The term HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is heard today around every corner from your friends, General Practitioner, Gynaecologist and of course our friend the internet. The bad rap that HRT has had over the last few years has been due to two main concerns:
- Does HRT cause cancer?
- What exactly does HRT contain?
Let’s talk facts. The “Million Women” study done in the early 2000s showed a definite increase in certain cancers (Lancet 2005; 365: 1543–51) with oestrogen-only HRT.
The Woman’s Health Initiative was a triple study that ran over 15 years and also proved that certain combinations of HRT cause an increase in breast cancer and heart disease.
The biggest issue here is the SYNTHETIC nature of most forms of HRT. Many hormonal drugs are not entirely natural. When the body “sees” these hormones it doesn’t always have the ability to metabolise (break down) these synthetic molecules effectively and are then not excreted effectively. This can cause them to stay in the system longer than needed.
So, what is Bio-identical HRT (BHRT)?
Bio-identical hormones have the same biological structure as the hormones found in our bodies. They are 100% natural, and made from plant sources, usually wild yam and non-GMO (genetically modified) soy. Therefore the risks associated with “synthetic” hormones is negated. Furthermore, the use of bio-identical hormones is easier and simplified for the body as it resembles something the body “knows”. The most important concept that one needs to remember when we work with hormones is “BALANCE”. Without this, the body can never be in harmony, and you will never feel your best. BHRT allows us to combine natural oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA in the perfect balance to ensure that your body feels and functions optimally.
Benefits of Bio-identical HRT:
- Natural structure for the body to recognise and use.
- Doses are individualised and personalised. No “one size fits all” approach.
- Various administration vehicles, including capsules, creams, implants (pellets) and troches to enhance absorption and decrease the structural changes to the hormones once inside the body.
- The effect and levels of hormones are better and more accurately monitored.
But why should I consider The Aesthetics Centre for my hormonal balancing, preventative medicine and health concerns?
Firstly, we treat people, not blood tests. No two people are alike. We all have small unique differences in our bodies, genetics, lifestyle and diet. As an example, to just suggest the same multivitamin to everyone would be madness. The same philosophy is carried over into our treatments approach.
At The Aesthetics Centre we:
- Treat holistically. Symptoms are rarely from an isolated issue. Our lives are too hectic and stressful. By the time we have symptoms, it shows that multiple internal coping mechanisms have failed. We treat the origin of the problem, not the symptom.
Our treatment approach is based on three things:
- A set of extensive medical questionnaires to determine the patient’s symptoms, problems, current medical status and changes in their life.
- The patients’ medical examination and clinical assessment is done by our Integrative Doctor.
- We send patients for specific blood tests and the results and impact thereof is discussed in detail.
- We don’t treat blindly. No treatment is initiated unless the blood tests, questionnaires and the clinical assessment correlate. A “lower” Testosterone count for one person might be normal for them, but could be far too low for another. We take different parameters into account to determine what is normal for YOU. We don’t always have test results available for a patient’s levels from their 20’s to use as a baseline, so we have to listen to the body’s symptoms of imbalance in combination with tests.
- We pre-emp. We believe in prevention before cure. It would be best if you always supported the compensation mechanisms that the body has put in place, because once these have failed, usually disease sets in, and this then needs to be managed life-long. When we find weaknesses in a patient’s system, we repair and sustain these weaknesses.
- We treat as natural as much as possible. We use proven, evidence-based approaches to health. If a proven, more natural alternative exists for the support or treatment of a specific issue, we will always instead go with that option as it will support the body in repairing /maintaining itself as opposed to putting a band-aid on.
- We use a much bigger “toolbox” of treatment modalities. Conventional medicine has taught us that only medication can heal, but unfortunately, that is not true. We also use other extremely useful tools such as person-specific supplementation, advanced intravenous infusions, and lifestyle interventions together with medication (if needed) to design the best custom treatment plan for the patient, which will be unique for each person.
- We are result driven. We are serious about the relationship with the patient. Our staff are accommodating and understand the unique concerns each patient might have. We don’t want our patients to EVER feel like “just a number” and we want our patients to feel at home when they visit us.
What is oestrogen dominance?
Oestrogen is a hormone made from cholesterol (yes, you read that correctly). All our hormones are made from cholesterol. When our levels of this hormone and its different types are in balance, it has positive effects like tissue growth, heart health, bone density and female development, to name a few. The body has detoxification systems in place to get rid of used hormones (metabolites) from the body. When these systems are ineffective, the breakdown and excretion of metabolites of oestrogen are hampered which can lead to serious health issues including cancer. Furthermore, Xeno-oestrogens are chemical compounds in our environment that mimic the characteristics and structure of oestrogen. Once absorbed in our body they continually stimulate our oestrogen receptors, causing overstimulation of these receptors. Due to the vast exposure we have to Xeno-oestrogens, our bodies develop an excess of oestrogen and depending on our sensitivity to oestrogen this can lead to a cascade of health problems from menstrual irregularities, hormonal imbalance and even oestrogen-sensitive cancers. These Xeno-oestrogens are usually found in our food (dairy and meat), chemicals, pesticides, plastics and packaging.
Our focus, therefore, is to ensure the effective breakdown and removal of harmful, carcinogenic metabolites and also to increase the levels of beneficial metabolites. We don’t just identify these problems, but we also assist the body to get back into harmony by balancing these hormones, thereby relieving the patient of their symptoms and optimising their quality of life. Furthermore we also go one step further to support the liver to break-down (detoxify) and excrete the waste products of these hormones after they have been utilised by the body, to decrease long-term risk of development of the disease further.