Frequently Asked Questions
If I'm not using BHRT, do physicians still offer nutritional guidance
Yes, there are many patients that for one reason or another do not participate in bioidentical hormone therapy, but want guidance and accountability to achieve or sustain optimal health through regular lab testing, detoxification, supplements, nutrition and fitness programs from a board-certified MD or DO.
Are bioidentical hormones safe for patients with blood mutations?
Patients with these conditions may benefit greatly from bioidentical hormone therapy; however, certain hormones may or may not be safe. Patients with these conditions will require consultation with their doctor before he/she can determine if BHRT is safe for their specific condition.
If I have a family history of cancer, should I avoid bioidential hormones?
Not necessarily. It is advisable and strongly encouraged that individuals who have a family history of cancer be evaluated by a physician. We can analyze and interpret your hormone levels to better determine cancer risk and strategically devise a plan to assist in disease prevention through bioidentical hormone therapy, nutrition and fitness.
How long after being cancer free can I use bioidentical hormones?
This question is best answered by the doctor you are seeking to work with. Each doctor has a preference when handling cancer patients, current or in remission. Cancer patients may use bioidentical hormones, however, the use of certain hormones will not be ideal for cancer patients; therefore the doctor needs to be made aware of their condition before he or she becomes a patient.
Do bioidentical hormones cause breast cancer?
No, bioidentical hormones do not cause cancer. This false impression began in 1991, when the very controversial Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) was halted due to increased incidence of chronic disease among subjects. This study used the synthetic hormone, Prempro, and subjects of the study were an average age of 63 years. Meta-analyses following this study, including some as recent as November 2011, have shown that most of the subjects had pre-existing conditions that lead to the development of disease during the study and that hormones actually reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases in women when therapy is begun prior to age 59.
What are the ingredients of bioidentical hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are created at FDA-approved laboratories from plants, such as soy and yam to be structurally identical to the hormones in the human body. The resulting substance is in powder form and is shipped to the compounding pharmacy to be made into the various prescription forms of bioidentical hormones that are available – creams, pills, pellets, etc. Ingredients may vary depending upon prescription; however, the ingredients of the hormones themselves are pure estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, etc., derived from plant molecules. Actual human hormones cannot be used for several reasons - first, who would the donors be? And second, acceptance by the immune system would be an issue, similar to the challenges associated with organ transplants. Derivation from plants is the most ideal source of hormones, particularly in regards to structure, safety, availability and universal compatibility.
How will bioidentical hormones help me?
Women suffering from menopause symptoms that are looking to put an end to hot flashes, night sweats, trouble sleeping, memory loss, mood swings, weight gain, and low libido are turning to BioMetrix to replace their natural hormones. These certified anti-aging physicians design individualized programs specifically for each woman suffering from symptoms of menopause, perimenopause, and severe PMS.
Men experiencing andropause (male menopause) who want to get a grip on weight gain, lost libido, fatigue, stress, energy, muscle mass, and body fat are also finding solutions through BioMetrix natural hormone therapy programs. For men, andropause happens gradually and when diagnosed, the symptoms are successfully treated using bioidentical hormone therapy.
What can I expect once I've become a patient?
Upon becoming a patient, BioMetrix will give you a tour of our facility, perform the necessary lab work needed, help you fill out the Questionnaire, take an Ultrasound body scan and design a individual wellness plan to get you started on the new you!
Why do women need hormones before, during, and after menopause?
No matter what your age, if your female hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) are unbalanced, you may suffer ill effects such as hot flashes, night sweats, trouble sleeping, mood swings, depression, anxiety, memory loss, vaginal dryness, fatigue, loss of your sex drive and even weight gain. Women with balanced hormones integrated with proper nutrition and fitness can have a better quality of life as they age.
When should I consider bioidentical hormone therapy?
In general, your body's natural hormones begin to decline after your mid-20s and hormone imbalance symptoms are frequently present by your mid-30s. Men and women often start replacing hormones between the age of 35 and 40. If you are experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance, it is best not to wait.
Why do men need testosterone replacement?
As men age, production of the hormone testosterone begins to decline and they 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 bioidentical hormone therapy, men can restore their vitality and reduce the symptoms of andropause.
How long until I see results using bioidentical hormones?
While it varies with each person, and depends on which hormone therapy you are using, you can expect to see results within three to six months. This amount of time is needed to allow for the proper balancing of your hormones.
What is the best age to consider bioidentical hormone therapy?
At BioMetrix, we believe that most people should have their hormones checked by the age of 40 or earlier if they are experiencing symptoms of menopause or andropause. The way to prevent illness and to optimize one's health is to take an active role in addressing health care risks before they become a problem. Getting tested when you still feel good gives you a benchmark for later comparison when the inevitable happens and your hormones begin to decline.
Will hormone therapy help with stress?
High stress levels are very common in individuals with unbalanced hormones. Regulating hormones with bioidentical hormone therapy will certainly help to decrease stress levels and increase general feelings of well-being. When your body undergoes chronic stress, the over production of the hormone cortisol, produced by the adrenal glands, gradually wears the body down. Chronic stress can have a wide range of effects on your overall health. Stress is linked to high blood pressure, arrhythmia, blood clots and atherosclerosis. Stress has also been found to worsen pre-existing symptoms, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), erectile dysfunction, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). While stress reduction techniques may be helpful in on the short term, the long term effects of chronic stress usually require medical intervention.
