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What is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a prescription alternative to conventional hormone replacement therapy (synthetic conjugated estrogens, synthetic progestins, etc.). Hormone medications are plant-derived, and chemically changed in a laboratory until they are identical to what your body would naturally produce. HRT is customizable; in other words, it can be adjusted to fit your needs, unlike conventional HRT, which has a few standard dosage strengths.

Why do I need to take hormone replacements?

The reasons to take hormonal supplementation are numerous. Hundreds of books have been written on this very question. Everyone loses the production of our natural hormones by 2-4% per year by many study estimates. This loss of production causes a wide array of symptoms for both men and women. Restoration of these hormones in a natural, non-synthetic way eliminates these symptoms enabling an improved quality of life, a youthful energetic and happy life. Most importantly, recent research has shown that besides ridding your body of menopausal and/or andropausal symptoms, these hormones can have a positive impact on disease prevention such as certain cancers, atherosclerosis, lowering cholesterol, improving memory, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and many others. Some studies have even suggested that the lack of natural hormone supplementation may shorten one’s life span. Research is ongoing, and most all studies are showing positive outcomes toward longevity, improving the quality of life, ridding your body of the discomforts of Menopause or Andropause.

What causes the loss of hormones in your body?

There are numerous reasons why our hormone production declines as we age. The more prominent reasons are:
A. Simply, aging: Our hormone production has been shown to decrease 2-4% per year leaving a large age discrepancy from our life expectancy of 40-50 years ago to the average life expectancy now approaching 75-80 years.
B. Environmental Factors: Pollutants, additives in our food and cosmetics have been shown to interfere with our own bodys production of hormones.
C. Surgical intervention: Hysterectomies, thyroid surgeries, vasectomies, or any surgery that affects a hormonal producing gland will cause a loss of hormone production.

Does Health Insurance cover HRT?

For the most part the answer is yes. All insurance policies are different and there may be some items that insurances do not cover. The physician that you see also has to be able to bill insurances and/or be in network with your insurance company. Not all of Live Well MD Physicians are in network with insurances; some are on a cash basis only. You can still submit the charges to your insurance by working with your insurance company and physician provider.

How are hormones measured?

During your initial visit the doctor will draw an extensive panel of blood laboratory tests that include most, if not all, of the hormones of interest. Additional laboratory tests may be ordered as well based on the discussion of your symptoms with the physician.

How long does it take to feel the results of this therapy?

Everyone is unique; therefore results can very as well. We have seen some individuals have results in a weeks time and others may take several weeks, even months. The most important thing to remember here is to stay with the program! As long as you continue to work with your physician, success is virtually guaranteed.

How are the hormones taken?

This depends on what hormones you need to take. Some are oral pills or capsules, some need to be given by injection, and others are applied as gels or creams that are absorbed transdermally.

How long have Natural Hormones been in use?

Natural Hormones have been around for 40-50 years, perhaps even longer. Some countries in Europe use them almost exclusively, instead of synthetic hormone replacement. They have been in use in the United States almost as long, but only have gained popularity in the last 5-10 years since the results of the Womans Health Initiative Study produced such negative results for synthetic hormones. Women still needed relief from the symptoms of Menopause. In addition the effects of low male hormones came to the forefront of the medical world as well, commonly called Andropause. Also influencing the public are entertainment figures such as Oprah, Suzanne Somers and Robin McGraw, the wife of Dr. Phil who all promote the use of natural hormones.

What exactly are hormones and what do they do?

First lets look at an ordinary definition of “Hormone” from a standard dictionary.
Hormone Definition:
In human biology, a hormone is a substance produced by one gland or organ of the body that then travels through the bloodstream to affect other tissues, organs, etc. Hormones regulate everything from growth, sexual development, the reproductive cycle, digestion and sleep to hair growth, hunger, and the production of red blood cells (with many more functions in between).

Some of the more important hormones include (there are many more):

1. Insulin
2. Testosterone
3. Estrogen
4. Adrenaline or Epinephrine
5. Dopamine
6. Melatonin
7. Thyroid
8. Cortisol
9. Progesterone

Hormone Replacement Therapy replenishes our hormone supply to normal levels therefore allowing the body to properly regulate all these critical functions.

Will I lose weight with this therapy?

Generally speaking the answer is yes. Loss of certain hormones or the over abundance of some hormones can slow the body’s metabolism down. A slow or sluggish metabolism will cause weight gain sometimes no matter how much you eat right and exercise.