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Hormone Therapy

Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men and Women

Hormone balance is crucial for optimal health and well-being. Throughout your body, hormones such as DHEA, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and others work together in a careful balance to control many organs and biological processes. When the delicate, youthful balance between these hormones is disturbed, you begin to experience symptoms of hormone imbalance and your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and osteoporosis increases.

Unfortunately, hormone imbalance is a natural consequence of aging. In adults over age 35, hormone levels begin to decline—but they don’t decline evenly. Some decline more rapidly than others, resulting in unpleasant symptoms of hormone decline and imbalance. This hormone decline is also influenced by factors such as stress, activity level, diet, sexual activities, and even environment. Additionally, many medical conditions affect hormone levels, especially surgical removal of hormone-producing organs such as ovaries, testes, or the pituitary gland.

Whatever causes it, hormone imbalance can cause many symptoms such as decreased energy levels, decreased sex drive, weight gain, difficulty sleeping, hot flashes, night sweats, depressed mood, and a loss of your general sense of well-being.

Most people think this is natural, that aging always comes with symptoms like fatigue, low energy, loss of motivation, depressed mood, anxiety, irritability, loss of memory or loss of concentration. But this isn’t true! These symptoms are not “just a part of getting older” and you don’t have to live with these “symptoms of aging” anymore.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the science of correcting hormone imbalances with the goal of restoring youthful, optimal hormone levels and relieving the symptoms of hormone imbalance and deficiency. The HRT programs at Genemedics use bioidentical hormones that are individually prescribed for each of our patients. Our doctors have decades of experience designing bioidentical hormone replacement therapy programs for both men and women.

What Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a specialized field of medicine that relies on the use of bioidentical hormones to correct hormone imbalances in men and women.

Unlike conventional hormone replacement therapy, which uses synthetic hormones or those derived from animals, BHRT uses naturally derived hormones to eliminate symptoms. Bioidentical hormones have the exact molecular and chemical structure of the hormones produced by the human body. Some people make the false assumption that bioidentical hormones are called natural because they are found in nature. Although they are made from yams or soy, bioidentical hormones are man-made just as synthetic hormones are. The reason bioidentical hormones are considered natural is because they are exactly the same molecule as the hormones naturally found in the human body.

Studies show that BHRT significantly improves quality of life and health while decreasing the risk of developing chronic illnesses.

Unlike synthetic hormones, which can have serious side effects, side effects associated with BHRT are minimal to none because the hormone levels remain in the physiologic (normal) range. Your younger body once produced these physiologic hormone levels and is still capable of utilizing hormones within this range.

BHRT has been used with great success by patients throughout Europe and the United States since the 1930s and is currently being used to improve the lives of millions of men and women with hormonal imbalances, including celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Suzanne Somers, and Sylvester Stallone.

At Genemedics Health Institute, our hormone replacement therapy expert doctors have worked with thousands of patients to create customized BHRT programs that are uniquely designed to correct their particular hormonal balance. Our BHRT programs are based on the most advanced testing available and complemented by personalized nutrition and exercise programs, as well as a supplement program to correct nutrient deficiencies. Your program is guaranteed to restore your hormone levels to a youthful level and help you regain the youthful vigor and health you enjoyed in your 20s and 30s.

Why Bioidentical Hormones Are Better than Synthetic Hormones

Natural bioidentical hormones are a safer and more effective treatment of hormone imbalance than synthetic hormones. Synthetic hormones have foreign compounds that the human body does not recognize. For example, synthetic estrogen is produced from a pregnant horse’s urine and there are horse estrogens in this medication, which is harmful to the human body. Synthetic hormones act as toxins to the human body because their different chemical structure does not bind to the cell receptor and does not get broken down (metabolized) properly. Synthetic hormones have been shown to increase the risk of blood clots, heart disease, various cancers, strokes, and dementia.

Benefits of Bioidentical Hormones

• Reduces overall body fat
• Improves muscle tone
• Increases energy levels
• Improves sex drive
• Improves frequency and intensity of orgasms
• Increases muscle mass and strength
• Results in wrinkle reduction with younger, tighter skin
• Improves mood
• Improves concentration • Improves memory
• Improves sleep
• Enhances exercise performance
• Eliminates hot flashes
• Eliminates night sweats
• Decreases urinary tract infections
• Improves cholesterol profile
• Improves bone strength and bone density
• Decreases risk of heart disease
• AND MUCH MORE!
Bioidentical hormones used in Genemedics’ BHRT programs include:

Testosterone

Testosterone is responsible for the normal growth and development of the male sex organs and for maintenance of other sexual characteristics. In men, testosterone is produced in the testes, the reproductive glands that also produce sperm. The amount of testosterone produced by the testes is regulated by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. Some effects of testosterone in men may include:

• Growth and maturation of prostate and other male sex organs
• Development of male hair distribution such as facial hair
• Changes in body muscle mass and strength and fat distribution
• Sex drive and sexual function
• Mood and energy level
• Bone strength

In women, the ovaries produce both testosterone and estrogen. Relatively small quantities of testosterone are released into a woman’s bloodstream by the ovaries, adrenal glands, and fat tissue. Both sex hormones are involved in the growth, maintenance, and repair of reproductive tissues.

