Hormone Optimization

What is HRT in Greenville NC?

There are many different names or terms for hormone optimization in Greenville, NC. Sometimes it is called hormone replacement therapy, HRT, Bioidentical hormones, testosterone replacement therapy, Low testosterone (Low T), Menopausal hormone treatment, or just hormone replacement therapy Greenville NC.  Both men and women can have hormone imbalance and can benefit greatly from hormone replacement therapy. Frequently patients may see or be referred to endocrinology in Greenville NC or other specialist to test and discuss hormone problems. But no matter what you call it, we here at Viva Med care about making sure your hormones are optimized so you can feel and look your best.

Female Hormone imbalances Greenville NC:

Viva Med has developed a program for not only testing your hormones and looking for imbalances, but also we listen to your symptoms and not just the lab results to help us work out a plan with you to improve you energy, drive, and desires. This is what makes us different in testosterone replacement therapy from other hormone optimization therapy in Greenville NC.  For women, especially those who are in or near perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause can have many annoying symptoms such as: Hot flashes, fatigue, low libido, memory loss/confusion, poor sleep, headaches, bloating, weight gain, vaginal dryness, dry skin, thinning hair and may feel cold all the time . Frequently a hormone replacement therapy that optimizes testosterone/estrogen/progesterone bioidentical hormone replacement can alleviate many of these symptoms over time.  

Male testosterone replacement therapy Greenville NC:

Viva Med has developed a program specifically for men who have Low T or feel their testosterone is not optimized to perform at their best.  Frequently non optimized testosterone hormone levels can lead to fatigue, sleep problems, irritability, decreased morning erections, depression, nervousness/anxiety, poor focus and concentration, diminished muscle mass and muscle strength, weight gain, breast development, shrinking testicles, poor performance in the bedroom, erectile dysfunction and overall feeling of decline in your well being.

Our team at Viva Med Concierge Care will look for imbalances in your testosterone levels by testing your hormones and listening to your specific symptoms.  We do not just rely on the lab results only to develop your hormone replacement plan. Low testosterone levels (Low T) can be successfully treated in our clinic consisting of testosterone implants or injections to help improve low testosterone or other testosterone deficiency related symptoms. While the effects of HRT (hormone replacement therapy) are relative, men who receive therapy can notice a decrease or even eradication of there symptoms over time.  Our attention to your symptoms and treating you the patient and not the testosterone number is what makes Viva Med unique in testosterone replacement therapy from other hormone optimization therapy in Greenville NC.

Lab Values for HRT Greenville NC:

Every client’s hormone imbalance is unique.  Our team at Viva Med believe that the lab values we collect from testing your hormones levels are only half of the story and answer to your journey to feeling more fulfilled and energized .   The other and often most important half of hormone optimization therapy Greenville NC is the client’s own symptoms. Let’s face it, who knows you better than you. 

Here at Viva Med we use the lab values along with the individual symptoms to help determine an individualized HRT plan for you. Initial labs are obtained to check your sex hormone levels along with other indicators.  Once therapy is started Viva Med will check periodic labs to ensure your hormone replacement therapy is optimized with minimal side effects. Testosterone and Estrogen are checked in both men and women. Complete blood count (CBC), complete metabolic panel and vitamin B12 level are looked at to monitor treatment while other levels such as Progesterone levels in women and Prostate specific antigen (PSA) in men are examined as well.  

Labs are obtained at the initial visit as well as additionally throughout the year or your contract period to monitor your response to hormone replacement therapy. Depending on lab results and symptoms your hormone replacement therapy may need to change to better suit your individual needs. 

What is my hormone replacement therapy made of? 

Viva Med uses bioidentical hormone in Greenville NC. Bioidentical hormones are not synthetic and are made from organic products like yams and soy. Bioidentical hormones are very similar to your own natural hormones unlike synthetic hormones that are “cookie cutter” hormones and designed as a one size fits all. Bioidentical hormones typically have less side effects than their synthetic counterparts.  This means that your hormone replacement therapy will have fewer obstacles in getting the results you desire.

So, who makes the these bioidentical hormones?  Viva med uses compounding pharmacies who specialize in hormone therapy products. A compound pharmacy refers to a specific way of preparing medication. Compound pharmacists generally go through additional training to be able to make compounded products and must adhere to strict standards in sterility, packaging, and delivery to ensure the efficacy of hormone replacement therapy.

