When you don’t feel well, all you want is to feel better.
It is likely that the reason you are here is because the traditional model of medicine has failed to help you feel better or achieve your health and wellness goals. Or, you know that you need to do something to take back control of your health, but the medical care providers you have met with have not offered you a successful path toward your goals.
That’s where BodyLogicMD steps in.
BodyLogicMD makes up the nation’s largest network of the most highly-trained practitioners specializing in integrative medicine and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. So, when you trust your care to a specialist within the network, you can rest assured knowing you’re in the hands of a top-tier professional.
Frequently Asked Questions
We live in a world of massive media and information. Make sure the information you receive is accurate. We've compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions from our patients.
Q. What are bioidentical hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are an exact structural replica of the hormones that are naturally produced by the body. The difference between bioidentical hormones and synthetic hormones is that, although both are created in labs, synthetic hormones are not identical to the hormones naturally created in your body while bioidentical hormones match human hormones molecule by molecule.
Depending on what your symptoms are and which hormone(s) your body needs, your BodyLogicMD affiliated practitioner may choose to prescribe bioidentical hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid hormones, DHEA, melatonin, or others as needed.
Q. Who needs bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT)?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy benefits men and women of various ages suffering from hormonal imbalances. Each treatment plan is uniquely tailored to the individual. To select the right therapy, you must understand all the available options for therapy and exactly how bioidentical hormone therapy can enhance your life and wellbeing.
How Do You Know if Your Hormone Levels are Unbalanced?
If you are considering hormone replacement therapy (HRT), you may be experiencing symptoms that may be keeping you from feeling like yourself. Those symptoms may be the earliest signs of aging, such as foggy thinking, sleeplessness, muscle loss, or low energy. Furthermore, conditions of aging like menopause in women can cause hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain while even post-menopausal women experience symptoms including but not limited to hair loss and low libido. Aging also has an effect on men known as andropause, which is caused by fluctuation of testosterone levels.
Human hormones play a significant role in maintaining proper function of the body. Whatever the reason you are seeking ways to feel better, the first step in determining if your symptoms are the result of a hormonal imbalance and that you are a candidate for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, is comprehensive lab testing.
Lab testing at BodyLogicMD assesses blood, urine and sometimes saliva samples to measure the current status of your natural hormones. Your physician will use the results of this lab testing along with your medical history and current symptoms to make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. Hormonal imbalances may be treated with bio-identical hormones.
Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Options
There are many delivery methods available for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Your doctor will make recommendations for you based on availability, medical needs, lifestyle and personal preferences. Bioidentical hormone delivery options include pills, patches, creams, injections, and pellets.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Benefits
Bioidentical hormones are hormones that have the exact same chemical structure as the hormones naturally occurring in our bodies.
Bioidentical hormones have been shown in some studies to cause fewer side effects and risks. In 2002, the famed Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), a large study on hormone therapy and women's health, was halted early. a large study on hormone therapy and women’s health, was halted early. The early discontinuation of the study was linked to the increased incidence of breast cancer, stroke, and heart disease among many of the trial participants. The study used synthetic hormones to treat menopausal symptoms and hypothesized that the therapy would reduce cardiovascular diseases and fractures because bioidentical estrogen and progesterone have been shown in studies to have these positive benefits.
The study ruined the reputation of hormone therapy for many decades. Experts have reviewed the study and found the methodologies to be flawed. Many point to the choice in hormone therapy—artificial forms of progesterone and estrogen as a primary factor for the increased risk of disease.
Bioidentical hormones, on the other hand, are derived from naturally-occurring sources and designed to be structurally identical to the natural hormones produced by the human body. The structural match improves the likelihood that the supplemented hormones will function the same as your own natural hormones. In studies, bioidentical hormones, such as estradiol and progesterone, resulted in fewer negative side effects and enhanced effectiveness.
When your physician writes a prescription for bioidentical hormones, your order may be sent to a compounding pharmacy. AIf the prescription is sent to a compounding pharmacy, a compounding pharmacist will develop the prescription in the exact dosage and strength prescribed by your physician. This is an important detail to note when choosing bioidentical hormone therapy. Unlike non-bioidentical hormones, which are mass produced in specified strengths and dosages, bioidentical hormones are custom-tailored to the needs of the patient. It is one more way bioidentical hormone therapy helps more patients achieve their goals with fewer side effects and better outcomes.
