HORMONES

Hormones and Anti-aging

Decline in hormones is a major contributor to aging. As hormones, especially sex hormones (estrogen, testosterone and progesterone), decline we note many symptoms associated with aging; wrinkles, low sex drive, fatigue, etc. Although it is “normal” for hormones to decrease with age, replenishing them can result in looking and feeling more youthful.

Declines in hormones and associated symptoms can manifest as young as 30 years old and progesterone even as early as 20s. Many people are misdiagnosed and frequently mistreated. Often women are prescribed medications to treat symptoms like ADD, anti-depressants, and anxiety when the underlying cause is a hormone imbalance. Hormones can easily be tested and often treated with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

WHAT ARE BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES?

Bioidentical hormones have the same molecular structure as the hormones produced by your own body compared to those synthetic (and patented) hormones that have some significant differences. Bioidential hormones are derived from plants

Advantages of Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy (BHRT):

  • They are derived from natural plant chemicals (botanicals)

  • Each formula is customized to your individual, unique physiology

  • The dosage is adjusted based on your hormone panel (we monitor closely)

  • They are natural & the body can metabolize them as it was designed to do

  • European Medical studies report they are safer than synthetic versions

The benefits of BHRT include:

  • Reduced urogenital symptoms

  • Reduced insomnia/Improve sleep

  • Reduced depression

  • Improved overall well-being

  • Improved cognition

  • Increased lean muscle and bone mass

  • Increased collagen and elastin- may help improve skin elasticity, hydration, and thickness and reduce wrinkles

  • Decreased hemoglobin A1C in diabetics

  • Increase insulin sensitivity (reduce risk/improve control of diabetes)

Reduction in body fat

  • Reduce “bad” cholesterol and improve “good” cholesterol

  • Enhanced mood

  • Improved stress tolerance

  • Improved immune system

  • Reduce/eliminate Hot flashes, Night sweats

  • Facilitate weight loss

  • Improve libido and sexual function

  • Join pain relief

  • Decreases your risk of developing osteoporosis, thyroid problems, cancer etc…

ESTROGEN

What is Estrogen?

Estrogen is one of the primary female hormones produced largely in the ovaries. With receptors all over your body, estrogen is integral in over 400 functions that affect your brain, lungs and cardiovascular system in addition to sex organs/sex interest.

SYMPTOMS OF LOW ESTROGEN

  • Painful sex due to vaginal dryness

  • Increase in UTIs due to thinning of urethra

  • Irregular or absent periods

  • Mood swings

  • Hot flashes

  • Breast tenderness

  • Headaches or accentuation or preexisting migraines

  • Depression

  • Trouble concentration

  • Fatigue

  • Increase risk of bone fractures/osteoporosis

  • Weight gain

CAUSES OF LOW ESTROGEN

  • Aging/menopause

  • Imbalances in exercise/extreme low body fat (excessive exercise, eating disorders such as anorexia)

  • Low functioning pituitary gland

  • Premature ovarian failure (form genetic defects, toxins or an autoimmune condition)

  • Turner Syndrome

  • Chronic Kidney Disease

  • Thyroid disorders

  • Chemotherapy

  • Diet: Fat or calorie restriction, vegetarians and those with gluten intolerance tend to have lower estrogen levels

  • General poor health

BENEFITS OF ESTROGEN

Cardiovascular Benefits

  • Acts as a natural calcium blocker to keep your arteries open

  • Decreases LDL (bad cholesterol) and prevents its oxidation

  • Decreases lipoprotein A (a risk factor for heart disease)

  • Decreases the accumulation of plaque on your arteries

  • Enhances magnesium uptake and utilization

  • Enhances the production of nerve-growth factor

  • Helps maintain the elasticity of your arteries

  • Increases blood flow

  • Increases HDL (good cholesterol) by 10 to 15 percent

  • Inhibits platelet stickiness, which decreases your risk of heart disease

Cognitive, Mood and Nerve Benefits

  • Aids in the formation of neurotransmitters in your brain (such as serotonin), which decrease depression, irritability, anxiety, and pain sensitivity

  • Helps maintain your memory

  • Helps with fine motor skills

  • Increases concentration

  • Increases reasoning

  • Protects you against macular degeneration, an age-related eye ailment that may cause vision loss

Bone Health

  • Helps prevent tooth loss

  • Maintains bone density

Improving Blood Sugar

  • Improves insulin sensitivity

Skin and Metabolic Benefits

  • Increases the water content of your skin, which is responsible for your skin’s thickness and softness

  • Increases your metabolic rate, which helps your body run at a youthful level

  • Maintains the amount of collagen in your skin

  • Regulated food intake, body weight, glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity

Sexual Benefits and Urogenital Health

  • Reverses thinning of mucus membranes

TESTOSTERONE IN WOMEN

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is often thought of as a male hormone, but women have testosterone too, they just have less than men. Testosterone in women is made in the ovaries and adrenal glands. Testosterone plays many of the same roles for women as it does for men, and as men and women get older, testosterone levels decrease. This can cause lower interest in sexual intercourse, loss of skin elasticity and collagen, increase anxiety and depression, fatigue and brain fog, and difficulty maintaining and gaining muscle mass.

