What are bioidentical hormones?
Bioindentical refers to the structure of the products, these hormones are chemically identical to those your body produces. These can be very effective at balancing the hormones that are underproduced or deficient in the body. BHRT can come in many forms including creams, gels, patches, injections and pills. Some BHRT are made by drug companies and others are compounded at a compounding pharmacy as per a Nurse Practitioner or doctors prescription.
Why choose BHRT over synthetic hormones?
Synthetic hormones may mimic the effects of natural hormones in the body but they seldomly offer the same effect as bioidenticals do, therefore, BHRT can be more effective on all levels of biological pathways. In fact, the most commonly used synthetic estrogen is produced from pregnant equine urine and contains 10 other foreign estrogens. These synthetic hormones do not break down and metabolize as well as natural hormones, causing more by-products and potentially more side effects.
Is BHRT safe?
Many studies show that bioidentical hormones are associated with lower risks, including the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, and are more efficacious than their synthetic and animal-derived counterparts. Hormone therapy received a bad reputation in the early 2000’s when the Womens Health Initiative (WHI) trail was published. This was a longitudinal study using synthetic Estrogen and Progestin. The trial was halted early due to the increased incidence of breast cancer, stroke and heart disease. The study had many methodological flaws including the use of synthetic hormones only. The average age of women in the study was 63, and half of the women in the trial were obese, were previous smokers and had high blood pressure, meaning half of the women were already at risk of these outcomes. (head over to our NEWS section for reference material on the safety of BHRT)
Who needs BHRT?
Many men and women can benefit from optimal hormone levels. As we age our hormone levels naturally decrease, the goal of BHRT is to bring these levels back up to optimal. Optimal levels can treat things like low libido, vaginal dryness, brain fog, hot flashes, low energy, loss of muscle and weight gain to name a few. Having optimal levels of all hormones will help men and women feel and function their best. Typically, we treat men starting at the age of 40 and women at, or around the age of 35.
Does testosterone raise cholesterol levels in men and cause heart disease?
Synthetic testosterone raises overall cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol (HDL) levels. Micronized testosterone (bioidentical) will lower cholesterol and raise HDL. This protects against cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and lowers insulin resistance.
Are appointments and medications covered by OHIP?
The appointments and prescriptions are not covered by OHIP, however, many private drug plans will cover your prescriptions and may cover a portion of appointment fees. Most lab work is covered by OHIP and is done at your local Lifelabs.