Tag Archives: hormones

different types of BHRT

What Are the Different Types of BHRT and Which Is Right for You?

There are different types of BHRT and the kind you use will depend on what you need. Learn the differences between different types of BHRT and how to figure out which one is best for you.

BHRT is short for Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy–a type of therapy that replenishes hormones levels that have dropped lower than they should be for your optimal health.

Hormones are chemical messengers that move through your body and give your organs messages that help them function. They help regulate all kinds of processes in your body like growth, fertility, and metabolism. There are many types of hormones As you age or as a result of certain medical conditions, it’s possible to stop producing as much of your body’s required hormones naturally. BHRT is an option to replace most commonly estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

BHRT is specifically bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and is a different type of therapy from the original hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Both types of hormones are manmade, the difference is in what they’re made from. HRT is made from hormones found in horses as well as synthetic hormones. BHRT on the other hand is made from plant estrogens that are chemically identical to human hormones. Both undergo adjustments before being approved for human use. Neither horse, synthetic, nor plant hormones are injected “as is” for hormone replacement therapy.

Both types of hormone therapy help with a range of conditions:

  • Menopause symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and weight gain, pain during sex or loss of interest in sex, and difficulty sleeping
  • Memory loss
  • Migraines 
  • Insulin resistance
  • Adrenal and thyroid disorders
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Aging skin and hair

Types of BHRT

There are many types of BHRT available to address aging and skin conditions in a variety of hormones. Three of the most common are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. All three are key sex hormones and their levels have a big impact on what happens in our bodies as we age.


Both men and women produce estrogen–a hormone that is particularly important for the reproductive system. Estrogen is a hormone found in both men and women. Estrogen is primarily made in the ovaries in women but is also found in adrenal glands and fat cells. Having proper estrogen levels helps regulate menstruation and maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, bones, skin, hair, pelvic muscles, and brain. That means it’s one of the most important hormones your body produces for overall health.

Symptoms of low estrogen can include:

  • Fatigue and insomnia
  • Breast soreness
  • Irregular or disappearing menstrual cycles
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Hot flashes
  • Bone loss
  • Urinary tract infections


Just like estrogen, progesterone is an important hormone for reproduction. It is mainly created and released by the corpus luteum in the ovaries. The corpus luteum is a temporary gland that releases this hormone after an egg is released. Should pregnancy occur when the egg is released, this hormone plays an important role in maintaining the progress of the early stages of pregnancy.

Lower levels of progesterone are associated with vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and irregular periods. Progesterone can be prescribed to help relieve those symptoms.


Testosterone is a hormone that is primarily responsible for the development of the male reproductive system. It enhances the male sex drive and maintains a healthy sperm count. It is also found in women but in smaller amounts. Aside from the reproductive system, testosterone also plays a role in muscle development, fat distribution, bone mass, and the production of red blood cells.

Symptoms of low testosterone can include:

  • Low sex drive
  • Weight gain
  • Low self-esteem
  • Less body hair
  • Depression and mood fluctuations
  • Less energy and fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Poor bone density

Forms of BHRT

Now that you know the types of BHRT you can get, in what forms can you get BHRT?

  • Pills – consumables that you take on a regular basis to keep hormone levels where they should be
  • Patches – stick to your skin and releases the hormone throughout the day
  • Creams – rubbed into your skin and the hormone absorbs into your body
  • Gels – similar to creams; they absorb into your body through your skin
  • Injections – A quick shot that gives outs the hormones right into your body to stabilize levels

The form of BHRT your doctor prescribes depends on a number of factors like types of hormones, amount required, frequency, lifestyle, as well as overall health history and conditions. Each is an effective option to address various symptoms or conditions. It’s best to talk to your doctor to find out what’s right for you.

Is BHRT right for you?

BHRT is one of many options to address the conditions it can help you overcome. If you are dealing with a hormonal imbalance, BHRT can be a valid option for you. The important step is to determine if the symptoms you’re experiencing are a result of a hormone imbalance. To do so, it’s important to set up a time to talk with your doctor.

