“Is it really that hormones decrease with age…. Or is it that you age as your hormones decrease? You get to decide!” ~Dr. Lisbeth Roy
When our hormonal balance is on point, we feel full of life, jumping out of bed in the morning before the alarm goes off, embracing the light that shines through the window, and just feeling GREAT. A week later in your cycle, or during a perimenopausal phase and…well-the opposite happens. The alarm goes off, you don’t hear it, you’re out of energy already & that rejuvenating morning workout you’d planned gets moved back to some other distant date in the future. We’ve all been there, right? While there’s a lot we can do with a great diet, exercise, sleep & many other positive lifestyle choices, sometimes those hormonal shifts – during menopause, for example – can simply become too hard to manage. That’s where BHRT – Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy – comes in.
Let’s face it, sometimes our hormones can drive us crazy.
But the great news is that the Doctors Studio has an amazing natural intervention – Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy – that can offer you fast, convenient, & potentially life-changing results. First, let’s take a deep dive into the hormonal culprits that so often drive us to distraction and get in the way of us living a chilled-out, enjoyable life! Then we will walk you through exactly how the Doctors Studio can help you eradicate those hormonal issues with BHRT, setting you back on the path to optimized health & wellness.
The Hormones: Estrogen, Progesterone & Testosterone
During menstruation, pregnancy & menopause, estrogen & progesterone (with a little help from testosterone) are the main female sex hormones responsible for often unexpected shifts in mood, weight, water retention, skin quality, energy levels, memory & stress. Estrogen is produced mainly in the ovaries (with small amounts manufactured by the adrenal glands), powers up in puberty, plays a vital role in pregnancy & is responsible for some of the side-effects of menstruation we experience monthly when estrogen levels are lowest (NB. some women also experience symptoms mid-cycle, when estrogen levels are highest).
It also plays a majorly important role in bone health, brain health, cholesterol, heart, skin & cellular health (which is one reason why osteopenia risk increases post-menopause). This major drop in estrogen around menopause can cause night sweats to occur alongside embarrassing, inconvenient hot flushes. Estrogens unwanted side-effects can transition from day to night, with broken, substandard sleep and a loss of libido often occurring, too. Sometimes the symptoms can feel never-ending!
For some women, over-production of estrogen can pose a problem, with weight gain, heavy menstrual bleeding, worsening of PMS symptoms, serious fatigue, loss of libido, fibrocystic breasts (non-cancerous lumps on the breasts), uterine fibroids (non-cancerous tumors in the uterus), anxiety, stress & depression all side-effects of this hormonal imbalance. In either case – elevated or depressed estrogen levels – your quality of life can be seriously impacted, with once-beloved hobbies falling by the wayside alongside the loss of a carefree, enjoyable, energy-packed life.
Progesterone is also a major contributor to hormonal swings.
The asteroid hormone that women produce post-ovulation, progesterone acts to prepare the endometrium (lining of the uterus) for a possible pregnancy, encouraging the lining of the uterus to accept a fertilized egg. In the absence of pregnancy, the corpus luteum (a progesterone-secreting endocrine tissue that forms immediately after ovulation) immediately breaks down, causing progesterone levels to drop, & leading to menstruation. If pregnant, the role of progesterone is to continue to stimulate endometrial blood vessels to nourish & support the fetus. Low progesterone levels can lead to abnormal periods and fertility issues, a higher risk of miscarriage & premature birth, abnormal uterine bleeding, irregular periods, abdominal pain in pregnancy, and a subsequent higher level of estrogen in the body which can cause a loss of libido, weight gain, & gallbladder problems.
Many of us equate testosterone with men but it is essential (albeit in much lower amounts) in women, too! It plays a positive supporting role in sex drive, emotional mood, bone density, and muscle strength, although too high a level can pre-empt irregular periods, an increase in body hair, male-pattern style baldness, greater muscularity, acne, and a deeper voice. It can impact fertility levels with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) a common related condition that can cause obesity & fat gain, increase in cholesterol, carbohydrate intolerance, insulin resistance, elevated triglycerides, acne, hair loss & high blood pressure. Thyroid hormone imbalance is also a target of BHRT therapy; an imbalance in thyroid hormones can lead to hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) which is especially common in women over the age of 60 and can contribute to heart disease, joint & muscle pain & swelling, obesity fatigue, constipation, elevated cholesterol levels, puffiness in your face, depression, and impaired memory.
One of the most common signs of hormonal imbalances in women (that we can treat with BHRT) is the hot flush. Hot flushes feel like being hit with a sudden intense hot feeling that rushes into your face, neck & upper body, often preceded by a rapid heartbeat, sweating, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, weakness, or a feeling of suffocation. It can leave you sweating, red-faced, bewildered, and sometimes feeling uncomfortably clammy and cold (when estrogen gets too low, the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates temperature control, can misfire, making you feel too hot or too cold). Simple, enjoyable social events such as meeting friends for coffee can suddenly feel embarrassing & uncomfortable, with hobbies impacted, and night sweats robbing you of a good nights’ sleep.
On to the GOOD News!
Hot flushes can simply be a periodic, ‘normal’ side effect of hormonal fluctuations but when they become regular and powerful enough to impact your life, that’s where we can use BHRT to help. Dr. Roy and the Doctors Studio Team can offer you unique interventions, from personalized, at-home hormone therapies to structured BHRT and lifestyle recommendation plans that will restore you to an optimized hormonal balance that will enable you to enjoy and love life again!
Let us help you sail through these major hormonal shifts to reclaim your life once again, bring back some stability & predictability to life, kick out the annoying symptoms that impact your sleep, emotional health, physique, and all-round aesthetic, cognitive, & physical performance, & generally get you back to feeling like YOU again! The amazing thing about BHRT is that it can also be used to treat insulin resistance, adrenal disorders, thyroid disorders, fibromyalgia & osteoporosis.
