Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

Understanding Compounded Hormone Replacement Therapy (cHRT)

Compounded Hormone Replacement Therapy (cHRT), historically known as Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), utilizes hormones that are biochemically identical to those produced by the human body. This approach is designed to treat hormone deficiencies, which can cause a range of symptoms affecting health and well-being. At The Apothecary, we specialize in custom-compounding bioidentical hormones for both women and men, working closely with medical practitioners to tailor prescriptions that address individual hormone imbalances. 

The Importance of a Compounding Pharmacy

Unlike traditional hormone replacement therapies that often use animal-derived or synthetic hormones, cHRT at The Apothecary uses molecules identical to human hormones, ensuring a more natural and effective treatment. We offer personalized estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in various strengths and forms, enhancing patient compliance and affordability by potentially combining multiple active ingredients into a single dosage as needed. 

Personalization is Key

Recognizing that no two individuals are alike, The Apothecary provides an alternative to the “one size fits all” approach of mass-produced hormone treatments. Our compounding service allows for the customization of dose, form, and administration route, ensuring each patient receives treatment that is specifically tailored to their unique needs. Our patient-centered approach reduces the risk of potential side effects that may come from a medication. This high level of personalization is why so many of our patients prefer cHRT compared to other manufactured products available.

The Benefits of Customized cHRT

Our approach to hormone replacement therapy focuses on adapting treatment to each individual’s specific hormone levels and body requirements. Compounding pharmacists play a crucial role in interpreting hormone level tests and collaborating with healthcare providers to establish a treatment plan that accurately meets the patient’s needs, aiming to restore hormonal balance naturally. Our goal is to work together with you to support hormone-related needs.

Are You a Candidate for Compounded Hormone Replacement Therapy?

If you’re experiencing symptoms associated with hormone deficiencies, our BHRT Symptom Sheet can help identify if you might benefit from cHRT. Scores with a high amount of 2’s and 3’s may suggest it may be worthwhile to test your hormone levels. We have a variety of testing options, including ZRT Laboratory home-test kits. Specialized providers can perform these tests, or we can guide you in exploring your testing options. Our consulting process is ongoing, and throughout treatment we will discuss how symptom chart scores have changed over time.

Many of our patients have shared that when choosing bioidentical hormones over synthetic hormones, they have fewer side effects, increased happiness, and an improved quality of life. Let us help you get your health back.

What Are Bio-Identical Hormones?

Bio-identical hormones have the same molecular structure as the hormones produced by the human body, ensuring they fit perfectly into hormone receptors and mimic the natural hormone’s effects. In contrast, synthetic hormones have similar but not identical structures, potentially causing different bodily responses.

What hormones are typically compounded?

The most common hormones that we compound are Estrogens (Estradiol, Estriol), Progesterone and Testosterone. We may also compound DHEA, Estrone, and Pregnenolone.

What Dosage forms are typically compounded?

We typically compound capsules, creams, and troches. The dosage form depends on the hormone. Certain hormones are not absorbed well orally or may cause effects that may not be desirable when taken orally. These are the typical dosage forms we compound with each hormone:

  • Progesterone — capsules, cream, troche
  • Estrogen — cream, troche
  • Testosterone – cream, troche

What Is a Troche?

A troche is a lozenge that dissolves between the cheek and gum, allowing sublingual absorption that bypasses the liver.

What does Biest mean?

Biest refers to a compound of two estrogens (usually Estriol and Estradiol), avoiding Estrone due to its associated cancer risks. Formulations like “Biest(8:2)” or “Biest(5:5)” indicate the parts of Estriol to Estradiol.

How do I know if I need Bio-Identical Hormones?

Experiencing symptoms related to sex hormone deficiencies? Review our BHRT Symptom Sheet for indicators: BHRT Symptom Sheet. If you have a considerable amount of 2’s and 3’s, this may suggest a hormone deficiency, prompting a test to determine actual hormone levels.

What testing options are available for Bio-Identical Hormones?

When assessing levels for bio-identical hormone therapy, there are four primary testing methods available, each with its advantages and considerations:

1. Blood (Serum) Testing:

Performed in many healthcare providers’ clinics, serum testing is a common initial method to determine hormone levels and may be covered by insurance. However, its accuracy can decrease in follow-up tests, especially for hormones applied topically or via troche, as these might not always be detected in the bloodstream.

2. Saliva Testing:

Saliva testing is a popular method for its convenience and non-invasiveness. Patients can collect samples at home by spitting into a tube and sending it off for analysis. This type of testing, however, is typically not covered by insurance.

3. Blood Spot (Capillary) Testing:

Similar to blood glucose tests, this method involves a simple finger prick to collect capillary blood. It’s considered to reflect hormone levels more accurately at the tissue site compared to venous blood, making it a preferred choice for some versus serum testing.

4. Urine Testing:

Focusing on hormone metabolites, urine testing is particularly useful for individuals already undergoing hormone therapy. It provides insights into how the body metabolizes the hormones, offering a comprehensive view of hormonal balance.

Getting Started with cHRT

Interested in exploring how compounded bioidentical hormone replacement therapy may improve your quality of life? Reach out to us at The Apothecary. We’re here to answer your questions and guide you through the process of starting cHRT, tailored specifically to your health needs.

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