What is tele-medicine?
Let’s start there!
You might have heard of the word tele-medicine or telehealth. And, if you haven’t, you will … it is definitely the way of the future in terms of medicine.
Both words essentially mean the same thing.
In a nutshell: it is accessing a health provider in any means other than in-person. This could be a video appointment, email, text, Facetime, a phone call … all of which are convenient for you and still highly effective. It is an antiquated idea to think that you actually need to have a physical exam for all of your concerns. Some…Yes; All…Absolutely not! What I do falls into the later category. Imagine your appointment in your robe drinking your morning coffee! It is real and happens with me all the time. You’ll never want to drive across town and sit in a waiting room ever again.
That being said, I cannot function as your Primary Care provider. For the times that you actually DO need an exam, you need an established relationship with a provider near you. I only do specialty care with hormones and helping you (if needed) through a Concierge package, if you choose that route too. Think of me as a Hormonal Consultant. I do what you cannot get done with your regular provider, but that does not mean that they do not have a role on your health team.
How do I know if I have a problem with my hormones?
The short answer is – if you think you might, then you probably do. It is incredibly rare and takes a lot of mindful attention to live in this toxic world and get around not being affected. From our unclean water, to chemical laden foods, to all the lotions/potions/creams/junk we put on our skin, to the busy life we lead, to unprocessed grief and anger, frustrations, poor sleep … and a thousand other factors that we face daily in the 21st century…Yes, we women are highly susceptible to our super sensitive hormones quickly going hay-wire
Believe me, I once was there too.
If you have any of these, addressing your hormones would likely be a great step in the right direction towards feeling so much better! Book a no-strings-attached Discovery Session with me and let’s decide together what is your next best step. It can be as simple as one saliva test that can help to figure out if what you are feeling is because of hormones, or something else.
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Foggy Thinking
- Difficulty Falling Asleep
- Sugar Cravings
- Weight Gain
- Cold Body Temperature
- Dry Hair or Brittle Nails
- Heart Flutters/Palpitations
- Hot Flashes
- Fertility Problems
- High Cholesterol
- Burned Out Feeling
- Bone Loss
- Decreased Libido
- Thinning Skin
- Irregular Periods
- Increased Body Hair
… and the list goes on.
How do I test hormones?
There are many ways to test hormones. The way I do it is only through saliva testing using a hormone speciality lab that focuses 100% on hormones. NICE! I do this for 2 reasons:
- It is more accurate. When you get your blood drawn, it is from venous blood – this is the blood that is filled with the “garbage” in the body and is returning back to the heart for more oxygen. If I checked your hormones there, I would be looking at the hormonal left-over garbage. That means nothing to me. To get a true look at what is happening directly, I would rather look at what is in the blood at the capillary bed level. Saliva testing gives me much more direct access to this information.
- It is convenient for you! Who wants to be stuck when you don’t have to? The saliva lab that I use sends a kit to your house that you complete and mail back to them via FedEx. I get the results and we go over them in our appointment where you can see the results directly with me sharing my screen. How awesome is that?
What does bio-identical hormones mean?
The term “bioidentical hormones” refers to hormones that are molecularly identical to those produced by the human body. Chemical substances derived from plants are engineered in labs to precisely match natural human hormones. The hormones are then compounded into creams, gels, pills, and pellets. I only use the cream form. The compounding pharmacist I use is based in Washington, DC and he is able to drop-ship to you at any address in the country.
Why are synthetic hormones different?
Pharmaceutical (synthetic) hormones do not structurally match the hormones produced by the human body. Pharmaceutical (or conventional) hormones contain tiny molecular differences that causes the body to recognizes them as foreign substances. For this reason, synthetic estrogen-replacement drugs increase the risk of several potentially fatal diseases, especially when combined with progestin, the synthetic form of progesterone.
