Hormone imbalances can occur in men and women of almost any age. A variety of factors can be related to these imbalances, including high insulin levels from diets high in refined foods and sugar, exposure to environmental toxins (xenoestrogens), high consumption of hydrogenated fats, and lack of physical activity leading to weight gain.
Age is also a factor in reduced levels of hormones, creating feelings of imbalance in everyday pursuits. For example, testosterone levels in women begin going down after age 20. By age 40 a woman’s testosterone level will be half of what it was when she was 20 years old. This is why getting hormone levels checked even while in your 20′s may be necessary if you aren’t feeling yourself. For women between the ages of 40–60, testosterone levels can remain pretty constant. After menopause testosterone declines once again.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can balance hormone levels that become upset or deficient through lifestyle habits and aging. Unlike conventional HRT, BHRT is derived from plant sources and structured similarly to hormones circulating in the body. Since the bioidentical hormones are recognized in the body, they are effectively assimilated and used. BHRT replenishes the body with the healthy hormone levels your body needs to function optimally. Forms of BHRT include progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.
Blood tests are taken to determine hormone levels. If there is a deficiency or imbalance, BHRT is recommended to safely balance hormone levels. Restoring hormone balance can provide greater protection from chronic diseases and alleviate menopausal symptoms. Saliva and urine testing may also be required. Serum hormone studies show the ideal levels to reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
Compounding pharmacies specialize in producing BHRT. Doses are determined on an individual basis and available in different administrations (topical, oral, sublingual, etc.). A few studies show that topical BHRT has a better safety profile than the orthodox oral HRT. It is important to note that most physicians are not trained in prescribing BHRT and they may be unfamiliar with the medical literature that supports this treatment.
Here at New England Laser and Wellness Center Dr. Joyce Martin is trained in BHRT from the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M). Dr. Martin has helped many men and women balance their hormones and lead more fulfilled and vibrant lives.