Whether it’s right for you depends on your health history. If you have a history of certain cancers or other conditions, BHRT may not be the right fit for you. The best way to find out if BHRT is right for you is by asking your doctor.

How to find out if BHRT is right for you?

The best way to determine if BHRT is right for you is to talk to your doctor. BHRT is one of many options to address the various concerns that it helps manage. Your doctor will help you determine if it’s the right next step for your needs.

When you come in for a consultation with our doctors, they will go over the different types of BHRT. They will also cover your health history and current symptoms to help figure out which type of BHRT you would benefit from. 

To book your BHRT consult, contact your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss location today.

what is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy

What Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy and Can It Really Help You Look Younger?

As researchers learn more about what factors influence the way we age and how our bodies work, it’s more apparent than ever the role hormones play in staying healthy. So what is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and how can it help you stay healthy and young?

Hormones are molecules your body produces to control most of your basic functions. They send messages throughout your body that keep everything running as it should. Hormones play a role in your immune system, sex, digestion, growth, and brain function. If your hormones are out of balance, you can experience negative symptoms in your health and well-being. 

One of the options to rectify out-of-balance hormones is to get bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, otherwise known as BHRT for short. BHRT is when you replenish hormones your body no longer produces at normal levels.

What is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?

First, it’s important to know that different types of hormone therapies exist.

Most often, they are categorized as traditional hormone replacement therapy or bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).

Both use hormones to bring your body’s hormone levels back into balance. But BHRT is man-made hormones that are almost identical to the hormones produced by your own body. 

In BHRT the hormones introduced to your body are still man-made, but special care is taken to make them as identical to those in your body as possible. They are derived from plant estrogens that are chemically identical to the estrogens created by your body. These hormones derived from plants are still manipulated in a lab and altered to suit human use.

The most common BHRT treatments are done to raise levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone when their levels fall too low. 

When is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy typically prescribed?

Doctors commonly prescribe to help women in menopause and perimenopause (the time leading up to menopause. During these times, women notice and change in their natural hormone levels. These changes lead to a range of symptoms and changes in their health and well-being such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Hot flashes
  • Trouble concentrating

Similarly, as men age, up to 20% may notice their testosterone levels drop. Lower testosterone in men causes many common symptoms of aging, such as:

  • Lower muscle mass
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Mood changes
  • Impaired memory

BHRT to replace low levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in men and women can prevent and improve already existing signs of aging that interfere with daily life. Your doctor prescribes BHRT after a consultation, and after they consider of a wide range of potential causes for your changes in health.

But BHRT also helps address health concerns like adrenal and thyroid disorders, insulin resistance, osteoporosis, and fibromyalgia. 

How does it work?

There are a variety of ways to get bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

  • Pills
  • Patches
  • Creams and gels
  • Injections and pellets

Whichever BHRT option you use, it is important that your doctor regularly monitors your health and progress. Your doctor tracks how your body responds to the treatment, can change the dosage as needed, and ensure that you aren’t experiencing severe side effects. 

Does bioidentical hormone replacement therapy help you look younger?

In addition to helping improve health and well-being, many seek BHRT to slow and prevent signs of aging. There is research that supports the importance of estrogen in maintaining youthful skin. As a result, BHRT to increase lowering estrogen levels in aging women is often sought as a means to improve the health and elasticity of the skin.

But how is estrogen helpful for your skin?

Estrogen is important for healthy skin in a number of ways and lower estrogen levels is associated with:

  • Hair loss
  • Skin pigment changes
  • Impaired wound healing
  • Increased wrinkles, dryness, and oxidative stress
  • Less collagen production
  • Decreased skin elasticity

Research has found that skin aging can be delayed by receiving additional estrogen if levels are too low.

Are there any side effects?

