Frequently Asked Questions
HELPFUL ANSWERS TO THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT ANTI-AGING SOLUTIONS
What are bio-identical hormones?
Bio–identical hormones are an exact replica of the hormones that are naturally produced by the body. The difference between bio-identical 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 bio-identical hormones match your body's hormones molecule by molecule.
Depending on what your symptoms are and which hormone(s) your body needs, your physician may choose to prescribe bio-identical hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid hormones, DHEA, melatonin or others as needed.
Why should I use bio-identical hormones?
Bio-identical hormones have the exact chemical structure as those made by the body. This allows them to fit into the body’s receptors and give the complete message creating a chemical reaction. When the body no longer needs the hormone it is broken down naturally in the body. When synthetic hormones are used they are not broken down the same way which makes them more potent because of uncontrolled reactions.
Life expectancy is increasing and the glands that create hormones need to produce them longer than ever. Replacing hormones can help control and or prevent adverse effects of aging including chronic diseases such as osteoporosis.
How will bio-Identical hormones help Me?
Symptoms of an imbalance may include a decrease or loss of immune system responses, slow or incomplete healing after a sprain, strain or related musculoskeletal injury, muscle aches, loss of bone density, blood pressure changes, increased blood sugar levels, constipation, inability to lose weight and an overall feeling that something is not right can all be symptoms of hormone imbalance. An individualized program that includes bio-identical hormone therapy can be used to successfully treat your symptoms.
A woman suffering from menopause, peri-menopause and severe PMS may have some or many of the following symptoms of hormone imbalance: hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, irritability, memory loss, anxiety, depression, fatigue, low energy, decreased libido, mood swings, dry skin, vaginal dryness and weight gain.
Women with balanced hormones combined with healthy eating and regular physical activity have a better quality of life as they age and can be at a lower risk for certain chronic diseases.
As men age, production of the hormone testosterone begins to decline and they experience symptoms of low testosterone. This is often referred to as andropause. Men experiencing andropause may have the following symptoms of hormone imbalance: decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, depression, changes in mood, memory loss, low energy, decreased muscle mass and increased body fat. Testosterone is needed to maintain mental focus, energy, metabolism, muscle mass, fat levels, and sex drive. When needed, testosterone therapy can restore vitality and health.
When should I consider bio-identical hormone therapy?
In general, your body's natural hormones begin to decline in your late 20’s and hormone imbalance symptoms can present by your mid-30s. Men and women often start replacing hormones between the age of 35 and 40 when symptoms become bothersome. Hormone replacement therapy can occur at any stage.
Most people should have their hormones assessed when they start experiencing symptoms of severe PMS, perimenopause, menopause or andropause. There is also an advantage to getting hormones tested when you still feel good, around age 40, to get a baseline for later comparison when your hormones start declining. Maintaining a balanced level of hormones while we age contributes to health and wellness.
Will hormone therapy help with stress?
Stressors in life—physical, mental, emotional and environmental make demands on our hormonal system. More energy, better quality sleep and overall feeling of wellness can be achieved by addressing the issues of hormone imbalance.
Under times of stress the body produces more of the stress hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands. High levels of Cortisol cause the body to wear down. Chronic stress is linked to high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, blood clots and atherosclerosis. Stress has also been found to worsen pre-existing symptoms, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), erectile dysfunction, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). While stress reduction techniques may be helpful in on the short term, the long term effects of chronic stress usually require medical intervention.
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. Chronic stress causing fatigue can also contribute to a low libido.
Do I need to take these hormones forever?
Not necessarily, it depends on how well your body responds to bio-identical hormone therapy. For optimal hormone function it is important for you to manage your diet, sleep patterns, exercise, and stress levels. We will address these issues as part of your treatment plan.
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 bio-identical hormone therapy, your body would return to the state it was in before initiating your program.
How long until I see results using bio-identical hormones?
While it varies with each person, and depends on which hormone therapy you are using, you can expect to see results within two to six months. This amount of time is needed to allow for the proper balancing of your hormones.
