Do you accept insurance for Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Progressive Medical Center of San Antonio is an out-of-network provider for a number of carriers. Please contact us today to learn more.
What are Bioidentical Hormones?
Natural Bioidentical Hormones are an exact replica of the hormones that are naturally produced by the body. The main difference between Bioidentical Hormones and synthetic hormones is that, although both are created in labs, synthetic hormones are not identical to the hormones naturally created in your body and Bioidentical Hormones match your body’s hormones molecule by molecule. These hormones work better in your body because your body immediately recognizes them. With synthetic hormones, your body is not always sure how to process them. This is why people have more side effects with synthetic hormones. Depending on what your symptoms are and which hormone(s) your body needs, Progressive Medical Center may choose to prescribe Bioidentical Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid hormones, DHEA, melatonin or others as needed.
Why should I use Bioidentical Hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are a safe more natural form of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). You are probably already using some hormones. Birth Control Pills, Hydrocortisone (used for rashes), and Vitamin D in milk are all forms of hormones. Over the last 100 years as we have doubled our life expectancy, the soft tissue glands which create our hormones are being forced to produce them longer than ever. Our increasingly stressful lives, poor nutrition, and lack of proper fitness, result in declining levels of hormones in our bodies as well. We are also exposed to more hormones due to environmental factors.
Both men and women have safely and successfully used Bioidentical Hormones for decades. Men, who are suffering from the symptoms of andropause or women suffering from menopause or perimenopause, can turn to Bioidentical Hormones to replenish the natural hormones that have declined as their bodies have aged. In well-known medical journals, researchers have reported that the Bioidentical Hormones, estrogen and testosterone, are not only safe but also have a positive impact on diseases like osteoporosis and prostate cancer.
Why do women need hormones before, during and after menopause?
No matter what your age, if your female hormones (estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, thyroid and testosterone) are unbalanced, you may suffer ill effects such as hot flashes, night sweats, trouble sleeping, mood swings, depression, anxiety, memory loss, vaginal dryness, fatigue, loss of your sex drive and even weight gain. Women with balanced hormones integrated with proper nutrition and fitness can have a better quality of life as they age. They will also experience less of the symptoms related to hormonal imbalances.
I have severe PMS, could it be my hormones?
Severe PMS symptoms can certainly be the result of a hormonal imbalance. Having your hormones tested can also help rule out other causes.
Why do men need testosterone replacement?
As men age, production of the hormone testosterone begins to decline and they experience symptoms of low testosterone. Testosterone is the hormone that is responsible for maintaining mental focus, energy, metabolism, muscle mass, fat levels, and sex drive. By balancing a man’s hormones with Bioidentical Hormone therapy, men can restore their vitality and experience increased energy, focus, stamina and libido.
When should I consider Bioidentical Hormone therapy?
In general, your body’s natural hormones begin to decline after your mid-20s and hormone imbalance symptoms are frequently present by your mid-30s. Men and women often start replacing hormones between the age of 35 and 40. If you are experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance, it is best not to wait. If your hormones are out of balance, it makes sense to balance them at any age. There is no reason to experience symptoms of a hormonal imbalance if you do not have to.
What are the side effects associated with Bioidentical Hormones?
Because Bioidentical Hormones have the exact same molecular structure of the hormones produced naturally by your body, there are very few side effects. Side effects occur mainly when the dosage of hormone is too high for the individual. These side effects are mild and very uncommon. Progressive’s clinical staff monitors and evaluate each patient consistently to assure balanced and proper dosing.
How long until I see results using Bioidentical Hormones?
While it varies with each person, and depends on which hormone therapy you are using, you can expect to see results within three to six months. This amount of time is needed to allow for the proper balancing of your hormones. Some patients report feeling better in a few weeks!
What is the best age to consider Bioidentical Hormone therapy?
We have patients from their teens into their 90’s! At Progressive Medical, we believe that most people should have their hormones checked by the age of 40 or earlier if they are experiencing symptoms of adrenal fatigue, thyroid problems, menopause or andropause. The way to prevent illness and to optimize one’s health is to take an active role in addressing health care risks before they become a problem. Getting tested when you still feel good gives you a benchmark for later comparison when the inevitable happens and your hormones begin to decline.
