Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
“Functional Medicine is the inclusive medical approach to optimize whole body function in an attempt to re-establish balance, thus preventing disease and facilitating, health, wellness and vitality.” – Dr. Lisbeth Roy
Where We Begin at Doctors Studio
Functional Medicine is medical science approach with a focus on the cause and solution of the problem; be it a lack of wellness or blatant disease. Dr. Roy and the Doctors Studio Team has the education and experience to help you to re-establish balance, and optimize wellness. Achieving these goals takes a partnership between you and your doctor. We will be your trusted advisor(s); creating personalized wellness protocols to include advanced testing and interpretation, diet and exercise strategies, targeted medical food and supplementation prescription, bio-identical hormone therapy, body composition analysis, sexual function optimization, detox and metabolism repair instruction and coaching. The Doctors Studio medical team will motivate, guide, inspire and hold you accountable.
You will love Functional Medicine and the Doctors Studio approach to helping you achieve a life of optimal wellness, vitality and potential.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is the natural solution to hormone balance. It has emerged as the preferred treatment option for both men and women seeking relief from signs of aging and symptoms of hormonal imbalance, including hot flashes, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, fatigue and insomnia.
Bioidentical hormones are derived from plant sources, such as soy or yam, and then compounded in a pharmacy to be structurally identical to the hormones naturally produced in the body. Custom compounding allows doctors to prescribe the precise dose unique to each patient’s needs for optimizing health.
- Increased energy
- Increase in sex drive and satisfaction
- Increased sense of well-being
- Improvement in memory, sharpness and concentration
- Improvement in sleep patterns
- Decrease in body fat
- Increase in muscle mass and strength
- Faster recovery from exercise
- More stable moods
- Less anxiety and depression
- Increased bone density
- Lower cholesterol
- Improved blood sugar levels
- Men have stronger and more frequent erections
- Women have reduced hot flashes, night sweats and less vaginal dryness
HORMONE PELLET THERAPY
There are many delivery methods available for bioidentical hormones, but the most popular is pellet therapy. Pellet therapy has become the preferred delivery method for both men and women due to the convenience of application and the effective dosing. Pellets are inserted under the skin during a minor in-office procedure. The hormones (bioidentical testosterone and bioidentical estradiol) are the size of a grain of rice and last about four (3-4) months, each dissolving completely until another set is implanted.
Pellet delivery of hormones is the most physiologic option for hormone replacement since “being on demand and released as needed” is the way hormones are provided by the healthy body.
Advantages of Natural Pellet Therapy:
- Virtually Painless
- Not synthetic – from natural plant sources
- Delivery of hormones are more consistent and balanced
- Hassle free – lasting up to four months
- Often starts working in 48-72 hours
- Low to no hormonal flux between treatments
- Cost effective
First, the Studio Medical Team formulates a customized treatment plan based on your lab results. Then, the procedure is simple and performed in our clinic. A local anesthetic is used, and the pellets are painlessly placed under the skin in the upper buttock (hip area) or flank (love handle) with a small incision, which is taped upon completion of the insertion. The procedure takes 10-15 minutes, and it can take as little as 48-72 hours for symptoms to begin improving (the average being 4-6 weeks.) The pellets dissolve over time, last several months and are repeated 3-4 times a year.
The Love Drug + Cuddle Hormone = Oxytocin
If it were possible to make a love drug, then Oxytocin would undoubtedly be the main ingredient. It is a hormone produced by the hypothalamus in both men and women and production is usually reduced as we grow older.
Both men and women release Oxytocin during lovemaking – but not only is Oxytocin released during orgasm, it appears to be responsible for causing orgasms in the first place. Sometimes called the “cuddle hormone,” Oxytocin is released in response to a variety of environmental stimuli including skin-to-skin contact and cervical stimulation experienced during sex.
At normal levels, Oxytocin encourages a mild desire to be kissed and cuddled by your lover. But being touched (anywhere on the body) leads to a rise in Oxytocin levels. This causes a cascade of reactions within the body, including the release of endorphins and testosterone, which results in both biological and psychological arousal.