Will my weight change from bio-identical hormone therapy?
Hormones are chemical messengers that cause many changes in the body. These changes can affect body metabolism causing weight gain or weight loss. Changes in hormone levels are also dependent on the lifestyle we lead and can affect our mood and energy levels.
For example, when males become less active there is often a gradual decline in testosterone. This hormone is known to boost metabolism and has the benefit of helping lower fat levels. Thus, when testosterone is balanced a man's ideal weight is easier to achieve.
Will you prescribe me vitamins and supplements?
If we find that your overall health and hormonal balance could be improved through vitamins and supplements, these will be recommended The professionals at LWAA recommend only pharmaceutical grade vitamins and supplements because the companies we use have high quality raw materials that are better absorbed by the body. These supplements are scientifically tested for dosages that are guaranteed to be 100% effective at expiration date without the use of preservatives.
What can I expect once I have become a patient?
We will schedule an initial hormone consultation appointment for assessment of your health and to determine what labs are needed. You will need to complete a medical history form before your first appointment. This can be found online.
Next you will complete the labs and schedule a lab review appointment. At the lab review appointment you will be started on a treatment plan of nutritional supplements, appropriate bio-identical hormones and guidelines for diet, exercise and stress management.
Follow up appointments will be scheduled on an individual basis to monitor your response to the program. With bio-identical hormone therapy, patients are regularly monitored with labs completed at least yearly.
My doctor has prescribed me birth control pills, are they considered hormone therapy?
Yes, birth control pills are a type of hormone therapy but are different from bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. Birth control pill hormones are synthetic and are not provided in a natural rhythm as the body’s own hormones. Synthetic hormones have a different chemical structure than the hormones made in your body and are not broken down the same way which makes the more potent because of uncontrolled reactions.
Why don’t traditional doctors prescribe bio-identical hormones?
Bio-identical hormone therapy requires specialty training. Traditional doctors do not usually have the time or the resources to seek expertise in bio-identical hormones.
Do I need a prescription for bio-identical hormone therapy?
Yes. Bio-identical hormones are compounded prescription drugs that are produced in a specialized pharmacy. Each prescription is individualized according to your unique needs and hand made from the highest quality ingredients by pharmacists that specialize in formulating drugs.
What are the side effects associated with bio-identical hormones?
Because bio-identical hormones have the same chemical structure of the hormones your body makes, there are relatively few side effects. Side effects occur mainly when the dosage of hormone is too high for the individual. You will be closely monitored for proper dosage.
Are bio-identical hormones approved and regulated by the FDA?
The ingredients in bio-identical 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.
Will this treatment interfere with my currently prescribed medications?
The only time when medications will interfere with bio-identical hormones is when the medications you're taking contain hormones, like birth control and certain acne medications. In many cases, certain medications are no longer needed, once hormone levels are restored to a healthy balance. This generally happens because balancing hormones improves your overall health. It's important to discuss your use of bio-identical hormone therapy with your doctor.
Will you take over as my doctor?
Hormone balancing is a specialty. We do not provide primary care, therefore it is essential that you maintain a relationship with your current physician. We would be happy to communicate with your healthcare provider or refer you to one if needed.
Can I use lab work I have already had done?
You may bring along any lab work, bone density, mammograms, PAP smears, or other diagnostic tests you have had done in the past year. Once we review your past labs we may find it necessary to have you complete additional labs including hormone testing to determine your current hormone replacement needs.
If I decide to start on a bio-identical hormone therapy program, how much will it cost?
There is one global yearly fee, concierge style, which will cover all your doctor visits, laboratory testing, Bioclip Vascular Age Measurement, Body Mass Index, and Oxygen Saturation. Your doctor may deem it necessary to perform additional testing at an additional cost.
Is bio-identical hormone therapy covered by my health insurance?
The quick answer is NO. However, some of your laboratory testing can be billed to your insurance, and you will receive a nominal discount on your overall package. Some hormone medications are covered by insurance and available at your local pharmacy.