• Testosterone Therapy for Women: Debunking the Myths

    Women's Testosterone Treatment

    Testosterone therapy is increasingly used to treat symptoms of hormone deficiency in pre and postmenopausal women. Testosterone is essential for physical and mental health in women as well as men. Although frequently thought of to increase sex drive, testosterone’s role in sexual function is only a small part of its physiologic effect in women. Receptors for testosterone are located in almost all tissues including the breast, heart, blood vessels, gastrointestinal tract, lung, brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, bladder, uterus, ovaries, endocrine glands, vagina, skin, bone, bone marrow, muscle and fat.

    Testosterone declines gradually with age in both sexes. Pre and post-menopausal women, and aging men, may experience symptoms of testosterone deficiency including anxiety, irritability, depression, lack of well being, physical fatigue, bone loss, muscle loss, memory loss, insomnia, hot flashes, rheumatoid complaints, pain, breast pain, urinary complaints, incontinence and sexual dysfunction. According to Rebecca Glaser, MD and Constantine Dimitrakakis, MD, PhD: testosterone is not masculinizing and does not increase aggression or cause hoarseness; testosterone does increase scalp hair growth, is mood stabilizing, and is cardiac and breast protective.

    A source of confusion concerning the safety of testosterone therapy in both men and women is the extrapolation of adverse events from high doses of oral and injectable synthetic anabolic steroids to therapy using the bio-identical form of testosterone in doses that simply restore normal physiologic levels. Bio-identical testosterone is the same substance that is naturally produced by the human body. In England and Australia, testosterone is licensed and has been used in women for over 60 years. In the United States and Canada, compounding pharmacies can customize testosterone in doses that are appropriate for women.

    Ask our compounding pharmacist for more information about testosterone and other bio-identical hormones. We work together with practitioners and patients to create hormone balance, and have successfully relieved symptoms in patients who have not responded to or who have experienced intolerable side effects using commercially-available hormones.

    April 12, 2016 By JJRX 2016
  • March 2016

    Restoring Balance—Thyroid Hormone TherapyHormoneBalance

    More than half of all people with thyroid disease are unaware that they have a thyroid problem. Individuals with low levels of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism) may have several of the following symptoms, but may not be diagnosed for years:

    • PMS, Irregular menstrual periods
    • Lack of exercise tolerance
    • Weight gain (especially in the stomach)
    • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
    • Fatigue
    • Irritability – low self esteem
    • Low sexual desire
    • Infertility
    • Dry skin, eyes and/or hair
    • Yellowed skin
    • Loss of eyebrows
    • Constipation
    • Headaches, migraines
    • Depression, apathy and anxiety
    • Memory and concentration impairment
    • Fluid retention – face, legs, eyelids and abdomen
    • Slowed metabolism and slowed heart rate
    • Cold and heat intolerance – cold hands and feet
    • Enlarged tongue, deep voice and swollen neck

    Both men and women can have stress, exposure to environmental toxins, or suboptimal nutrition, all of which increase the risk of hypothyroidism. However, women are more vulnerable to thyroid imbalances due to hormonal changes throughout their lifetime (puberty, birth control pills, pregnancy, menopause, HRT).

    Hormone replacement therapy often is focused on other hormones such as estrogens, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone, but optimal hormone balance cannot be achieved without correcting thyroid hormone imbalances. Many symptoms of hypothyroidism and menopause overlap. It is especially important for menopausal women who decide to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to have their thyroid function tested, because oral estrogens can lower the amount of bioavailable thyroid hormone. This means that if a woman is already on thyroid treatment, and begins oral estrogens, her thyroid dose may need to be increased.

    If you have some of these symptoms, ask us or your doctor about thyroid testing. Our compounding professionals work together with patients and their health care providers to customize medications in the specific strength and dosage form that is most appropriate to meet each patient’s specific needs and solve medication problems.

    We welcome your questions.

    March 9, 2016 By JJRX 2016 ,
  • February 2016

    Customized Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Today’s women prefer natural hormones. In a national survey of 1,009 women aged 40 and older, 83% said they would prefer to use hormones that are similar to their own body’s hormones.

    Goals of Customized, Natural HRT

    • Alleviate the symptoms caused by the natural decrease in production of hormones by the body
    • Give the protective benefits which were originally provided by naturally occurring hormones
    • Re-establish a hormonal balance

    The three types of hormones typically prescribed for customized hormone replacement therapy are estrogens, progesterone, and androgens. The precise components of each woman’s therapy need to be determined after physical examination, medical history, and laboratory testing are considered. Close monitoring is essential to ensure that appropriate dosage adjustments are made.


