What are Bioidentical Hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are chemically identical to those found in the human body. But determining which bioidentical hormones will be used in treatment requires a method as unique as you are. The treatment is different for every individual. It is customized to specifically remedy your unique symptoms. Dosing is also monitored and adjusted to your individual needs, as measured by laboratory testing. Bioidentical hormone replacement is the mainstay of anti-aging medicine.
What is Functional and Regenerative Medicine (Anti-Aging Medicine)?
If you see your doctor, often times you will hear ’That’s just part of getting older’. YOU know something is not right, that you could feel better… maybe you feel like your life force is slipping away…
… “Your tests are all normal so you must be getting old (or depressed)”
… “You just have to learn to deal with it”.
Have you heard that before? Isn’t it frustrating???
And if you ask for your hormone levels to get checked, you get placed in a range for ‘your age’. The older you are, the lower your levels are supposed to be because medicine has calculated ranges based on the population. Now remember, we live in an age where people are feeling worse and worse, the incidence of awful diseases like heart disease and cancer and dementia are rising – yet we use averages from ‘sick’ populations to create our ‘normal’ ranges.
So as a 60 year old man or woman, your ‘hormone levels’ are normal close to ZERO.
Hormones keep you alive! They help keep your mood stable, your energy high and direct every vital function that keeps you going. Fat burning, Fat storage, temperature regulation, blood pressure, sleep, motivation, anxiety… every function in your body is controlled by HORMONES. So why should you simply accept falling levels as ‘normal’ when we have the knowledge and ability to restore to your optimal levels that kept you at your peak physically, mentally and sexually?
You age because your hormone levels decline. Your hormone levels do not decline because you are aging.
Synthetic hormones don’t look like your own hormones so your receptors (the locks) do not recognize them as the correct key.That explains why so many people get poor results from synthetic hormones. And elevated risks for blood clots and cancer.
It is equally important to understand that hormones do not function by themselves – they all interact with each other and require attention to many other factors. The hormones that keep you alive are the most important ones – they impact how all your other hormones are in balance and whether your body can use them efficiently. Or not.
Simply taking one hormone to correct an imbalance without attention to the effects on other hormones is suboptimal medical practice; and leads to either poor results early on or problems later. Sometimes, the problems could be seemingly unrelated: like developing diabetes or developing thyroid problems. That is why having your hormones balanced requires special follow up, testing and education.
Q. Why does my family doctor not treat me with bioidentical hormones?
- Special training and study is needed to safely and effectively prescribe bioidentical hormones. These hormones and the intricate balance of all the different hormones is not taught in medical schools. Special post-graduate training is available for MD’s who wish to learn the safe and effective use of bioidentical hormones. Our doctors at [Better] commit to weekly scientific updates, attendance to scientific meetings at minimum every 2 months and team meetings on a regular basis to ensure you get the best and safest care possible. Master’s degree level training is available to all physicians who work in the field of ‘bioidentical hormones’ through the University of South Florida and George Washington University.
It is possible to write bioidentical hormones whether a doctor is trained in the field or not. There are weekend courses available and many practitioners take the course believing that this is all that is needed.
[Better] is committed to your safety. This means that as the science changes, our doctors and professional team members MUST commit to continuing medical education to provide you care.
The field of genetics changes month to month – our doctors have the knowledge to use this to elevate your safety.
As a patient, your health is in your hands and you must ask the right questions to be able to make informed decisions.
Bioidentical hormones are not made by drug companies. Rather, they are made in a special pharmacy known as a compounding pharmacy. Bioidentical hormones have been used for over 20 years in Europe and several studies and publications have also been available for many years. However, in North America, drug companies have the greatest influence regarding both the selection and funding of medical studies.
Q. How often do I have to visit the clinic?
- After treatment begins, you will need to return for a follow up visit within 3 months. Once we have determined that your cancer risk is not elevated and that your hormones are all balancing well, you can return at less frequent intervals.
If your circumstances are more complex, you may attend more often.
Our client service associates are pleased to discuss your situation with you and help you choose the right program and membership option for your needs and budget.
Q. Why are hormones NOT prescribed at my first visit?
- We won’t know enough about you yet. It would not be prudent to prescribe anything until we assess your hormonal health as well as other health concerns.
We also need to look at your risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and other diseases that are commonly associated with the aging process. We do this because we now have sophisticated testing that can alert us to certain health risks, years before your regular physical examination can detect them.
