What are Bio-identical Hormones?
Bio-identical hormones (three types of Estrogen, as well as Progesterone and Testosterone) are extracted from plant sources. These extracted bio-identical hormone molecules are precisely identical to, and are entirely indistinguishable from the hormone molecules found in our own bodies. The body immediately recognizes bio-identical hormones as its own and puts them to use. Dr. Pacholec offers bio-identical hormone optimization therapy at both her St Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL locations, primarily through the use of trans-dermal creams.
What do Hormones do in the Body?
Hormones are chemical signals (proteins, peptides, amino acids and steroids) secreted by various glands and cells, which are carried throughout the circulatory system, stimulating cell receptors and physical responses to the chemical messages throughout the body.
Balanced hormone levels are associated with decreased body fat, increased muscle mass, increased bone density, increased energy levels, improved skin tone and texture, increased sexual function, and improved immune system function. Alternately, hormone imbalance can drastically and negatively affect your feelings of well-being, your libido, your regulation of blood sugar, weight, your rate of aging, strength and stamina, and can reduce your body’s ability to heal or fight infection.
Are Bio-identical Hormones Safe?
Bio-identical hormones are safe and effective alternatives to synthetic hormone replacement therapy. Multiple clinical studies dating over 70 years show that natural, bio-identical hormone therapy does not cause cancer. However, a large-scale study known as the Women's Health Initiative, did find that women treated with a popular synthetic estrogen replacement product had a measurably increased rate of breast cancer, and researchers decided to halt the study. Again, only synthetic, chemical progestins were used in that study, not the natural, bio-identical hormones such as those utilized by Dr. Pacholec at both her St Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL locations.
While recent studies of synthetic hormones (Premarin) have identified an increased risk in heart disease in women, other research has suggested a protective effect against heart disease with the use of bio-identical hormones in the proper balance. There may also be beneficial effects in the prevention and reversal of bone loss (osteoporosis), improvements in memory and concentration, as well as the growth, healing and repair of body tissues.
Are bio-identical hormones approved by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration)?
Yes! Bio-identical hormones are FDA approved. A number of bio-identical products are available commercially. Bio identical hormones are created by a specially-contracted compounding pharmacy, so that every patient receives a treatment customized precisely for their particular needs.
What is the difference between bio-identical hormones and synthetic hormones?
Synthetic hormones, under the brand names Premarin®, Provera®, and Prempro® are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies and are not identical in structure to the hormones produced by the human body. For example, Premarin is created from the urine of a pregnant horse. Naturally-occurring bio-identical hormones come from plant sources, including soy and yams, and are biologically identical to the hormones produced by the human body.
Barbara Pacholec, MD
Dr Pacholec is Board Certified in Bariatric Medicine and Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. She has run a successful practice specializing in medical weight loss, hormone replacement therapy and anti-aging/regenerative and functional medicine for the past 20 years in Lutz, FL in Tampa Bay. In January 2018, she opened a satellite practice in St Petersburg, FL which also specializes in medical weight loss, hormone replacement therapy, and anti-aging/regenerative and functional medicine.