SYMPTOMS OF LOW TESTOSTERONE in WOMEN

  • Fatigue/sluggishness

  • Decreased motivation

  • Muscle weakness/muscle loss/inability to gain muscle

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Low sex drive

  • Decreased sexual satisfaction

  • Weight gain

  • Fertility issues

  • Anemia (decreased red blood cell production)

  • Irregular menstrual cycles

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Loss of bone density

  • Decreased mood: worsening sense of well being, anxiety/depression

CAUSES OF LOW TESTOSTERONE

  • Aging

  • Adrenal stress or burnout

  • Birth control pills

  • Chemotherapy

  • Childbirth

  • Cholesterol-lowering medications

  • Depression

  • Endometriosis

  • Menopause/surgical menopause (hysterectomy)

  • Psychological trauma

BENEFITS OF TESTOSTERONE:

Cardiovascular Benefits

  • Reduce Heart disease

Cognitive, Mood and Nerve Benefits

  • Reduce Depression and Anxiety

  • Improve energy

  • Elevates norepinephrine in the brain (has the same effect as taking an antidepressant)

  • Helps maintain memory

  • Increases sense of emotional well-being, self-confidence, and motivation

Bone Health

  • Increase bone mass/ decrease bone deterioration therefor reducing risk of osteoporosis

Improving Blood Sugar

  • Improves insulin sensitivity

Skin, Muscle and Metabolic Benefits

  • Increase muscle mass and strength

  • Decreases excess body fat

  • Increases muscle tone (so your skin doesn’t sag)

Sexual Benefits and Urogenital Health

  • Increase libido/sex drive

  • Increase vaginal lubrication

  • Improve Menopause symptoms

  • Improve PMS symptoms

  • Increases sexual interest (86 percent of women say they experience a decrease in sexual interest with menopause)

PROGESTERONE

What is Progesterone?

Progesterone is another of the primary female sex hormones (although it also plays an important role in men). Progesterone plays a role in menstrual cycles, pregnancy and embryo development. This hormone also acts on the gamma amino butyric (GABA) receptors in the brain improving anxiety, sleep and overall sense of calm.

SYMPTOMS OF LOW PROGESTERONE

  • Anxiety or other mood changes including depression

  • Insomnia/waking at night

  • Fibrocystic breasts

  • PMS/PMDD

  • Infertility or irregular periods

  • Low libido

  • Bone loss

  • Headaches/migraines

  • Hot flashes

  • Endometriosis

  • Thyroid dysfunction

  • Sugar cravings and weight gain

  • Acne, dry skin, brittle nails

CAUSES OF LOW PROGESTERONE

  • Aging (as early as late 20s)

  • Stress

  • Hypothyroidism

  • PCOS

  • Elevated prolactin

  • Estrogen Dominance

  • Xenohormone (man-made synthetic substances that have hormone-like effects)

  • Synthetic Progestin (versus bioidentical progesterone) from sources like birth control pills

  • Fluctuations in female reproductive cycle (perimenopause, post-partum, PMS)

BENEFITS

Cardiovascular and Immune Benefits

  • Natural anti-inflammatory

  • Modulates immune function

  • Increases detoxification enzymes

Cognitive, Mood and Nerve Benefits

  • Natural anxiolytic (decreases anxiety)

  • Improves memory

  • Enhances sleep

  • Decreases irritability

  • Protects brain from damage and promotes repair after injury

Bone Health

  • Increases the osteoblasts (cells that make new bone)

Skin and Metabolic Benefits

  • Improves skin elasticity

  • Improves energy

  • Nourishes hair

  • Reduces acne

Sexual Benefits and Urogenital Health

  • Increase libido/sex drive

  • Increase vaginal lubrication

  • Decrease hot flashes

  • Relieves PMS

  • Relieves heavy periods

  • Improves fertility

TREATMENT

Hormone therapy: Individualized treatments based on your hormone values, symptoms, history and goals. Hormones are checked regularly by either blood or urine to get hormones into an optimal range (not a “normal” range) and only bioidentical hormones are prescribed.

bHRT options: All options have benefits and drawbacks. We will work with you to find the option that works best for you and your lifestyle.

Topical hormones: hormone creams come from a compounding pharmacy where they are created specifically for you. They are absorbed through the skin and go directly into the blood stream (avoiding being changed by the liver, like what happens with oral administration).

