WHAT WE OFFER
As we get older, many of us blame our age when we fatigue easily or gain weight that’s difficult to lose. We often suffer from insomnia, irritable bowels, dry skin and hair loss. We may also experience a decrease in libido or just aren’t interested in sexual relations any more. Mood changes, including depression and anxiety can fluctuate, and our minds stop functioning as well as they once did, leading to memory problems and poor concentration.
Many times, hormonal imbalance is the root cause of these symptoms. Such imbalance can occur due to natural changes of aging, including menopause in women and andropause in men. Environmental and dietary toxins can accelerate hormone imbalances. At Vitality, we believe that restoring hormonal balance with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can help alleviate symptoms and restore quality of life.
What are Bioidentical Hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are hormones derived from plants and are identical in structure and function to the hormones made naturally in the body (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone). They can be given as an oral capsule, troche, topical cream or subcutaneous injection. A simple blood test can determine what your hormone levels are and indicate if you would benefit from BHRT.
Reasons for Hormone Depletion or Loss
While normal aging is the most common reason for hormonal imbalance, it is not the only one. Suboptimal diets, stress, certain illnesses, poor or inadequate sleep, and poor lifestyle choices are also contributing factors. Additionally, exposure to radiation from various sources and head injuries can both lower your hormone levels.
Biotoxin illness associated with chronic Lyme disease and mold exposure can also deplete hormones, especially testosterone and progesterone. Even young patients may suffer from loss of muscle mass, irregular periods, hot flashes and fatigue that can be improved by supporting hormones.
BHRT May Help Alleviate Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
|Fatigue||Weight Gain||Insomnia||Erectile Dysfunction|
|Skin Changes||Low Sex Drive||Muscle Loss||Irritability|
|Memory Loss||Hair Loss||Hot Flashes||Vaginal Dryness|
|Weak Bones||Mood Changes||Night Sweats||Anxiety|
About Our Bioidentical Hormone Specialist
Elizabeth (Beth) York is certified in Advanced Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (ABHRT) for men and women through Wordlink Medical. She specializes in restoring female and male hormone levels, thyroid management and PCOS. Beth is passionate about what she does and is a true expert in the field on BHRT. She stays up to date on the latest research around BHRT and has treated more than 3,000 men and women for hormone loss. Beth earned her BA in English and Art from Millsaps College. She acquired an MS as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner from Vanderbilt University and completed a post-masters Family Nurse Practitioner program.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are hormones dangerous?
– The media (and many medical providers) have incorrectly lumped traditional commercially-available hormones (such as Premarin, Prempro and Provera) in with Bioidentical Hormones when reporting the latest research or when answering questions about hormones. As a result, many are unaware that Bioidentical Hormones actually lower your risk of disease, while some commercially-available hormones raise your risk of serious disease. Most bioidentical hormones start with a base of wild yams, while some commercially available hormones (Premarin, PremPro) are synthesized from a pregnant horse’s urine and contain estrogens that are unique to horses and not found in humans. Another ingredient used in commercially available hormones is medroxyprogesterone acetate, found in Provera and PremPro. Because medroxyprogesterone acetate has a “progesterone” in its name, many wrongly assume that it is actually progesterone and is safe. It is not. Medroxyprogesterone is a synthetic progestin that works like progesterone in the body but is not identical to your own body’s progesterone. Medroxyprogesterone acetate has been shown to raise a woman’s risk of breast cancer by over 60%.
2. What if I have a family or personal history of cancer?
– While a personal history of some cancers does mean that you should never take certain hormones, it is rare that a cancer survivor must avoid all three major hormones in women (testosterone, progesterone and estradiol). It is most common for women who have had estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer to avoid taking estradiol, but there is significant clinical evidence to show that taking progesterone and testosterone can help lower the risk of recurrence of breast cancer. We always do a thorough history with each patient to develop the safest and most helpful way to improve any symptoms of hormone loss while providing the most disease prevention possible.
3. What is the difference between perimenopause and menopause?
– Perimenopause is the 10 or so years prior to a woman’s monthly period stopping permanently. Some women feel the symptoms of fatigue, belly fat accumulation, weight gain, moodiness, irritability, memory loss, lack of motivation, trouble paying attention, night sweats, hot flashes, and decreased libido. The average woman starts to feel these symptoms between the ages of 35 and 40, but some women start to feel these symptoms in their late 20’s. Most of these symptoms are initially attributed to loss of testosterone, as it is the first hormone to naturally lower. Birth control pills and some intrauterine devices (IUD’s) also lower testosterone, so some women need to supplement with testosterone when using these methods of birth control. When your body loses testosterone, you lose valuable disease protection from heart disease, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s. The second hormone that begins to decline is progesterone. Women then begin to suffer from insomnia (both difficulty falling and staying asleep), have more frequent headaches, have increased anxiety and irritability, and often, have heavy bleeding during their periods. Women often report that their periods are longer or shorter than before or that they are simply unpredictable. When progesterone is lost, a woman loses much protection from breast cancer, uterine cancer, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s. Many providers will tell you that you don’t need to take progesterone if you don’t have a uterus (as progesterone protects the lining of the uterus to help prevent uterine cancer), but it is also protective and supportive to the breast, bones and brain, so we believe most women can benefit from it. The last hormone lost in women is estrogen (estradiol). The most common side effects of estrogen loss are hot flashes, achy joints, dry skin, dry hair and daily vaginal dryness. When estrogen levels drop under a certain threshold, monthly periods will stop. Once you haven’t had a period for one calendar year, you are considered to be in menopause or to be post-menopausal.
How Our Process Works
Prior to meeting with Beth, you will fill out an intake form and symptoms questionnaire. Then we will perform baseline bloodwork to assess hormones and provide you with an educational book by world renowned hormone specialist, Dr. Neil Rouzier, MD, entitled Bioidentical Hormonal Replacement Therapy for Men and Women. Then you will be scheduled for a 45-60 minute consultation with Beth where she will get to know you, go over your bloodwork, answer any questions you have regarding BHRT and initiate a BHRT plan that will help achieve your wellness goals.