Making the Choice for Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
It can be difficult to determine the best solution for hormonal imbalance. You may have lived with the nuisance of low energy for years or the nagging discomfort of hot flashes for only a month. Regardless of your tenure with hormonal imbalance, you want to choose a treatment option that is effective and allows you to live a healthier, fuller life.
At BodyLogicMD, your treatment plan is tailored to meet the needs of your lifestyle, as well as address your symptoms and health concerns. Every practitioner of the BodyLogicMD network has advanced training in hormone health and continues to pursue ongoing education in the field of anti-aging medicine and bioidentical hormone therapy.
Your journey as a patient will begin with comprehensive lab testing. When your results are processed, they will be sent to your physician for review. At your first consultation, your doctor will get to know you, your symptoms and medical history, as well as discuss the results of your lab testing. Together, the two of you will discover the best treatment plan for your unique needs. Bioidentical hormone therapy is often part of a successful treatment plan, but it is not the only therapy. Your physician may also prescribe supplements, offer nutritional guidance and suggest routine exercise as part of your treatment.
Hormone therapy is a journey. Like most effective therapies, consistent dedication toward your goals will yield the greatest success. It will take time for your body to adjust to the hormones, supplements, and therapies for you to begin to see results and ultimately reach your goals. You and your physician will check-in on a routine basis to ensure your treatment is on track for success or if adjustments need to be made. Ongoing communication between you and your practitioner is essential to a successful treatment plan.
Only you can decide in bioidentical hormone therapy is the best choice for your health and wellbeing. The expert team and BodyLogicMD is available to answer all of your questions and assist you in getting started on your bioidentical hormone treatment therapy. When you are ready to begin your journey to feeling better and rediscovering the health and vitality you once knew, contact BodyLogicMD.
Q. What is the difference between bioidentical and synthetic hormones?
The difference between bioidentical hormones and synthetic hormones is dual fold. Unlike bioidentical hormones, synthetic, or conventional, hormones may be patented by pharmaceutical companies; therefore dosage varies only by milligrams dictated by your doctor, while the molecular structure of the prescribed hormone is the same for every single person on that drug. Additionally, synthetic hormones are not created structurally the same as human endogenous hormones, which often leads uncomfortable side effects. While synthetic hormones can mimic the effects of endogenous hormones on certain biological pathways, they rarely offer the same effectiveness at a deeper, molecular level.
Bioidentical hormones mimic the affinity of human endogenous hormones; therefore they are effective on more biological pathways, at all levels. Because bioidentical hormones are an exact structural replica of endogenous hormones, side effects are rarely observed, and in the event you do experience side effects, talk with your doctor—the dosage may simply need to be adjusted. The added benefit of bioidentical hormones is that each dose is tailored specifically for your needs, not simply what doses the pharmaceutical company offers (as is the case with synthetic hormones.)
Q. What are the ingredients of bioidentical hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are hormones derived from plants, such as soy or wild yams, and are designed to be structurally identical to the hormones produced naturally inside the human body. Additional ingredients in each prescription vary by hormone: testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, etc. and form:creams, gels, pellets, pills, etc.
Your pharmacy may be able to provide you with an ingredient list for your specific medication.
Q. Why do women need hormones before, during and after menopause?
Hormones affect a multitude of pathways in the body. Women may experience fluctuations in their hormone levels throughout the lifespan. Imbalances can occur due lifestyle and environmental factors, as well as expected changes, such as onset of menses, pregnancy, childbirth, perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. Imbalances of hormones, including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone can lead to many uncomfortable experiences, like night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, depression, and anxiety. The most common decline seen in menopausal and post-menopausal women is estrogen. When estrogen levels become unbalanced, women may experience symptoms such as low libido and bone loss. The bone loss that women experience due to declining estrogen levels can lead to osteoporosis and increase the likelihood of bone fractures. Adjustments to a woman’s hormone levels through bioidentical hormone therapy and lifestyle changes can reduce or eliminate these discomforts and improve overall health and well-being.