While BHRT helps prevent aging, there are side effects. The side effects of all hormone therapies vary. The side effects someone experiences on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy depend on an individuals’ health history. For BHRT specifically, some people experience temporary side effects as their bodies adjust to the hormones. Some BHRT side effects include:

  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Weight gain
  • Acne
  • Bloating

The potential for side effects means that BHRT won’t be the best option for everyone. This is why it’s important to have a consultation with your doctor before doing hormone replacement therapy. Your doctor can learn your health history, review different options based on your symptoms, and give you all the information you need for your individual circumstances. 

It’s also important to talk to your doctor because they can determine if your symptoms are a result of changing hormone levels. There is a range of reasons that your health changes as you age. Your doctor will consider all the potential causes of your health concerns when you meet with them and help you figure out if hormone replacement therapy is what you need to improve your symptoms.

How to book your first BHRT consultation

At Valley Medical Weight Loss, we offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy overseen by our knowledgeable doctors. BHRT is an option for a range of conditions and can provide a variety of improved health outcomes, especially as you age. If it’s an option you have been considering, we can help you determine whether it is right for you or if there’s another treatment option for your health concerns.

When you book a BHRT consultation, our doctors can go over the following with you in your consultation:

  • What is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?
  • Should you do BHRT or traditional hormone replacement therapy?
  • Is BHRT right for you based on your health history?
  • How does your doctor monitor you for BHRT?
  • How long does it take to notice the effects of BHRT?

You can get these questions, and more, answered in detail to help you determine if BHRT is the right choice for your needs.

To book your consultation, contact your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss location today.

skin look younger

How the Right Balance of Hormones Make Your Skin Look Younger

Hormone replacement therapy makes your skin look younger by managing the natural changes in hormone production in your body as you age.

When you hear about what keeps your skin looking young and vibrant, you most likely come across lists of suggestions to stay hydrated, moisturize, eat a healthy diet, and take preventative measures as early as you can.

And these are all useful pieces of advice. But there’s more going on internally with our bodies as they age that influence our skin.

One of those things is hormone balance.

As we age, our bodies produce less estrogen, testosterone, and other hormones that contribute to healthy and youthful skin. The result is skin that starts to look noticeably different in ways that initially seem out of our control.

But there are new therapies that can prevent and reverse the changes made to skin as a result of aging and hormones.

How hormones influence our skin

Hormones are molecules that your body uses to send chemical messages throughout your body. These chemical messengers help every system in your body stay regulated and function properly.

After they’re made in the endocrine system, they travel through the blood to the organs and tissues in the body where they bond to specific receptors that give instructions to cells to carry out particular actions.

Some of the most common that influence our skin are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

These hormones do MORE than just help our skin function. They’re most commonly known as the reproductive hormones in men and women, but they impact other aspects of our bodies too, one of them being the health of our skin. As a result, when the amount of these hormones in your body changes, your skin changes too.


Estrogen is a hormone naturally produced in men and women.

When women go through menopause and their estrogen levels drop, it’s common to experience hot flashes, chills, difficulty sleeping, and excessive sweating.

That’s why post-menopause, estrogen can be given to women to 

  • Improve skin elasticity and firmness
  • Relieve menopause symptoms
  • Treat vaginal and ovary issues
  • Prevent bone loss


Testosterone is another hormone in both men and women. It’s most commonly known for being essential for male libido. As well as for the development of strong muscles. But it also plays a key role in many factors of health for both men and women:

  • Muscle mass 
  • Bone density and strength
  • Mood regulation
  • Memory and cognitive ability
  • Heart health


Progesterone is known for being a pregnancy hormone. It plays a greater role during reproductive years, but it does more than prepare the body for pregnancy.

When given as part of a therapy for women post-menopause, it also helps relieve and fix:

  • Migraine headaches
  • Changes in bone density
  • Mood fluctuations and overall mood changes
  • Irregular bleeding

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

So how do you maintain healthy levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone as you age?

One answer is to try Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

For aesthetic purposes, this means using hormones as directed by a doctor to replace some of the hormone levels that dropped from aging. 

