Throughout life, your hormone levels will ebb and flow. These fluctuations are often most noticeable during puberty, pregnancy, and childbirth, but they also happen as a natural part of aging. Women experience this as menopause, while it’s referred to as andropause in men; both are capable of causing unpleasant side effects. These hormones help regulate a range of body functions, so even a slight imbalance in them can negatively impact your health and lifestyle.
If you’ve been struggling with hormonal imbalance, Dermatology Realm can help. We’re proud to offer our patients in Germantown and the surrounding communities relief in the form of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, or BHRT. These pellets can relieve the physical and psychological symptoms caused by hormonal imbalance. They have also been shown to increase energy, reduce the symptoms of depression, improve libido, and reduce hot flashes in women. Keep reading below to learn more about this exciting solution!
But first: What are hormones? What do they do?
Hormones are chemicals produced in your endocrine system. As they travel through your bloodstream, hormones send messages from your brain to your tissues and organs. These signals keep several bodily functions running smoothly, including metabolism, heart rate, reproductive development, and mood. When you understand how much your body relies on hormones, it’s easy to see how even a minor imbalance can cause problems.
What are the causes and symptoms of hormonal imbalances?
Hormonal imbalances can happen to people of all genders at different times throughout their lives. Outside puberty, pregnancy, and childbirth, women tend to experience these imbalances most acutely during perimenopause and menopause. While this is often due to lowered estrogen or progesterone levels, other factors can contribute to hormonal imbalances. These include stress, diabetes, an under or overactive thyroid, and obesity. Medications like chemotherapy can also affect hormone levels.
There are many symptoms associated with hormone imbalances in women, such as:
- heavy or irregular periods
- hot flashes
- vaginal dryness
- weight gain
- thinning hair or hair loss
- dry skin
- hair growth on the face, neck, and chest
- mood changes
- decreased libido
Men can also experience hormonal imbalance symptoms due to decreased testosterone levels. These symptoms often include:
- low sperm count
- decreased libido
- erectile dysfunction
- reduced muscle mass
- increased growth of breast tissue
- reduced body hair growth
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a safe and natural way to minimize the symptoms of perimenopause, menopause, or andropause by mimicking your body’s former hormonal balance.
What are bioidentical hormones?
You can treat some symptoms of hormonal imbalance with lifestyle changes, but others have a better response to hormone replacement. There are two kinds of hormone replacement therapies: one uses synthetic hormones, while the other works with bioidentical hormones.
Synthetic hormones have been very popular for many years, but bioidentical hormones are now the therapy of choice for many people. This shift is mainly because bioidentical hormones are made of plant-based estrogens, while synthetic hormones are created from the urine of pregnant horses. Bioidentical hormones are incredibly similar to the estrogen your body produces naturally and can be a wonderful option if you can’t take or prefer not to use synthetic hormones.
How do bioidentical hormones work?
If you’ve been dealing with a hormonal imbalance or low hormone levels, bioidentical hormone therapy can help. Aside from restoring those levels, this treatment may also improve skin quality, reduce wrinkles, and decrease the chance of developing cataracts. Because bioidentical hormones have the same chemical structure as naturally produced hormones, they allow those hormones to function at the most optimal level.
We can deliver bioidentical hormones via patches, pills, creams, gels, and shots. Here at Dermatology Realm, we use pellet therapy. Hormone pellets are derived from a natural plant source and are biologically identical to the human hormones your body naturally produces. Research shows that delivering bioidentical hormones through a pellet placed under the skin is the safest and most effective method of hormone replacement therapy.
What is pellet therapy?
The pellets we use are composed of estradiol or testosterone that have the exact molecular structure of the body’s natural hormones. Instead of synthetic sources, these pellets are crafted from organic plant materials and then pressed into a solid compound about the size of a grain of rice. We’ll insert this small pellet under the skin in the hip area, where it will release small amounts of hormone directly into the bloodstream. This method is effective because it is similar to how the ovaries and testes release hormones during your younger years.
Unlike oral and transdermal therapy, which can produce “roller coaster” hormone levels, pellets deliver consistent levels into the bloodstream. Delivering the hormones directly into the bloodstream protects the liver, which can be affected by oral hormone therapy, and eliminates increased clotting factors.
Over a period of months, your body will dissolve and absorb the pellet, balancing the testosterone and estrogen necessary for producing serotonin, the chemical that regulates how you feel. Low levels of serotonin can cause tiredness, irritability, and difficulty focusing. In women, the pellets last anywhere from 3-5 months; in men, they can last up to 6 months. This popular outpatient treatment has minimal side effects and minimal downtime.
As with any medical treatment, bioidentical hormone therapy will not suit everyone. Women who have had breast, ovarian, or endometrial cancers should avoid hormone replacement therapy. Anyone prone to blood clots is not a good candidate for BHRT. When you schedule a consultation in our Germantown office, our expert team will assess your compatibility with bioidentical hormone therapy and determine if it’s a good option.
Feel like yourself again with BHRT and Dermatology Realm
If you’ve been suffering from any symptoms of hormonal imbalance, bioidentical hormone therapy could be the perfect solution for you! Your hormonal health has much to do with how your body feels and functions, and we’re here to help you feel your best again. Contact our Germantown office to schedule an appointment with our team and learn more about bioidentical hormone therapy.