Hormone Replacement Therapy
Control Hormone Imbalances with Hormone Replacement Therapy
When it comes to hormone imbalances, our goal at Family Weight & Wellness Clinic and Medi-Spa is to investigate and resolve the underlying reasons for your health issues and concerns, rather than trying to mask symptoms. If you're having a hard time controlling excess body weight and body fat, is it due to your dietary plan, lifestyle choices, or exercise program? Or are other factors, such as estrogen dominance, low testosterone, and thyroid deficiencies at fault?
When the answer is hormonal causes, bioidentical hormones can be part of the solution.
We believe that a decline in hormones triggers aging, not the reverse. When you begin to experience unwelcome symptoms, such as weight gain, dry skin, thinning hair, lack of energy, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, reduced muscle mass, loss of libido, and more, they can often be traced to a decrease in hormones, or a hormonal imbalance. Since hormones control most of your body functions, this can have an adverse effect on your health and well-being.
Fortunately, these symptoms can be alleviated, restoring your energy and vitality through bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).
© 2020 by Larry A. Richardson, MD, MFOMA
As more and more patients are enjoying our Weight Loss and Bio-identical Hormone Therapy, one of the most popular questions I hear is "Why don't you offer pellet therapy?"
Here is why I don’t recommend pellets:
While there are some practitioners of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) that promote the use of pellet therapy in their clients, I have chosen to take a different therapeutic course for my patients in the interest of giving them the best options in terms of convenience, comfort, cost and long-term considerations.
In my years as a physician, I have found that when doctors try to replace hormones and modify cycles and rhythms in the human body, it is generally best to attempt to emulate the body’s own natural patterns and levels as closely as possible.
A brief study of human physiology will reveal that most of our body’s major processes, including hormonal secretions, follow a diurnal (daily) pattern, often with peaks and valleys of the levels and activity of the process under consideration. One such example would be a normal cortisol level that typically peaks around 8 am and falls to its lowest level around midnight. Another hormonal example is testosterone, which is often highest about 8 am and lowest around 9 pm.
One of the main reasons I disagree with the use of pellets for BHRT is as follows.
When pellets are inserted, the hormones begin a steady rise and reach a peak around 30 days (1 month) later. On average, they then begin a steady decline and reach their lowest levels between 4 to 6 months after insertion. Why take such care to make hormones that our bodies recognize as being ‘natural’ and identical to our own hormones, yet then deliver them by pellet therapy in such an ‘unnatural’ dosing pattern? Even though the hormones released are considered ‘bio-identical’, such an abnormal delivery pattern (ie, not diurnal) of the hormone itself does not sound very ‘physiological’ to me!
Other considerations regarding pellet therapy are as follows:
- Pellets are sometimes promoted to last ‘about 6 months’, though actual efficacy (relief of symptoms) is often much less than that (eg. 2 to 4 months).
- If the pellet dosing is wrong (particularly if too high and/or causing problematic side-effects), they cannot be removed. If the dose is excessive, it cannot be readjusted. Symptoms must be dealt with until the pellets dissolve and the levels drop. It is quite rare that doctors get hormone dosing optimized on the first attempt. Adjusting hormone dosing is a regular part of treating patients with hormone imbalances and it can take months to get everything just right.
- If the pellets are placed improperly or if the body rejects them for whatever reason, they may cause visible bumps or nodules (often uncomfortable) within the skin as the body extrudes the pellet.
- Insertion of pellets requires an office visit and a small surgical procedure each time (every 3, 4, 5 months?). This procedure always carries a small risk of infection and is certainly more costly to the patient than alternative prescribing methods of hormonal delivery. At the very least, there are always some ‘post-op restrictions’ after each implantation.
- In theory, pellets are no more effective than a gel, cream or injections.
- Pellet implantation invariably causes scar tissue. It is not often revealed that in some patients, after about 2 years of pellet insertions, some may have so much scar tissue build-up that they are no longer pellet candidates.
Dr. Larry Richardson at Family Weight & Wellness Clinic and Medi-Spa is an expert in hormone therapy for women and hormone therapy for men. He will evaluate your hormone levels, determine if you have a hormone imbalance, and recommend a treatment plan that includes BHRT.
To find out if hormone replacement therapy is right for you, call Family Weight & Wellness Clinic and Medi-Spa at (281) 292-2300 or use our online form to arrange a consultation.