At Meliora Integrative Medicine in Evanston, IL, we know that an imbalance within the hormonal system can impact other bodily symptoms and adversely affect physical, emotional, and mental health. For that reason, Dr. Rowena Chua offers bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) for men and women suffering from an imbalance and looking for a safe and effective solution. BHRT can help improve the quality of every area of your life in different ways.
What are hormones?
Your hormonal system, also known as your Endocrine system, is an important regulatory system in your body. Hormones are naturally produced chemical messengers and are secreted directly into the bloodstream. They exert their function on targeted organs and tissues of the body. It only takes low levels of hormones to bring about major changes in our body.
All of your hormones work together to regulate a number of functions such as energy, metabolism, mood, memory, libido, reproduction, response to stress and more.
Aging and stress affect your hormones.
Our hormone levels slowly start to decline at age 30. By the age of 50, hormone production declines by 50% causing symptoms such as lower energy, weight gain, poor sleep, changes in mood and lower libido.
Stress can further accelerate this decline. Your hormonal system is regulated by your pituitary gland located in the brain. When you’re under a lot of stress, your body produces cortisol, the stress hormone. This affects the production of other essential hormones because all of your body reserves are used to make cortisol. Even when you’re younger, you can feel symptoms of “aging” due to stress. A hormonal imbalance can occur at any age.
When is Hormone Replacement Therapy Most Beneficial?
The most common time people seek out hormone replacement therapy is when they’re experiencing symptoms shown on the table below. Hormone replacement therapy can help anyone whose hormones are out of balance.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Many men and women live with imbalanced hormones and accept that declining levels are just a normal part of the aging process. However, insufficient hormone levels increase the risk of certain age-related diseases and cause negative symptoms that interfere with daily life. A BHRT treatment plan can help balance hormones, protect the body from disease, promote brain, heart, bone, breast, and prostate health, and use natural hormones to do so.
The symptoms of a hormone imbalance
The hormonal system, also known as the endocrine system, is responsible for regulating many bodily processes, including energy levels, metabolism, mood, memory, response to stress, libido, and more. When your hormones are off, so are you. You’ll experience different symptoms that indicate you’re suffering from a deficiency, and those symptoms will present themselves in many different forms.
Some of the most common symptoms of a hormone deficiency include:
- Low Energy/Fatigue
- Poor Sleep
- Mood Swings – Anxiety, Depression, Irritability
- Brain Fog/Lack of Focus
- Weight Gain
- Hot Flashes/Nightsweats
- Joint Pain
- Decreased Sex Drive/Performance
BHRT Treatment Methods
BHRT has been a common practice to deal with aging for decades. Bioidentical hormones are derived from plant sources that have the same molecular structure as hormones created naturally in the body. We use hormone pellets as our primary treatment method when correcting hormone imbalances. Topical creams are offered for patients who want another option. Certain oral bioidentical forms of hormones are also offered when deemed appropriate.
The Pellet Therapy Treatment Process
Hormone pellets are smaller than a grain of rice and are implanted just below the skin’s surface. They are a superior BHRT treatment method because they deliver a steady stream of hormones to the bloodstream and don’t require any work on the patient’s part.
One of the benefits of pellet therapy is that each pellet is customized with a dose of hormones that meets the needs of the patient’s deficiency. Once you are deemed a candidate, we will schedule an insertion appointment to create a tiny incision on the skin’s surface in an area with fatty tissue like the hip. We will place the tiny pellet inside the skin and then cover the site with a bandage. Post-care instructions will be given.
The pellet will begin balancing your hormones in the weeks following your treatment and works with your body to give your system the right number of hormones when it needs them. For example, in times of stress or during intense physical activity, the pellet will deliver the necessary number of hormones into your bloodstream to support your body and maintain balance. Most patients need two to three insertion appointments yearly to maintain the most consistent long-term hormones.
Designing Your Treatment Plan
The bioidentical hormone replacement therapy treatment process begins with an initial consultation. We’ll meet with you to discuss your symptoms and issues and ask you some questions about your current health and your health history. Then, we’ll confirm your deficiency with comprehensive laboratory testing that includes a full panel of your hormone levels.
Our goal is to customize a unique treatment plan to treat your deficiency. Since men and women suffer from different types of imbalances, we create each treatment plan according to the needs of our patients. Most patients notice improvements in their symptoms within the first few weeks of the treatment process. Depending on the severity of your deficiency, it may take longer to feel the effects of balance.
Who Is a Candidate?
Men and women suffering from one or more of the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance may be good candidates for a bioidentical hormone replacement therapy treatment plan. Though the aging process does affect hormone levels and causes deficiencies in women amid menopause and men in andropause, age is not the sole treatment eligibility factor.
Pregnancy, lifestyle, genetics, and other factors can lead to hormone deficiencies in women and men. Regardless of your age, we can treat you and develop a BHRT plan that improves your health and quality of life.
Balance Your Hormones and Improve Your Health
You don’t have to resign yourself to living a life defined by the symptoms of a hormone imbalance. BHRT is a safe and natural treatment option, and it will not only treat and alleviate your symptoms but improve your health and protect you from age-related diseases. This treatment is an investment in your health and well-being.