    • are often prescribed in combination to re-establish a normal physiologic balance
    • relieve menopausal symptoms, including vaginal thinning and dryness
    • may increase HDL “good” cholesterol and decrease LDL “bad” cholesterol
    • help to decrease blood pressure and reduce plaque formation on the arterial walls
    • reduce the risk of colorectal cancer
    • may improve mood, energy levels, and sleep patterns
    • may reduce the risk of developing or the severity of type 2 diabetes
    • may improve memory and cognitive function
    • reduce bone loss


    • is commonly prescribed for perimenopausal women to counteract “estrogen dominance”
    • alone, or with estrogen, may improve Bone Mineral Density
    • minimizes the risk of endometrial cancer in women who are receiving estrogen
    • is preferred by women who had previously taken synthetic forms of progesterone known as progestins, according to one Mayo Clinic study
    • may enhance the beneficial effect of estrogen on lipid and cholesterol profiles in post-menopausal women (in contrast to synthetic medroxyprogesterone acetate)

    Androgens, such as testosterone, are prescribed for women to:

    • enhance libido
    • provide cardiovascular protection (lower cholesterol)
    • enhance bone building (increase calcium retention)
    • improve energy levels and mental alertness

    Recently, attention has turned to the addition of the androgens testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) to estrogen replacement therapy to alleviate recalcitrant menopausal symptoms and further protect against osteoporosis, loss of immune function, obesity, and diabetes.

    Every woman is unique. Therefore, it is a sensible approach for the patient to work together with health care professionals to customize hormone replacement therapy. HRT can be customized in the needed strength and dosage form and administered via the most appropriate route to meet each woman’s individual needs.

    © Storey  Marketing. All Rights Reserved.

    February 9, 2016 By JJRX 2016
  • January 2016

    Natural Progesterone Can Slow Breast Cancer

    A large team of scientists have determined that natural progesterone has the potential to slow the growth of many breast cancer tumors or even shrink them, unlike synthetic progestins which increase breast cancer risks. 

    It has long been known that tumors with estrogen receptors (ER) and progesterone receptors (PR) – termed ER/PR double positive – have the best clinical outcome. A study conducted by researchers from prestigious institutions including the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute; University of Adelaide, Australia; University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas; and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill explain why double positive breast cancer patients have the best chance of survival. The finding could benefit up to half of all breast cancer patients.

    Scientists know that when activated by most forms of estrogen – especially estradiol and its metabolites – estrogen receptors turn on genes within cancerous cells that program those cells to multiply rapidly and stay alive rather than die off as normal, healthy cells do. When activated by progesterone, progesterone receptors attach themselves to estrogen receptors. Once this happens, estrogen receptors stop turning on genes that promote the growth of the cancer cells. Instead, they turn on genes that promote the death of cancer cells (apoptosis) and stimulate the growth of healthy, normal cells.

    The researchers pointed out that only natural, bio-identical progesterone slows the growth of breast cancer. Conversely, synthetic progestins (molecularly altered forms of progesterone including medroxyprogesterone acetate and other progesterone derivatives found in birth control pills) have been shown to increase rather than decrease breast cancer risks.

    This is exciting news for women who are diagnosed with ER/PR positive breast cancers. If such women have healthy progesterone levels, or when progesterone levels are increased through natural progesterone supplementation, treatment outcomes may improve significantly.

    Hormonal imbalances have reached epidemic proportions in most developed countries over the last several decades. Due to poor diets, lack of exercise, a rise in obesity levels, the widespread use of hormone-altering chemicals, and other factors, many women suffer from chronically higher than normal estrogen levels and much lower than normal progesterone levels.

    In their book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer, John R. Lee, M.D. and David Zava, Ph.D. noted that women with progesterone levels that are low relative to estrogen levels are more likely to get breast cancer and have poorer treatment outcomes. They concluded that estrogen dominance causes estrogen receptors to activate genes such as BCL-2 that are known to promote the rapid growth of cancer cells. They theorized that chronic states of estrogen dominance contribute to high rates of breast cancer, and their theory has been validated with this latest research.

    Ask our compounding pharmacist for more information about the benefits of balancing hormones using natural progesterone. We will work together with you and your health care provider to customize medications in the proper dosage to meet your unique needs.

    Nature 2015; 523; 313-317.
    Pharmaceutical Journal, 17 Jul 2015.
    John R. Lee, M.D.; David Zava, Ph.D.; and Virginia Hopkins. “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer.” 2002


    © Storey  Marketing. All Rights Reserved.

    January 13, 2016 By JJRX 2016 , , ,
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