Are Bioidentical Hormones Safe
The bioidentical hormones that have been approved by the FDA have been tested for safety. They have passed the FDAs very strict standards and have been shown to be safe for people to use. The compounded hormones have not gone through the FDAs testing. As yet, little research has been done on them. They have not been proven to be safe or unsafe. Many major medical groups do not support using them because not enough is known about their safety and long-term side effects.
What Symptoms Are Treated By Biobalance Health Testosterone Pellets
Testosterone pellets treat the symptoms of low libido, anorgasmia, depression, fatigue, muscle mass loss, weight gain, belly fat accumulation, immune system abnormality, autoimmune diseases, dry eyes, mental decline, loss of exercise stamina, loss of motivation, and many other symptoms of testosterone deficiency.
What You Need To Know About Hormone Pellets And Weight Loss
If youre a woman over 40, youre probably all too familiar with the middle-age spread those excess pounds that seem to show up overnight and wont go away.
This weight gain is one symptom of hormonal imbalances, but it doesnt stop there. If youre experiencing this issue, you may also suffer from fatigue, irritability, hot flashes, depression, anxiety, insomnia, memory issues, low libido, and more.
Luckily, you dont have to suffer in silence! Many women are benefitting from the link between hormone pellets and weight loss. Even better, theyre finding that this treatment combats their other symptoms as well.
Heres what you need to know so that you and your doctor can decide whether this treatment is right for you.
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How Soon Will I Start Seeing Results
Besides the potential side effects, your body will probably change physically, mentally, emotionally, and sexually when starting BHRT. You may even feel more confident along the way! While the results will differ from person to person, heres what you can expect from your hormone replacement therapy.
Depending on which hormone you take and your dosage, you can expect to start noticing changes within the first couple weeks or months. For some patients on bioidentical progesterone or estrogen treatments, results can be noticed in as little as 2 weeks.
Youll likely see relief in frustrating symptoms of menopause, but it may take longer than youd like. Women have reported improved sleep, less joint pain, better mood, and recovered concentration. Additionally, they have more energy, fewer hot flashes, and reversal in the changes around their vagina related to dryness and discomfort during sex.
For men, there is much more extensive research available on testosterone therapys effectiveness and when you can start to see results. Check out the chart below for an approximate result timeline.
Testosterone Treatments Timeline For Men:
Symptoms will be person-specific and can vary greatly. How you experience the treatment may be different than anyone else you talk to. Your doctor will be able to tell you whats in the realm of normal and whether or not you need to make changes or be concerned.
Types Of Hormone Replacement Therapy
There are several types of hormone replacement therapies available:
Estrogen-only hormone replacement therapy includes a synthetic form of estrogen. This form can increase your risk of getting endometrial cancer if you still have a uterus. Healthcare providers dont recommend using estrogen-only HRT if you have any of the following medical conditions:
- Heart attack
Progestin-only hormone replacement therapy contains a synthetic form of progesterone. Your doctor may prescribe both estrogen-only and progestin-only HRT to decrease your risk of endometrial cancer. This form of HRT causes many of the same side effects as estrogen-only medication.
Estrogen and progestin combination
This form of hormone replacement therapy provides you with synthetic estrogen and progesterone in one dose. It can be a good option for individuals who prefer to take their HRT all at once. Theres no estrogen or progestin HRT that leads to weight loss or weight gain.
Does Insurance Cover Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
In general, insurance coverage for bioidentical hormone therapy is not widespread, because physicians who provide this service do not participate in insurance networks to allow the time needed for a thorough assessment.
Insurance companies will be more likely to provide BHRT coverage if the patient is first evaluated by their private physician or gynecologist prior to the time of treatment. Most insurance companies will not fully cover BHRT offered through pharmacies or other over-the-counter medications.
Its important to speak to your individual insurance company and carrier for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
A Difference You Can Feel
BHRT can have a major impact on how you feel and function. Most men and women notice not only a significant improvement in energy and mood but also an increase in lean body mass and reduction in fat, for a healthier body composition. They find that with proper diet and exercise, they have a much easier time losing weight and keeping it off.
Following pellet therapy, patients typically feel a difference within a few days to a few weeks. Peak absorption occurs within 4-5 weeks. After six weeks, we may reassess your hormone levels and symptoms to ensure the dosage is right. Optimization can sometimes take up to six months to get the hormone levels just right for each individual. Most women receive a new pellet every 3-4 months, while most men typically receive a new pellet every 4-5 months.
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The Link Between Bioidentical Hormone Therapy And Weight Loss
As a disclaimer, bioidentical hormone therapy is not a weight loss plan. The point of this article is to help readers understand what it is, how its done, and what the impact is on your body. One of those impacts, particularly on a menopausal womans body, is that they tend to lose a great deal of weight.