Q. Why do men need testosterone replacement?
As men age, production of the hormone testosterone begins to decline and many men experience symptoms of low testosterone. Testosterone is the hormone that is responsible for maintaining mental focus, energy, metabolism, muscle mass, fat levels, and sex drive. By balancing a man's hormones with bioidentical hormone therapy, men can restore vitality and reduce the symptoms of low testosterone (also known as andropause).
Q. What makes BodyLogicMD affiliated practitioners experts in bioidentical hormone therapy?
The practitioners of the BodyLogicMD network must be Board Certified or Board Eligible in a clinical field that requires patient contact and in good standing with their associated college. Each practitioner must pass both the oral and written boards of the American Board of Anti-Aging Physicians within 1 year of opening or joining a franchise practice. All practitioners must have completed the Fellowship for Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine coursework and earn continuing medical education in the area of anti-aging and functional medicine of no less than 150 credits accrued over a 3-year period. Every practitioner must maintain an active membership with the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M)
Q. Why don't traditional doctors prescribe bioidentical hormones?
Traditional doctors do not usually have the time or the resources to seek expertise in bioidentical hormones. BodyLogicMD affiliated physicians undergo extensive training in bioidentical hormone therapy and have specialized knowledge of anti-aging medicine.
Q. What can I expect once I've become a patient?
Upon becoming a patient, the BodyLogicMD team will order the necessary labs for your visit, book your initial consultation, and send you an email with instructions on the steps necessary to prepare for your first appointment.
The hormone testing kits for urine, saliva, and/or blood spot testing will be mailed to your home. Follow the detailed instructions included in the urine, saliva, and/or blood spot kit and mail it back to the return address.
The order for your serum blood lab will be emailed to you. To complete this order, visit a local Quest Lab. You can find the location nearest you at QuestDiagnostics.com.
You will need to complete the online medical history and all necessary lab tests prior to your first appointment. Once your practitioner receives your test results, a patient services representative will contact you to confirm your first appointment.
A few weeks after your initial consultation, a patient services representative of BodyLogicMD will contact you to schedule your subsequent lab testing and appointment. This appointment will allow your physician to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments for achieving optimal results and hormone balance. As you move forward on the program, appointments will be scheduled every three to four months to discuss your progress, make any necessary adjustments to your prescriptions, and discuss any concerns or successes you may have at this point in your treatment.
Q. My sex drive is low, could it be my hormones?
Are hormones affecting your sex drive? The answer is likely a resounding yes. Regardless if you are enjoying a healthy sex drive, a high sex drive, or agonizing over a low sex drive, in most cases, your hormones are in control. For some patients, emotional and psychological factors play a role in sexual desire. For both men and women, sex drive that has diminished with age, menopause, andropause, or pregnancy is likely linked to a hormonal issue. Approximately 70 percent of low libido issues are related to a hormonal imbalance. A low libido due to hormonal imbalance does not mean that you are helpless. In fact, you can take an active role in resetting your hormones to reclaim your sex drive.
What the Research Says: Hormones & Sex Drive
The research on sexual dysfunction and low sex drive is vast and has grown significantly in the last ten years, as sexual functioning and related topics have become less taboo discussions between patients and their doctors.
A 2016 study published in the _Journal of Sexual Medicine_ found that there is a greater prevalence of multiple sexual dysfunctions in women, namely issues with desire and arousal. Men, on the other hand, generally struggle with a single issue, most frequently premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction.
Low sex drive or impaired sexual function is often linked to the sex hormones: estrogen and testosterone, but imbalances in progesterone, DHEA, thyroid hormones and even cortisol can affect your sexual desire.
Low levels of estrogen can impact sexual functioning and desire in women. Too little estrogen can contribute to vaginal dryness, making intercourse painful. Low estrogen can also impair sleep and cause mood swings, which are rarely a positive influence on sexual desire.
Testosterone is the hormone that has the greatest influence on human sexuality. Low testosterone production can affect sex drive and sexual performance in both women and men. Low levels of testosterone can negatively impact the desire to have sex, cause erectile dysfunction in men, and limit arousal and orgasm in women. Stamina may also be affected in both genders if testosterone levels are low.