Why HRT makes your skin look younger

As you age, your skin loses elasticity and produces less collagen. Part of this is related to how your hormone levels change.

Studies have shown that HRT improves skin in a variety of ways:

  • Improves collagen content and quality
  • Increases skin thickness
  • Evens skin tone
  • Makes skin more supple
  • Reduce wrinkles

The reason is that hormones like estrogen influence how much collagen your body produces. Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in your body. It’s an essential protein for bones, skin, tendons, and ligaments.

Our bodies produce collagen, but that does diminish over time and there are things that further diminish collagen production aside from aging. Excessive sun exposure, too much sugar and refined carbs, and smoking can all lower the amount of collagen your body produces at any age.

As we reach middle age though, the process naturally starts to take hold and it shows up first in our skin which shows signs of aging. 

HRT has been shown to improve the amount of collagen produced by your body by replacing those hormones that are responsible for collagen production. The result is younger and more vibrant skin and outcomes that can even reverse some signs of aging that already took hold.

See if bioidentical HRT is right for you to make your skin look younger

We have a range of HRT gels, pellets, and creams that help our patients overcome hormone changes due to aging.

But when considering HRT, it’s important to factor in all aspects of your health history, age, and conditions before starting HRT. That’s why it’s required to work with a doctor who can make sure you get the safest and most effective treatment plan for your situation.

To learn about our Bioidentical HRT services provided by Dr. Keiffer, contact your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss location to book your consultation today.

sleep and weight loss

Tips for Better Sleep

When you’re feeling sleepy at the office, you might be tempted to reach for a cup of coffee and a sugary snack from the vending machine for a little pick-me-up. When the clock strikes five, you may skip the gym and stop at the drive-thru on the way home because you’re just too dang tired to even think about cooking. You end up sinking into the couch with a cheeseburger in one hand and the remote in the other. Even though you were sure you were going to pass out as soon as your butt hit the chair, suddenly you can’t sleep.

If this cycle sounds familiar, your sleep pattern may be to blame. On the surface, the connection between sleep and weight loss seems obvious. When you don’t get enough sleep, your energy dwindles and you reach for a comfort food, like potato chips, or some coffee or soda. The immediate result is a quick burst of energy, but the longer-term effect is unwanted pounds, more sleep loss, and negative health consequences.

Sleep and Weight Loss

When you’re sleep deprived, your metabolism suffers and your hormones go out of whack — two physiological processes that are essential for weight loss. Sleep deprivation ups the body’s production of ghrelin, a hormone that signals when it is time to eat. To make matters worse, when the body doesn’t get enough sleep, it reduces production of leptin, the hormone that tells your brain that your belly is full. This combination of effects can spell disaster for your weight loss plan.

Although the exact amount of sleep you need is based on different personal factors, most people need about 7.5 hours of shut-eye a night. Increasing that won’t magically help you lose weight, but if you are sleep-deprived, getting seven hours a night helps boost your metabolism and helps you shed pounds.

If you aren’t getting enough quality sleep at night, it is time to make a change. Follow these tips to start giving your body the rest it needs.

Skip the Caffeine

It’s fine to start your day with a cup of joe, but skip caffeine in the afternoon. When you down caffeinated drinks after about 2pm, your body stays stuck in sleep’s lighter stages at night instead of getting the deeper rest it needs.

Get Exercise

Physical exercise can boost the quality of your sleep, and it doesn’t matter much when you do it. Aim to get at least one hour of exercise each day to sleep better at night.

Forego the Midnight Snack

If you are about to hit the sheets, stay away from midnight snacks, especially things like pizza or chicken wings. These fatty, greasy foods can cause heartburn and keep you up. If your stomach is grumbling close to bedtime, opt for a lighter snack, like a cup of low-fat cottage cheese or an apple. If battling bedtime cravings is a regular issue for you, try Crave-a-Way to conquer the temptation.