Thyroid Replacement Therapy

Symptoms of hypothyroidism (low levels of thyroid hormone) are varied and may include: fatigue, cold and heat intolerance, hypotension, fluid retention, dry skin and/or hair, constipation, headaches, low sexual desire, infertility, irregular menstrual periods, aching muscles and joints, depression, anxiety, slowed metabolism and decreased heart rate, memory impairment, weight gain, hypoglycemia, as well as high cholesterol and triglycerides.

Although both T4 (thyroxine, an inactive form that is converted to T3 in other areas of the body) and T3 (tri-iodothyronine, the active form) are secreted by normal thyroid glands, many hypothyroid patients are treated only with levothyroxine (synthetic T4), which the body then converts steadily into the active T3 form.

This treatment may be insufficient for some patients however, and immediate acting T3 may also be required. The only commercially available form of T3 however, Cytomel, exists only in an immediate release form that enters circulation in a sudden spike — possibly resulting in higher than normal T3 concentrations and causing serious side effects such as heart palpitations. A smoother slow release sustained form of T3 is thus preferred, with studies showing that many patients experience greater comfort from taking capsules containing both T3 and T4 in slow release formulations.

We are able to source and compound both immediate and long release forms of T3 and T4 powders in specific ratios as prescribed. As well, certain fillers and excipients (non drug components) may not be tolerated by all patients, and we are to find substitutes which may work — please contact us to find more information today!

Menopausal Hormonal Replacement Therapy

Hormone Replacement Therapy

As women enter menopause, their hormone levels will fluctuate considerably — estrogen production drops as the ovaries approach the end of their functional life, leading to weaker bones, vaginal infections and dryness, mood changes as well as hot flushing sensations. Physicians had traditionally prescribed regular hormone replacement therapy (HRT) until a study was released in the 2000s showing that the side-effects of HRT included clot risks and breast cancer. Physicians and patients then tried to find other sources of hormones, leading to new nomenclature: “Natural” vs “Bio-identical” Hormones.

Benefits of topical Hormone Creams vs Pills

We are able to compound bioidentical hormones in exact ratios and doses not available commercially. The delivery method also is important. When estrogen is taken as a pill, it’s first processed through the liver. This stimulates proteins associated with heart disease and stroke, such as C-reactive protein, activated protein C, and clotting factors. When delivered by transdermal patch, estrogen isn’t first processed by the liver and — at the same level of blood concentration — doesn’t have these effects.

Working closely with a woman and her healthcare provider, a compounding pharmacist can help a woman start and maintain a hormone replacement regimen that brings her hormones back into balance and closely mimics what her body has been doing naturally for years. With a healthcare provider’s prescription, the pharmacist can prepare hormones in a variety of strengths. Our hormonal cream preparations use a proprietary base which simulates natural moisturization. It is smooth, non-irritating, paraben-free and propylene glycol-free. We also use yam sourced Progesterone that has been micronized to an industry leading 5 microns — allowing far greater absorption and stability than the 20 micron particle size of other competitor’s micronized versions.

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What are Natural and Bio-Identical Hormones?

“Natural” hormones are those derived from animals, plants or minerals — for example soy or yam plants, or the urine of horses. They have not necessarily been tested for efficacy or potential harm, and thus the name is largely a marketing term.

“Bioidentical” hormones are those identical in structure to those found in women’s bodies. These molecular structures are not found in nature, but are modified from hormones found in Yam and Soy plants. Bioidentical estrogens include 17 beta-estradiol, estrone, and estriol. (Estradiol is the form of estrogen that decreases at menopause.) Bioidentical progesterone is simply progesterone. It’s micronized (finely ground) in the laboratory for better absorption in the body. Our bodies cannot differentiate bioidentical hormones from those that are ovary produced.

The conflict between “Natural” and “Bioidentical” hormones exists whereby some natural hormones are not bioidentical — for example, Premarin, which is sourced naturally from pregnant horses, is not bioidentical as it is not found in humans. This could lead to inaccurate hormone test results when measuring one’s hormone levels, and this is one of the main tenets of support for bioidentical hormone use over natural hormones.

Where can I find Bioidentical Hormones?

Bioidentical estrogens and micronized progesterone are made into a range of products, many of which are FDA-approved and available with a prescription at your local pharmacy. Commercially available bioidentical estradiol comes in many forms and include: Estrace, Esclim, Estraderm, Vivelle, Estrogel, Estring, and Vagifem. Orally ingested estradiol is converted in the liver to estrone, a weaker estrogen, but given topically via creams, gels, or patches is more wholly absorbed. Women who still have a uterus and are taking Estrogen replacement therapy should still take a Progestin or micronized Progesterone to decrease the chance of endometrial cancer.

Commercially available bioidentical progesterone is currently available as Prometrium.

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