Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
Bioidentical Hormone Therapy is the assessment of hormones and individualized plan of action for hormone balancing, using compounded preparations administered by physicians board-certified in internal medicine and extensively trained in anti-aging and regenerative medicine.
Most hormones are produced by a group of glands known collectively as the endocrine system. Even though these glands are located in Menopause – Bioidentical Hormone Therapy various parts of the body, they are considered one system because of their similar functions and relationship to each other.
Hormones are extremely potent substances. It takes only a minute amount to initiate an action. Hormones are secreted into the bloodstream by the glands. From there, they travel to all parts of the body. But, only the cells sensitive to that hormone—called the target tissue–will respond to the chemical signal the hormone carries. Traveling through the blood, hormones enter cells through receptor sites, much as a key unlocks a door. Once inside, they get to work, flipping the switches that govern growth, development, and mental and physical functions throughout life.
All that changes when your hormones become unbalanced due to physical and emotional stress or the effects of aging. Signals do not reach the right place at the right time. Sometimes cell functions shut down completely. In other cases, cells are overstimulated. All this chaos causes unpleasant symptoms, at the very least. In severe situations, these imbalances can lead to chronic disorders or disease.
Most hormones cannot be stored in the cells of the body. Therefore, they must be made and released into the blood at the precise time they are needed. To maintain the intricate systems in which hormones operate, the body must constantly fine-tune hormone release to keep levels within proper limits. This balance is accomplished through an intricate series of positive and negative feedback mechanisms. For example, an overproduction of one hormone usually prompts the release of one or more complementary hormones in an effort to restore balance. Because of the complexity of these interactions, a hormonal issue rarely stems from only one type of hormone. More often, the problem involves a series of hormones. In addition, a disruption in the balance of hormones produced by one gland or set of glands can cause other gland systems to malfunction.
Hormones have a profound effect on your everyday health and well-being. Although present in only tiny amounts, hormones act on every cell of your body. Hormones have individual effects, but also interact with each other to produce dramatic effects in the body.
Types of Imbalanced Hormones
There are a number of common symptoms associated with hormone imbalance(s):
Female Hormone Imbalance
The ovaries produce many hormones. Chief among them are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The ovarian hormones estrogen and progesterone interact to coordinate a woman’s menstrual cycle during her reproductive years. The brain produces the hormones follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) which trigger hormone production from the ovaries. When any of the hormones coming from the brain or the ovaries are imbalanced, symptoms may occur. Imbalances are most common in puberty and menopause, but imbalances can happen at any age. Several conditions are well known to be associated with hormonal imbalance including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, breast disease, and menstrual irregularities.
Symptoms of female hormone imbalance:
Acne or oily skin
Excess facial and body hair
Heavy or painful periods
Loss of muscle mass
Loss of scalp hair
Tender or fibrocystic breasts
Achieving Balance Through Compounded Hormones
Our doctors at CCWM use Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, an established industry leader and compounding pharmacy with more than 35 years of experience in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. Their pharmacists work closely with us to ensure that your customized compound meets your body’s specific needs. They can also assist you with any clinical questions you may have—whether you’re concerned about sleep disturbances, hot flashes associated with menopause, or another issue.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we strongly urge you to make an appointment to see one of our doctors at Comprehensive Center for Women’s Medicine. Call us at 773.435.1150.