Did you know that starting at the age of 30 your hormones begin depleting as much as 2% a year?
This may not sound like much, but even at this level of decrease your body and its systems can be plagued by annoying and unpleasant symptoms. Are you feeling anxious, depressed, and irritable? Is your sex drive virtually nonexistent? Are you losing muscle tone? Maybe your enthusiasm for life has just evaporated. All of these things, and more, can be caused by the depletion of your hormones. What most people don’t know is that your hormone levels can’t be restored without medical intervention. There are three main hormones that can fall into a state of imbalance. They are Estradiol, Progesterone, and Testosterone. Contrary to what many people believe, men and women have all three of these hormones. Furthermore, all three of these hormones are important in many cellular functions.
To restore your hormones to an optimum level, you need to visit a provider who understands the importance of using bio-identical hormones instead of synthetic.
We here at GFM Wellness understand the importance of hormone balance, which is why we offer a range of Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy options to make sure your hormones are at an optimum level. Here at GFM Wellness we offer Pellets, Creams, Troches, or Injections.
Our most popular option is Pellet Hormone Replacement Therapy.
This therapy consists of a simple procedure where pellets are inserted into the fatty layer of the hip. For this procedure, women will typically receive inserts of both Estradiol and Testosterone, whereas, men will only receive Testosterone. Most women will also be given a prescription for progesterone. This is because progesterone can be beneficial in many different ways. It can help with sleep, hair, bones, brain, heart, bladder, and breasts. It can also help to prevent the buildup of the lining of the uterus. Progesterone promotes healthy sleep and may cause drowsiness. Unlike Testosterone and Estradiol, Progesterone cannot be made into a pellet. That is because the amount of progesterone required to make the pellet would be far too bulky. Due to this, there are three ways that you can get the progesterone. The two most effective options are troches or capsules. Rarely the provider may prescribe it in a cream form. A troche is a lozenge that dissolves in the mouth. No matter which vehicle you choose, all will be compounded and will need to be picked up at a compounding pharmacy.
The Pellet Procedure is a relatively simple one.
Under a local anesthetic, a small incision is made in the fatty layer of tissue of the hip. Once the pellets are inserted steri-strips, or surgical tape, is applied to keep them secure. Once the procedure is completed, there is very minimal aftercare. All that the provider asks is that you refrain from vigorous activity and that you do not take baths for a minimum of four to five days. You may still walk and take showers.
Once the insert is implanted, your hormone levels will start to rise.
The pellets are working to bring your hormones to optimum levels. The “Optimum level” is the level at which your hormones were when you were in your prime, your early 20’s. It should be noted, however, that changes won’t occur overnight. Typically, most patients can expect to see benefits from their pellets within three to four weeks. Most patients report feeling a burst of energy in the first 48-72 hours after the insert; this is due to a B-12 injection that is administered at your appointment. Keeping this in mind, do not be alarmed if this energy starts to wane. This just means the B-12 is being metabolized as well as your pellets.
On average your pellets will last 3-4 months
There are some, however, that can stretch it to four and five months. Everyone is different, and that is why it is so important to be consistent with your appointments. Having just one insert will make you feel good for a while, but the results will not be permanent. Your pellets dissolve over time, which results in your levels declining again. To keep your hormones at optimum levels it is paramount that you keep up with your treatments.
If you are a woman and interested in Creams or Troche Hormone Replacement Therapy, your visit with the provider will be scheduled one week after your blood draw.
At this visit, you and the provider will discuss your symptoms, as well as what you want to achieve with your therapy. Taking all of this into consideration, the provider will formulate a dose for you. She will then write you a prescription that can be filled at any compounding pharmacy.
This is also the same process if you are a man who decides that he wants to choose the Injection option. However, injectable testosterone is also available at mainstream pharmacies.
With creams, troches, and injections, your time spent in the office is kept to a minimum.
Typically injection/cream patients will schedule appointments every few months starting off. The purpose of this is to tailor your dose, and to make sure you are reaching your goals with the therapy. Once a dose that works for you is established, you will only have appointments once or twice a year.
Our process at GFM Wellness starts with the blood work.
The blood panel that is drawn for HRT is quite extensive. Testosterone, Progesterone, and Estradiol levels are checked. A Complete Blood Count is also drawn. Your Vitamin B-12 is also checked, because Vitamin B-12 deficiency is fairly common. Lastly, your thyroid is checked as it impacts your hormones greatly. Regardless of the type of hormone replacement therapy you are interested in, it is important for the doctor to know your hormone levels. If you are not sure which HRT you are interested in a consultation with the provider would be set up. This is a 30 minute appointment where you can voice your opinions and concerns with the provider. She will also provide you with her input and insight on which form of Hormone Replacement Therapy is right for you.
With pellets, you will set up your insert appointment two weeks after you have your blood drawn.
These two weeks allow us to receive your results, the provider to review your results as well as a symptom questionnaire, and the time for us to order and receive your pellets.
At the insert appointment, the provider will review your lab results with you.
The pellets will be inserted. If you are getting any other prescriptions, the provider will prescribe them at this time.
There are a host of symptoms that can be improved by Hormone Replacement Therapy. Below is a list of these symptoms.
Low Sex Drive
Body Joint Pains
Decreased Exercise Tolerance
Loss of Muscle Tone
Lowered Bone Density
Very minimal side effects can occur with these therapies.
First and foremost is bruising or discoloration around the insertion site. Other complications, although rare, can include: minor bleeding, infection, and extrusion of the pellet.
Testosterone can cause an increase in facial hair in women.
Testosterone can also cause an increase in red blood cells. In men, testosterone can cause an increase in estrogen. This is easily managed with a safe generic prescription medication. In men, over time, some decrease in testicular volume is also noted. However, unlike other Hormone Replacement Therapies, blood clots are NOT a potential side effect. If you experience any side effects, they should dissipate over time. If they persist, let someone in the office know. The solution could be as simple as reworking your dose of your next insert.
At GFM Wellness, your health is our priority. We encourage you to look through the other services our office offers. You can find these listed in the “Services” tab at the top of the page.
We hope that you found this information useful and we hope to see you in the office soon!