Bioidentical Hormone Restoration Therapy (BHRT)
Dr. Leslie Peterson is a Bioidentical Hormone Restoration Therapy (BHRT) expert! With over 20 years of direct patient one-on-one experience prescribing BHRT, Dr. Peterson understands the unique needs of each individual patient. Her goal is to help you find the best balance with hormones, regardless of the form your hormones are administered. Achieving balance with your hormones takes time and having an experienced guide on your side ensures your success.
There are many approaches and “expert opinions” on which form of hormone replacement is best. Some say to apply creams to your skin while others say swallowing oral hormones is best. Who is right? No one. Because the best way to use hormones is the way that works best for you! There is no “one dose fits all” in natural hormone replacement.
Dr. Peterson specializes in using a unique method of restoring hormones that mimics the natural rhythms and cycles of your body. Prior to menopause – the cessation of a woman’s reproductive ability – our hormones cycle through the month, with peaks at specific times to signal important physiologic functions. Known as “Physiologic Restoration”, “Rhythmic Dosing” or “Biomimicry”, hormones are administered in the precise way nature intended. This perfectly designed system takes the guesswork out of “which method is best for you” by simply restoring what your body expects.
The art of achieving optimal balance lies in looking at your entire body – not just measuring your hormones. How is your diet and lifestyle? Your gut function? Your other hormones like thyroid and adrenal glands? And what about your genetics, your stress and emotional life? Hormones are an integrated part of the whole YOU and you’ll have greater success when we consider all aspects as part of the balance.
Dr. Peterson will help you navigate the confusing world of hormone replacement therapy by providing you with real, current information about what works and doesn’t. She will help you determine the best place to start, and support you through finding your best balance – and optimal hormone health.
How do I know if I need to take hormones?
For many people, as their hormone levels naturally decline with age, they may experience symptoms such as fatigue, mood changes, sleep disturbances, loss of libido, weight gain and hot flashes. Specific hormones can be taken alone, or preferably in the right combination, to relieve symptoms. Hormones also support a wide variety of essential parts of your body and health such as your heart, brain, bones and gut. Restoration of certain hormones can prevent many common diseases of aging so many people choose to take hormones for that reason alone. Ultimately the decision of whether to take hormones is yours to decide, with the help and support of a trusted, knowledgeable physician to guide you. Undertaking hormone restoration is a very personal decision and should be made from a place of confidence and trust.
Which hormones should I take?
Hormones are more than just the sex-steroids estrogen, progesterone and testosterone we immediately think of. Your body also makes hormones from your thyroid gland, your adrenals, your brain and your gut. All of these hormones act synergistically to bring about good health, and are tested and supported appropriately to achieve optimal balance and function.
We recommend only using hormones that are "bio-identical". This means the hormones you use are identical in their molecular structure to the hormones your body naturally produces.
How do I know if my hormones are "balanced"?
Achieving optimal balance with your hormones takes time and cannot reliably be determined with testing alone. How you feel is of the utmost importance in deciding which hormones need adjusting, and this process can take 6-12 months to achieve. You will be required to listen to your body and your symptoms, and to keep track of how you respond over time. You’ll know your hormones are "balanced" when your energy, your sleep, your moods, your sex-drive and any other "symptoms" all feel consistently right for you.
What do hormones do for me anyway?
Hormones are like keys that fit into specific locks, aka receptors, throughout your body. When a hormone binds to a receptor a crucial physiological function occurs – such as the laying down of calcium in your bones. Naturally declining hormone levels reduce the number of receptors on the body’s tissues resulting in symptoms and possible "diseases of aging" (osteoporosis in the case of estrogen loss and your bones, for example). Giving the body back its’ hormones restores receptor function allowing normal communication and physiologic function to ensue.
Don’t hormones cause cancer?
NO! Bio-identical hormones are not and never will be "carcinogenic". Estradiol, a woman’s most physiologically active form of estrogen, will bind to certain types of cancer cells stimulating them to grow. Estrogen does not turn on cancer cells, nor does it make the cancer more aggressive. In fact, a woman’s breast will produce estradiol in the presence of "inflammation" in an attempt to protect itself!
The "hormones may cause cancer" belief results from interpretations made by journalists, some scientists and the FDA in response to the outcome of the infamous "Women’s Health Initiative" study. The hormone part of this study was halted in the early 2000’s due to a noted "doubling of the risk of breast cancer" in a specific subset of women. The most important thing to remember about this study is that the hormones used were NOT bio-identical but were two drugs called "Premarin" (PREgnant MAre uRINe) and "Provera" – a synthetic progesterone substitute known as a "progestin". Keep in mind that natural substances, such as the body’s hormones, are not patentable and therefore are not profitable, so big-pharma created "look-alike" compounds to study, and to profit from. The majority of studies resulting in unfavorable outcomes for women’s health involve the use of synthetic progestins, or "Provera". In the big picture of "hormones cause cancer" it is specifically this class of drugs that are the problem, not estradiol.
Certain environmental chemicals are known to bind to and block hormone, especially estrogen, receptors. These known "estrogen or endocrine disruptors" cause the hormone system to work erratically and unpredictably leading to numerous environmental illnesses. It makes the most sense, physiologically, to have your body’s own hormones available to bind to these receptor sites – so something else won’t!