Pellets: Coming Soon! Pellets are inserted under the skin and release a steady, optimal dose of hormone over three to six months

Oral therapies: we general avoid these due conjugation (structural changes) by the liver, which are often associated with increased risk.

Troches: often used with progesterone (dissolve under tongue and absorb into blood stream through mucus membrane and therefor largely avoiding changes by the liver

Shots: IM (intramuscular) or SubQ (subcutaneous) injections deliver a fast acting hormone it is convenient with direct absorption (you absorb 100% of the hormone in the injection of your specific dose)

Supplements: We use supplements to enhance your own body’s production of hormones. Specific supplements may be prescribed based on lab work, symptoms and patient history.

Diet: Diet can affect your hormones, weight, immune system and overall wellbeing. Depending on history, goals and labs specific diets or nutritional recommendations may be made.

Lifestyle: In addition to diet, exercise, improving sleep and stress management can help to idealize hormones and improve overall quality of life.

  

FAQs

Bioidentical hormones are identical to the hormones your body produces. They mimic your own hormones and function in your body the exact same way your hormones do. These hormones are plant-based, but because of the similarity with natural hormones, your body perceives them the same way. This allows for a natural integration into your body’s physiology. These hormones are used to replace what your body no longer makes as you go through menopause (or menopause). The most popular method of administration of these hormones is by use of a cream, gel, or patch on the skin (i.e. transdermally). If estrogen is taken as a pill, it is first processed through the liver. This stimulates protein associated with clotting factors, which increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and blood clots. When delivered by transdermal routes such as creams or gels, estrogen is not processed first by the liver and does not have these effects. Although estrogen is the main component of Hormone Replacement Therapy for women and relieves most symptoms, natural progesterone is also added to alleviate anxiety and promote better sleep. Estrogen can be dispensed as Estradiol, Estriol, or Bi-Est. Besides Estrogen and Progesterone, women may need other hormones like DHEA, Pregnenolone, and Testosterone.

Depending on what your symptoms are and which hormone(s) your body needs, based on history and lab work, your practitioner may choose to prescribe bioidentical hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid hormones, DHEA, melatonin, or others as needed.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy benefits men and women of various ages suffering from hormonal imbalances. Each treatment plan is uniquely tailored to the individual. To select the right therapy, you must understand all the available options for therapy and exactly how bioidentical hormone therapy can enhance your life and wellbeing.

Hormone imbalance in both men and women can result in disruptions in:

  • Sleep cycles
  • Appetite and metabolic function
  • Mood and stress levels
  • Muscle function
  • Reproduction and sexual functions
  • Heart rate
  • Growth and development

Imbalances in hormones can wreak havoc on your body, from fatigue and depression to muscle aches, dry skin, and thinning hair. Women often experience hormone imbalance during menopause as hot flashes and vaginal dryness, along with mood swings. Men often notice hormone imbalance by a decreased sex drive, osteoporosis and decreased muscle mass.

Bioidentical Hormone Therapy is an all-natural alternative to traditional hormone replacement therapy and derived from plant-based estrogens that are chemically identical to those in the human body. BHRT options include pills, creams, injections, and patches. Dr. Lauren will work with you to create a customized plan, as well as continuously monitor hormone level and progress. Once a plan of action is determined, the bioidentical hormones will be administered to balance the hormones or lack thereof within your body.  As BHRT adjust your hormone levels, you may see improvements in bone density, mood, sleep patterns, libido, weight maintenance and more.
The difference between bioidentical hormones and synthetic hormones is dual fold. Unlike bioidentical hormones, synthetic, or conventional, hormones may be patented by pharmaceutical companies; therefore dosage varies only by milligrams dictated by your doctor, while the molecular structure of the prescribed hormone is the same for every single person on that drug. Additionally, synthetic hormones are not created structurally the same as human endogenous hormones, which often leads uncomfortable side effects. While synthetic hormones can mimic the effects of endogenous hormones on certain biological pathways, they rarely offer the same effectiveness at a deeper, molecular level.

