What is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement?
Anna Maria Wysynski, M.D. at Vitality Anti-aging Centre is a Toronto Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Doctor that designs specialized Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy programs for men and women. Our bodies naturally produce fewer hormones as we get older, a fact that goes unnoticed by some and turns the lives of others into sheer misery. Both men and women experience the effects of unbalanced hormones, with most people experiencing moderate discomfort from it. The imbalance can happen at any time, although it is more closely associated with hypogonadism in men and menopause in women. Common symptoms for people of both genders include:
- Problems with concentration
- Lower sex drive
- Weight gain
- Loss of muscle tone
In addition, people may experience problems unique to their gender. For men, this may include erectile dysfunction and loss of body hair while women may experience vaginal dryness and painful intercourse. The best thing you can do is take stock of your symptoms and seek treatment from a doctor who specializes in Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). These hormones are derived from soy and yams, both of which are naturally occurring sources. The ingredients used in Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy can’t be patented because they are created for people individually based on their presenting symptoms and genetic makeup.
Bioidentical hormones closely match the chemical structure of the hormones produced by your body. In contrast, synthetic or chemical hormones are made from artificial sources. While they may offer some relief, there is also a greater likelihood of side effects. Unlike natural hormones that are easily absorbed, your body may see synthetic hormones as a threat and put up natural defenses to protect you from them.
Types of Bioidentical Hormones used in BHRT
Your Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy specialist, Anna Maria Wysynski, M.D. may choose to use one or several types of Bioidentical Hormones based on your symptoms and your initial response to the therapy.
There are several estrogens produced by the human female. The production of estrogen drops rapidly between age 40 and age 50 and is responsible for hot flashes, night sweats, depression, and a low sex drive. There are tremendous benefits in replacing estrogen past menopause. Those women not replacing estrogen are far more likely to become demented or develop diabetes. These poor ladies are also more likely to get heart disease, osteoporosis, urogenital atrophy, urinary incontinence, painful intercourse, and die 5-6 years earlier than those who replace their estrogen.
This hormone declines gradually, starting in the 30’s, which can cause a relative insufficiency of progesterone in relation to estrogen, and this is called estrogen dominance. These hormones work better together, and Doctor Turner sometimes suggests replacing progesterone as early as the teens to help all kinds of hormone related problems. While a woman is still menstruating, the routine suggested is to use progesterone the last half of each cycle. This usually relieves PMS symptoms. During menopause, progesterone is often taken orally at night. This can help insomnia, anxiety, chronic pain, fibromyalgia symptoms, osteoporosis, headaches, a sour attitude, and it reduces breast cancer risk by 69%.
DHEA is the most abundant hormone produced by our adrenal cortex. Our bodies can convert it indirectly into estrogen or testosterone. Supplementing DHEA increases the immune system’s ability to fight disease. Some people notice it gives a sense of wellbeing and increased energy. It is associated with decreased fat mass, increased muscle mass, increased sex drive, and it moisturizes dry skin. At 50mg most women will experience increased oil production in their skin because DHEA at higher doses causes increased testosterone levels in women. This is a desirable effect for older women, as it decreases the dryness and increases the softness of the skin. Higher doses may even cause teenage-like acne, and a few women will experience an increase in facial hair. This happens when some ladies are too efficient at making testosterone out of DHEA. Most women only experience the positive effects. If a woman experiences facial hair or acne at a particular dose, this can be alleviated by decreasing the dose. Higher doses in men of 50 to 100mg per day can cause undesirable elevated estrogen levels.
This hormone is produced by the pineal gland and is associated with circadian rhythms and sleep. It is also a powerful antioxidant and improves immune functions. Many people take anywhere from 1-20 mg per night. It works great for some but works only a little for most people. I usually suggest starting with 3 mg per night. Increase the dose until you are sleeping better without a hangover. Doctor Turner carries 3, 10, and 20 mg capsules at the clinic.
Testosterone is the hormone that is responsible for male characteristics, including increased muscle mass, higher energy level, a feeling of wellbeing and increased sex drive. Low testosterone can contribute to chronic fatigue. Treating low testosterone can correct sexual dysfunction. Treating low testosterone can help fibromyalgia symptoms. So, women with low testosterone are helped in more ways than one by testosterone replacement.
Human Growth Hormone
It is healthy to replace one’s growth hormone levels to what they were at ages 25 or 30. Replacing this hormone has profound anti-aging effects. Low HGH can be associated with low testosterone levels, chronic fatigue, insomnia, fibromyalgia symptoms, and generally the symptoms that go with aging.
Although the technical name for this hormone is cortisol, some doctors and lay people refer to it as the stress hormone. Your adrenal glands produce and secrete cortisol in response to stress, also known as the fight or flight response. Because many people today live highly stressful lives, they may have unbalanced levels of cortisol present in their bodies. Left unchecked, this can lead to Type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and weight gain.
This hormone controls the function of many others, including estrogen and progesterone. During the natural course of aging, you may lose up to 60 percent of the pregnenolone your body needs to sustain energy. It is also responsible for memory and alertness. An unbalanced level of pregnenolone contributes to depression, fatigue, and stress.
The thyroid is a tiny gland in your neck that controls all of the functions of your adrenal system. When your body produces too much or too little thyroid hormone, you may experience weight gain, depression, fatigue, cold sensations, hot flashes, and many other unpleasant symptoms.
Depending on your presenting symptoms, your Toronto Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy specialist, Anna Maria Wysynski, M.D may order a blood, saliva, or urine test to determine your current hormone levels. With this knowledge Anna Maria Wysynski, M.D. then decides which Bioidentical Hormones you require for maximum symptom relief.