Research has shown that our body physiology has changed less than 2% since the stone age. We are outliving our internal physiological abilities. Why? Because of sanitation, a plethora of food supplies, and roofs over our heads. Our bodies are programmed to live only for about five decades. In other words, we are aging because our hormones are declining. So, why not optimize our body physiology with small doses of bio-identical hormones? This will off-set the aging process and help our bodies out a little bit. Our philosophy is to utilize the lowest effective dose of bio-identical hormones to optimize health.
What is Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is commonly referred to as natural hormone replacement therapy because they are hormones that have the same molecular structure as the hormones produced by our bodies. It is a therapy that compensates for a deficiency arising from the natural decline of gonad function. Testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and DHEA diminish as we age and contribute to the decline in physical functioning and quality of life as we age. These hormones can be replaced to help slow aging but it’s important to do it right.
BHRT is very different from conventional hormone replacement therapy in that BHRT products are derived from wild yam (Dioscorea) or soybean, and the end product has a molecular structure identical to those hormones made in our body. As bio-identical hormones mimic the hormones that our body produces naturally, the side effects often associated with synthetic hormones are drastically reduced if not eliminated completely. Additionally, the doses of bio-identical hormones are also individualized based on deficiencies found via testing, whereas synthetic hormones tend to be a ‘one size fits all’ dose.
What Does BHRT Treat?
BHRT is used to help treat symptoms of menopause, perimenopause, premature aging, osteoporosis, and post-menopause, and includes the replacement of estrogens, progesterone and testosterone. Cortisol and glandular thyroid replacement therapy could also fall under the category of BHRT, but typically, when we talk about BHRT it is the primary sex hormones we are referring to.
There are three main estrogens in the body, estrone (E1), estradiol (E2) and estriol (E3). We typically utilize two to three of these estrogens in our BHRT in an attempt to mimic the natural hormone status in the body as closely as possible. This is a very different approach than the conventional HRT practice of using just estradiol for symptomatic women.
How is BHRT Administered?
We utilize laboratory testing as well as detailed health history to assess what hormones to recommend to a patient. Tailoring hormones to a woman’s needs is an art, and it can take up to a few months to find exactly the right dosage/combination. We typically utilize blood testing, but also have access to urine testing and salivary testing. We partner with compounding pharmacies that we trust and know use the best quality substrates and delivery methods to provide men and women with optimal results.
BHRT can be administered in different ways for our patients. We may recommend pellet implants, creams, vaginal suppositories, etc, which are all made at a compounding pharmacy. We do not dispense these items from our office. We provide BHRT pellet therapy for those who prefer this delivery. Pellets are placed under the skin using a very small incision.
We believe that BHRT is safe and effective for optimizing women’s and men’s health through the aging process. We do not put timelines on our patients use of BHRT and we monitor their progress closely in order to optimize safety and efficacy. We assess the risk and benefit for each patient who desires BHRT and move forward with individualized treatments.
Dr. Parcell’s Philosophy on Natural Hormone Replacement
Dr. Kelly Parcell has been practicing since 2000 mainly in the field of Women’s Health. She did an internship with the father of bio-identical hormone replacement, Jonathan Wright, MD, after graduating from Bastyr University. She does annual exams including annual PAPs, breast exam and blood work.
She excels at treating difficult issues such as menopause, fatigue, weight gain, insomnia and low libido. She has been very successful in treating abnormal PAPs, HPV and cervical dysplasia without drugs and surgery. She understands the way in which hormones interact in the female body including the ways hormones affect cancer. She works with numerous local specialists and will refer to them when this is in the best interest of the patient.
She uses plant medicine, natural hormones, clinical nutrition, supplements, and lifestyle changes to get results. She believes correct diagnosis and follow up is critical.
Dr. Parcell works closely with Dr. McCowen to ensure comprehensive integrative care for patients who would like BHRT.
If you are interested in BHRT, please contact us.