Hormones are chemicals made by glands present in the body. Hormones are messengers that inform different body parts when and how to work.
Almost all the tasks performed in our body are controlled by hormones. When the hormonal balance is altered, we develop symptoms.
Bioidentical Hormones. Bioidentical hormones are man-made hormones similar to the natural hormones produced in the body. Some common bioidentical hormones include estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Bioidentical hormones are used in people who have low hormones or whose hormones are out of balance.
Certain prescription bioidentical hormones are pre-made by pharmaceutical companies. Others are made by your pharmacist based on the doctor’s prescription. This process is called compounding.
The US FDA has approved several bioidentical preparations of progesterone and estradiol (molecularly similar to natural hormones). Each dose of these preparations has the same amount as required by the body.
The compounded bioidentical hormones have not yet got FDA approval.
Uses of Bioidentical HormonesAs a person ages, the levels of critical hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone starts going down. This results in the development of certain symptoms.
Some common symptoms include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Loss of energy
- Decreased libido
- Vaginal dryness
- Sleep problems
- Weight gain
- Loss of muscle mass
- Memory loss
- Clouded thinking
- Mood changes
How Are They Given?There is no one way of giving bioidentical hormones. Bioidentical hormones can be provided in the form of patches, pills, gels, creams, shots, and implanted pellets.
The route of medication administration will be decided by your doctor based on several factors. One may have to use more than one method to determine the best administration route.
Bioidentical Hormone PelletsLet’s take a closer look at bioidentical hormone pellets.
Compared to other forms of bioidentical hormone delivery, pellets are superior as they do not affect the liver and are proved to deliver a steady dose of hormones.
Bioidentical hormone pellets are cylindrical and are manufactured by using heavy pressure (thousands of pounds). This is then inserted under the patient’s skin.
Hormone pellets are autoclaved to remain sterile. These pellets are absorbed by the body, depending on the volume of blood pumped.
The advantage of hormone pellets is that it helps in creating the steadiest hormone level. Since these get dissolved in the body, everyone who uses these pellets achieves optimal hormonal levels in a quick time.
Types of Hormone Pellet TherapyWe can differentiate pellet therapy into two distinct types:
- Pellet therapy for men
- Pellets therapy for women
Pellet therapy for menLow testosterone has been linked to several symptoms in a man. It not only impacts the sexual functions but is also associated with increased body fat, loss of muscle mass, chronic fatigue, depression, irritability, and foggy brain.
Testosterone pellet therapy is a type of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy available for men. The use of testosterone pellets has been shown to increase energy, increase muscle strength, improve depression, and decrease fat mass among others.
Pellet therapy for womenA study has shown that hormonal imbalances in women during perimenopause, as well as menopause, can result in the development of various symptoms which impact the quality of life.
Some of the common symptoms are hot flashes, weight gain, decreased sex drive, fatigue, depression, irritability, and insomnia, among others.
To address the hormonal imbalance, women are prescribed both estrogen and testosterone replacement.
This pellet therapy helps in bringing the hormones back to their optimal levels and improve the quality of life.
Pellet ImplantationHormone pellets are inserted below the skin. The pellet is placed under the skin of either buttock. The pill is dissolved slowly based on the cardiac output.
This is a small procure that can be done in the doctor’s office. The skin of the buttocks is thoroughly cleaned, and a local anesthetic is applied. The doctor makes a small incision and places the pellet inside.
During a typical procedure, more than one pellet is implanted.
While the pellets get dissolved, the hormones get released slowly into the bloodstream, which helps in establishing a smooth hormone balance. These pellets last around 3-5 months.
The hormone level increases a few days after insertion, peak after one month, and then slowly drift downwards over several months.
The TakeawayBioidentical hormone replacement therapy may be an excellent option for those who have problems with hormone levels.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is not without any side effects or risks, some of which can be severe and can be life-threatening.
It is important to talk with your doctor before you decide to go ahead with it. If you choose to go ahead, get the lowest dose possible which can be effective for the shortest time.