Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
One of the most important aspects of functional medicine is to support the body's unique state of health and well-being. Hormones are a huge part of that support. They create a feedback system that touches almost every cell in our body and disruptions in these systems can have profound effects on health and be the difference between feeling terrible and feeling unstoppable.
Hormones function best when they are in balance with each other. Research tells us that our modern environment (full of toxins), poor food quality, certain medications, and stress can disrupt your body's natural production of hormones. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of protein and saturated fats may help naturally increase hormones. When hormones are out of balance, there is an increase in risk for diseases such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, and even cancer.
Our hormone levels begin to decline in our 30s and 40s. There are also environmental factors such as BPA (found in many plastics) and exposure to other toxins as well as a suboptimal diet that can further exacerbate hormone disruption.
What is hormone replacement therapy?
Hormone Replacement Therapy, or HRT, is the supplementation of hormones in order to restore balance within your body. The optimal levels of these hormones are slightly different for everyone. HRT can improve feelings of wellbeing and can potentially decrease chronic disease risk.
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy uses natural, plant-based hormones with the same structure as the hormones your body produces naturally. This makes them generally a safer alternative than the synthetic hormones used in conventional medicine. BHRT does not pose the same risk of negative side effects and serious health risks associated with other forms of HRT.
Hormonal imbalance can cause feelings of fatigue, weight gain, loss of libido, unwanted hair loss, insomnia, anxiety, and more. When hormones are balanced, your body effectively produces energy and functions well. Other benefits of balanced hormones include more stable moods, increased feelings of wellbeing, increased muscle mass and bone density, fat loss, increased libido, and better sleep patterns.
How are hormones evaluated and managed?
At Alaska Functional Medicine Clinic, we evaluate and manage hormones in a way that is specifically tailored for each individual. HRT treatment includes hormone testing, a personalized supplementation program, and follow-up evaluations.
The evaluation may include progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, thyroid hormones, and/or adrenal hormones. We will also evaluate the presence of toxins that may be disrupting your body's natural ability to produce balanced hormones. Options for replacement may include topical creams, injections, patches, or hormone pellets which provide the benefits of hormone therapy for up to 6 months.