The nerves in erogenous zones such as the earlobes, neck, and genitals become sensitized by the effects of Oxytocin. It promotes a bond of intimacy, closeness and desire to be even touched further – being touched further causes even more Oxytocin to be released and so desire and arousal are heightened even more. Put simply, Oxytocin loves sexual foreplay and sexual foreplay loves Oxytocin. But not only does Oxytocin love foreplay, it also triggers powerful orgasms.
Research indicates that Oxytocin causes the nerves in the genitals to fire spontaneously, and this leads to orgasm. During orgasm, male Oxytocin levels quintuple, but this is nothing compared to female Oxytocin levels. Women need more Oxytocin if they are to reach orgasm and during peak sexual arousal, Oxytocin levels become stratospheric. If this point is reached and the woman’s brain is flooded with Oxytocin, she may indeed by capable of achieving multiple orgasms.
The good news doesn’t just end there – Oxytocin can provide real health benefits. Oxytocin helps to regulate sleep patterns, calms you and contributes to a general sense of well-being. It is also the reason why, for example, people with pets tend to recover more quickly from illness, why married people tend to live longer and why support groups benefit those with cancer.
Although not yet fully understood, it is believed that the key to Oxytocin’s health giving benefits lies in its ability to counteract stress and the effects of the stress hormone cortisol. Nearly every disease and condition is aggravated by stress – ease the stress and healing will inevitably be helped.
Given its ability to generate deep and profound emotional connections, and its ability to fuel feelings of sexual intimacy and desire culminating in powerful orgasms, Oxytocin really is the nearest thing to a love drug.
Increase Human Growth Hormone (HGH) Without HGH
Sermorelin is a “growth hormone-releasing hormone” (GHRH), meaning it stimulates the pituitary gland to naturally produce increased amounts of human growth hormone. Sermorelin is a form of GHRF, growth hormone releasing factor, that contains only the first 29 amino acids. GHRF that is produced by neurosecretory neurons in the brain contains 44 amino acids.
When the structure of GHRF was first described by Nobel Laureates R. Guilleman and A. Shalley in the 1970’s, one of their students, William Wehrenberg, sought to determine which part of the HGH molecule was essential for its pituitary stimulating action. By eliminating individual amino acids and then testing the remaining peptide, he found that only the first 29 amino acids are responsible for stimulating pituitary production and secretion of HGH.
Is Sermorelin the same thing as HGH?
No, it is a growth hormone secretagogue, which means that it stimulates the pituitary gland to produce and secrete HGH. Sermorelin is a small peptide containing only 29 amino acids whereas HGH is a much larger molecule containing 191 amino acids.
Must Sermorelin be injected like HGH?
It can be injected with a small insulin needle, or there is a sublingual version of Sermorelin that has shown comparable results.
Often, the effects of HGH fade after several months of use. What causes that loss of potency and does it also occur for Sermorelin?
Loss of HGH potency after about six months or more of continuous use is not unusual and is not due to an inferior product. It is due to the fact that injection of HGH elevates blood levels of the hormone to unnaturally high values for several hours each day. Also, constant stimulation causes increased production of IGF-1 which also has more constant tissue exposure than under normal conditions. These factors cause target tissue receptors to “down regulate” in an attempt to prevent over stimulation by the unnatural exposure to HGH and IGF-1.
Under physiological conditions, HGH is released from the pituitary gland in episodes that cause levels to increase and decrease many times throughout the day. Under such conditions, tachyphylaxis or down-regulation does not occur since the tissue’s receptors get time to “rest” between each stimulatory event.
In contrast to HGH, there is no loss of potency with Sermorelin because its action on the pituitary gland is modulated by feedback through somatostatin. This causes HGH to be released from the pituitary in episodes rather than in “square wave” pharmacological presentation as occurs upon injection of the gene recombinant product. In addition, the pituitary gland up-regulates to stimulation by Sermorelin causing the gland to rejuvenate.
Is Sermorelin an alternative to traditional HGH?
