At Byrd Aesthetic & Anti-Aging Center, located in Roswell, Georgia, Dr. Marcia Byrd, M.D., is a highly skilled physician who specializes in medically safe and effective techniques to revitalize and rejuvenate her patients—enhancing not only their outward aesthetic appearance, but also improving their physical and mental health, and emotional well-being.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Byrd will conduct an in-depth assessment and examination of your current symptoms and medical history, and will then order the appropriate laboratory tests necessary to evaluate your current baseline hormone levels. After analyzing the results, Dr. Byrd will create a customized hormone supplementation strategy tailored to restore your body to a state of physical health and vitality.
Q: What is bio-identical hormone therapy (BHRT)?
A: Hormones are natural compounds in the body that stimulate cellular reactions and regulate the body’s systems to maintain a state of homeostatic equilibrium. Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is the science of replenishing vital hormones that have become depleted with age and are no longer being produced by the body in sufficient quantities. The goals of bio-identical HRT are to alleviate the symptoms caused by the decrease in natural hormone production, and to replenish the most important hormones in our bodies to levels that would be expected in a healthy, young adult female, before the onset of aging and chronic illnesses.
Q: How does BHRT differ from traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT)?
A: In order for a replacement hormone to function exactly as the original hormone, the chemical and molecular structure must precisely match the original. Unfortunately, synthetic hormones utilized in traditional HRT are produced by changing the molecular structure of the natural hormone to create a product that can be patented by a manufacturer.
This means that synthetic hormones are not exact replicas of the body’s own hormones, and these structural differences may be responsible for the side effects that are experienced when synthetic hormones are used for replacement therapy. Compounding this problem is the fact that synthetic HRT is only offered in fixed doses, which does not allow for the customization of individualized treatment plans.
Conversely, bio-identical hormones have the same chemical and molecular structure as hormones that are made by the human body. At Byrd Aesthetic & Anti-Aging Center, we only utilize bio-identical hormones in our treatments, and we customize your treatment type, strength, and dose to work with your specific chemical makeup. The precise components of your therapy are determined after your initial consultation, baseline hormone level assessment, and evaluation of your laboratory testing results. We then collaborate with compounding pharmacies to create a customized prescription created just for you, in order maximize your treatment results.
Q: At what age should I consider BHRT?
A: There is no set age range to for female patients to consider BHRT. The determination of whether BHRT is appropriate for a patient is made after evaluation of symptoms and assessment of baseline hormone levels. In general, bio-identical HRT is appropriate for post-adolescent female patients who are suffering from symptoms of imbalanced or depleted hormone levels as a result of menstrual cycles, peri-menopause, menopause, aging, or illness.
Q: Is bio-identical hormone replacement therapy for women safe?
A: When administered in their bio-identical form, within the context of a customized treatment plan created by a knowledgeable medical professional, estrogen, progesterone, adrenal hormone, and thyroid hormone supplementation are all completely safe. Dr. Byrd prioritizes the safety and health of her patients above all else, and diligently adheres to all standardized safety protocols and hormone therapy treatment guidelines.
Q: How long does it take to see and feel the results of BHRT?
A: The exact time-frame varies among individuals; however, many of our female patients experience beneficial results within the first month of treatment. On average, most patients see and feel the positive results of more balanced hormone levels 3-6 months into treatment.
Q: How long do I have to continue with my treatment regimen, and what happens after I stop treatment?
A: BHRT is not a ‘quick fix’ solution—we advise most patients to commit to a minimum of a one-year program in order to maximize their results. Once Dr. Byrd creates and implements an effective bio-identical hormone replacement protocol, many of her patients elect to continue their treatment regimen on a permanent basis because they are so pleased with the energizing and rejuvenating results. If you stop your treatment at any point, you will not suddenly begin to age at an accelerated pace—your body will simply resume aging at a normal pace, and the benefits of your BHRT will gradually fade with time.
Q: What are the benefits to bio-identical estrogen and progesterone supplementation?
A: Benefits of natural estrogen and progesterone supplementation include, but are not limited to: weight loss; improvement in skin condition; alleviation of premenstrual, peri-menopausal, and menopausal symptoms; increased energy levels; improvement in mood, concentration and overall sense of well-being; reduced anxiety; better sleep quality; increased sex drive; restored breast firmness; stronger bones and teeth; and decreased risk for colon cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Q: My doctor said my thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were in the normal range—why do I have many of the problematic symptoms associated with low thyroid hormone levels?
A: The problem with using standard laboratory testing results to diagnose hypothyroidism (the condition of low thyroid hormone levels), is that many doctors and laboratories rigidly adhere to a standardized numerical scale when determining whether a patient has “normal” hormone levels. Oftentimes, patients are denied treatment after being told that their thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels are within the “normal” range, even when it is clear that their thyroid hormone levels are definitely not optimal, and could be causing problematic symptoms.
For example, the “normal” range for TSH is 1.8-4.6 pg/ml—a physician utilizing this scale as the sole means for diagnosis might say that a patient with a TSH level of 4.7 suffers from hypothyroidism, while a patient with a level of 4.5 falls into the “normal” category, and should not receive treatment, even though the difference between the hormone levels of the two patients is minimal.
Similarly, an individual with a TSH level of 4.5 would be lumped into the same category as someone with a TSH level of 1.9, even though their thyroid hormone levels are drastically different. At Byrd Aesthetic & Anti-Aging Center, when determining whether a patient would benefit from thyroid hormone supplementation, we assess each patient on an individual basis, taking into account their symptoms, baseline hormone levels, and where they fall within the range of TSH levels.
Q: What are the benefits to bio-identical thyroid hormone supplementation?
A: Natural thyroid hormone supplementation benefits include, but are not limited to: weight loss; improvement in patient’s ability to tolerate the cold; regulation of menses; increased energy levels; improvement in circulation; decreased symptoms of anxiety and depression; increased sex drive; improvement in sleep quality; healthier hair, skin and nails; and amelioration of headaches and joint stiffness.
Q: What are the benefits to bio-identical adrenal hormone supplementation?
A: Some of the benefits of adrenal hormone supplementation include: increase in energy levels, better sleep quality, improved immune response to stress and illness, improvement in mental acuity and concentration, enhanced mood and overall sense of well-being, and reduced food cravings.