What are your hours of operation?
Our general office hours are from 9-4 Monday through Thursday but we are more than willing to work outside of these times. If you require an appointment outside of these times please let us know and we will try our best to accommodate you.
What are your general wait times?
Our clinic is a little different than most as we can generally work you into our schedule either the same or next day. Remember, your provider will always take the time to answer every question and address all your concerns during your visit.
How are pellets different than shots?
Pellets release a steady stream of hormones in the bloodstream 24 hours a day, seven days a week with minor variations based on your cardiac output. That means you release more when you are active and need more and release less when you are sleeping and don’t need as much. Pellets are also bioidentical which means they have exactly the same chemical structure as the hormones your body made since before you were even born. This is not true with synthetic testosterone shots which are absorbed as soon as they are injected. Synthetic shoots produce high levels of testosterone at the beginning of the cycle and lower levels each day after causing the “roller coaster” effect you often hear about. Since they are synthetic, they do not have the same chemical structure as the hormones in your body and this causes detrimental effects to the body in numerous ways.
How do bioidentical hormones work?
Hormones attach to receptors on the surface of each cell to produce effects on the inside of the cell. The receptor then sends signals to increase some cellular functions and decrease others. These changes in cellular functions on the inside of the cell produce long term beneficial changes in the entire body. Some of these changes we can see such as muscle cells increasing tone and fat cells decreasing their desire to store excess fat. Some of these changes we don’t see such as an increased resistance to disease and aging.
Synthetic hormones do not activate receptors in the same way. Many benefits never occur, even worse, some detrimental effects are seen such as increases in clotting factors or decreases in the ability of cells to protect themselves from disease and aging.
What are the benefits of using bioidentical hormones?
Bioidentical hormones have too many benefits to discuss in just a few paragraphs and some benefits of bioidentical hormones are easily seen while others you may not even realize are occurring.
Bioidentical hormones increase the amount of restful and restorative sleep we get. They reduce stress and anxiety, and they improve our overall feeling of well-being. Bioidentical hormones also reduce overall pain levels, increase muscle tone, decrease fat stores, and also play a part in improving sexual health in areas such as desire and function. Bioidentical hormones eliminate hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and in some cases eliminate headaches and migraines.
Effects of bioidentical hormones you don’t realize are occurring include reductions in blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. This reduces disease and possibly the need for some medications. Bioidentical hormones reduce mortality, cardiovascular events, cancer risk and more.
These effects are the result of consistent levels of hormones which are identical to the hormones that our bodies slowly lose the ability to make. Shots, creams, and sublingual hormones produce daily or weekly swings in our hormone levels so many of these desirable long term effects are not possible.
Can breast cancer survivors receive pellets?
Yes. Breast cancer survivors may be treated with bioidentical hormone pellets. In fact, there are studies that suggest bioidentical hormones should be used in breast cancer survivors. Of course there are some limitations but up to 90% of symptoms in breast cancer survivors can be reduced or eliminated completely using bioidentical hormones. Reducing or eliminating fatigue, depression, anxiety, and bone loss are just a few of the many benefits breast cancer survivors can expect to see when using bioidentical hormone pellets. Make sure to notify you provider that you are a breast cancer survivor before starting bioidentical hormone pellet therapy so your provider can develop an appropriate treatment plan for you.
Can prostate cancer survivors receive pellets?
Yes. Prostate cancer survivors can receive bioidentical hormone pellets after their cancer has been treated or removed and the PSA levels are undetectable. Even if your doctor is unaware, it is well known that bioidentical testosterone does not cause prostate cancer. In fact, bioidentical testosterone can play an important role in reducing overall mortality. Of course testosterone cannot be given while you are receiving treatment for prostate cancer but after treatment, bioidentical testosterone can reduce many of the symptoms prostate cancer survivors suffer from. These include difficulty with sleep, depression, anxiety, fatigue, lack of drive and so much more. Make sure to notify you provider you are a prostate cancer survivor before starting bioidentical hormone therapy so you provider can develop an appropriate treatment plan for you.
How long have pellets been around?
Bioidentical hormone pellets were originally developed in 1939 for women who underwent radical hysterectomies when both the uterus and ovaries are removed. Hormone pellet therapy is widely used in Europe and Australia. Bioidentical hormone pellet therapy is the longest studied form of hormone replacement therapy to date.
How long does it take for pellets to get into the bloodstream?
Hormone levels begin to increase in just 24 hours and symptom relief starts within a few weeks. After the first treatment the goal is to avoid the return of symptoms by administering pellets just before symptoms return.
Bioidentical hormone pellets last as long as six months or more in men and four months or more in women. For some patients the return of symptoms is obvious and for others it is more subtle. It can take a couple of pellet cycles to get the treatment timing just right. The ultimate goal is to get your pellets about a week before your symptoms recur but if symptoms do recur before getting pellets these symptoms generally resolve within just a few days.
Are pellets time-released?
No. This is another major benefit of bioidentical hormone pellet therapy. Pellets are released based on cardiac output. Hormone levels stay consistent during the pellet cycle with minor variations during times of exercise and times of rest.
This means the more active you are, cardiac output increases and more blood flow goes past the pellets and more hormones are absorbed. These are the times you need more hormones. When you are sleeping or relaxing cardiac output is reduced resulting in decreased absorption during the times your body’s hormone requirement is low.
Injectable synthetic hormones are in a thick oil suspension and are time released. Once an injection is given the hormones immediately begin getting released. Levels spike in the first day and are typically much higher than what is considered safe or desirable. Levels decrease each day until they quickly run out after about a week.
If you talk to men on testosterone shots they will tell you their provider only wants labs drawn just before the next shot. This is so you, and they, don’t see an undesirable and dangerously elevated testosterone level. We have seen levels as high as 4000ng/dl in men who want to switch from shots to pellets. These men have levels of 500ng/dl or lower just before their next shoot and also feel bad by the end of the week. This is the “roller coaster” effect you hear men complain about.
What happens to the pellets after insertion?
Over time, pellets completely dissolve into the bloodstream and eventually disappear. You will know when it’s time for more pellets because symptoms will begin to return. Over several pellet cycles you begin to realize exactly when your symptoms will come back and can schedule your next insertion for the week before. Ask your provider to help you determine the best timing to hopefully eliminate symptoms completely.
Can my hormones be optimized by just diet and exercise?
Diet and exercise are essential components of a healthy lifestyle. They can also increase hormone levels to a degree. Unfortunately, they do not replace the massive loss of hormones the body experiences with aging, stress, toxins, obesity, and other factors.
What if I'm on birth control?
You can still get pellets if you are on birth control. Pellets do not serve as a method of contraception so if you are using birth control for this reason then you need to continue using them. If you are using birth control pills to treat some other symptoms associated with low hormone levels than you will likely be able to eliminate the need for this medication.
There is no need to worry if you happen to get pregnant while you are receiving pellets. When patients get pregnant while on pellet therapy we will just skip your pellet treatments until you have delivered and can resume treatment after delivery.
Pellets are not recommended during pregnancy or while attempting to conceive.