By Andrea Bickerton, M.D.
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) has been around since the 1930’s and has been a topic of much research and discussion since that time. As the debate continues over the risks vs benefits of hormone replacement, Dr. Andrea Bickerton, MD of Refined Image discusses some of the myths and misconceptions of BHRT below.
Myth: BHRT is only for women.
Fact: Both men and women can benefit from BHRT. There are multiple studies that show many benefits for both males and females that can come with hormone optimization. While we know that women go through menopause, it is not always known or discussed that men go through a similar process called andropause.
• Benefits that can be seen with BHRT:
– Increased energy and stamina
– Increased feeling of overall wellness
– Increased muscle mass
– Decreased body fat
– Improved erectile ability in men
– Increased libido
– Improved sleep
– Decreased irritability and anxiety
– Improved cognition/decreased “brain fog”
– Improved vaginal health
– Decreased hot flashes
– Increased bone mass
– Decreased “bad” cholesterol and increased
– Decreased risk for Alzheimer’s
Myth: BHRT is only for people over 50 years old.
Fact: There is no set age to say when you may need hormone replacement. Many women and men are experiencing decreased hormone levels in their 30’s and 40’s and can benefit from BHRT. You do not have to wait until you complete menopause or andropause to start hormone replacement therapy.
Myth: BHRT is only for people under 75 years old.
Fact: There is no age limit on optimizing your hormone levels. Hormone replacement can lead to feeling better overall, decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, increased muscle mass, reduced body fat, increased energy, improved sleep, decreased anxiety/depression, and improved bone health to name a few.
Myth: I am getting older, so I am supposed to feel like this.
Fact: You do not have to live with symptoms of hormone deficiency such as fatigue, brain fog, irritability, poor sleep, weight gain, decreased libido, hot flashes, ED, or decreased bone and muscle mass just because you are a certain age. Most patients notice improvement within a few weeks of pellet insertion and report continued improvement over the following months to years with continued therapy.
Myth: I should wait until my symptoms are severely bothersome.
Fact: Starting BHRT as soon as symptoms are noticed can help prevent many negative outcomes associated with low hormone levels such as osteoporosis, decreased muscle mass, weight gain, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s to name a few.
Myth: BHRT isn’t “natural”.
Fact: BHRT have the exact same molecular structure as the hormones our bodies make naturally. Also, by allowing for a steady stream of the hormones via pellets you feel more like yourself than the highs and lows experienced with other forms of hormone replacement such as creams, patches, pills, and injections.
Myth: BHRT pellets are new.
Fact: BHRT pellets have been used safely and effectively since the 1930’s and offer more steady, consistent hormone levels than any other type of hormone replacement.
Myth: You can’t control the dose of hormones with BHRT pellets.
Fact: BHRT pellet dosing is precisely individualized based on your current health status and hormone levels. BHRT pellets also have the added advantage of giving a consistent dose of hormone replacement every day that can not be achieved with oral medications, creams, or injections.
Myth: You can’t use BHRT pellets if you have a history of blood clots or cancer.
Fact: Pellets do not increase the risk of blood clots because they do not have to be metabolized the same way oral medications do. Also, while there are exceptions, most patients with a history of cancer can be treated safely with BHRT pellets.
Myth: Getting BHRT pellets is difficult.
Fact: Pellets are placed in a quick in-office procedure and only need to be done every 3-4 months for women and every 5-6 months for men.
While BHRT offers many benefits, it is not a “one size fits all” type of treatment and does require evaluation with a licensed medical professional to determine if this is an appropriate treatment for you. Dr. Andrea Bickerton, MD of Refined Image offers complimentary consultations to determine if you would qualify to start BHRT and to help you create a personalized treatment plan that may also include addressing other areas that have been affected by hormone deficiency such as weight gain, skin changes/signs of aging, vaginal changes/painful intercourse/urinary incontinence, and vitamin deficiencies. Call Refined Image @ 239-302-3540 today to schedule your complimentary consultation today and be on your way to aging healthier and living happier.
Dr. Bickerton offers complimentary consultations for new patients to come and discuss the plan in more detail and will also be hosting an informational seminar on January 7th from 6PM – 8PM. To schedule your appointment, or to reserve your seat for the seminar please call the office at 239-302-3540 or go online to www.refinedimagenaples.com.