Hormone therapy, in this instance, is meant to help the levels of estrogen and progesterone in a womans body while she goes through menopause. This type of therapy does come with inherent risks, although the weight loss is proven to be a typical result.
There are several potential side effects to hormone therapy of any kind:
- Patients tend to experience grogginess and a general lack of energy.
- Hair loss is not uncommon among hormone replacement therapy patients.
- Even those that are not in menopause might experience many similar symptoms as those that are.
- Muscle and bone changes may occur, which can cause some temporary pain in your joints.
- Certain types of hormones can decrease the overall density of your bones.
- Hormone therapy can cause headaches.
- You may experience some mood swings and depression.
- Blood clots are another possible side effect.
These are just a few examples of the many possible side effects. The point of this is not necessarily to scare you away from bioidentical hormone therapy but to help you make a fully informed decision.
Progesterone And Insulin Resistance
Both too much and too little progesterone can impair your body’s blood sugar regulation.
During a healthy pregnancy, progesterone and other hormone changes decrease the mother’s sensitivity to insulin. This insulin resistance helps elevate blood sugar levels and ensures that your body delivers enough nutrients to the growing fetus.
Without a fetus to feed, high progesterone can also cause hyperinsulinemia, meaning it increases the amount of insulin present in the blood. Too much insulin could cause your body to convert even more blood sugar for storage as fat. This is why you may have more food cravings, feel more hungry, and have a more difficult time losing weight during the luteal phase of your cycle when progesterone is highest.
However, low progesterone can also mess with your insulin response, another reason to work closely with a doctor to confirm any hormonal hunches. Low progesterone is linked to PCOS, which is associated with insulin resistance. Excess estrogen can lead to insulin resistance as well!
PCOS is complex, but it is important to clarify that weight loss won’t cure PCOS and your weight gain didn’t cause it. It’s important to monitor weight to understand the hormonal and metabolic influence, but too often doctors hyperfocus on weight and often shame women about it. PCOS causes weight gain. Addressing the factors of PCOS is what is important.
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Increased Risk Of Gallbladder Disease
Gallbladder disease is a range of conditions that adversely affect the gallbladder and its functions. These conditions include gallbladder inflammation, gallstones, bile duct blockage, and gallbladder infection. The gallbladder is responsible for storing the bile the liver produces before it moves into the small intestine to aid in digestion. Bile is released from the gallbladder into the duodenum through the sphincter of Oddi. However, when something is causing constriction of this sphincter, the bile will stay in the gallbladder too long. This mechanism is the cause of gallstone development. Progesterone is a hormone that causes the sphincter of Oddi to relax, allowing for the normal flow of bile into the duodenum. The use of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can cause an individual to have an increased risk of gallbladder disease. This increased risk occurs because abnormally high levels of hormones such as testosterone and estrogen can cause progesterone levels to drop. This decrease can cause constriction of the sphincter of Oddi. Subsequently, bile is stored in the gallbladder for extended periods, resulting in the formation of gallstones.
Get more information on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy side effects and risks now.
Will I Gain Weight From Bhrt
There is no evidence supporting the claim that BHRT causes added weight gain. So dont worry! Your Bio-Identical Hormone Treatments wont affect your waistline or your belly.
If youre using BHRT for relief from menopause, you should know that menopause itself can cause weight gainregardless of whether you use BHRT to manage those symptoms. BHRT might also cause water retention, which can cause your weight to appear higher.
Regular exercise and a healthy diet can combat any weight gain. If youre worried about your treatments affecting your figure, be sure to follow an active lifestyle for best results.
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The First 3 Months: Potential Side Effects
Every person is unique, so your experience with hormone replacement therapy may be different from someone elses. For instance, some individuals wont experience any side effects from BHRT. Others, on the other hand, may have unexpected side effects the first few weeks.
When you first start hormone replacement therapy, you might experience a few side effects as your body adjusts to the hormone fluctuations. Side effects may vary by person, dose, method, and type of hormone taken. Your age also plays a role in the side effects you may experience.
However, here are some common side effects of oestrogen and/or progestogen:
Higher risks may result, especially depending on the balance of your hormones. Do your research and talk to your doctor about the best preventative methods.
Its always recommended that you talk with your doctor about your risk factors and personal circumstances involved and keep seeing them every 3-6 months during treatment.
Can You Gain Weight From Bioidentical Hormones
Bioidentical hormones have no direct effect on weight. They do not cause either weight gain or weight loss, but often people feel much better, which makes their weight loss regimen easier to follow and thus, more effective.
Regulated estrogen and testosterone levels that are a result of BHRT treatments have been proven to have numerous effects on the body including:
- Building and maintaining lean muscle mass
- Reducing fat storage
- Maintaining healthy bone density
- Regulating energy
When your body is deprived of a healthy amount of hormones found in younger body stages, fatigue increases that can potentially lead to weight gain. While BHRT treatment has no direct effect on weight gain and loss, it does serve as a prominent correlation between an individual feeling energetic or lethargic.
