NASHVILLE HORMONE & INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE
A Breakthrough Menopause Treatment
The Center for Anti-Aging & Weight Loss is dedicated to helping women and men throughout the San Ramon Valley feel young even as their bodies change. In Danville, Oakland, San Francisco and the Bay Area, people are fighting back against the signs of menopause and andropause with a procedure called Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy.
Beginning in our 30s, hormone levels drop 10-14% each decade from the optimum levels of our youth. Lower energy, sleeplessness, lower libido, weight gain and a bevy of other complaints can accompany these declining levels. Conventional medicine considers these to be unavoidable signs of aging, but while menopause and andropause are a natural part of life, you can control how you go through these changes and how you feel before, during and after.
With BHRT, how you feel and function can be restored to a more youthful time, while also protecting against neurological, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal deterioration. Optimal hormone therapy is about more than vanity; it is about your health and overall quality of life.
What is Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) replenishes the exact hormones our bodies need to function properly using customized bioidentical hormones. The Center for Anti-Aging and Weight Loss practitioners are the most highly-trained in natural hormone therapy and incorporate integrative techniques to help those suffering from hormonal imbalances.
BHRT for Women
Causes of Hormonal Imbalance in Women
Hormone levels are a delicate balance, and that balance can be easily disrupted. Hormonal imbalances can be caused by stress, by hormonal disorders like diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), by birth control medications, or by natural changes in the body like pregnancy and menopause.
The symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women can indicate any one of the conditions of menopause and her ugly sisters (perimenopause and postmenopause), surgical menopause, thyroid health and adrenal fatigue. But regardless of condition, these conditions could mean that you have a hormone imbalance.
Signs and Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance in Women
- Hot Flashes and Night Sweat
- Weight Gain
- Mood Swings
- Low Libido
- Vaginal Dryness
- Foggy Memory
If you are experiencing these symptoms, getting tested by our highly trained bioidentical hormone doctors in order to discover the current levels of your hormones could be the beginning of a solution you have been seeking. Once we know your results, we can help you find that beautiful melody that is your optimal health. You do not have to live with perimenopause symptoms and menopausal symptoms! You can be healthier, happier, and free to enjoy your life by addressing the inconvenience and frustration of symptoms resulting from perimenopause, menopause, or any of the others. Women with balanced hormones integrated with proper nutrition and fitness can have a better quality of life as they age. The physicians at Center for Anti-Aging and Weight Loss can help balance your hormones safely and effectively using bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
BHRT for Men
In men, the symptoms of aging are often the result of a growth hormone and testosterone decline. After age 20, a man’s growth hormone falls about 14 percent every 10 years. By the time he reaches 40, he’s lost almost half the growth hormones he had at 20 years old and by the time he reaches 80, men are left with just 5 percent of their original growth hormones. These imbalances can happen at any age. Fortunately there are male treatment options available.
Some of the most common hormonal imbalances in men include:
- Andropause – Also known as the male menopause, andropause occurs as men grow older and their testosterone levels decline.
- Adrenal fatigue – If your stress levels remain high for a prolonged period of time, your adrenal glands can’t produce enough of the stress hormone cortisol.
- Hypothyroidism – When your thyroid gland is underactive, it’s not producing enough thyroid hormones.
- Hyperthyroidism – An overactive thyroid gland results in high levels of thyroid hormones and an increased metabolism.
Signs and Symptoms of Male Hormone Imbalance
Many of the symptoms of male hormonal imbalances come on very gradually. You may not notice them at first, but as more symptoms appear and become worse over time, they do become apparent. These symptoms of male hormone imbalance are some of the most common:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hair loss
- Low libido
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Night sweats or hot flashes
- Memory loss
- Mood swings or irritability
- Heart palpitations
- Muscle loss or weakness
- Sleep apnea or insomnia
- Depression or anxiety
- Constipation or increased bowel movements
- Increased body fat
- Gynecomastia (development of breasts in men)
People often mistake the symptoms of imbalanced hormones in men with signs of aging. The good news is that these hormone losses and imbalances are easily correctable. And through proper treatment, these symptoms will often disappear and bring about a healthier, younger you. The physicians at Center for Anti-Aging and Weight Loss can help balance your hormones safely and effectively using bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
What are Bio-Identical hormones?
Bio-Identical hormones are an exact structural replica of the hormones that are naturally produced by the body. The difference between Bio-Identical hormones and synthetic hormones is that, although both are created in labs, synthetic hormones are not identical to the hormones naturally created in your body while Bio-Identical hormones match human hormones molecule by molecule.
Depending on what your symptoms are and which hormone(s) your body needs, your practitioner at The Center for Anti-Aging & Weight Loss may choose to prescribe Bio-Identical hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid hormones, DHEA, melatonin, or others as needed.
Who Needs Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)?
Bio-Identical hormone replacement therapy benefits men and women of various ages suffering from hormonal imbalances. Each treatment plan is uniquely tailored to the individual. To select the right therapy, you must understand all the available options for therapy and exactly how Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy (BHRT) can enhance your life and wellbeing.