A 2013 study found that increased levels of progesterone were correlated with a decreased sex drive in women. This correlation was noted by tracking and observing hormonal fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle. When progesterone levels were at their peak, women reported a greater disinterest in sex.
DHEA can have implications on sexual health, but since it is a precursor to testosterone, imbalances are often better treated with testosterone therapy. A small study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that women supplementing DHEA reported significant increases in frequency of thoughts about sex, interest in sexual activity and mental and physical satisfaction. Minor side effects were reported, including oily skin, acne, increased body hair and hair loss. Changes in dosage reduced side effects<. <="" p="">
High cortisol levels can affect sexual behavior. High levels of cortisol are common in individuals who are stressed. Too much stress can send the adrenal system into overdrive and cause an influx of cortisol. Excess cortisol leads to unwelcome effects such as fatigue, weight gain and impaired immunity—factors that can lead to a low sex drive or general disinterest in sex. However, a 2008 study found that sexual arousal can be impaired by an increase in cortisol as the result of anxiety about sexual performance.
Low Sex Drive in Men
Low sex drive in men is most commonly linked to issues with sexual performance, such as erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. However, men with a hormonal imbalance may also struggle with the desire to have sex.
Low testosterone is frequently the diagnosis for sexual dysfunction in men. Testosterone plays a role in energy and weight management—two side factors important for sex drive. It also plays a strong role in sexual desire, stamina, arousal and performance.
Erectile dysfunction, which commonly occurs in older men can be influenced by low testosterone. Erectile dysfunction (ED) that is not a result of low testosterone may be treated with a class of drugs known as PDE-5 inhibitors. These drugs enhance blood flow to the penis, which leads to an erection. If this pathway is blocked, as a result of vascular impairment, it can be a sign of more serious diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke or complications with diabetes.
Premature ejaculation is the most common form of sexual dysfunction in men and affects men of all ages for a variety of reasons. Ejaculation is regulated by neurotransmitters, hormones, prostate and erectile dysfunction. The cause of premature ejaculation (PE) may be an issue with one or some of these systems/conditions. For example, hyperthyroidism has been shown to contribute to PE and may be treated with anti-thyroid medications. Serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which act on the neurotransmitter, serotonin, can help men who are struggling with PE. Prostate issues and erectile dysfunction can also be contribute to the incidence of PE.
Although low testosterone is the most commonly diagnosed factor for low libido and sexual dysfunction in men, it is not the only hormone to play a role. Men who are stressed, depressed or lack sleep may also show a disinterest in sex. These symptoms may be related to high cortisol, or adrenal fatigue, or an imbalance of the thyroid hormones that influence metabolism, energy and sleep.
Boosting Sex Drive in Men with Hormonal Balance
Men who have noticed negative changes in their sleep patterns, sexual function, self-confidence, and reduced muscle mass or increased body fat may be suffering from a hormonal imbalance.
Hormone therapy is an effective treatment option for addressing issues with sex drive or sexual dysfunction that are caused by hormonal imbalance. A 2016 study published in the Endocrine Society's _Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism_ examined the effects of testosterone therapy on sexual interest and activity in older men. This study was the part of a series of studies known as the Testosterone Trials, which examined the efficacy of hormone therapy in men aged 65 and older with low testosterone levels who are experiencing symptoms of testosterone deficiency. The year-long study found that men who were treated with testosterone therapy experienced consistent improvement in sex drive and 10 of 12 measurements of sexual activity. However, for the men in the placebo group, no significant changes were noted in their responses from the beginning of the study through the end of the study.
In conjunction with hormone therapy, optimal hormone balance is achieved with dietary changes, routine fitness, and strategies to reduce stress. Erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation can both be affected by stress levels. ED is also closely linked to vascular health, therefore diet and exercise can play a significant role in restoring function. Physicians that specialize in hormonal health and hormone therapy can partner with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that will get to the root cause of your symptoms, optimally restoring hormonal balance, overall health and wellbeing.
Low Sex Drive in Women
Low sex drive in women is most often linked to issues with desire and arousal. Many of the hormonal fluctuations that occur throughout a woman's life—puberty, pregnancy and menopause—can cause sexual desire to wane. Women are commonly diagnosed with a condition known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). HSDD is characterized by distress or anxiety related to the absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity in women. HSDD is the most common sexual health complaint among women, affecting 1 in 10 women.