Are Bioidentical Hormones approved and regulated by the FDA?
The ingredients in Bioidentical Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are approved by the FDA. However, state and local pharmacy boards have jurisdiction over them, not the FDA. It is important to know you are using the highest quality compounding pharmacy and that they follow the most stringent guidelines and have excellent quality assurance. While all compounding pharmacies are required to meet the requirements set by their respective state boards of pharmacy, PCAB Accredited denotes a more stringent and comprehensive standard which serves as an assurance that the compounding pharmacy has been tested against the profession’s most rigorous standards.
What are synthetic hormones?
Synthetic hormones are derived from plant progesterone and animal estrogen, but are not identical to the hormones your body uses (generally an extra covalent bonds or molecules are added so that it can be patented). Synthetic hormones act as toxins because their chemical makeup cannot be metabolized properly. Progressive Medical Center only uses natural Bioidentical Hormones. Unlike synthetic hormones, Bioidentical Hormones or natural hormones are replicas of the body’s own natural hormones. Bioidentical Hormones made from soy, yams and other plant extracts, which are changed in a lab to be biologically identical to the same hormones your body makes.
Do I need to take these hormones forever?
Hormones are not a one size fits all solution. Some people need to continue to take hormones for a while and others don’t. It depends on how well your body responds to Bioidentical Hormone therapy. Also important, it’s how well you manage your diet, sleep patterns, exercise, and stress levels that will assist you in regaining hormonal balance. Some patients can wean off various hormones once they become balanced and have fewer symptoms of menopause or andropause.
There are also patients who can wean off adrenal and thyroid support once their adrenals or thyroid glands have healed. There is no single answer for everyone, it depends on your individual hormone stability and how well your diet and lifestyle will support everything else.
In the worst-case scenario, if you decided to stop Bioidentical Hormone therapy, your body would return to the state it was in before initiating your program.
Will this treatment interfere with my currently prescribed medications?
Not typically. Some medicines may actually be reduced or are no longer needed.
Will hormone therapy help with stress?
High stress levels are very common in individuals with unbalanced hormones. Regulating hormones with Bioidentical Hormone therapy will certainly help to decrease stress levels and increase general feelings of wellbeing.
Will you take over as my doctor?
One great feature about Progressive is our clinical approach to your treatment and care. We are also happy to send our professional notes to any provider that our patients request and want to continue care with. We want to work with your other healthcare providers to help you feel your best.
My doctor has prescribed birth control pills; are they considered hormone therapy?
Yes, birth control pills are a form of hormone therapy but are different from Bioidentical Hormone replacement therapy. Birth control pill hormones are synthetic. Synthetic hormones have differences in their chemical structure that are not a replica of the body’s natural hormones. We certainly understand and respect a women’s choice to use birth control but we do not advocate the use of it for hormone replacement therapy in our practice.
How will Bioidentical Hormones help me?
Women suffering from menopause symptoms that are looking to put an end to hot flashes, night sweats, trouble sleeping, memory loss, mood swings, weight gain, and low libido are turning to Progressive to replace their natural hormones. We design individualized programs specifically for each woman suffering from symptoms of menopause, perimenopause, and severe PMS. Men experiencing andropause (male menopause) who want to get a grip on weight gain, lost libido, fatigue, stress, energy, muscle mass, and body fat are also finding solutions through Progressive’s natural hormone therapy programs. For men, andropause happens gradually and when diagnosed, the symptoms are successfully treated using Bio-identical Hormone therapy and supplements.
What is the Women’s Health Initiative?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) established the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) in 1991 to address the most common causes of death, disability and impaired quality of life in postmenopausal women. The Women’s Health Initiative was designed to define the risks and benefits of using synthetic hormone therapy to potentially prevent heart disease, breast and colorectal cancer, and osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
It is important to note that the women in this study were all postmenopausal, average age of sixty-eight. This fact is significant as most of these women had 15 years since the loss of their hormones to develop diseases that estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone might have prevented. Most importantly, the study used synthetic hormones and not natural Bioidentical Hormones.