The pharmacies ability to compound medications allows the pharmacist to make all the medications more individualized.  This is much different massed produced drug companies who mass produce their medications which does not allow for product individualization. Another benefit of compound pharmacies, is that they have the capacity to continue to make medications that the drug companies have discontinued.

How do I know what hormone replacement therapy plan is right for me?

Viva Med offers several different HRT plans also known as hormone optimization therapy Greenville NC.  Our staff physician, Dr Chris Lacroix M.D. along with his nurse, Stacey Brausch RN, BSN,  will help design a safe and effective hormone replacement therapy plan that best suits your goals.  When you decide which one of our plans is best suited for your individual needs, our skilled staff will sit down with you and go over the different plans and payment options. This allows for you to ask questions and receive an immediate answer so you can make the best informed decision for your bioidentical hormone optimization plan.

Anti aging effects of bioidentical hormone therapy Greenville NC:

While getting older is inevitable, and we all know we are never going to be 20 again but who says we have to age without a fight?  One of the reasons we age is because our hormones decline over time after they hit their peak in our twenties. There is a way to get back some of the vitality we lose as we age and that way is hormone replacement therapy Greenville NC. You may ask, how do I know if I would benefit from HRT? Do I even need HRT?   The fact of the matter is that many of the symptoms we blame on the “aging process” or I am just getting older are some of the indications that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be the answer for you. There are many symptoms that one can experience with hormone imbalance and deficiency.

Symptoms such as hot flashes, poor sleep, mood swings, fatigue sleep problems, decreased/loss of sex drive, weight gain, anxiety, depression, painful intercourse, loss of erection, declining memory, loss of concentration, breast tenderness in females, breast development in males, headaches, bloating, loss of muscle mass, joint pain, and feeling cold all the time may be symptoms of a hormone imbalnce Greenville, NC.  However, each of us is unique, and we all do not experience the exact set of symptoms or to the same degree of symptoms as another individual. This is why the staff at Viva Med specializes in making your hormone replacement therapy an individualized treatment plan to improve or alleviate many of the symptoms of aging we all can experience.

Testosterone replacement therapy can be provided a couple ways to men. Hormone replacement therapy with testosterone injections is one of the most common forms and is the preferred method by most men. Testosterone is injected into the muscle weekly as an adjunct to the natural testosterone your body produces.  The dose can be adjusted to fit your individual needs for true hormone optimization. However, this delivery system for women is less advantageous as women doing hormone replacement therapy often experience undesired side effects with injections of testosterone and thus choose a different method.

The second option implanting testosterone pellets. This method involves taking testosterone pellets and implanting them just under the skin.  Testosterone pellets slowly and steadily dissolve to deliver a continuous and even dose of hormone replacement therapy Greenville NC (HRT). The pellets are slightly larger than a grain of rice and some local numbing is required prior to putting the pellets in place. 

What hormones can be used in hormone optimization therapy Greenville NC?

Testosterone:

Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone which gives way to development of male reproductive characteristics such as testes and the prostate.  It is a steroid based hormone. Women need and use testosterone as well, but just at lower doses. Testosterone can help reduce fatigue, maintain strength and lean muscle mass, improve sex drive, and help with symptoms of erectile disfunction (ED), sperm production, as well as produce body and facial hair and increase red blood cell production. The effects of testosterone optimization can give similar boost in well being in both sexes.  So what affects testosterone levels? In men and women factors that affect hormone levels are; Age, obesity, medications such as antidepressants and narcotics, illness, high blood pressure, diabetes, injury, infection and alcohol(ism). 

Estrogen:

 Another steroid based hormone that is mainly produced in the ovaries and a small amount is produced by the adrenal glands until menopause.  Fat cells can produce extra estrogen as well, which can lead to an imbalance and poor feeling of well being. Estrogen promotes the development of female characteristics such as breast development, underarm/pubic hair, the start and maintain the menstrual cycle. There are three types of estrogen.

One type of estrogen is Estrone. Estrone is the only type produced after menopause and is the weaker form of estrogen than the other two. Estradiol is a second form of estrogen and found most commonly in women of childbearing age. A decrease in estradiol levels at menopause gives way to menopausal symptoms such as; mood swings, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and hot flashes. Estradiol is responsible for the alleviation of menopausal symptoms and is the strongest of the three estrogens. The third estrogen is Estriol. Estriol is the main estrogen found in pregnancy. If a woman is not pregnant the estriol level is almost undetectable. 

