Frequently Asked Questions About BHRT
Erika L. LeBaron, D.O. at Vitality Integrative Medicine is a Manassas, Virginia Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Doctor that uses Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy to help men and women overcome the effects of aging and hormonal decline. Throughout the course of her practice, Erika L. LeBaron, D.O. has helped countless patients to live healthier, fuller lives by helping them to regain hormonal balance. Erika L. LeBaron, D.O. is happy to answer any questions that patients may have in regards to Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, and some of the common questions that her patients have about Bioidentical Hormones include:
What forms of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy are available?
Currently, Erika L. LeBaron, D.O. offers Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy in several different forms, and she considers the patient’s other health issues before recommending a specific approach. For example, people with high cholesterol tend to do better with the patch but worse with oral medications. Because people with sensitive skin may have an adverse reaction to the patch, another method is usually preferred. If one method is not tolerated well, the patient can always switch to another method.
What testing do I need to determine if Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is right for me?
This depends on the patient’s gender and the types of symptoms he or she is currently experiencing. For women, most doctors choose to test hormone levels by collecting a saliva sample or by conducting a follicle stimulating hormone test. For this test, a doctor collects a blood sample three times in 60-minute intervals beginning at a specific time. Performing simple blood tests on male patients can determine current testosterone levels.
What symptoms can be alleviated with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Both men and women commonly report low sex drive, hot flashes and night sweats, weight gain, mood swings, and fatigue. Problems that affect men alone include loss of muscle tone, erectile dysfunction, low sperm counts, and loss of body hair. Women frequently complain of vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, and worsening issues with premenstrual syndrome. This is just a small sample of the dozens of symptoms that either gender may experience as a result of imbalanced or low hormone levels.
What age groups benefit most from Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Women tend to experience problems with hormone imbalance when they start perimenopause, which happens several years before actual menopause. This could be anywhere from the mid 30s to the early 50s. Men’s bodies start producing less testosterone around the age of 30, but the effects are often not felt until around age 40. In either case, people who are at or near middle age usually benefit from Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy treatments the most.
What is the difference between Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy and other synthetic hormone options available?
Bioidentical hormones are an exact replication of the hormones naturally produced by the body in terms of cell and chemical structure. They are derived from plant extracts and manufactured by a compounding pharmacy to be of maximum benefit to the patient. Synthetic hormones, on the other hand, are altered and replaced with unnatural chemical ingredients. Medical studies conducted in Europe over the past decade indicate that Bioidentical Hormones are safer overall than synthetic ones.
What types of hormones are offered with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Every patient receives the appropriate hormone replacement for his or her gender. The most common types of hormones given by injection, oral medication, patch, or suppository include estrone, estradiol, progesterone, thyroid hormone, and testosterone. Erika L. LeBaron, D.O. decides on the specific hormones to use in replacement therapy based on the result of the patient’s hormone tests and self-reported complications of hormone imbalance.
Can Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy help alleviate menopause symptoms?
Yes. By the time a woman has completed menopause, her body stops producing estrogen altogether. Prior to that, the reduced production of estrogen can cause a wide range of symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain. By replacing what the body has lost, balance is restored and the symptoms are greatly reduced or even eliminated.
Erika L. LeBaron, D.O. at Vitality Integrative Medicine has used Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy to help a vast number of patients to reduce the physical and mental signs of aging and hormonal decline. Her customized programs are suited to meet unique needs and have helped countless women and men to regain their quality of life.