How Do You Know if Your Hormone Levels are Unbalanced?
If you are considering Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), you may be experiencing symptoms that may be keeping you from feeling like yourself. Those symptoms may be the earliest signs of aging, such as foggy thinking, sleeplessness, muscle loss, or low energy. Furthermore, conditions of aging like menopause in women can cause hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain while even post-menopausal women experience symptoms including but not limited to hair loss and low libido. Aging also has an effect on men known as andropause, which is caused by fluctuation of testosterone levels.
Human hormones play a significant role in maintaining proper function of the body. Whatever the reason you are seeking ways to feel better, the first step in determining if your symptoms are the result of a hormonal imbalance and that you are a candidate for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, is comprehensive lab testing.
Lab testing assesses the current status of your natural hormones. Your physician at Center for Anti-Aging & Weight Loss will use the results of this lab testing along with your medical history and current symptoms to make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. Hormonal imbalances may be treated with bio-identical hormones.
What is the difference between Bio-Identical and synthetic hormones?
The difference between Bio-Identical hormones and synthetic hormones is dual fold. Unlike Bio-Identical hormones, synthetic, or conventional, hormones may be patented by pharmaceutical companies; therefore dosage varies only by milligrams dictated by your doctor, while the molecular structure of the prescribed hormone is the same for every single person on that drug. Additionally, synthetic hormones are NOT created structurally the same as human endogenous hormones, which often leads uncomfortable side effects. While synthetic hormones can mimic the effects of endogenous hormones on certain biological pathways, they rarely offer the same effectiveness at a deeper, molecular level.
Bio-Identical hormones mimic the affinity of human endogenous hormones; therefore they are effective on more biological pathways, at all levels. Because Bio-Identical hormones are an exact structural replica of endogenous hormones, side effects are rarely observed, and in the event you do experience side effects, talk with your doctor—the dosage may simply need to be adjusted. The added benefit of Bio-Identical hormones is that each dose is tailored specifically for your needs, not simply what doses the pharmaceutical company offers (as is the case with synthetic hormones.)
Why do women need hormones before, during and after menopause?
Hormones affect a multitude of pathways in the body. Women may experience fluctuations in their hormone levels throughout the lifespan. Imbalances can occur due lifestyle and environmental factors, as well as expected changes, such as onset of menses, pregnancy, childbirth, perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. Imbalances of hormones, including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone can lead to many uncomfortable experiences, like night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, depression, and anxiety. The most common decline seen in menopausal and post-menopausal women is estrogen. When estrogen levels become unbalanced, women may experience symptoms such as low libido and bone loss. The bone loss that women experience due to declining estrogen levels can lead to osteoporosis and increase the likelihood of bone fractures. Adjustments to a woman’s hormone levels through Bio-Identical hormone therapy and lifestyle changes can reduce or eliminate these discomforts and improve overall health and well-being.
Why do men need testosterone replacement?
As men age, production of the hormone testosterone begins to decline and many men experience symptoms of low testosterone. Testosterone is the hormone that is responsible for maintaining mental focus, energy, metabolism, muscle mass, fat levels, and sex drive. By balancing a man’s hormones with Bio-Identical hormone therapy, men can restore vitality and reduce the symptoms of low testosterone (also known as andropause).
Why don't traditional doctors prescribe Bio-Identical hormones?
Traditional doctors do not usually have the time or the resources to seek expertise in Bio-Identical hormones. The Center for Anti-Aging and Weight Loss physicians undergo extensive training in Bio-Identical hormone therapy and have specialized knowledge of anti-aging medicine.
Are Hormones Affecting Your Sex Drive?
Are hormones affecting your sex drive? The answer is likely a resounding yes. Regardless if you are enjoying a healthy sex drive, a high sex drive, or agonizing over a low sex drive, in most cases, your hormones are in control. For some patients, emotional and psychological factors play a role in sexual desire. For both men and women, sex drive that has diminished with age, menopause, andropause, or pregnancy is likely linked to a hormonal issue. Approximately 70 percent of low libido issues are related to a hormonal imbalance. A low libido due to hormonal imbalance does not mean that you are helpless. In fact, you can take an active role in resetting your hormones to reclaim your sex drive.
What are the side effects associated with Bio-Identical hormones?
Bio-Identical hormone therapy has a few potential side effects which are classically
linked to dosage — as your hormone levels improve, your dosage may need to be adjusted. If you notice side effects, contact your physician.
- Men and women have reported increased aggressiveness, acne or irritability during the initial phases of testosterone hormone therapy, but these issues are generally resolved as levels become balanced.
- Some women have reported breast tenderness, spotting, cramping, and bloating. These symptoms may be experienced initially with estrogen hormone treatment, but resolve as hormone levels become balanced.
- Occasionally, hormone therapy patients will complain of itching or redness at the injection or insertion site, these symptoms diminish as the body adjusts to treatment.