The Evaluation Process
Patient Registration Forms
Upon checking in with the receptionist, you will be given the new patient registration forms. It is crucial to the evaluation process that you are as specific as possible regarding any and all medications (prescription and OTC) including vitamins and herbs that you are currently taking, as this will assist the consultant in your overall profile analysis.
What to Expect During the Consultation
A knowledgeable consultant will be able to provide you with information about treating your particular symptoms and answer all of your questions regarding bio-identical hormone therapy. The consultant will go over the details of the therapy, including what to expect as you proceed down the path to regaining your optimal health. Consultations take 30-45 minutes and the initial blood work can usually be done the same day if you decide to proceed with the therapy.
Reasons for Lab Studies
Blood work will be done and hormone levels will be evaluated before therapy is started. The only way to determine if your hormones are imbalanced is through specific laboratory testing, which must be performed in our office to ensure adequate results.
It is important to know what your hormone levels are prior to therapy and be able to correlate those levels to the symptoms that you are experiencing. In the field of hormone therapy, one size does not fit all. These tests will assist the doctor in creating a treatment plan just for you.
Meeting with the Nurse
Each time you meet with the nurse, your symptom check list will be reviewed. The two of you will discuss any possible side effects as well as the expected positive results that you may be experiencing. Some people find that keeping a log or diary to track how they are feeling day to day can make these discussions easier. You should feel comfortable during these discussions to be honest about your symptoms and how you are feeling. This meeting is an important part of the process as it promotes a sense of partnership. Each person is different, which is why this partnership between you and the medical staff is critical to your individual plan. Only through these open discussions, can the best treatment plan be determined for you.
Most women will receive a treatment of estradiol, testosterone, and progesterone. Yes, women need some testosterone as well…it is not just for men. The progesterone is in the form of a sub-lingual troche or capsule and is usually taken before bed.
Men will receive a treatment of testosterone only. This is usually administered through weekly injections, although pellet therapy and a sublingual form is available as well.
The Long Term Benefits
With a few simple changes in the way you approach your health and lifestyle, you can expect a longer and healthier quality of life. In conjunction with these simple changes, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy will allow you to achieve hormonal balance, which is the key to unlocking the doors to the youthful, vibrant live we all desire.
The Hormone Implant Process
The implanting of the hormone pellets is a simple, relatively painless procedure done by administering a local anesthetic to the implant area. The pellets are inserted in the upper buttocks through a small incision, which is then taped, closed with steri-strips. The steri-strips are then covered with a tegaderm bandage. The gauze bandage may be removed the next day but the steri-strips should stay in place for five to seven (5-7) days. You may experience some bruising and tenderness at the implant site for the first day or two. Icing this area for the first two nights will, in most cases, alleviate these symptoms. You will be asked to avoid tub baths, hot tubs and swimming pools for the first three (3) days. Showers are perfectly fine. You will be asked to avoid exercise for two to three days. Walking is acceptable.
Why Use Hormone Pellet Implants?
Data supports that hormone replacement therapy with pellet implants is the most effective and most bio-identical method of delivering hormones in men and women, as compared to topical creams and patches. Pellets, placed under the skin, consistently release small, healthy doses of hormones for 3-5 months, providing optimal therapy. The pellets are not removed. They completely dissolve on their own.
The Follow Up
Blood will be drawn and hormone levels will be re-evaluated every 3-4 months for patients receiveing pellet implants and 6 months for males receiving injections. Once your body has adjusted to your new “normal” hormone levels, some individuals are able to go longer in between implants.