Welcome to Go Figure where we will be introducing our clients to bioidentical hormone replacement for men and women. The simplest definition to our approach is analyzing and replacing biologically active hormones to their peak levels during early adulthood. The hormones we will be working with are testosterone (men and women), progesterone, estrogen, DHEA and thyroid hormone.
Conventional medicine has always held the belief that aging is inevitable and that the progressive deterioration that occurs in adult years cannot be altered. This paradigm is simply incorrect. Fortunately, there is an exciting revolution in science and medicine that identifies hormone replacement as preventative medicine.
Hormones are either proteins or derivatives of the cholesterol molecule. These molecules are manufactured in the endocrine glands which include adrenal glands, ovaries, testes, thyroid, pancreas, and the pituitary gland in the brain. When these organs begin to show signs of age related dysfunction the bioactive level of hormones begin to diminish. In addition, as we age, specific receptor sites for these hormones begin to change and become less sensitive to the active hormone for that site. Whether the problem is low hormone or hormone resistance, the solution is optimal hormone replacement. Our philosophy here at our clinic is to take a medically sound holistic approach to preventive medicine and optimal physical well-being. Not only do we feel hormone replacement is medically sound but encourage optimal weight control, exercise, proper nutrition and avoidance of certain risk factors such as smoking.
A word about being medically sound- All of our advice and suggestions you will hear over the coming weeks are based on what is termed evidence based medicine. That is to say, if we suggest raising a certain hormone level, that decision is based upon well control studies that exist in the current contemporary medical literature. As we move forward we suggest that you ask Dr. Buss about these studies and why they are important. Dr. Buss is highly trained and specialized in working with hormones and will work closely with you whereas other physicians may have fallen short.
What are bioidentical hormones? These are molecular structures that are identical to the molecule made in your own body. The building block for all of the the sexual hormones is the cholesterol molecule. In the female body cholesterol is converted into the three “sexual hormones”. By minor changes in the actual cholesterol molecule the ovary (and adrenal gland) produces estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Yes! women produce about 10% level of testosterone as compared to men. In very specialized pharmacies the cholesterol molecule is used to fabricate these sexual hormones that are identical to the same molecules found in the human body. Interestingly, the cholesterol molecule comes from a plant source. The most common source is often commercially prepared product from yams. Through a different mechanism, pharmacies also are able to produce a bioactive source for thyroid control as well.
Why has bioidentical hormone replacement therapy become increasingly popular? The main answer can be traced back to the previous use of Premarin and Porvera. These commercially produced synthetic hormones for estrogen and progesterone were derived from the urine of pregnant female horses. The products were prescribed by medical doctors for two decades around the mid 1980’s. Over time suspicious doctors began to notice a trend in their post-menopausal patients taking these hormone replacements. The physicians noticed an increase in breast cancer rates, increase in heart disease and strokes and an increase in dangerous and life threatening blood clots. Around 2002, several prestigious medical journals published a very important study involving 27,000 post- menopausal women. The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI study) showed conclusively that with the use of these medications breast cancer rates went up, heart disease rates went up along with strokes (CVA) and deep vein thromboembolisms (clot). These FDA approved medications are no longer being prescribed by physicians and in fact “hormone therapy” as an entity suffered unjustified critical scorn over the controversy.
Further studies were published in 2004 that conclusively delineated the exact culprit in increasing risks to women: it was the commercially prepared Provera. Within a few years after these important studies were released scientists and clinicians began to search for a better alternative. Henceforth, the bioidentical hormone replacement therapy was born. Multiple well controlled and medically sound studies have shown that treatment with bioidentical hormones do not produce the adverse effects seen with the synthetic hormones. In fact, women using bioidentical estrogen and progesterone are seeing greater protection from the previous risks afforded by the horse urine hormones. Similarly, results for middle to late middle aged men using bioidentical testosterone are seeing similar protections against heart disease, strokes and decreased cognitive skills.
Estrogen: Bioidentical estrogen users (post-menopausal) have half the risk of heart disease and strokes when compared to non-users. Estrogen replacement makes women feel better and healthier. Estrogen users stand taller and straighter and do not suffer from excessive bone loss (Osteoporosis). Most women’s post-menopausal symptoms of hot flashes, vaginal dryness, difficulty concentrating and anxiety are eliminated by bioidentical estrogen replacement. Estrogen has been shown to lower blood cholesterol and raise HDL (the good lipid).
Progesterone: Progesterone is produced in the ovaries and its role in the human biology is to counter balance the effects of estrogen. It often relives menopausal symptoms and protects against cancer. It produces a sense of overall well-being and and also can effectively treat PMS symptoms so often experienced by women. Lack of progesterone can cause or contribute to osteoporosis, heart disease and decrease libido. Progesterone stimulates the osteoblasts in our bone marrow. These cells are responsible for new bone growth.
Testosterone: Optimal levels of this hormone results in greater and stronger muscle mass, increased lean body mass and decreased visceral fat. It improves body composition, prevents osteoporosis, curbs degenerative joint disease and of course increases libido and sexual drive. Men who use testosterone later in life report they feel sexier, stronger, and have increased vigor. Women who also experience signs of lower testosterone levels can see marked improvement by using low doses of this hormone as well. There is very good evidence that shows optimal levels of testosterone also decreases the risk of coronary artery disease. It also has a positive effect on lowering cholesterol and raising HDL.
Thyroid: The thyroid hormone is responsible for temperature regulation, cellular metabolism, and increased cerebral function. It increases fat breakdown and lowers cholesterol while improving cerebral metabolism and preventing cognitive impairment. It also combats symptoms of low thyroid such as thin brittle nails, thin skin, fatigue, and depression. The goal is to identify those individuals with thyroid insufficiency and bring the active form of thyroid (T3) back to levels found in early adulthood.
DHEA: This compound is dehydroepiandrosterone. It is produced in the adrenal gland and is derived from cholesterol. It is the most abundant steroid in the body and is the building block for producing testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. The most important role of DHEA is to stimulate protein synthesis in the human cell. It has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity. It improves cell regeneration and improves immune response to counteract disease. We only prescribe a licensed compounding pharmacy compounded product.
Lab Work: It is important to recognize that most of our success with you will depend on how were are able to manage and reduce certain symptoms related to hormone insufficiency. Your reduction of certain symptoms and improved quality of life will be our most important tool in monitoring therapy. That said, Dr. Buss will monito certain levels in the blood stream as the process moves forward. The positive changes in the lab results and hormone values will be essential in dosing patterns and making sure we stay within optimal ranges for the different hormones.
Pricing: A $75.00 non-refundable consultation fee for everyone will be charged for the initial consultation with Dr. Buss. This appointment takes approximately 30-40 minutes. Should you choose to move forward with the treatment the $75.00 will be applied to the yearly cost of the treatment.
Yearly cost for established Go Figure clients is $400.00. This includes all appointments with Dr. Buss for the entire year of treatment. Yearly cost for Non Go Figure clients is $1000.00. This includes all appointments with Dr. Buss for the entire year.
**Dr. Buss’s prices do not include the cost of lab work or medications**
Cost of labs vary based on the individual and gender of the person.
We will do everything possible to make this new endeavor enjoyable and rewarding. Our goal is to be the agent of change to improve your sense of well-being and quality of life. Please feel free to contact us with additional questions and call today to get started!