In 2002, a large-scale study known as the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) revealed that postmenopausal women who used a combination of synthetic estrogen and progestin had a higher risk of breast cancer, coronary artery disease, stroke, and blood clots. In response to this alarming news, many doctors immediately recommended that patients stop synthetic HRT. The following year, statistics revealed that breast cancer rates overall dropped about 7 percent and estrogen-sensitive breast cancers (which are more likely to occur when estrogen levels are high) among women ages 50 to 69 fell 12 percent.
When should I start replacing hormones?
In general, your body’s natural hormones begin to decline after your mid-20s and hormone imbalance symptoms frequently present by your mid-30s. It is common to start replacing hormones between the ages of 35 and 40.
What ingredients are in bio-identical hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are hormones derived from plants, such as soy or wild yams, and are designed to be structurally identical to the hormones produced naturally inside the human body. Additional ingredients in each prescription vary by hormone: testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, etc.and I only prescribe in cream form.
How long until I see results?
Most patients begin feeling better within a few months, but some results may take a bit longer to achieve. You may begin to feel a difference within a matter of weeks, especially when it comes to sleep patterns and energy levels. Every patient has a differe/nt experience, but the end result is the same—a healthier, more radical life.
Effective results don’t happen overnight, they evolve over time. Remember, it took some time for you to become hormonally imbalanced, so it will take your body some time to recover. Consistency and compliance every step of the way will improve your results.
Are these hormones regulated by the FDA?
Many people are under the misconception that bioidentical hormones are not FDA-approved.
Bioidentical hormones are derived from plant sources, such as soy and yams, which are approved by the FDA. Bioidentical hormones may be delivered in the form of creams, patches, pills, gels, pellets of vaginal rings. Bioidentical hormones are designed in a lab and shipped to a compounding pharmacy where they are custom designed to fit the needs of each patient. Because each prescription is custom-compounded for each individual patient, FDA approval and regulation is limited.
Conventional (synthetic) hormones are created in specific, patented doses and delivery methods (not customized), therefore regulation is possible.
Why don’t traditional doctors prescribe bio-identical hormones?
Traditional doctors do not usually have the time or the resources to seek expertise in bioidentical hormones. I had to undergo specialized training in bio-identical hormone therapy to further understand this field of medicine.
What is a compounding pharmacy?
A compounding pharmacy is a specialized pharmacy that creates tailor-made bioidentical hormone prescriptions. The quality of the ingredients, the expertise of the pharmacist, and the quality of customer service are all critical decisions when determining the best pharmacy. I have chosen Tshiffley’s Pharmacy in Washington, DC because of their consistent performance. Poor quality prescriptions are not effective and may impact results; therefore the choice of pharmacy matters greatly.
Will you need to take these hormones forever?
The necessary length of hormone therapy varies from person to person. Hormone levels are affected by genetics, lifestyle habits, and environmental factors. Some patients may be able to wean themselves off of hormone therapy with dedication to their overall treatment, which includes not only hormone therapy, but the full Deeply Rooted Method.
Unfortunately, there is not one answer that will apply to all individuals. Treatment plans are specifically tailored to each individual and their needs.
Do bio-identical hormones cause breast cancer?
No, bioidentical hormones do not cause cancer. This false impression began in 1991 when the very controversial Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) was halted due to increased incidence of chronic disease among subjects. This study used the synthetic hormone, Prempro, and subjects of the study were an average age of 63 years. Meta-analyses following this study have shown that most of the subjects had pre-existing conditions that led to the development of disease during the study and that hormones actually reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases in women.
In fact, more than 15 major medical organizations now endorse hormone therapy as a safe and effective treatment plan for many adverse health conditions (2013). And, according to a 2015 survey conducted by the North American Menopause Society, more than 60 percent of clinicians prescribe or support the use of bioidentical hormones.
Do I take Insurance?
No. I don’t for many reasons. I can, however, offer you a receipt after each appointment that you can submit to your insurance which will go against your out-of-network deductible. I only do this upon request. Some Flex Spending plans also can be used, depending on your exact plan. You would need to call and speak to them directly on the specifics.
I look forward to our Radical work together!
To your health,