Progesterone

Progesterone is a female hormone that stimulates and regulates various functions, including maintaining pregnancy. Progesterone is produced in the ovaries, the placenta (during pregnancy), and the adrenal glands. It helps prepare your body for conception and pregnancy and regulates your monthly menstrual cycle. It also plays a role in sexual desire.

One of progesterone’s most important functions is to cause the endometrium to secrete special proteins during the second half of the menstrual cycle, preparing it to receive and nourish an implanted fertilized egg. If implantation does not occur, estrogen and progesterone levels drop, the endometrium breaks down, and menstruation occurs.

High progesterone levels are believed to be partly responsible for symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as breast tenderness, feeling bloated, and mood swings. When you skip a period, it could be because of failure to ovulate and subsequent low progesterone levels.

At menopause, a woman’s estrogen level may drop by 40-60% (or lower in cases involving thin women). The will stop the menstrual cycles. Progesterone levels, however, may drop close to zero in some women.

At menopause, the adrenal glands and other organs take over the manufacture of hormones, particularly testosterone and estrogen, and some progesterone. However, in cases of adrenal exhaustion and other health problems, the body often cannot compensate adequately, thus causing further hormonal havoc.

Progesterone is a building block for many other steroid hormones, such as cortisol, testosterone, and estrogen (i.e., estriol, estradiol, and estrone). Because it is a modulator, its use can greatly enhance overall hormonal balance. Progesterone therapy stimulates bone building and helps protect against osteoporosis. For women who suffer hormonal imbalance but are not necessarily menopausal, progesterone is equally important. Even young women in their 20s and, on occasion, teenagers may need progesterone if they are not ovulating regularly and have an array of estrogen-dominant symptoms.

Estrogen

The hormone estrogen comprises a group of compounds that includes estrone, estradiol, and estriol. Estrogen is the main sex hormone in women and is essential to the menstrual cycle. Although estrogen also exists in men, it is found in higher amounts in women, especially women of reproductive age who still have their ovaries.

Estrogen contributes to the development of secondary sex characteristics. In women, these characteristics include breasts, a widened pelvis, and increased amounts of body fat in the buttock, thigh, and hip region. Estrogen also contributes to the fact that women have less facial hair and smoother skin than men.

Estrogen is an essential part of a woman’s reproductive process. It regulates the menstrual cycle and prepares the uterus for pregnancy by enriching and thickening the endometrium. Two hormones, luteinizing hormone (LH) and the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), help control how the body produces estrogen in women who ovulate.

Estrogen is manufactured mostly in the ovaries by developing egg follicles. In addition, estrogen is produced by the corpus luteum in the ovary, as well as by the placenta. The liver, breasts, and adrenal glands may also contribute to estrogen production, although in smaller quantities.
Estrogen also supports bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis in men and women.
Low levels of estrogen can lead to osteoporosis, diabetes, and obesity. If you are experiencing symptoms of low levels of estrogen, it is important to determine estrogen levels.

Cortisol

Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands, which sit above the kidneys. Known as the “stress hormone,” cortisol makes blood pressure and blood sugar levels rise. Chronic elevated blood pressure can increase your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. Effectively managing stress may also help keep cortisol levels down and protect the immune system. Cortisol plays an important role in helping the body release insulin, maintain glucose levels, and keep the immune system healthy.

Cortisol does provide benefits, including regulation of blood pressure, cardiovascular function, and how the body uses fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Cortisol also causes the breakdown of muscle proteins that are released into the bloodstream as amino acids. The liver uses these amino acids to synthesize glucose through a process known as gluconeogenesis. This process also raises blood sugar levels to provide the brain with glucose. The brain cannot use fat as an energy source. It can only use simple sugars like glucose.

Cortisol also causes the body to release fatty acids like omega-3s into the bloodstream. Muscles can then use these fatty acids as an energy source.

DHEA

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands. The body converts DHEA into other sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. DHEA levels typically peak in your 20s and decline with age, which is why there has been considerable interest in DHEA and its role in aging. Low levels of DHEA have been detected in some people with type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, and kidney disease. Certain medications may also deplete DHEA, including corticosteroids and insulin.

DHEA is often taken to slow or reverse the aging process, enhance exercise performance, prevent Alzheimer’s disease, improve libido, fight fatigue, enhance health in people with HIV/AIDS, soothe menopausal symptoms, treat erectile dysfunction, and stimulate the immune system.

