From the time we are born, our bodies are constantly adjusting hormone levels to accommodate for growth and physical changes. But as we age and enter the middle of our lives, it becomes more common to experience hormone imbalances that can negatively impact our physical and mental health. This is brought on not only by natural declines in hormones, but exposure to environmental toxins and other unnatural chemicals that may worsen these imbalances.
In order to manage the side effects of hormonal fluctuations, people have turned to hormone replacement therapy for years. This has historically relied on synthetic hormones that attempt to mimic the body’s natural hormones. While effective, synthetic options can be hard to properly formulate dosages for, and they often have side effects that can be worse than the original concern.
Through the rise of bioidentical hormone therapy, men and women alike have been able to benefit from hormone replacement in a more natural manner.
What is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy?
Like other forms of hormone therapy, the goal of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is to correct imbalances by replenishing hormone levels to the body. This allows the body to return to proper regulation of appetite, immune function, mood, libido, and other functions.
Bioidentical hormones are man made hormones derived from plant estrogens that are chemically identical to the hormones produced in human bodies. The most commonly replicated hormones are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, though others exist. Because of the identical properties to natural hormones, bioidentical hormones produce the same physiological response in the body, allowing for natural ratios to be restored with less side effects.
These hormones can be administered in a range of ways: injections, topical creams, pills and capsules, and implanted pellets.
What are BioTE Pellets?
Pellets are a unique form of administration that can be used in bioidentical hormone therapy. These pellets are composed of hormones and are extremely small- about the size of a grain of rice. Once the correct plan for hormonal treatment has been developed, these pellets can be placed in the gluteal area right below the skin where they are absorbed into the bloodstream. Because they are identical to human hormones, there is no remnant of the pellet and no foreign object, so the pellets are absorbed with no removal necessary. Once inserted, the pellet delivers a consistent dose of hormones to the patient.
Each pellet used in bioidentical hormone therapy is custom compounded to meet the patient’s unique physiology. Before insertion, a baseline evaluation is completed using state of the art diagnostic hormone testing that utilizes blood, saliva, and/or urine sampling to analyze existing hormone levels. This gives insight into imbalances and areas that may need replenishing, which is used to create a custom hormone treatment plan.
Depending upon the unique needs of each person, pellets may be inserted at designated intervals once the body begins to return to an imbalance. However, by helping the body return to a state of health, pellets encourage natural changes in hormones over time in addition to consistent therapy.
Who Can Benefit from BHRT?
Most people associate hormone replacement therapy with women who are experiencing menopause, and it is true that this is a common use case. However, both men and women seek hormone replacement every day for a variety of reasons.
For women, some indications that BHRT will be beneficial may include:
Moderate to severe hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause such as dryness, itching, burning, or discomfort with intercourse.
A need to prevent or treat bone loss and fractures due to osteoporosis.
Early menopause and estrogen deficiency due to a loss of ovary function or ovary removal prior to age 40.
In men, common reasons to seek BHRT may include:
A loss of sex drive.
Sudden onset of depression.
Prostate cancer or higher risk for prostate cancer.
Risks and Side Effects
Compared to the synthetic hormones that have been used traditionally, bioidentical hormones have a sizable reduction in side effects. As the body adjusts to recalibrated hormone levels, those undergoing BHRT may experience side effects such as acne, bloating, weight gain, fatigue, or mood swings. Because BioTE pellets deliver a consistent amount of hormones throughout the day, rather than relying on a regiment of injections and creams, these side effects are minimized. They are also temporary and improve as the body absorbs the hormones and returns to a neutral state.
Bioidentical hormone therapy is generally safe for most people, as it is simply a mimicking of the hormones your body naturally produces. However, you should always speak with your physician about any pre-existing conditions you have. Some people may be at an elevated risk for blood clots, stroke, heart disease, or breast cancer when using hormone therapy. Your individual risk will be calculated as a part of initial evaluations and your provider will help to determine what level of hormone replacement is safe for you.
Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Patients who undergo BHRT report positive outcomes as it pertains to both the symptoms they are looking to treat and overall health and satisfaction.
Positive outcomes reported by women include:
Weight management and weight loss as a result of metabolism improving when hormones are stable.
Healthier skin, hair, and nails, as well as improvements in their looks.
Decreased risk of diseases such as osteoporosis when estrogen is used.
Improved mental health and emotional outlook as therapy reduces depression, anxiety, and stress.
Increased sexual interest and desire, especially when there has been a decline in libido prior to beginning hormone replacement.
Decreased irritability, mood swing, and negative emotions.
For men, positive outcomes may include:
Improved mood and decreased levels of depression, frustration, and anxiety.
Increased sex drive and decreased erectile dysfunction when no other physical dysfunction is present.
Increased energy levels.
Bettered ability to focus attention on tasks.
Improved quality and quantity of sleep.
Stabilized moods and decreased irritability.
There is evidence that BHRT can help all patients with a reduction in risk for diabetes, tooth loss, and cataracts, as well as some use cases for cancer patients.
Is BioTE Pellet Therapy Right For Me?
Many people do not realize they are suffering from hormone imbalances. Common symptoms like exhaustion, stress, and sudden weight loss or gain are easily attributed to other factors and often brushed off. But if you are experiencing these problems, or others like lowered sex drive and signs of menopause, hormone therapy may be an option for you.
In the event that hormonal decline or imbalances are effecting your quality of life, bioidentical hormones delivered through BioTE pellets are a safe, natural, and effective way to return to health.