced doctor to determine what hormones have declined the most.
What are Bio-Identical Hormones?
Bio-identical hormones are hormones that have the exact same structure as the hormones that are naturally secreted by the body. This is in contrast to non bio-identical hormones which are not structurally identical to those secreted in the body. Examples of non bio-identical hormones include birth control pills, synthetic progestins, and Premarin.
What are the principles of Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement?
Bio-Identical Hormone replacement is based on the principle that hormone replacement should mimic our natural hormone production as closely as possible. Hormone replacement should ideally re-produce the exact same hormonal milieu that is present in a healthy, youthful patient. Therefore the hormones should be chemically identical, replaced at the correct time of day, administered in the best available form, and in the correct proportion to other hormones.
How to Make Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Safe and Effective
- Use Physiological Doses
- Choose the best type, and brand of hormones
- Take the hormone by the safest route
- Simultaneously correct all hormone imbalances
- Perform regular follow-ups to insure safety
- Insure great communication between physician and patients
What are the different forms of Hormones Available?
Dr. Camp uses a wide range of hormones for the many different patients that he sees. He uses the following routinely, though each patient will typically respond to one form better than another:
Estrogen: Dr. Camp uses Bi-Est, Estriol, and Estradiol in topical , vaginal, and Sublingual forms. Rarely, he will use oral Estradiol if it is indicated.
Progesterone: Dr. Camp uses oral, sublingual, and topical forms.
Testosterone: Dr. Camp uses topical, sublingual, and vaginal testosterone.
Estrogen declines accelerate as a woman gets into her 40’s and 50’s as ovarian production declines. Estrogen declines produce a wide range of symptoms also that are detailed below.
- Breasts lose fullness and/or begin drooping
- Skin dries out.
- Foggy thinking (especially in the morning) mind confused, mildly depressed and/or a feeling of ‘Just don’t care
- Difficulty sleeping, restless, night sweats
- Vaginal dryness, urinary urgency
- Decreased Libido
- Diminished Muscle Mass
- Osteopenia and Osteoporosis
- Decreased Libido
- Mild Depression
- Poor Recovery from Exercise
Symptoms of Progesterone Deficiency
Additionally hormones are depleted by disruptions to our sleep and wake cycles, alterations in our stress hormones, and by dietary and nutritional deficiencies. Common medications including SSRI’s, Statin based lipid medications, and numerous others disrupt our hormone production and are even present in our water supply at amounts that are likely high enough to cause us long term damage.
Unfortunately this is a common complaint that we hear at our center. There are many reasons for this including:
- Poor Testing: Not having the correct test done at the correct lab at the correct time of the menstrual cycle at the correct time of day.
- Mis-Interpretation: Most doctors have an over-reliance on the “normal range” of labs. Dr. Camp prefers to use optimal ranges that are based on a healthy population. Few people know that the “normal range” of labs is generated statistically based on the average of all those who are getting labs drawn. This has nothing to do with ideal or optimal or even healthy.
- Personal Variation: Most doctors do not take into account personal variation based on genetics, body type, personality, etc. For example, curvier women with larger breasts typically feel better with a higher estrogen level than does a smaller woman. Similarly, athletic and physically toned women generally feel better with higher testosterone levels.
- Poor Doctor-Patient Relationship including inadequate physical exam, history, and general decline in the doctor patient relationship.
- Misinformed Physicians: Inadequate education of the average doctor on hormonal imbalances at least in part explained by an over-reliance on prescription medications used to treat symptoms only.