Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) refers to the treatment of conditions caused by hormone deficiencies resulting from menopause, andropause, aging or various other causes in men and women by using natural, bioidentical hormones to restore deficient levels back to “optimal” levels.
Why are hormones important? Hormones regulate the activity of tissues and cells in the body. Feelings of well being and good health are often the result of optimized and balanced hormones. As hormones decrease with age in men and women, a wide range of symptoms can develop such as weight gain, fatigue, depression, disrupted sleep patterns (insomnia) and loss of sex drive. The hormones thyroid, estradiol, cortisol, testosterone, progesterone, DHEA, growth hormone and others each play a very important role in our health and youthfulness. An imbalance can impact life dramatically.
Bioidentical Hormones are identical in function and molecular structure to the hormones that the body naturally produces. Natural hormones are derived from plants, such as soy or yams. The body responds to natural bioidentical hormones exactly as it would to hormones produced by the human body without the increased risk of allergic reaction, sensitivities, complications and side effects that are frequently encountered with synthetic hormones.
How do we help? The first step is to treat the causes of hormone imbalance when possible. Providing your body with the necessary elements to make its own hormones is fundamental. The next step is to restore deficient hormone levels by supplementing with natural bioidentical hormones.
Dr. Hirsch’s approach is to individualize BHRT plans for each patient based on a physical evaluation, medical history, assessment of symptoms and laboratory analysis (including serum hormone levels). This customized protocol helps us gradually reach the appropriate level of each hormone necessary to optimize the individual’s balance. Hormone receptors must continuously readjust to stimulation, so reaching optimal levels is often a process that takes a few months or more.
Beyond BHRT, Dr. Hirsch focuses on true restoration and optimization of hormones. Only physicians with proper training and experience can select the best hormones with the most suitable method of delivery to the patient’s system. Many claim to practice BHRT, but few do it “right”.
Do women and men need (BHRT) for life?
Most animals in the wild do not live beyond their ability to reproduce – many don’t even live beyond puberty. Humans are a unique species in that we live much of our lives outside our reproductive years. Our increased life expectancy is relatively new – only women and men in the past few generations have a life expectancy beyond 50 years. There is certainly much controversy about whether it’s appropriate to restore hormones to youthful levels as people age. We believe that as we age, we want the hormone levels of a healthy 42 year old rather than those of an 85 year old (and the associated deterioration).
Many people resign themselves to living with the serious symptoms caused by hormone deficiencies, accepting them as an unchangeable and an untreatable part of the aging process. Maintaining optimal levels of hormones, however, promotes an improved, youthful quality of life and prevents many of the degenerative illnesses commonly associated with aging.
Images on this site may be models; not actual patients.