HSDD can be a side effect of medications, certain lifestyle choices, life events: pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause or pain with intercourse. HSDD may also be a result of psychological or emotional issues, such as anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem. Relationship issues that affecting bonding with a partner may also be a factor.
Hormonal imbalances can play a significant role in female sex drive and sexual disorder. Estrogen dominance is a common condition that can impact sexual desire. If a woman has too much estrogen compared to other sex hormones, such as testosterone, she may experience low sex drive along with other negative effects.
In contrast, low estrogen can impact sexual function. Many women who lack sufficient levels of estrogen will experience vaginal dryness which can make intercourse painful. Too little estrogen is also associated with unstable moods and sleep patterns, which may affect sexual desire and activity.
Low levels of testosterone are another significant factor in low sex drive in women. Though women have less testosterone that men naturally, supplementing testosterone has been shown to boost female sex drive.
Thyroid disorders, which can affect metabolism, weight, energy and sleep as well as cause hair loss may also impair sex drive due to lack of energy or affected aspects of self-esteem.
Hormonal Balance Shown to Improve Sexual Desire in Women
Women who are suffering from a hormonal imbalance may notice that their impaired desire for sex is also accompanied by symptoms such as moodiness, weight gain, or insomnia. Comprehensive lab testing can help pinpoint the root cause of symptoms.
A 2016 study found that estrogen therapy was effective in increasing sexual desire in postmenopausal women. When testosterone was added to a low-dose estrogen therapy, sexual desire was further enhanced.
In conjunction with hormone therapy, optimal hormone balance is achieved with nutritional balance, routine exercise, and strategies to enhance mindfulness and reduce stress. Sexual desire and arousal can be significantly affected by emotional factors and stress levels in women. Physicians that specialize in hormonal health and hormone therapy can partner with you to develop an all-encompassing treatment plan that will get to the root cause of your symptoms, optimally restoring hormonal balance, overall health and wellbeing.
Hormone Therapy to Achieve a Healthy Sex Drive
The practitioners of the BodyLogicMD network are highly-trained in hormone health and seek advanced and continuing education in hormonal therapies. Each practitioner understands that achieving optimal balance is a combination of therapies, such as strategies for eating a balanced diet, managing stress, and sleeping well that work in tandem with hormone therapy to promote health and wellbeing. Every practitioner is specially-trained and certified in the field of bioidentical hormone therapy and functional medicine in order to offer top-level care and help each patient reach their greatest health potential.
Q. What is pellet therapy?
Pellet therapy is a sustainable delivery method for bioidentical hormone therapy. Every three to six months a pellet made of bioidentical hormones is inserted under the patient's skin, usually on the upper part of the buttocks. The pellets, which contain customized levels of estradiol or testosterone, are slowly metabolized over the course of three to four months, releasing the bioidentical hormone in much the same manner as the body’s natural hormones are secreted.
Q. Will you take over as my doctor?
Although your BodyLogicMD affiliated physician is happy to communicate with your current physician, it's encouraged that you to continue your usual visits with your primary care doctor.
Q. What are the side effects associated with bioidentical hormones?
Bioidentical hormone therapy has a few potential side effects which are classically linked to dosage—as your hormone levels improve, your dosage may need to be adjusted. If you notice side effects, contact your physician.
- Men and women have reported increased aggressiveness, acne or irritability during the initial phases of testosterone hormone therapy, but these issues are generally resolved as levels become balanced.
- Some women have reported breast tenderness, spotting, cramping, and bloating. These symptoms may be experienced initially with estrogen hormone treatment, but resolve as hormone levels become balanced.
- Occasionally, hormone therapy patients will complain of itching or redness at the injection or insertion site, these symptoms diminish as the body adjusts to treatment.
It is always recommended that you communicate side effects to your physician to be promptly addressed.
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BodyLogicMD network practitioners are the most highly-trained in natural bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, which they have been providing since 2003. Patients are consistently satisfied with the services they receive, so you can rest assured knowing that when you visit a BodyLogicMD affiliated practitioner, you’ll get the care you deserve.
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