Patients often opt to undergo a natural bioidentical hormone (BHRT) regimen to take advantage of the excellent improvements in mood, energy, libido, sleep, and overall state of well-being. These benefits are in addition to relief of menopausal and andropausal symptoms. What is not often realized when patients seek this treatment are the long-term health benefits that are only obtained when hormone levels are optimized.
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Patients living in communities such as Vail and Denver, Colorado are often active well into their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. To ensure these patients have the added boost needed to stay mentally and physically fit, I recommend regular serum testing.
Why Is Hormone Level Testing Important?
I feel that it is imperative to not only measure hormones frequently enough to guarantee ongoing optimal serum levels, but that the timing of the test is equally as important.Dr. BrandtHormone level testing is important to ensure patients are not only feeling good in their day to day life, but are also achieving the long term health benefits provided by BHRT.
After initial pre-treatment testing is done and a regimen of BHRT has begun, levels should be re-tested approximately six weeks later, once a new steady state has been achieved. Then, if necessary, modifications can be made to adjust medication dosing in order to obtain optimum levels as soon as possible. The benefits of BHRT lie not only in taking the prescribed medications consistently, but in achieving the levels that have been demonstrated, in evidence based hormone replacement studies, to be of maximum benefit – i.e. decrease risk of heart disease, reduce risk of osteoporosis, decrease risk of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Testing is repeated three months later to guarantee that levels have been adjusted appropriately. From that point forward, I request testing twice a year in order to ensure ongoing optimization, as occasionally levels might fluctuate. If additional modifications are made, additional testing may be required. Again, this is all to ensure the patient is receiving the best possible care and all of the long term health benefits associated with proper dosing.
Why Does Timing of Hormone Level Testing Matter?
It isn’t enough to simply have your serum levels tested. The timing of the test is equally as important. For most hormones, especially DHEA, testosterone, thyroid and estrogen the perfect timing of the test is 5-7 hours after taking the hormone medication. This allows the initial serum spike that happens in the first several hours to pass and then we can accurately identify the steady state level.
Testing prior to taking medications first thing in the morning will demonstrate levels that are inaccurately low. Conversely, testing levels too soon after taking morning medications will cause levels to be inaccurately high. By testing frequently in the initial months and appropriately timing these tests, patients can be assured that accurate optimal levels are achieved as quickly as possible, thus maximizing the benefits of the treatment.
Am I a Candidate
To talk to ThriveMD about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, current research studies, or to schedule an appointment at our Colorado facilities in Vail and Denver, please contact us today.