Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) are both forms of treatment used to relieve symptoms related to a hormonal imbalance, typically due to menopause. Traditional HRT involves using urine of pregnant horses or synthetic hormones which are not identical to human hormones. Bioidentical HRT is the use of hormones derived from plants (yams or soy) that are chemically identical to those produced by the human body. The bioidentical hormones we use at Letourneau’s Compounding Pharmacy are derived from yams and include progesterone, estrogens (estradiol and estriol), testosterone, and DHEA.
Hormones have hundreds of effects throughout the body and imbalanced levels of hormones can cause numerous symptoms. The body’s production of hormones increases in puberty and peak in your twenties and thirties. Between your mid-thirties and early forties, hormone levels begin to decline which may lead to undesirable side effects. Although this change in hormone levels is natural, we can help control how rapidly this change happens by using BHRT. BHRT can help reduce some of the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and bone loss.
It can take a couple months to normalize your hormone levels and feel relief from symptoms. BHRT is available at compounding pharmacies such as ours and include creams and lotions (topical and vaginal), suppositories, troches, and some capsules.
We recommend having a conversation with your health care provider (typically a primary care physician or OB/GYN) to review your symptoms and determine if they believe BHRT could work for you. Before obtaining a prescription from your physician, lab work must be done either through a saliva test or blood work. Because your hormones are stored in tissue, saliva tests tend to be more accurate. You can pick up a saliva test kit at Letourneau’s Compounding Pharmacy. There is no charge for the kit, however; there is a fee assessed for the laboratory analysis based on the testing recommendations from your physician. The lab will then share your results with us for review with your prescriber!
Did you know that estrogen has over 400 functions in the body, and you even have estrogen receptors in your eyes? Estrogen helps regulate your body temperature, maintain muscle mass, maintain collagen, lower blood pressure and blood sugar, improve your metabolic rate, and contributes to cardiovascular health.
There are 3 types of Estrogen:
Progesterone is a hormone that is essential to overall health and wellness. It helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol, is naturally calming, promotes sleep, stimulates bone production, and can protect against breast cancer. It counteracts estrogen dominance and reduces symptoms of high estrogen.
Testosterone and DHEA are considered androgens and are required in both men and women for muscle bone and skin health. It also helps to enhance libido. DHEA is the precursor to testosterone, and as the body ages, DHEA declines naturally. With lower levels of DHEA, you can experience the same symptoms as low testosterone which can include muscle wasting, weight gain, fatigue, and a decrease in libido.