by Monica Gavin and Gisele Siebold
The goal of anti-aging medicine is to maintain the body’s health and vitality as it ages. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) and weight loss are both parts of an anti-aging treatment plan that can improve people’s lives in a variety of ways.
The ABC’s of BHRT
It’s important to note the difference between bioidentical and synthetic hormone replacement therapy. Because synthetic hormones do not match the molecular structure of human hormones, they often result in unpleasant side effects, some as severe as cancers and cardiovascular issues. Conversely, bioidentical hormones, derived from natural plant sources, provide an exact match to those produced by the human body, offering relief from symptoms while minimizing the potentially dangerous side effects.
As Marla Viturello, of Philadelphia Professional Compounding Pharmacy, states, “The value of customized BHRT is critical in restoring balance. Because these prescriptions are naturally derived and can be compounded in different strengths and dosage forms, patients can benefit from a regimen designed for their distinctive needs.”
While most people are aware of traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT), key misconceptions still exist. HRT is most typically associated with women and menopause. And while it’s true that many women seek out help for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, BHRT can offer benefits far beyond this one issue.
Popular misconceptions about BHRT include:
BHRT is for women only. The truth is that men can suffer the effects of declining hormones just as much as women do. Symptoms of andropause (often referred to as male menopause) include decreased libido and muscle mass, impotence and mood and sleep disorders.
Sleeplessness is an inevitable part of modern life. Insufficient sleep can have a detrimental effect on health and negatively affect all other areas of life. Sound sleep is possible at any age and is often a reflection of proper hormonal balance.
Declining enthusiasm for life is a natural result of growing older. While life events can certainly present challenges at times, middle age is not a disease of waning vitality. Restoring hormonal balance can elevate and even out mood, resulting in a better overall outlook and renewed flair for life.
Memory and concentration naturally decrease with age. Properly balanced hormones can and often do greatly help to restore cognitive function, resolving what many term “foggy thinking”. After BHRT, patients often report that they are better able to concentrate at work, with sharper thinking skills.
Decreased libido is a normal part of aging. The truth is that libido is a direct reflection of hormonal balance, in both men and women. Restoring the proper balance of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone to optimal levels will restore the libido, enabling patients to have a healthy, fulfilling sex life at any age.
Considering each of these benefits, it’s easy to see that the number one benefit of BHRT is a greatly improved quality of life.
Much to Gain with Medically Supervised Weight Loss
An improved quality of life may be linked to weight loss for some people. Azani Medical Spa, in Bethlehem, offers an HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) medical weight loss plan that is medically supervised. A consultation with the medical practitioner determines if the plan is appropriate for an individual. Patients that participate follow a specific diet regimen for six weeks, while receiving hormone injections. “Results vary by patient, but on average, female patients shed 20 pounds and male patients shed 30 pounds during the six-week period,” notes Gavin. Helpful suggestions for maintaining the weight loss are provided to plan participants.
Treating the cause rather than the symptoms restores balance to the body, making vibrant health and vitality possible at any age.
Monica Gavin, MD, is a diplomate of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. She provides BHRT services in Bethlehem and Hatboro. For more information, call 610-625-3000 or visit AzaniMedicalSpa.com.
Philadelphia Professional Compounding Pharmacy is located at 23 S. York Rd., in Hatboro. For more information, call 877-637-7727 or visit PPCPharmacy.com.
Gisele Siebold is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine. Connect at Gisele@NABuxMont.com.