Bio-identical hormone therapy (BHRT) & costs
What are Bioidentical Hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are chemically identical to the hormones our own bodies produce, the molecular structure is an exact match of the hormones found in the human body. They are derived from pre cursors found in soya beans and yams and can be customised to each individual's requirements. They are not synthetic and provide an alternative to conventional HRT. The effects are consistent with your normal bio-chemistry (or what your normal bio-chemistry would have been prior to the onset of hormonal problems) and therefore side effects are usually minimal. Some hormones which are licenced by the pharmaceutical industry are said to be "body-identical". I will discuss these with you as they are another option.
Why do I need HRT, Bioidentical or conventional?
Everyone needs a balanced Endocrine system. Hormones regulate every function within the body, such that when our hormones are well balanced we feel well, healthy and energetic. Hormonal imbalance can cause problems such as PMS, menopausal symptoms, blood sugar fluctuations, fatigue, mood swings and depression.
Benefits of Menopausal Hormone Therapy
Bioidentical hormones may provide relief from a large number of symptoms, as does conventional HRT. I will discuss with you the pros and cons of each approach so that you can chose which is the most suitable type of therapy for you. Many people have a perception that conventional HRT has risks, particularly around breast cancer, and that Bioidentical therapy may be safer. There is conflicting evidence about safety of both HRT and BHRT but for most women the risks of either therapy are far less than they imagine. I will discuss these at your consulation however you may wish to read some of the British Menopause Society factsheets giving you some of the information and data about conventional HRT in advance of your consultation, see https://thebms.org.uk/publications/factsheets/
Benefits of Oestrogen
Benefits of oestrogens may include improvement in sweats and flushes, memory and concentration, energy, quality of sleep, mood, improvement in sexual desire, maintenance of bone density and reduction in wrinkles. Evidence suggests possibly reduced risk of heart disease and bowel cancer.
Benefits of Progesterone
Progesterone is helpful in balancing oestrogen. It is said to have a natural soothing and calming effect & to enhance mood and reduce irritability. Its potential benefits include being a natural diuretic, causing an improvement in memory, concentration and sleep. It may protect against endometrial cancer and fibrocystic breast disease.
Benefits of Testosterone
Testosterone may improve libido and may help to improve sense of well being, energy and motivation. It helps to maintain bone strength, and may increase muscle mass and tone and improve body composition. It is said to be a natural mood enhancer and may help increase body strength and reduce body fat.
Benefits of DHEA
Potential benefits include improved brain function and memory, supporting the immune system, improved quality of life, improved sleep, increased insulin sensitivity (improved sugar metabolism), possible help with weight loss and enhanced body composition.
What happens if you would like to see me for a consulatation about your Hormones?
After a consultation with me I will discuss the different types of hormones, bioidentical or conventional that may be suitable for your case. I may recommend tests to determine exactly what hormone imbalances are affecting you. These tests are likely to cost between £100-£250 depending on what tests we agree on.
For women consulting about Premenstrual Syndrome or other conditions which are clearly cyclical and who have a fairly regular menstrual cycle my most popular test is Genova's salivary Rhythm Plus Comprehensive Female Profile (END11) which measures adrenal stress hormones on four occasions through one day, and measures salivary levels of Oestrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone on 12 days through your menstrual cycle. This costs £190 (plus approx. £10 return postage costs). Prices correct as of July 2016.
For all women In addition to the hormone tests if you are at increased risk of breast cancer I may suggest a urinary Oestrogen Metabolism Plus assessment test (END20) which costs £190 (plus approx. £10 return postage costs)
Or Essential Oestrogens test (END21) which costs £220 (plus approx. £10 return postage costs) - this is the gold standard test if finances allow it.
Once we have this information I will review your case and issue you with a personalised prescription. If this is for bioidentical hormones they may be taken as transdermal creams, oral lozenges, or topically to the genital region.
You need to telephone London Specialist Pharmacy on 0207 637 1055 www.specialist-pharmacy.com to obtain the prescription. You pay them over the phone by credit card.
Bioidentical hormones are tailor-made for each individual person and are therefore quite expensive although they last some time. As an indication here are some of the commonest prescriptions that I am likely to prescribe:
Hormone creams £65-£125 for 50ml which will last for for 80-160 days
Lozenges £85-£105 per tray which will last 2-4 months depending on dose.