Why do we need hormone support?
In a state of optimal health, our bodies would produce the correct amount of hormones and there would be no need to correct imbalances.
However, most of us are not in a state of optimal health. We are stressing our bodies in many ways:
Suboptimal levels of exercise
Toxicity built up from exposure to pollution, heavy metals, pesticides, etc.
Stress from busy lifestyles
We counsel our clients on addressing these issues. In the meantime, using bio-identical hormones can help support these taxed systems.
What are bioidentical hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are manufactured to have the same biochemical structure as the hormones made by your own body. Synthetic hormones like Premarin, Prempro, and Provera are not the same hormone molecules that your body produces. Drug companies can’t patent the hormone molecules in your body, so they invent synthetic hormones that are patentable – by changing their shape and molecular function. Synthetic hormones have been found to have adverse effects such as increased risk of stroke, cancer, and dementia.
Why bioidentical hormones instead of sythetic hormones?
Clinically, we see fewer negative side effects with bioidentical hormones. Because they are the same molecule found in your body, the body processes them more easily than synthetic hormones. In general, they are cleared through the liver faster.
Why is testing so important?
Have you received a prescription from your doctor for hormone replacement therapy without having your hormone levels tested first? How could your doctor know what exact levels you need without knowing your baseline hormone levels? We believe testing is imperative – before receiving a prescription and monitoring while on a prescription. We often make adjustments to each patient’s personalized prescription based on follow up monitoring.
Baseline and follow up testing is fundamental in responsible treatment with any hormone supplementation.
Why is salivary testing more accurate than blood levels of hormones?
Salivary hormone levels measure the amount of active hormone that has reached your tissue. Unless your physician orders “free hormones values,” usual blood hormone levels include the total hormone amount – active and in reservoir. These values do not tell one if the hormone has arrived at the tissue site to do its job.
In essence, measuring the amount of hormone that has reached your tissues most directly corresponds to your symptom picture.
Salivary testing is also more convenient, and can be done anywhere. In addition, hormones in saliva are extremely stable and can be stored at room temperature for up to seven days without affecting the accuracy of the result. This offers maximum flexibility in sample collection and shipment.
Hormones levels fluctuate during the day. To get the most accurate average, one would have to have his or her blood drawn 4 times during a day. This process is much easier – and painless – when using salivary levels.
Why choose naturopathic medicine to treat hormone imbalances?
Naturopathic physicians are trained at 4 year medical schools – like MDs or DOs. Our primary care training is essentially identical, and in the state of Arizona , we can prescribe medication and refer for imaging and surgery. Our training is focused on disease prevention and not just covering up symptoms. In addition to our Western medical training, we have the highest level of training in:
Nutrition and nutrient therapies
We use these therapies, as well, in balancing your hormone health. Bio-identical hormones are just a small part of the natural therapies we use.
Our advanced training helps us understand the specific nutrients and botanicals needed to support the thyroid, adrenal, and sex glands. Our goal is to help your body produce as much hormone and in the correct ratios as possible.
Healthy support is not just about giving the hormone as a supplement – but about also giving the body what it needs to make hormone on its own. Our naturopathic perspective helps us to always work toward this goal.
My friend has pellets placed under her skin. Why don’t you offer this therapy?
Our experience shows us that hormone balance is a delicate art, and increasing or decreasing a dose to achieve optimal hormone balance is often necessary. Because pellet therapy involves the subdermal implantation of a set 4-6 month dose, the physician is ubable to fine-tune the dose after implantation.
Inconsistent dosing over the life of each pellet and scarring at the implantation site are other common drawbacks to pellet therapy.
Our physicians are able to use more advanced dosing schedules than can be achieved with pellet therapy. For example, estrogen is more stimulating and can be used in the morning, while progesterone is typically dosed in the evening to promote deeper sleep. Our desire to refine and customize regimes for individual patients makes pellet implants an undesirable method of hormone supplementation.