Sunday, March 16, 2014

BioTE bio-identical hormones...the doctor's personal perspective

At age 45 I went through real warning. My monthly cycles just stopped. I contributed it to my increase in running and training for half marathons and a marathon. No hot flashes, no mood swings, no weight gain. Looking back, though, the depression I had and the trouble sleeping were my menopausal symptoms..... and they were quite significant.

Four or five years ago I stopped prescribing synthetic hormone replacement therapy. The Women's Health Initiative and subsequent studies really concerned me because of the increased incidence of breast cancer and heart disease. I wouldn't let my mom take them and I sure wasn't going to take them myself.

I had heard about bio-identical hormones and read a lot about them, but I wasn't convinced creams were a good solution, either. People just absorb them differently; there really aren't any FDA standards monitoring bioavailability or quality. After a while of applying them to the same areas over and over, you may nit absorb them as well as when you started.  Plus many bio-identical creams are compounded based on saliva tests. Although this gives you an idea of hormone levels, saliva tests can't tell you FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) levels nor evaluate many aspects of the endocrine system. And the entire endocrine system needs to work in harmony for us to feel normal.

I developed the motto of Health | Wellness |  Beauty for Sei Bella Med Spa so I started researching bio-identical hormone pellets as a source for hormone replacement therapy in women AND men. Bio-identical pellets have actually been around since 1939. The BioTE company has been around for almost a decade. I went to Dallas to learn more and to actually talk to patients and do some pellet insertions myself.

The whole process is actually very easy. After your consult, lab work is drawn, then when those lab results are received in the office they are plugged into a formula to calculate the correct dose of pellets for each person. Based on symptoms, these individualized doses can be further tweaked to each person's needs. The insertion of the pellets just under the skin on one side of your hip is an easy, painless 5 minute office procedure done only by me. The pellets last 4-6 months based on activity levels.

3 weeks ago I got my pellets inserted and what a difference it has made! The testosterone kicked in about three days post pelleting. What I notice most is my increased energy level and my recovery after a long run. When I wake up in the morning, I'm ready to go. No fatigue. The dog can't talk me into hitting the snooze button anymore! Training for the London Marathon, I've had to do three shorter runs during the week 4-8 miles each and then a long run on the weekends. This weekend I did 20 miles on Saturday. Although a little sore, I had no pain and felt good on Sunday. Good enough I could put in another 4 miles on Sunday. I'm not getting any complaints at home about increased libido either.

Side effects have been minimal. Since I have been without estrogen for over 2 years, I did have a little water retention. I have just taken over-the-counter Diurex and that took care of the problem. If you experience this, I can prescribe a mild diuretic for a few days, and this usually only happens with the first pelleting. I also got a blemish on a my forehead. Since I never have those, I assume it was from the estrogen. Other than those minor things, no side effects sand no downtime post pelleting!

You can read more and watch our video on the Sei Bella website at We also have informational seminars periodically. These do NOT replace a consult with me, but it is a relaxed setting to learn more and ask questions. Our next one is Monday, March 17th at 5:45 pm. We'll have snacks and drinks for you after work, so come on by! It's your first step to feeling better and being healthier!

Anne R Trussell MD
Sei Bella Med Spa