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Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)

"It is important to know there are many potential benefits of treating hormone deficiency safely and effectively.  My approach using bioidentical hormones is unique in that I believe women can achieve great results when treatment
is safely monitored, using top quality hormones an an
anti-aging concept in mind."  - Dr. Donnelly Wilkes

Image of a senior couple to represent Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

Summit Health Group is proud to offer Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). Much has been written and publicized about this very important anti-aging and disease preventing therapy. Dr Wilkes has consulted and trained among the leading physicians in the country using anti-aging hormone therapy techniques. He has specifically designed this program in order to carefully and closely assess each patient, diagnose, and treat those candidates with hormone deficiency.


For many patients, the major difference in their physical and mental

well-being at age 50 versus age 25 is hormonal. Hormones are

molecular messengers that control healing, tissue regeneration,

immune function, sexual function, memory and mood, strength,

body composition, skin thickness, energy, digestion, and many other

aspects of human function.

Potential benefits are numerous:

  • Improved energy levels

  • Improved musculoskeletal health

  • Enhanced sexual function

  • Improved immune function

  • Improved ability to lose weight and gain muscle

  • Healthier cardiovascular system

  • Improved mood and sleep

  • Sharper mental function

  • Prevents pelvic muscle atrophy and incontinence

  • Relieves vaginal dryness and painful intercourse



What are bioidentical hormones?

Traditional HRT like Prempro and Premarin are derived from hormones concentrated in horse urine, and are not identical in nature to your body’s own hormones.
The interest in a more natural approach to hormone therapy has focused attention on bioidentical hormones — hormones that are identical in molecular structure to the hormones women make in their bodies. They are made or synthesized from plant based extracts from yams and soy and often called “natural” because they act in the body just like the hormones we produce. Bioidentical estrogens are 17 beta-estradiol, estrone, and estriol. (Estradiol is the form of estrogen that decreases at menopause.) Bioidentical progesterone is simply progesterone. It’s micronized (finely ground) for better absorption in the body.


What is unique about Summit Health's method of treating hormone deficiency?

At Summit Health Group, we treat hormone deficiency with an Anti-aging concept in mind. Anti-aging medicine combines the best of biotechnology with advanced clinical preventive medicine for the early detection, prevention, and treatment of age-related dysfunction, disorders, and diseases. Our approach to bioidentical hormone therapy involves three key elements:

  1. A personalized discussion to assess early symptoms and aid in the intricacies detecting hormone deficiency

  2. Prescribing only top quality bioidentical hormones.

  3. Frequent follow-up, symptom review, and personalized dose titration to achieve optimal benefit at the lowest effective dose


What are the risks of bioidentical HRT?

As with any medical therapy there are benefits and risks to be reviewed prior to starting treatment. Supporters of bioidentical HRT feel the benefits outweigh the risks.  Proponents of bioidentical HRT suggest that risks are lower in light of the bioidentical structure of the compounded hormone, and especially if doses are provided properly and monitored. Studies to prove this have not been performed yet, however there are also no studies to the contrary that indicate they have increased risk compared to traditional HRT.
The bottom line regarding the risks is that although more studies are needed, there is good information available that hormone replacement therapy is not only safe, but can also play a significant preventive role in women’s health. Please reference the following studies for more information:

  1. Effect of hormone replacement therapy on cardiovascular events in recently postmenopausal women: BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 9 October 2012)

  2. Effects of ultralow-dose transdermal estradiol on bone mineral density: a randomized clinical trial. Obstetrics Gynecology. 2004 Sep;104(3):443-51. Ettinger B, Ensrud KE, et al.“…we investigated the safety and effectiveness in preventing bone loss of, very-low-dose estradiol [0.014 mg/d][delivered] transdermal unopposed for postmenopausal women. CONCLUSION: Postmenopausal treatment with low-dose, unopposed estradiol increased bone mineral density and decreased markers of bone turnover without causing endometrial hyperplasia.”

  3. The Mortality Toll of Estrogen Avoidance: An Analysis of Excess Deaths Among Hysterectomized Women Aged 50 to 59 Years. Philip M. Sarrel, MD, et al. Am J Public Health. July 18, 2013: e1-e6

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