Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormones have an incredible impact on our quality of health and our overall lives. Our hormones affect everything from our mental health to sexual vitality to our ever-so-important sleep cycles. As we age, our hormonal levels naturally change, and a variety of challenges can come along with that.

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can help us navigate these changes gracefully. Our BHRT programs designed for both women and men can help you look better, feel better, be healthier and age on your own terms.

If you have experienced chronic symptoms that affect your appetite, weight, mood, sleep and libido, you may be suffering from hormonal decline. Diagnoses such as diabetes, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease are also signs of hormonal decline. It might be time for you to consider balancing your hormones using more natural solutions such as Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy.

What Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a way of using physiological doses of hormones to replicate your hormone functioning naturally. This replication allows your body to restore functioning as if you were a younger, more vibrant you — and that is the exact feedback we get from our patients.

Using natural hormones that your body can metabolize allows minimal side effects. Bioidentical hormones can be administered in oral (pill) form, topical (cream or patches) form, injections and pellets. Depending on your age, gender and goals, we will choose the safest, most effective format that works for your lifestyle.

What Happens When Your Hormones Are Imbalanced?

We often describe hormones as the body’s chemical messengers. They play a role in regulating numerous processes, including sleep, immune function, metabolism, weight maintenance, fertility, sexual function, growth and mood. Due to their involvement in so many critical functions, having too few or too many hormones can cause widespread issues.

Hormone production fluctuates naturally as you travel through the phases of life. Both women and men often notice symptoms of hormonal imbalance as they age. Other causes or contributing factors of hormonal disruptions include:

  • Poor diet
  • Obesity
  • Chronic stress
  • Exposure to environmental toxins
  • Diabetes
  • Certain cancers
  • Overactive or underactive thyroid

Our clinic is committed to addressing and treating the underlying cause of hormonal imbalances. In many cases, the hormone imbalance in and of itself is the issue, and therefore the hormone needs to be replaced to restore functioning in the body to a normal state.

How Do I Know If I Need Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Knowing when you need hormones is not easy; that is why our doctors use advanced functional laboratory testing to assess your body and treat your needs. That is what being bioidentical is all about — you should be the best version of your biological abilities.

When your hormones are balanced and meeting your body’s needs, you thrive. Disrupted hormones can feel like a trainwreck – it’s just ugly. When you feel off-balance, getting a lab test is key to identifying the underlying problem.

If you have the following signs or symptoms, get tested:

  • You’re tired and “off” — you just don’t feel like yourself
  • Your libido has decreased significantly
  • You can’t shake yourself of bizarre cravings
  • You can’t lose weight despite earnest efforts with your diet and exercise
  • You’ve been losing muscle tone despite working out
  • You’re having trouble sleeping
  • You’re experiencing brain fog, trouble concentrating and/or memory lapses
  • You’ve noticed changes in your hair and skin
  • You’re struggling with moodiness, anxiety or depression
  • You feel like Will Ferrell in Anchorman: stuck in a glass cage of emotion that you can’t escape and is driving you (and everyone around you) crazy

The difference between starting and stopping menstruating is when you start, everyone is out to get you; when you stop, you know it’s you. —Dr. Renee Young

The only way to know for sure that your hormones are imbalanced is to see a medical professional and get your levels tested. By the way, PLEASE KNOW your hormones affect everything, especially your risk of heart disease.

At the Young Naturopathic Center for Wellness, we look at the whole picture. For example, if you have genetic risks for stroke, we treat you differently than we would a person who does not. Hormones in the hands of a person who does not know your body CAN harm you. We will get to know you and your chemistry! Our team tests for the following:

  • Genetic factors for heart disease and stroke
  • Osteoporosis markers
  • Stress hormones
  • Male and female sex hormone testing
  • Thyroid hormones
  • Blood sugar and metabolic hormones 
  • Neurotransmitter testing (related to happiness and anxiety)
  • Sleep hormones
  • Nutrients that may be deficient and affecting hormones  
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Cancer screening

Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women

There is a lot of beauty to be found in growing older, but there’s no denying that menopause can change your life in unwelcome ways. A woman with imbalanced hormones may experience any of the symptoms listed in the previous section, as well as:

  • Hot flashes or night sweats
  • Loss of sleep
  • Vaginal dryness and/or painful sex
  • Breast tenderness
  • Hair loss
  • Irregular, heavy or uncomfortable periods
  • Weight gain (the menopausal muffin top)
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability and/or mood changes such as depression and anxiety
  • Frequent or uncontrolled urination 

In addition to addressing these symptoms, hormone replacement therapy may help lower a woman’s risk of developing osteoporosis, diabetes, macular degeneration, certain cancers and cardiovascular issues.

Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men

Men go through their own life change during middle age called andropause. Many men are unfamiliar with this stage, and therefore don’t seek a diagnosis or treatment when they experience symptoms. The signs and symptoms of andropause are similar to menopause, plus:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Weakness due to loss of muscle mass
  • Growth of breast gland tissue (gynecomastia or MOOBs)
  • Urinary issues
  • Hair thinning and balding
  • Prostate conditions
  • Weight gain (“dad bod” or beer belly)
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep irregularities
  • Irritability and mood issues 

Until recently, BHRT was primarily viewed as a treatment option for women in menopause. Fortunately, more and more men are taking control of their health and proactively seeking solutions that allow them to lead a more dynamic and fulfilling life.

What Is the Hormone Replacement Therapy Process?

First, you meet with one of our dedicated doctors. They will create an individualized hormone replacement plan that takes into consideration all of your other health needs and goals. Your treatment will follow these steps:

  1. Consultation addressing your concerns — this is where we determine what labs should be run for your needs and safety
  2. Laboratory tests performed at our clinic 
  3. Review of labs and putting a plan in place (our favorite part!) 
  4. Treatment begins — we prescribe bioidentical hormones (including, but not limited to, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, cortisol, thyroid hormones, growth hormones and even peptides)
  5. Continued care and monitoring — we see our patients every three to six months to test your labs and make sure your hormones are still working well 
  6. Keep living well — once we have determined that your hormones are balanced, you will be tested during your bi-annual exam to ensure continued safety and well-being

What Are the Benefits of Hormone Optimization?

Hormone balancing helps you manage the challenges you face in maintaining optimal health as you age. With a personalized treatment plan, BHRT can help your body function at its full potential and allow you to live vibrantly through life’s natural changes.

Some of the benefits our patients report include:

  • Increased energy
  • Improved bone density
  • Better sleep patterns
  • A more positive mood
  • A more satisfying sex life
  • Enhanced mental clarity
  • Better weight control
  • Improved skin appearance
  • Feeling younger, healthier and happier

Request a Consultation at the Young Naturopathic Center for Wellness Today

We believe hormones are a powerful tool to help our patients give themselves a biological advantage during a time of life that can be challenging. With BHRT, you can feel like YOU again. Our doctors are looking forward to meeting you and hearing your concerns to get you on the right path.

If you are experiencing hormonal imbalance symptoms and would like to discuss treatment options, please call 408-761-6781 or get in touch here to schedule an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy covered by insurance?

Restoring hormone balance with BHRT can be covered by insurance if prescribed through a traditional pharmacy. Often, customized plans are not covered by insurance. Many patients use health savings accounts and flexible spending benefits available through their employer to invest in their treatment. 

The cost of your hormone therapy will depend on the details of your treatment plan and the length of your treatment, both of which will be carefully tailored to your needs.

How long does bioidentical hormone replacement therapy take to work?

Most hormonal effects are felt fairly immediately. By three to six weeks, things are “as good as they are going to get.” This means that if you are not feeling relief at that point, we need to make adjustments.

Our doctors will monitor your treatment to make sure the desired results are achieved. We require regularly scheduled follow-up visits to ensure we can adjust your treatment as necessary.

What are the potential side effects of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?

Any time you introduce a change to your body’s routine, there is a risk of side effects. This is one of the reasons why we use bioidentical hormones instead of synthetics. Bioidenticals are structured just like the natural hormones in your body, which reduces the likelihood of them causing adverse effects.

We will discuss all potential side effects with you during your consultation. Each hormone is different. Depending on what other medications you are on and other health conditions you have, different side effects may be expected.

Bioidentical hormones vs. synthetic hormones — what is the difference?

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is different from synthetic replacement therapy. Synthetic hormones are not biologically identical to the hormones made by your body, thus increasing the risk of adverse effects. Bioidentical hormones are derived from sources that share the same makeup as your natural hormones.