The Hormone Solution: BHRT (Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy)
Derived from plant estrogens (such as soy and yam), BHRT products are chemically identical to those produced by the human body & have little to no side effects. While BHRT products come in a range of formats (gels, patches, injections, pills, pellets, or creams), we generally rely on hormone pellets due to the high success rate, long-lasting effects, natural physiologic secretion that mimics the way that your body produces its own hormones, & the major convenience-factor that pellets provide.
So What are Bioidentical Hormones, Exactly?
Bioidentical hormones are compounded in a pharmacy using natural bio-ingredients and can be tailored to the exact dosage requirements of each patient.
We particularly value the use of Pellet Therapy which we feel offers amazing results.
BHRT Hormone Pellet Therapy
Pellet therapy offers excellent results and has become more and more popular amongst women (and men!) due to its convenience of application and effective dosing. We insert pellet under the skin using a minor in-office procedure. Hormones delivered in the pellets (bioidentical testosterone and estradiol, an estrogen steroid hormone) are around the size of a grain of rice, last around 3-4 months, and dissolve completely over that time, at which point a new pellet is implanted. Pellet therapy is our favored method because it offers the most physiologic option (that is, it mimics the natural physiological release & use of hormones in a healthy body), using an ‘on-demand and released as needed’ secretion model.
Advantages of Natural Pellet Therapy:
The main advantages of pellet therapy are that it is:
- Virtually Painless
- Not synthetic – it is derived from natural plant sources
- A method of delivery of hormones that is consistent and balanced
- Hassle-free – lasting up to four months
- Often rapid in terms of results – it can start working in as little as 48 hours
- Balanced, in that it leads to low to no hormonal flux between treatments
The major benefits that you can expect:
- Increased energy
- Increase in sex drive and sexual pleasure & satisfaction
- Increased sense of well-being
- Improvement in memory, mental sharpness, and concentration
- Improvement in sleep quality & quantity
- Decrease in body fat
- Increase in muscle mass and strength
- Faster recovery from exercise
- More stable moods
- Less anxiety and depression
- Increased bone density
- Lower cholesterol
- Improved blood sugar levels
- Men -stronger and more frequent erections
- Women- vastly lowered incidence of hot flushes, night sweats & vaginal dryness
What Can I Expect?
When you book a treatment at the Doctors Studio for BHRT treatment, the first step is that the Studio Medical Team will formulate a customized treatment plan for you, based on your lab results. This will tell us exactly the hormonal imbalances you are experiencing, with this data guiding the formulation of your tailored BHRT treatment strategy.
The next step is to perform a simple, small procedure in our clinic, where we use a local anesthetic to place pellets under the skin in your upper buttock (hip area) or flank (love handle) area. We use a small incision which is usually painless, which we then tape upon completion of the insertion and you go about your day! All-in-all, the procedure takes around 10-15 minutes with a reduction in hormonal imbalance symptoms emerging in as little as 48-72 hours! We generally counsel that major symptoms need around 4-6 weeks to improve but don’t be surprised if you feel a lot better before that time period has passed.
We prefer pellets as they are more convenient for you – requiring only one short simple procedure 3-4 times a year (whereas injections tend to be weekly and can be more uncomfortable). Creams & gels also have a far higher failure rate.
Perimenopause & Menopause: Sail Through, Don’t Wade Through!
When menopause hits, we can feel hormonal imbalances and swings particularly keenly. During this stage of life, our ovaries stop producing estrogen & progesterone. Testosterone levels drop and the combination can send us into a tailspin of those dreaded night sweats, mood swings, the weight that we just can’t seem to shift, leaving us feeling like a shadow of our former selves.
While menopause is often regarded as the main culprit for major female hormone imbalance, women can hit perimenopause as long as a decade before menopause itself-which means that we deal with fluctuating hormones far longer than we might realize! That means that most women in their 30’s and 40’s might already be facing hormonal shifts that can be difficult & unpredictable to manage. During perimenopause, for example, estrogen drops but can lurch up & down more than usual during the menstrual cycle – often for years (as the perimenopausal cycle can last up to 48 months!). When estrogen tails off so much that eggs are no longer released, that signals the beginning of menopause which can bring a whole new host of symptoms.
But you don’t have to just put up with it. At each stage of the female lifespan, we can use BHRT Hormone Pellet therapy to help you sail through.
The Doctors Studio: Here to Help You
We are experts at helping women – and men – sail their hormonal ship back into calmer waters. As leaders in peak performance & sexual performance therapies & treatments, we know everything there is to know about the management of sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone & testosterone) & how to manipulate them to restore your emotional, cognitive & physiological balance. For us it is all about finding & restoring that balance, which we achieve with BHRT, lifestyle & dietary recommendations & a clear evaluation of your medical history.
Alongside BHRT, we advise on interventions for stress (which can play a major role in mediating hormonal equilibrium), nutrient deficiencies, the removal of trigger foods such as spicy foods from your diet, a consideration of clothing choices (tight, restrictive clothing can often worsen the sensations of hot flushes and temperature changes), the use of alcohol and nicotine. We can coach you in relaxation techniques such as rhythmic breathing and meditation as pre-emptive & in-the-moment coping strategies for when hot flushes hit and empower you to re-evaluate aspects of lifestyle management that can significantly lower stress, which in turn, will majorly positively impact overall wellness.
So if you feel that hot flushes, hormonal imbalances or dysfunctions are getting in the way of you really living & loving your life, get in touch. The Doctors Studio is ready & waiting to help you!
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