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Side Effects And Risks Of Bhrt
While the FDA has approved some preparations of bioidentical estradiol and progesterone, it hasnt approved any compounded bioidentical hormones. There are claims that bioidentical hormones are safer and more effective than traditional HRT because theyre identical in structure to those produced in the body. But these claims have not been confirmed by large-scale, reputable studies. The FDA urges caution when using compounded products.
Research has shown that hormone replacement therapy in general may increase the risk for certain conditions and diseases including:
Talk to your doctor about which form may be best for you and your lifestyle. Youll likely need to be monitored regularly once you begin BHRT to evaluate your bodys response. However, the FDA cautions against monitoring hormone levels via blood and saliva tests. These only tell you your hormone levels at a moment in time and can vary widely throughout the day.
The FDA recommends that if you do choose any form of hormone therapy that you use the lowest dose that produces results. The FDA also says you should use it for the shortest length of time possible.
What Causes Weight Gain During Menopause
Weight gain during menopause can be caused by a number of different factors including hormonal changes and is commonly felt most keenly around the stomach area. However, it is important to look at the full picture and take a holistic approach when determining the cause of weight gain during menopause, as lifestyle, mental health and genetic factors could all play a role.
As you get older your metabolism slows down and your body burns calories at a slower rate. If therefore, you continue to eat in the same way as you always have done but dont increase the exercise you do, you are likely to experience weight gain during menopause.
Similarly, many people reduce the amount of exercise they do as they get older, which leads to muscle breakdown and increases fat. Unhealthy eating continues to be a big risk factor for gaining weight during menopause, particularly when combined with a slower metabolism.
Looking at your family history can also be an indicator of potential weight issues during menopause, as a genetic predisposition to weight gain at this time is common.
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Development Of Blood Clots
Blood clots are the clumps of blood the body forms in response to a blood vessel tear. The function of a blood clot is to plug the injured blood vessel so it stops bleeding. There are some diseases, types of therapy, and medications that can increase an individual’s risk of the inappropriate development of blood clots. These blood clots form when blood stops moving, or when it slows down in the blood vessels. Anything that stops the proper movement of blood through the vessels can increase an individual’s risk of developing a blood clot. Blood clots are concerning because they can break off and flow freely throughout the bloodstream. When blood clots become lodged in blood vessels that supply the heart, brain, or lungs, life-threatening medical conditions can occur. A blood clot that becomes lodged in vessels that supply the heart with oxygenated blood can result in cardiac arrest, and a blood clot that gets stuck in the brain’s blood vessels can result in a stroke. While this type of therapy alone increases the risk of blood clots by a small amount, an individual’s risk can considerably increase when bioidentical hormone therapy is combined with other blood clot risk factors, which include obesity, advanced age, smoking, bed rest, heart failure, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Discover more information about the side effects and risks of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy now.
The Case For Ongoing Treatment
One study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that in post-menopausal women estrogen supplements resulted in:
- Lower amounts of visceral belly fat
- A healthier body-mass index , and
- Increased lean body mass
Another similar study of the impacts of testosterone on men found that while the hormones clearly improved their metabolism and body fat metrics, when they stopped the therapy their bodies returned to the pre-treatment condition. Resuming therapy again resolved these issues and put them back on the track to optimal health.
This makes it clear that ongoing therapy is one of the most important keys to maintaining positive results.
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Learn More About Hormone Pellets And Weight Loss Today
Now that you understand the connection between hormone pellets and weight loss, you may want to know whether this treatment is right for you. We can help!
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
ReVital gives you the balance you need to get back to you!
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Pattys First Office Visit
On Pattys first visit I spent an hour listening to her history and symptoms. I told her that her symptoms were not uncommon, and that she should not despair because I had treated thousands of women with similar stories over my 30 years as a physician.
As a Naturopathic Physician, I look at the whole person and actually want to hear all of the patients symptoms. Symptoms are the way the body speaks to us. Every symptom is like a piece of a 1000 piece puzzle. Each one helps me see the whole picture more clearly so that I can determine what hormones, glands and body systems are out of balance. Once I see the whole picture I can order the appropriate tests and prescribe the appropriate combination of nutritional building blocks and Bio-Identical Hormones to restore optimum metabolic function and a vibrant sense of health and well-being.
Note: Patty is a typical example of menopausal hormone imbalance. The good news is that we can test her hormone levels individually and create a specific and individualized plan just for her that will get her hormones back in balance so that she doesnt have to suffer. Correcting her hormone balance now will stop the weight gain, correct the erratic emotions and uncomfortable physical symptoms of menopause, including the hot flashes, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse and low sex drive. For a more detailed description of each hormone and hormone testing, see my article entitled Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your life.