Bio-identical hormone therapy (BHRT) is used to treat peri-menopausal or menopausal symptoms of hormone deficiency or imbalance. BHRT uses hormones that are the same as those naturally produced in your own body and are usually derived from plant extracts. Conventional hormone therapy uses hormones that come from the urine of pregnant horses or are synthesized in a way that is not identical to your body’s hormones.
It’s normal for women’s bodies to make testosterone, and low levels don’t cause excess hair growth. Changes in skin dryness – The level of skin oiliness is controlled by thyroid hormones such as thyronine and tyrosine, so an imbalance in these hormones will affect the dryness of the surface of our body, either making it too dry or too oily.
BHRT can be used for—
- Hot flashes
- Memory loss
- Muscle and joint pain
- Mood swings
- Low libido
Studies have shown benefits of bio-identical estrogen therapy for—
- Cardiovascular health
- Vaginal atrophy
- Frequent urinary tract infections
SFNM practitioners take a holistic approach when prescribing BHRT. We look at your health from the ground up to determine if there are other factors influencing your hormone balance, such as stress, adrenal or thyroid dysfunction or poor gut health. We test baseline hormone levels along with screening labs. We recommend patients have regular exams for breast, colon and cervical health. Finally, we monitor hormone levels in blood, saliva or urine after initiating BHRT to ensure appropriate dosages and effective hormone metabolism to reduce risk of side effects.
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Your doctor will recommend a combination of estrogens, progesterone and/or testosterone in appropriate doses based on your medical history, symptoms and lab testing. There are different delivery methods available—patches, creams/gels, suppositories or sublingual troches. We can recommend any of these depending on what works best for your lifestyle and symptom relief. After we have established an effective dose of BHRT for you, we monitor hormone levels every 6-12 months to ensure you’re getting the best and safest treatment.
Low levels of testosterone and high levels of prolactin–a hormone responsible for breast milk production–may cause this problem. Along with low testosterone, an imbalance level of thyroid hormones can lead to erectile dysfunction (ED). But when hormonal imbalance causes estrogen to increase (and testosterone to decrease), breast enlargement occurs.
If you’re experiencing a rough menopausal or peri-menopausal transition, or if you have questions about BHRT, schedule a free telephone consult with one of our doctors. Our patients on BHRT often feel like they’ve gotten their lives back, and we’re happy to help!
Dr. Claire Graser specializes in holistic detoxification, women’s health, hormone balancing, weight loss, anxiety and stress management, as well as abdominal massage to support healthy digestion and detox. Dr. Graser creates comprehensive wellness plans for patients at San Francisco Natural Medicine Tue-Fri, and is currently accepting new patients. Call 415-643-6600 to schedule a complimentary 15-minute consult.
Take Care of your Body. It is very important to take care of our bodies when adopting a healthy lifestyle. Having good personal hygiene day-to-day will definitely make you feel better. Asides than your daily routine, you could even go to the spa to get pampered. If you are feeling tense and stressed, why not choose a therapeutic massage? After all, our bodies will be with us throughout our lives, so we need to take care of them and learn to love them for what they are.