Depending on what we discover and what needs attention – you will need to come in so we can look after your entire health and find your SUCCESS ZONES. We do not simply recommend a hormone to eliminate one particular symptom. That is like tuning only one key on a piano and leaving all the other keys untuned. It’s not a solution to a problem. We believe in FIXING it, which means paying attention to, and restoring your physical, mental, emotional and hormonal health. Remember that your general health, as well as stress and diseases, will all affect your hormonal health. Dr. Iyer introduces the Triangle of Health and how to reach your SUCCESS ZONES at her monthly workshop ”First steps to Longevity… what your doctor may not know yet!” Book your seat today!!! Email our Client Services Associate now.
“This information will save your life!
Joan S, 53 years old. Oil and Gas Executive.
” I thought I knew everything about hormones. I had already been on them and they helped me for a while. Then they stopped working. This talk changed my whole perspective on what I need to do and why.”
Nancy F. 48 years old. Calgary, AB. Consultant
Q. How are bioidentical hormones different from synthetic hormones?
- In some ways, it is like comparing fraternal twins to identical twins. Synthetic hormones are similar, far more like fraternal twins who come from 2 different eggs, while bio-identical hormones are an exact match, much more like identical twins who have the same DNA and come from 1 egg.
Synthetic hormones have a different molecular structure from what your own body makes and knows and you can have side effects to these drugs. But, Bioidentical means that there is no difference at a molecular level to your own hormones. That is why your body recognizes them as familiar and your risk of side effects and cancer is not any different from when your body is making its own hormones.
Q. Is taking hormones dangerous?*
Any hormone can be dangerous when out of balance. We also know that there are numerous factors involved in the creation of cancer cells and the body’s inability to defend against it.
If estrogen and progesterone were the only factors in making cancer grow; then the highest incidence should be seen in the years after pregnancy when the body has its HIGHEST exposure to estrogen; and during the most fertile years when the female body makes the most progesterone.
There are cultures where women are making adequate estrogen and progesterone in their 60’s without an increase in breast cancer – in fact, those populations have a very low incidence of breast cancer.
At [Better] Medical Centre , we understand all the other reasons that raise your risk for breast and prostate cancer; we do many safety checks and follow-ups. Hormones are not prescribed randomly and our staff are highly educated and in constant learning about bio-identical hormones as new science emerges.
We have women in their 60’s in our clinic who have adequate, endogenous levels of estrogen and progesterone without any breast cancer. These levels in them are the same levels we try to mimic when we are replacing bio-identical hormones.
Current research in Europe is indicating that Estriol could in fact be protective post Breast Cancer. This confirms that hormones alone are not the only reason a person gets breast cancer.
BHRT (Bioidentical Hormone) Treatment
Your hormones are in a delicate balance. Think of your many different hormones as if they all are like instruments in a symphony. The beautiful melody your body plays when your hormones are in perfect balance would sound dreadful if they became imbalanced and some of the instruments played out of key. That is why you may not get results from taking a single hormone. There may be other hormones that must be tuned up or balanced before your feel normal or feel like yourself again.
It is also important to support your Bioidentical hormone restoration therapy with an overall wellness program. At [Better] Medical Centre, we will advise you on natural therapies that will support your hormone balance. Holistic nutrition principles, naturopathy, homeopathy and traditional Chinese medicine are all used to help you maintain optimal hormone balance!
Embracing a nutritional therapy of vitamins, minerals, herbs and oils will give your body everything it needs to use the hormones it makes in an efficient and optimal manner. Some medications are actually bio-identical as well.
Eating a wholesome diet of organic foods and whole grains, as well as avoiding chemicals and processed foods also helps your body remain healthy and maintain good hormonal balance.
Q. Does every person need hormones?
- Yes! Every individual needs the right amount of hormones to function at an optimal and healthy level. Some hormones are critical to life. BUT not every patient will actually need a prescription for hormones.
That is why it is so important to test and then treat for hormones, regardless of symptoms. Perhaps you are having symptoms for complete different reasons; in such cases, they can be resolved or remedied without hormones.
Just because “bioidentical” hormones are ‘ natural’ , does not mean they should be used without extreme care and attention. When used incorrectly, bioidentical hormones can lead to an increased cancer risk, as well as other complications including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Bioidentical hormone replacement treatment must therefore be monitored very carefully and closely to ensure that you become healthier and live with vitality, energy and enthusiasm.
Calgary Bio-identical Hormone Expert and Medical Doctor… Dr Natasha Iyer MD has extensive training in Women’s Health and specializes in using Bioidentical Hormones to help you achieve Peak Performance in every area of your life and health. Our collaborative team of doctors at [Better] help you get exceptional results, by helping address your issues from each dimension of health. Working with clients from across Canada, the USA and abroad, Dr. Iyer’s knowledge and skill has helped improve the quality of life of hundreds and hundreds of people.