Our bodies contain a delicate balance of hormones that affect all aspects of our health. The proper balance is different for everyone, and it changes as we age. For people who menstruate, hormone levels rise and fall every month — it’s amazing that our bodies are able to handle these constant changes!
Two years ago, Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy owner and lead pharmacist Michelle Gray trained to become certified as a C4 Hormone Replacement Therapy Specialist. The certification, offered by the Professional Compounding Centers of America, requires 20 hours of continuing education courses plus a 3-day seminar. Two years later, Michelle has re-certified by taking additional courses and re-attending another three-day seminar.
“Many physicians are afraid of adding hormone replacement therapy to their treatment plans because of the potential risks and side-effects. But avoiding treatment also has risk — for example, an estrogen deficiency puts patients at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease, Cardiovascular Disease and other health concerns,” Michelle says.
When customized for your needs, BHRT offers many potential benefits:
- Bone health
- Heart health
- Improved sleep
- Skin health
- Preventing memory loss
- Managing menopausal symptoms
- Reduced inflammation
- Immune system support
Creating a triad relationship
Michelle often talks about creating a Triad Relationship between the patient, the pharmacist and the physician.
“When we communicate and work together, we’re able to mitigate risk, promote health and better meet the patient’s needs.”
A physician may be concerned about potential blood clot risk from estrogen taken orally, but as a compounding pharmacist Michelle knows those risks are greatly reduced by taking estrogen transdermally (through the skin). As a patient you can advocate for your concerns, and your healthcare team can cooperate to find solutions that work for your goals.
“The key to effective hormone replacement therapy is customizing the treatment plan to the patient. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and it’s essential that everything’s kept in balance,” Michelle says.
Hormones and menopause
Many women think menopause is over when hot flashes cease, but that’s just one of the symptoms of menopause.
“The average woman lives at least three decades after hitting menopause — that’s a long time to live without nurturing hormones. These are life-giving hormones that keep bones strong, keep our brains strong, and contribute to cardiovascular health,” Michelle says. “This doesn’t mean that hormone replacement therapy is for everyone, but it is worth discussing with your healthcare team.”
Grays Compounding Pharmacy offers hormone consultations to help patients understand the source of their symptoms. You’ll complete an extensive hormone history review, and then your pharmacist may recommend appropriate testing. Consultations last about an hour and a half, and cost $150. Take-home testing kits vary in price, depending on what is required.
“Too much or too little of any hormone can cause ripple effects throughout the body. Finding balance will help you stay healthy and vibrant longer.”
Ask your doctor if they are open to the Triad healthcare system, and book your appointment today!