Santa Monica Naturopathic Doctor | Amanda Frick, ND

Bio-Identical Hormones (BHRT)

About Hormones and Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)

Hormones change…

The amount of hormones that the body produces from month to month (and even year to year) can vary, depending on factors such as stress, nutrition, exercise, and most importantly – ovulation or the lack of ovulation which accompanies the onset of perimenopause.

If you are a woman in your late 30′s and 40′s you may be in peri-menopause which can cause you to produce estrogen, but less progesterone. This is known as estrogen dominance, and it disturbs the balance with progesterone. If you are an older woman or man, you may be in menopause or andropause (male menopause) and may have further hormonal imbalance which can disrupt many aspects of daily life.

Hormone imbalance results in a number of symptoms, among the best known are the “menopause symptoms” such as hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain and low libido, but there are so many other symptoms that can result from imbalanced hormones at any stage in life in both men and women. Dr. Amanda can help you to identify exactly what your hormone levels are, and what they might be telling you about your menstrual cycle, mood, weight, libido, sexual function and much more.

How do I find out what my hormone levels are?

We utilize saliva collection testing for the most accurate assessment of your hormone levels. This testing is a very easy kit that you will take with you from the office. You collect your saliva at four times throughout the day (often on a specific day of the month) from the privacy of your home. The results of this test show a complete picture of hormone levels – estrogen(s), progesterone, testosterone, cortisol and DHEA. Knowing exact hormone levels and ratios allows us to customize a treatment specifically to meet your needs which may include lifestyle recommendations, herbs, supplements and/or bio-idential hormone supplementation.

You can read more about salivary hormone testing for women HERE, and for men HERE.

What are bio-identical hormones?

Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), also called natural hormone replacement therapy, is the supplemental use of bio-identical hormones (estrogen, progesterone and/or testosterone) to replace and/or balance your body’s own hormones.

Bio-identical hormones are molecularly the same as the hormones your body produces. Bio-identical hormones are produced from plant sources, but are still considered natural to the body because they are identical biologically to hormones and so they help you to rebalance hormone levels in a safer, gentler, and more natural way.

How do I use bio-identical hormones?

If your hormones are found to be out of balance and you chose to supplement with BHRT, your program will include a prescription with individualized, compounded doses of bio-identical hormones. This varies greatly from the “one dose fits all” approach of conventional hormone replacement therapy. Your prescription will be tailored specifically to fit your individual needs and concerns. The prescription will be filled at a compounding pharmacy in the form of a topical cream or gel, which you will apply to your skin. You may use some creams daily, and others you may use on a rotational basis. It will be recommended that you rotate application sites, which may include the wrists, chest, inner upper arms, inner thighs and buttocks.

While results may vary, many people find they get relief from their symptoms very quickly, within a day to 2 weeks! After 3-6 months, you will return to the office and have your hormone levels checked once again, to make sure you are moving closer toward your ideal balance and optimum health.

How do I get started?

Contact us to schedule your initial consult and discuss your individual symptoms and concerns. We will then work together to decide if hormone testing BHRT may be a good fit into your wellness plan.

Not all natural solutions for menopause symptoms and hormonal imbalances involve bio-identical hormones. We are happy to discuss and recommend dietary/lifestyle changes, herbs and other supplements to help you find optimum wellness and peak performance.