For over a decade, Human Growth Hormone or somatropin has been used by physicians to address adult growth hormone deficiency. Although effective in opposing degenerative changes of aging, there are certain liabilities and concerns associated with the use of HGH.
Regarding legal issues, the Code of Federal Regulations expressly forbids the off-label use of HGH. Thus, unless practitioners are prescribing HGH for the treatment of growth retardation in children, physical wasting in AIDS patients or for properly diagnosed growth hormone deficiency in adults, they are at risk for reprimand by the DEA, FDA and Board(s) of Medicine.
According to the FDA, and the penalties chapter of the FDCA (The Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act), “whoever knowingly distributes or possesses with intent to distribute human growth hormone for any use in humans other than the treatment of a disease or other recognized medical condition where such use has been authorized by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under Section 505, is guilty of an offense punishable by not more than five years in prison. Self-injection of HGH is also illegal in most instances.”
In addition to these legal issues, side effects may result from HGH replacement therapy. Because HGH is administered directly into the body, its effects cannot be finely regulated and thus, overdosing, which causes side effects, is possible. Furthermore, because it is administered as a pharmacological agent, i.e. in square wave, constant and long term presentation to the target tissues, tachyphylaxis eventually occurs, requiring a period of withdrawal until efficacy can be restored.
Sermorelin is an alternative to HGH that can legally be prescribed “off-label.” Sermorelin, which stimulates the production of the body’s own HGH has recently become available for use to address adult hormone deficiency. Sermorelin is a truncated analog of growth hormone releasing hormone or factor (GRF 1-44) that is naturally produced by the brain to stimulate pituitary production and secretion of HGH.
The natural brain hormone contains 44 amino acids; whereas, Sermorelin consists of the first 29 amino acids of GRF, which are the ones responsible for its pituitary stimulating activity. Since Sermorelin stimulates the pituitary gland to produce and secrete its own HGH, side effects associated with overdosing of this hormone are significantly reduced.
The reason that Sermorelin has a lower risk of causing side effects than injected HGH is that the brain automatically prevents too much of the body’s own HGH from being released by the pituitary gland through feedback processes involving the inhibitory factor, somatostatin.
Sermorelin not only provides the benefits of HGH on body composition, but it also helps sustain pituitary health and opposes loss of activity of the endocrine system that normally occurs during aging. Since estrogen and adiposity negatively affect growth hormone action on the liver to produce IGF-1, higher doses of Sermorelin are recommended for women and men with high body mass indexes (BMIs).
Sermorelin is a biological active analog of growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) that is produced by the human brain to stimulate production and release of growth hormone by the pituitary gland. During youth, ample amounts of GHRH are produced so that the pituitary is able to provide the body with sufficient growth hormone to sustain normal aspects of form and function. GHRH declines with age causing reduced production and secretion of pituitary HGH and thereby increasing the sequelae of growth hormone insufficiency. Unlike HGH, Sermorelin affects a more primary source of failure in the GH neuroendocrine axis, has more physiological activity, a better safety profile and its use for adult hormone deficiency is not prohibited (as is HGH). Thus, Sermorelin should be considered a valuable alternative to HGH.
Benefits of Sermorelin:
Increased levels of growth hormone are reported to assist in:
- Increased calcium retention
- Stronger bone density
- Increased muscle mass
- Increased protein synthesis
- Stimulation of the growth of all internal organs, excluding the brain
- Promotion of lipolysis
- Playing a role in energy homeostasis
- Reducing liver uptake of glucose, promoting gluconeogenesis (formation of glucose from non-carbohydrate source, i.e. energy formation from fat breakdown
- Stimulating the immune system
- Increased stature in children with diagnosed short stature
- Treatment of the prevention of HIV-induced cachexia
Possible blockage of oxidized-LDL binding, resulting in lower atherosclerotic plaque production which reduces the risk for developing:
- Myocardial Infarction – “Heart Attack”
- Heart Failure
- Kidney Failure
- Vision changes/loss
- Promoting the breakdown of body fat while promoting lean muscle mass