My sex drive is low, could it be my hormones?
Yes. A deficiency of testosterone, estrogen, or other types of hormonal imbalance can cause a low libido.
Will you prescribe me vitamins and supplements?
If our staff finds that your overall health and hormonal balance could be improved through vitamins and supplements, they will prescribe them to you. BioMetrix will recommend only pharmaceutical grade vitamins and supplements.
What are synthetic hormones?
Synthetic hormones are derived from plant progesterone and animal estrogens, but are not identical to the hormones your body uses (generally an extra covalent bond or molecule is added so that it can be patented). Synthetic hormones act as toxins because their chemical makeup cannot be metabolized properly.
BioMetrix only uses natural bioidentical hormones. Unlike synthetic hormones, bioidentical hormones or natural hormones are replicas of the body's own natural hormones. Bioidentical hormones are made from soy, yams and other plant extracts, which are changed in a lab to be biologically identical to the same hormones your body makes.
Will my weight change from bioidentical hormone therapy?
Hormones are like stoplights. When they are balanced the light is green and you will get the optimum results from your nutrition and fitness programs. When they are imbalanced the light is red making it, in many cases, difficult to lose and easy to gain weight.
Hormones are chemical messengers that cause the body to make changes affecting weight gain or weight loss. Changes in hormone levels are also dependent on the lifestyle we lead and can affect our mood, metabolism, and energy levels.
Will you take over as my doctor?
Although your BioMetrix is happy to communicate with your current physician, it's encouraged that you to continue your usual visits with him or her.
Do I need to take these hormones forever?
Not necessarily, it depends on how well your body responds to bioidentical hormone therapy. Also important, it's how well you manage your diet, sleep patterns, exercise, and stress levels that will assist you in regaining hormonal balance.
Some patients can wean off various hormones once they become balanced and have fewer symptoms of menopause or andropause. There are also patients who can wean off adrenal and thyroid support once their adrenals or thyroid glands have healed. There is no single answer for everyone, it depends on your individual hormone stability and how well your diet and lifestyle will support everything else. In the worst-case scenario, if you decided to stop bioidentical hormone therapy, your body would return to the state it was in before initiating your program.
My doctor has prescribed birth control pills for me, are they considered hormone therapy?
Yes, birth control pills are a type of hormone therapy but are different from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Birth control pill hormones are synthetic. Synthetic hormones have differences in their chemical structure that are not a replica of the body's natural hormones.
Why don't traditional doctors prescribe bioidentical hormones?
Traditional doctors do not usually have the time or the resources to seek expertise in bioidentical hormones. Our BioMetrix Staff undergo extensive training in bioidentical hormone therapy and have specialized knowledge of anti-aging medicine.
Do I need a prescription for bioidentical hormone therapy?
Yes. Bioidentical hormones are compounded prescription drugs that are produced in a specialized pharmacy. Each prescription is hand made from the highest quality ingredients and made by pharmacists that specialize in formulating drugs. Since every patient is unique, the strength or the dosage form needs to be specially made to fit the individual.
What is a compounding pharmacy?
A compounding pharmacy is a specialized pharmacy that hand makes individualized bioidentical hormones prescriptions. The quality of the ingredients used, the expertise of the pharmacist and the quality of customer service are all critical decisions on what pharmacy you want to use.
What are the side effects associated with bioidentical hormones?
Because bioidentical hormones have the same molecular structure of the hormones made naturally by your body, there are relatively few side effects. Side effects occur mainly when the dosage of hormone is too high for the individual. BioMetrix staff will monitor and evaluate each patient consistently to assure balanced and proper dosing.
I heard that estrogen might increase my risk for a heart attack or breast cancer. Is this true?
No, that is not true. Not all estrogens are created equal. Fears of increased risks of heart disease and breast cancer with estrogen therapy have mainly come from the WHI study that was stopped prematurely in the summer of 1992 because of an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease that was seen in women taking Prempro. This study actually highlights the risks of estrogen therapy with non-bioidentical (synthetic) hormones, which is NOT the type used by BioMetrix.
Are bioidentical hormones approved and regulated by the FDA?
The ingredients in bioidentical hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are approved by the FDA. However, state and local pharmacy boards have jurisdiction over them, not the FDA. It is important to know you are using the highest quality compounding pharmacy and that they follow the most stringent guidelines and have excellent quality assurance.
Will this treatment interfere with my currently prescribed medications?
Typically, there answer is no. The only time when medications will interfere with bioidentical hormones (and vice-versa) is when the medications you're taking contain hormones, like birth control and certain acne medications. In many cases, certain medications are no longer needed, once hormone levels are restored to a healthy balance. This generally happens because balancing hormones improves your overall health. It's important to talk with your doctor about what medications and supplements you're currently taking to know for sure if the interaction will have any adverse effects.
Can BioMetrix physicians use lab work I have already had done?
You may bring along any lab work, bone density, mammograms, PAP smears, or other diagnostic tests you have had done in the past year. Our Staff will not need the actual x-rays or ultrasounds, only the report. However, you will need to do a complete female or male hormone panel, which includes both blood and saliva tests. This comprehensive diagnostic panel will help your physician determine exactly where your hormone levels stand today, so that they customize a wellness regimen that's tailored meet your individual needs.