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What Are Bioidentical Hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are sourced from plants and are custom compounded to be biologically identical to the hormones that your body produces. When your hormones are out of balance, Bioidentical Hormone Therapy (BHRT) offers a natural solution with hormones that contain the exact molecular structure of yours in a plant-based treatment plan that is tailored to your unique needs.1
Natural Hormone Therapy
Benefits of BHRT
The many potential benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy include:2,3,4
- Improved sleep
- Decreased anxiety, depression, or mood swings
- Increased libido and improved sexual function
- Enhanced memory and concentration
- Improved muscle mass retention
- Rejuvenation of hair and skin
- Reduced hot flashes
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance?
Beyond the symptoms you may be experiencing, one of the most frustrating parts of dealing with a hormonal imbalance is the struggle to understand how and why it is happening. Dr. Brooke Leverone will work with you closely to identify the underlying cause of your hormonal imbalance and create a comprehensive plan targeted to your specific symptoms.
Possible triggers of hormonal imbalance include:
- Aging and Menopause Historically, humans had much shorter lifespans than we enjoy now. Our hormones are what keep us vital and young, but mother nature hasn’t gotten the memo yet that we’re living a whole other life time past menopause. The average age for menopause is 52, but symptoms can start as early as your 30’s. 5Bioidentical Hormone Therapy can help us continue to feel our best and live a vital life beyond menopause.
- Lifestyle There so many different lifestyle factors that can affect your hormonal balance, but Dr. Brooke Leverone can help you pinpoint which ones may be relevant for you. Your diet, exercise routine, stress level, sleep habits, and medications could all play a part in the delicate balance of hormone levels.
- Environmental Toxins Environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC), also known as endocrine disruptors, are toxins that can disrupt your body’s hormonal balance. EDCs and other toxins found in pesticides, cleaning products, plastics, and even cosmetics, can interrupt normal production of estrogen and thyroid hormones and alter hormonal metabolism.6
- Genetics You can be living the healthiest, most balanced life possible and still suffer from an imbalance in your hormones due to underlying genetic components. Your genes have a significant impact on your hormone production and metabolism. Dr. Brooke Leverone can administer specialized testing to analyze your genetic profile.
Bioidentical Hormones: Myths, Facts, and Your Safety
There are many misconceptions about Bioidentical Hormone Therapy, some of which stem from a confusion between this natural treatment and traditional pharmaceutical hormone replacement therapy. Conventional hormone replacement products, such as Premarin and Provera, have been shown to create health risks that outweigh potential benefits.7 Many women have rejected conventional hormone treatments because of concerns over a demonstrated increased risk of breast cancer, but bioidentical hormones do not pose the same risks.8
Studies show that patients who switched from conventional hormone medications to bioidentical hormone therapy were more satisfied with their treatment and experienced fewer side effects.8 It is not surprising that many patients prefer bioidentical hormones because non-bioidentical hormones are prescribed as a one-size-fits-all solution, while bioidentical hormone therapy is a personalized treatment with prescriptions that are custom compounded specifically for you. Dr. Brooke Leverone, a California licensed Naturopathic Doctor and an expert in bioidentical hormones, prioritizes patient safety in all her treatment offerings.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bioidentical Hormones:
Is a hormone replacement therapy the only effective way to treat my hormonal imbalance?
No, BHRT is a valuable treatment but it is not the only option and it is not the only solution that Dr. Brooke Leverone offers to treat hormonal imbalance! If bioidentical hormones are not right for you, or if you would like to try other options first, she can recommend dietary changes or other integrative wellness tools.
Are Bioidentical Hormones FDA approved?
Your custom BHRT formula isn’t, but the ingredients are. The FDA does not review or approve any compounded treatments – they only approve medicines that are prescribed in standardized dosages. Since BHRT is customized, each patient receives a bioidentical hormone formula that is intended to treat their unique hormonal makeup. Because BHRT is not regulated by the FDA, it is important to use a trusted and accredited compounding pharmacy. Dr. Brooke Leverone partners with La Vita, a PCAB Accredited® compounding pharmacy in San Diego. La Vita is licensed by the California Board of Pharmacy as a traditional compounder (503A). They source all their ingredients from FDA registered providers and the pharmacy is routinely inspected by the FDA.
Do I need a prescription for Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?
Yes. If you are experiencing symptoms of hormonal imbalance, you may be tempted to try “natural hormone” treatments that are available to purchase online, but they may have questionable ingredients and they are not the same as Bioidentical Hormone Therapy which is customized for you.
What types of hormones are included in a BHRT treatment plan?
Bioidentical Hormone Therapy typically supplements estrogen, progesterone, DHEA or testosterone to balance the hormonal system.
What are the side effects of Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?
There can be an adjustment period while your hormonal system begins to rebalance itself. Some temporary side effects that may occur while your hormones equalize include bloating, fatigue, and changes in hair and skin. Dr. Leverone will monitor your hormone levels carefully to minimize any side effects.
How long will it take to see results?
Since Bioidentical Hormone Therapy is personalized to treat a wide range of concerns, results can vary from patient to patient. Most patients begin to see improvement within a few weeks.
Am I a Candidate for Bioidentical Hormone Therapy?
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms and you would like a personalized, natural treatment, then BHRT may be right for you. :
- Weight gain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Painful or heavy periods
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Mood changes
- Fatigue and brain fog
Bioidentical Hormone Therapy isn’t right for everyone, such as women who are currently pregnant or have a family history of certain diseases. If you are not a candidate, Dr. Brooke Leverone offers a variety of other treatment options and will be happy to work with you to find one that may be a better fit for you.
1 Hour Initial Visit
Empowerment Through Education
Your BHRT Plan
Regular Follow-Up Testing
Contact Dr. Brooke Leverone Today
Dr. Brooke Leverone is passionate about helping people improve their quality of life by providing treatments that support the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Contact her today to schedule a consultation appointment.
Get In Touch
Call (858) 263-0901 or fill out the form below.
2Fitzpatrick LA, Pace C, Witta B. Comparison of regimens containing oral micronized progesterone of medroxyprogesterone acetate on quality of life in postmenopausal women: a cross-sectional survey. Journal of Women’s Health & Gender-Based Medicine. 2000; 9(4): 381-387.
3Campbell S. Bioidentical hormones-Achieving the perfect fit. Advance for Nurse Practitioners. 2006; 14(2):25-29.
4Vigesaa KA, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of compounded bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding. 2004; 8(4): 313-319
5Office on Women’s Health in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Menopause Basics. Available: https://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause/menopause-basics#3 Accessed October, 2019.
6National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Endocrine Disruptors. Available: https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/index.cfm. Accessed October, 2019.
7Moskowitz, D. A comprehensive review of the safety and efficacy of bioidentical hormones for the management of menopause and related health risks. Alternative Medicine Review. 2006; 11(3): 208-223.
8Holtorf, K. The bioidentical hormone debate: are bioidentical hormones (estradiol, estriol, progesterone) safer or more efficacious than commonly used synthetic versions in hormone replacement therapy? Postgraduate Medicine. 2009; 121(1): 1-13