Why don’t most doctors prescribe Bioidentical Hormones?
Most doctors simply do not have an education in bioidentical hormones. Traditional doctors do not usually have the time or the resources to seek expertise in Bioidentical Hormones. Progressive’s staff undergoes extensive training in Bio-identical Hormone therapy and have specialized knowledge and interest in this area.
Do I need a prescription for Bioidentical Hormone therapy?
Yes. Bioidentical Hormones are compounded prescription drugs that are produced in a specialized pharmacy. Each prescription is hand made from the highest quality ingredients and made by pharmacists that specialize in formulating drugs. Since every patient is unique, the strength or the dosage form needs to be specially made to fit the individual.
My sex drive is low, could it be my hormones?
Yes. A deficiency of testosterone, estrogen, or other types of hormonal imbalance can cause a low libido. Men and women can help improve their sex drive with the help of bioidentical hormones.
Will you prescribe me vitamins and supplements?
If we find that your overall health and hormonal balance could be improved through vitamins and supplements, we will prescribe them to you. Progressive recommends only pharmaceutical grade vitamins and supplements.
What is the detox that is included in the Progressive Medical program and what does it do?
We include a medical grade detoxification in a shake form to address the toxicity burden. We have found that toxicity burden is a reality for most people, due to the pollution in the air, chemicals found in our food and water, as well as medications that we ingest. Toxins can directly interfere with our ability to effectively metabolize our hormones; they lead to low energy and fatigue, weight gain, fuzzy thinking, sleeplessness and anxiety. Toxins also create free radicals which accelerate disease processes and contribute to premature aging.
I heard that estrogen might increase my risk for a heart attack or breast cancer. Is this true?
No, that is not true. Not all estrogens are created equal. Fears of increased risks of heart disease and breast cancer with estrogen therapy have mainly come from the WHI study that was stopped prematurely in the summer of 1992 because of an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease that was seen in women taking Prempro. This study actually highlights the risks of estrogen therapy with non-Bioidentical (synthetic) Hormones, which is NOT the type used by Progressive. Hormones that are non-bioidentical use a one-size-fits all approach to hormone therapy with hormones that are foreign to a woman’s body. We cannot generalize these study results to all estrogens. Conversely, Bioidentical Hormones, which are the same as what is in your body naturally, have been proven to be safe.
We use Bioidentical Hormones at Progressive Medical and the two main estrogens that we replace are E2 – Estradiol and E3 – Estriol. As far as heart disease, Bioidentical Hormone therapy has never been shown to increase the risk of heart disease and as a matter of fact, hormone replacement with Bioidentical Hormones has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease.
In summary, we cannot use results of studies done on synthetic, non-Bioidentical Hormones to assess risks of Bioidentical Hormones. When an educated provider prescribes Bio-identical Hormones in the proper manner, there are no increased risks of the occurrence of breast cancer or heart disease.
What are the different types of delivery methods for the hormones?
There are several different ways to formulate the medications—the following are some examples:
Capsules – A standard form of oral delivery.
Creams – Transdermal methods are widely used to allow absorption of medicine directly through the skin.
Triturates – Triturates are a popular form used to keep drugs in the mouth when local action is needed. They are generally placed under the tongue and allowed to dissolve, allowing the medication to enter the bloodstream quickly and easily.
Troches – Troches are larger than triturates and are typically dissolved between the gum and cheek.
Rapid Dissolve Tablets – Rapid dissolve tablets (RDT’s) are the newest technology in dissolvable tablets. They are larger in size meaning they can hold a larger amount of active ingredient. They are designed to dissolve on the tongue and within a very short period of time (under 30 seconds). All delivery systems come in various combinations and flavors to accommodate even our most sensitive clients.
Contact Progressive Medical Center to discuss your symptoms, ask questions and find out how Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy can change your life!
Please call 877.359.5062 to schedule a consultation.
If you are a Current Patient, please call: 210.201.8000