Thyroid

The thyroid gland is a small gland located in the lower part of the neck. It is one of the largest endocrine glands in the body and plays a major role in energy and metabolism through the production of thyroid hormones.

The principle thyroid hormones, triidothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), are produced by the thyroid gland when stimulated by thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) (a pituitary hormone). Thyroid hormone plays a major role in metabolism and energy. The thyroid does this by controlling the speed of energy utilization, protein production, and hormone sensitivity for all of the hormones in the body.

Thyroid imbalance occurs when the thyroid gland produces too little (hypothyroidism) or too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism). Both of these conditions cause many unpleasant symptoms. Thyroid imbalance also causes an imbalance of other hormones, which adds to these unpleasant symptoms. Thyroid imbalance also increases the risk of developing medical conditions such as heart disease, obesity, and osteoporosis.

HGH/IGF-1

Human growth hormone (HGH) has long been known for the benefits it yields to athletes (which explains why it’s been banned in most competitive sports). However, the real benefits of HGH for most people are due to its conversion to another hormone known as insulin-like growth factor-1, or IGF-1. IGF-1 is connected to a wide range of health processes and benefits, including muscle health, healthy cell division, improved sexual health, regulation of blood sugar to normal ranges, and a healthy immune system. Genemedics is one of the few clinics in the country that regularly monitors IGF-1 levels and has physicians trained in balancing and supporting healthy IGF-1 levels.

Pregnenolone

Pregnenolone is an adrenal hormone that is sometimes called the “master hormone” because it is the first step in the synthesis of other sex hormones such as testosterone, DHEA, and estrogen. It is manufactured directly from cholesterol. A pregnenolone deficiency can cause (or reveal) deficiencies in other steroid hormones.

Aside from helping to synthesize other hormones, pregnenolone helps maintain cognitive health and brain function, thanks to its role in helping synthesize neurohormones in the brain. Low levels of pregnenolone have been linked to cognitive issues, low energy and feeling tired, depressed mood, and worse-than-usual symptoms of menstruation in women.

Although there isn’t as much research on the effects of pregnenolone therapy as other steroid hormones, it’s still a typical part of many BHRT programs. This is due to its role as the main steroid hormone and its importance in maintaining overall hormone balance in the body.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D has captured the attention of the research community over the past ten years for a very simple reason: scientists continue to discover profound benefits of adequate vitamin D levels, while also uncovering an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is manufactured in the skin in response to sunlight. However, since more people are avoiding direct sunlight, many people are not making enough vitamin D.

This is especially unfortunate, because low vitamin D has been associated with increased risk of heart disease, multiple types of cancer, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, multiple sclerosis, mood disorders including anxiety and depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and bone disorders including osteoporosis.

Because of this, vitamin D testing and supplementation is a mainstay of many supplementation and nutrition programs. All patients at Genemedics are tested for adequate vitamin D levels—using clinically validated blood levels—and if necessary, prescribed vitamin D.

Side Effects of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

Perhaps because so many people have read about the side effects of conventional hormone replacement therapy, many patients wonder about the side effects of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).

It’s important to understand that BHRT is very different than conventional hormone replacement therapy. Conventional hormone replacement therapy uses synthetic hormones that are not biologically the same as the hormones produced by your body. For example, the most commonly prescribed estrogen in women, Premarin, is a synthetic estrogen produced from the urine of a pregnant horse. It does not take an expert to realize that horse estrogen belongs in a horse and not a human. Studies have shown that synthetic hormones have many side effects.

By contrast, BHRT uses hormones that are exact duplicates of the hormones produced by your body. When used correctly, under the supervision of a trained and qualified physician, there are minimal to no side effects for BHRT. Instead, patients experience relief from their symptoms and feel a return of youthful energy and vigor.

Unfortunately, most doctors are not qualified or properly trained to administer BHRT. This knowledge is not taught in medical schools, but must be learned by taking hundreds of hours of post-graduate training. Worse still, even doctors without this specialized training are still able to prescribe BHRT. Improperly managed BHRT can result in side effects and increased risks for a variety of health concerns. Because of this, it’s very important to research the physician you choose for your BHRT.

The doctors are Genemedics Health Institute are among the nation’s leading BHRT experts. All of our physicians have been through thousands of hours of training, not to mention the thousands of patients we’ve worked with in our clinic to help restore youthful hormone levels.

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My name is Michael D. Sharrow. I have been a firefighter for fourteen years. Before I started the Genemedics Health Institute program, I would get out of breath at fires and found myself dreading going to fires because I knew it would just about kill me. I was actually rushed to the hospital in the middle of a fire because of difficulty breathing a...

- Mike Sharrow,

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