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Natural Awakenings Richmond


Feb 27, 2018 07:58PM ● By Whitney Kiatsuranon and Beth Davis

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) treatments may sound foreign or redundant. However, understanding the hormones that play a role in our everyday health, and the treatment options available, is important to our sense of well-being.

       BHRT helps restore the body’s hormone balance through the use of supplemental doses of plant-based, non-synthetic hormones that have a chemical structure identical to the hormones that the human body naturally produces. Hormones are our body’s chemical messengers affecting our mood, appetite, energy level, metabolism, weight, physique, sex drive, immune system and even behavior. As we age, our hormonal system becomes less efficient and more imbalanced generally leading to changes such as female menopause and male andropause.

       BHRT includes estrogens (estrone, estrodiol and estriol), progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and pregnenolone. BHRT can help with painful menstruation, mood swings, premenstrual syndrome, infertility, endometriosis, fibrocystic breasts, premenopausal symptoms, weight gain, low libido, insulin resistance/dysglycemia, heart disease and osteoporosis.

       With BHRT, each patient is treated as an individual and their diet, lifestyle, exercise, family history, thyroid, sleep habits, stress patterns, blood work and adrenal glands are looked at and monitored closely because no two individuals will qualify for the same hormone therapy. According to Dr. Rumki Banerjee, co-founder and medical director of Apex MD, “BHRT is more controllable than traditional hormone therapy in that the dosage can be prescribed as a trial and modified as needed.”

       Dr. Gregory Lynam, owner of RVA Health and Wellness, shares, “Synthetic hormones, which have most often been prescribed to menopausal women, can lead to many adverse effects such as blood clots, heart disease and cancer. It’s pretty amazing that BHRT is supported by evidence-based medical literature that shows it actually reduces heart disease, hip fractures, Alzheimer’s and many types of cancer. BHRT medications are also affordable and can be taken orally, topically or as injections.”

       Furthermore, he states, “While working toward your physical, emotional or mental health goals, once lab tests establish your need for BHRT, we will guide you through the entire process and prescribe medications from a compounding pharmacy where each prescription is based on the individual, not a generic recipe of what sells the fastest and makes the most money.” 

       Baylor Rice, pharmacist and owner of South River Compounding Pharmacy, sees the correlation between hormone levels and disease on a regular basis, and states, “Take Type 2 diabetes, for example. There is not one male that has walked into my office and not needed some level of testosterone replacement therapy, and from there, we can start to manage the levels of sugar in the blood.” Testosterone plays a vital role in both males and females, and it is important to understand the dosage for each individual patient. “Men and women both have the same hormones; it’s the ratio and the levels that vary. While we have a product that is safe for males to use on the market, we must understand females need a product less potent than their male counterparts, and that’s when BHRT is an excellent alternative,” says Rice.

       “In fact, up to 65 percent of genetics are modifiable, which plays an essential role in understanding the chemical makeup within everyone. Varied amounts of testosterone, estrogen or progesterone may be suitable for one patient, while another candidate needs completely different levels to eradicate any dysfunctional symptoms which they may be producing,” says Rice, who adds, “Appreciating the value of BHRT is just as important as understanding the aging process; there is nothing better we can do than to keep the hormones properly balanced for optimal aging.”

For additional information about BHRT, contact these local providers:

Apex MD: 5310 Twin Hickory Rd., Glen Allen. 804-273-0010.

RVA Health and Wellness: 2008 Bremo Rd., Ste. 111. 804-493-4060.

South River Compounding Pharmacy: 3656 Mayland Ct., Henrico and 11420 W. Huguenot Rd., Midlothian. 804-897-6447,