While Estrogen is primarily a hormone in females, men also have estrogen just in smaller amounts. At times, estrogen levels in men can rise and cause unwanted side effects. Some of those unwanted symptoms are infertility, trouble obtaining/maintaining an erection and enlarged breasts also known as gynecomastia. If elevated estrogen is part of your hormonal imbalance we at Viva Med offer help with an oral pill taken for a couple weeks to decrease estrogen levels in men. 

Progesterone:

Progesterone is from a dioscoreaceae family of flowering plants. The most recognized in this family is yams. Progesterone is the hormone responsible for the thickening of the uterus, preparing the uterus for implantation of the fertilized egg. Progesterone prevents menstruation and muscle contraction to allow for implantation. If no egg is present then the result is lower levels of progesterone resulting in menstruation. Progesterone replacement is taken orally every night due to Progesterone is known to cause sleepiness and can help improve sleep.  

How long will hormone replacement therapy take to improve my symptoms? 

Everyone is different and so each person’s symptoms improve at a different rate. Bioidentical hormone replacement clients often notice relief in symptoms is within 1 to 3 weeks after beginning HRT.  

What is included in my Hormone replacement therapy?

For Men who choose testosterone injections, your testosterone will be shipped directly to your home.  You can choose to do the injections at home or in our office by one of our staff. If you are doing self injections you will also receive the supplies needed to administer your testosterone in the comfort of your home. If you wish for Viva Med staff to do your hormone optimization therapy injection, you will come weekly for injections and you will be responsible to bring your testosterone bottle into the office after you receive it. If you choose to have testosterone/estrogen pellets then you would come to the office about once every three-five months. 

HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin)

HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin) injections can be used every six months to help with natural testosterone production and prevent or reverse testicular atrophy (shrinkage).

Anastrozole

Anastrozole may be required to bring down elevated Estradiol (estrogen) levels for men or women undergoing bioidentical hormone replacement Greenville NC. This is generally prescribed no more than twice a year.  If your estrogen continues to be elevated other options are available. 

Sermorelin

Sermorelin is a hormone that stimulates the secretion of Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH) from the hypothalamus.  GHRH causes the release of growth hormone from the pituitary gland during sleep, which is beneficial in the bodies ability to repair and recover at this time. Hormone replacement therapy with Sermorelin also has been shown to have a positive effect on restful sleep and can make you tired if you take it during the day. Many clients have reported better sleep quality when taking sermorelin.  Sermorelin is injected daily prior to bedtime with a small insulin needle into the subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat lies just under the skin. Sermoraline is injected prior to bedtime because growth hormone is primarily released during sleep.  

Sermorelin is NOT Growth Hormone. With Sermorelin you will not have the dangers associated with Growth Hormone (HGH). Some dangers of taking HGH include but are not limited to; muscle, joint and nerve pain, increase glucose levels which increases your risk of diabetes, edema due to retention of fluid in your tissues.  Finally HGH can elevate your cholesterol levels putting you at greater risk of heart attack. Endocrinology, the study of your hormones reveals that your endocrine system is usually self regulating, thus typically prevents you from getting too much of any hormone. Sermorelin uses the bodies normal bio feedback loops to ensure over production of GH does not happen and keeps you from having Growth Hormone overproduction.

How long does it take to notice Sermorelin results?

Hormone optimization therapy with Sermorelin does have a loading period of 3-6 months. This is not to say you will not feel any effects for 3-6 months. However, most start to feel and improvement in sleep quality after a couple weeks accompanied by increased energy and improvement in mood as a result of improved sleep. After the loading period most report noticeable body changes, like leaner physique and increase in muscle tone with reduction of fat and improvement in skin tone. Generally, clients usually report an overall sense of better health. 

Sermorelin and Weight Loss

Hormone replacement therapy with Sermorelin allows you to lose weight naturally by boosting our natural growth hormone levels naturally triggering our bodies to believe the “extra” fat we have stored is unnecessary. This triggers our bodies to use fat stores as extra energy which can be helpful during exercise to burn even more fat.   What a way to finally increase the ability to shed those extra unwanted pounds for good. 

Even more benefits of Sermorelin

While hormone replacement therapy Greenville NC with sermorelin can increase your ability to lose weight, gain lean muscle mass, there are more benefits to using sermorelin daily. These include increased bone density by increasing calcium retention,  reduction in age related diseases by boosting the immune system, and faster wound healing all have been reported. Mental clarity and improved cognitive abilities along with better sexual performance and increase in sex drive by noth men and women when restoring or optimizing growth hormones in our body happens.  Lastly mood can be positively affected by growth hormone optimization therapy to decrease anxiety and depression.