Bioidentical hormones mimic the affinity of human endogenous hormones; therefore they are effective on more biological pathways, at all levels. Because bioidentical hormones are an exact structural replica of endogenous hormones, side effects are rarely observed, and in the event you do experience side effects, talk with your doctor—the dosage may simply need to be adjusted. The added benefit of bioidentical hormones is that each dose is tailored specifically for your needs, not simply what doses the pharmaceutical company offers (as is the case with synthetic hormones.)
In young postmenopausal women, Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a safe and an effective tool to alleviate moderate to severe menopausal symptoms and to prevent long-term degenerative diseases such as osteoporotic fractures, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and, possibly cognitive impairment. Dr. Lauren is very conscious of common patient concerns, such as the increased possibility of breast cancer linked with Hormone Replacement therapy as well as controversies regarding compounded hormones. All of your concerns regarding these issues can be addressed at your appointment.
Hormones affect a multitude of pathways in the body. Women may experience fluctuations in their hormone levels throughout the lifespan. Imbalances can occur due lifestyle and environmental factors, as well as expected changes, such as onset of menses, pregnancy, childbirth, perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. Imbalances of hormones, including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone can lead to many uncomfortable experiences, like night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, depression, and anxiety. The most common decline seen in menopausal and post-menopausal women is estrogen. When estrogen levels become unbalanced, women may experience symptoms such as low libido and bone loss. The bone loss that women experience due to declining estrogen levels can lead to osteoporosis and increase the likelihood of bone fractures. Adjustments to a woman’s hormone levels through bioidentical hormone therapy and lifestyle changes can reduce or eliminate these discomforts and improve overall health and well-being
  • Fatigue
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swings
  • Thinning hair
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Painful intercourse
  • Irregular or diminishing menstruation
  • Weight gain (specifically in the abdomen, hips and thighs)
As men age, production of the hormone testosterone begins to decline and many men 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 vitality and reduce the symptoms of low testosterone (also known as andropause).
Traditional doctors do not usually have the time or the resources to seek expertise in bioidentical hormones. Omni Centers physicians undergo extensive training in bioidentical hormone therapy and have specialized knowledge of anti-aging medicine
The answer is likely yes. Regardless if you are enjoying a healthy sex drive, a high sex drive, or agonizing over a low sex drive, in most cases, your hormones are in control. For some patients, emotional and psychological factors play a role in sexual desire. For both men and women, sex drive that has diminished with age, menopause, andropause, or pregnancy is likely linked to a hormonal issue. Approximately 70 percent of low libido issues are related to a hormonal imbalance. A low libido due to hormonal imbalance does not mean that you are helpless. In fact, you can take an active role in resetting your hormones to reclaim your sex drive.

Start feeling better today —contact Omni Centers and begin your journey toward total wellness
While all our programs are individualized to the patient, your prescriptions will most likely include varying levels of the following hormones:

  • Testosterone
  • Pregnenolone
  • Estrogen (Bi-Est)
  • Progesterone (must be administered whenever estrogen is given and used to help protect the uterus from cancer and to prevent other estrogen side effects)
Your doctor will carefully review your medical questionnaire and records and will prescribe the exact amount needed to optimize your levels. We use a combination of lab testing and monitoring your results to identify the ideal dosages.
Yes, numerous studies have shown that hormone therapy is safe when administered in the correct dosage and monitored by a qualified physician.
Some patients begin to feel the effects immediately. In general, we ask that you give the plan between 4-6 weeks for best results.
Hormone replacement therapy may provide the following benefits for women:
  • Restored vaginal lubrication
  • Increased sex drive and pleasure sensations
  • Strengthened bones
  • Rebuilding lean body mass
  • Decreased body fat
  • Improved cognitive functions, including memory and focus
  • Increased energy and stamina
  • Lowered triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels
  • Thickened hair


Testosterone/Hormone replacement therapy may provide the following benefits for men:
  • Increased muscle mass
  • Increased libido
  • Reduced fat
  • Improved sexual performance
  • Has been shown to lower cholesterol levels
  • Strengthened bones
  • Minimized symptoms associated with diabetes
  • Sharpened mind
  • Improved mood
  • Improved skin tone and elasticity
  • Increased energy and stamina
Dr. Lauren will carefully consider your medical and family history, genetic factors, and review your baseline lab tests to select the hormones for your specific needs. Hormone replacement therapy typically takes 1-3 weeks to optimize and restore your hormonal balance to regular levels. An effective and safe hormone replacement program will always involve ongoing monitoring to ensure that dosage levels remain appropriate. To that end, you will have lab testing and follow-up visits with Dr. Lauren every 3-6 months.
Bioidentical hormone therapy has a few potential side effects which are classically linked to dosage—as your hormone levels improve, your dosage may need to be adjusted. If you notice side effects, contact your physician.

  • Men and women have reported increased aggressiveness, acne or irritability during the initial phases of testosterone hormone therapy, but these issues are generally resolved as levels become balanced.
  • Some women have reported breast tenderness, spotting, cramping, and bloating. These symptoms may be experienced initially with estrogen hormone treatment, but resolve as hormone levels become balanced.
  • Occasionally, hormone therapy patients will complain of itching or redness at the injection or insertion site, these symptoms diminish as the body adjusts to treatment.
It is always recommended that you communicate side effects to your physician to be promptly addressed.

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