What Are Bio-identical Hormone Pellets?
Biologically identical hormones have been available in the U.S. since the 1930s. Use of these hormones has been slow to increase, despite scientific research showing that bio-identical hormones are far superior when compared to using non-human hormones. We now have the ability to place time-release pellets of approved human hormones in the fat underneath the skin to deliver more youthful levels of hormones. The hormone is absorbed slowly and steadily for months following placement. While this does not provide a “fountain of youth,” it can dramatically improve many patients’ quality of life and overall health in measurable ways. These findings are also supported by hundreds of recent scientific studies.
What Are Hormones?
Hormones are chemical messengers that travel through the bloodstream and affect specific types of cells that have receptors for that hormone. Many types of cells go on to modify the hormone once it is absorbed. For instance, cells from the brain, bone, and heart absorb testosterone easily then convert it to estrogen as needed.
What Does Bio-Identical Mean?
Bio-identical hormones have the exact same chemical structure as the hormones made by the human body. Synthetic hormone supplements available in pill form are not bio-identical, and are responsible for side effects and health risks when taken by humans.
What are the Benefits of Bio-Identical Hormone Pellets?
Bio-identical hormones that have been tested for safety can offer a plethora of potential benefits for patients experiencing the negative effects of low or unbalanced hormone production. Hormone levels tend to decrease over time as men and women grow older, causing uncomfortable symptoms that range from hot flashes and night sweats to mood changes, weight gain, and problems sleeping. In these situations, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) via bio-identical hormone pellets can help:
- Alleviate symptoms caused by decreased hormone production, such as sleep problems, mood swings, increased body fat, decreased libido and sexual function, hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, etc.
- Manage the effects of menopause, which may include adult acne, night sweats, weight gain, low mood, and trouble sleeping, among other symptoms
- Re-establish the protective benefits of hormones, including bone density, cardiovascular health, immune function, balance, etc.
- Reversal of diseases traditionally associated with aging, like osteoporosis, loss of strength, fatigue, exercise intolerance, declining muscle mass, lack of mental clarity, etc.
- Enhance the enjoyment, sense of well-being, and quality of life over the long-term future
The goal of bio-identical hormone use is generally to restore balance to your hormone levels, thereby reducing negative symptoms that may interfere with your daily life. As a minimally invasive wellness treatment, use of bio-identical pellets can provide relief for many patients without surgery. However, this method of HRT may not be the right solution for every patient, so we encourage you to ask your primary care provider about bio-identical hormones to identify the best treatment plan for you.
How Is BHT Administered?
Bio-identical hormone pellets come in various strengths from a highly rated commercially licensed compounding pharmacy. The hormones are derived from an ingredient found in many vegetables, particularly yams. Testosterone is placed using time released pellets inserted into body fat. The pellets are very small, usually painless to insert, and provide a steady hormone level for months. Bio-identical hormones cannot be swallowed as a pill. The digestive process will inactivate the hormone. Any hormone drugs that can be taken by mouth are NOT bio-identical.
Testosterone is vital to the health and well-being of BOTH men and women. In men, T is produced by the testicles and adrenal glands. In women, T is produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands. T functions to maintain muscle mass, strength and endurance, decreased fat, increased exercise tolerance, enhancement of the sense of well-being and psychological health. T protects against cardiovascular disease, and reduces blood sugar. It leads to increased muscle mass, increased bone density, decrease in cholesterol, improved skin tone, improved healing capacity, and increased libido and sexual performance. T enhances the quality of life for both men and women by decreasing the diseases of aging. Cells that use Estrogen use Testosterone to manufacture Estrogen inside the cell by a chemical conversion using a specific enzyme. T is extremely important in BOTH men AND women. Although women require substantially less T than men, adequate tissue levels are very important for health in both sexes.
Like Testosterone, Estrogen is a required hormone for BOTH men and women. Estrogens are believed to help protect against heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and memory disorders. It also protects against vaginal atrophy, urinary incontinence, and prevents symptoms of menopause including hot flashes and poor temperature regulation. Estrogen deficiency is linked to urinary incontinence, loss of skin tone, fatigue, depression, mood swings and decreased libido. However, the vast majority of women need only testosterone pellets because their bodies, like men’s, make all the intracellular estrogen they need by converting it from testosterone. This avoids the serious problems that can occur with high levels of estrogen in the blood. Estrogen supplementation is rarely necessary. If it is used, it should be bio-identical. The non-human estrogens found in pills bind nearly 20 times stronger to your cell’s receptors and have been proven to be harmful.
BHT effectiveness may be affected by certain nutritional deficiencies. A notable example is Iodine. This is a trace mineral that is deficient in the normal diet of most Americans. Iodine is essential for the absorption and functioning of Testosterone in our cells. Iodine supplements are inexpensive, readily available, and recommended for patients receiving BHT.
Vitamin B-12 injections are also available for patients who desire them. Many of our patients find B-12 very helpful for increased energy and appetite suppression. The injections can be given weekly or monthly according to your preference and schedule.
What Results Can I Expect From Bio-Identical Hormone Pellets?
While results vary from patient to patient, bio-identical hormone pellets can be effective for many individuals affected by low hormone levels. Symptoms can be significantly reduced, or — in some cases — even eliminated. The time it takes to notice improvements from bioidentical hormone therapy differs for every patient based on the specific details of their health and treatment plan. While some people experience improvements within a few weeks, it can take up to three months for bio-identical hormones to take full effect. It’s important to remember that each patient will achieve different results based on the extent of their symptoms and health history. Dr. Shaw and our team will give you a better understanding of what results you can expect from bio-identical hormones after assessing your needs in person.
How Much Does Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy Cost?
The use of bio-identical hormones requires a personalized treatment plan to truly be effective; therefore, the cost of hormone replacement therapy is different for each patient. In general, the individual factors that may influence your cost estimate include:
- The extent of your symptoms
- Your health and hormone levels
- Your overall goals for treatment
Rest assured that a member of our team will provide you with a personalized quote after evaluating your needs and goals in a consultation. We strive to make treatments as affordable as possible for Wichita patients, which is why we accept plastic surgery financing through CareCredit® for patients who prefer to make payments in low monthly installments. Contact our office today if you have any questions about the cost of bio-identical hormone therapy or to learn more about our financing options.