Not 10 minutes ago, I implanted a pellet into my backside.
Why? Because two years ago, this 39-year-old started having symptoms of a hormonal imbalance: I was sleeping poorly, tired, had brain fog big time, couldn’t lose weight, and experienced poor exercise recovery. Plus, I developed a ton of new food allergies after pregnancy. (Yes, all of those symptoms can be related to a hormonal imbalance! And yes, hormone decline starts in your 20s and 30s.) 
Enough was enough. So, I decided to be a guinea pig for my patients, testing out bio-identical hormone replacement (bioTE): plant-derived, all natural estrogen and testosterone, delivered by tiny pellets inserted just under the skin.
Within a few weeks, my symptoms improved drastically and I started recommending BioTE to many of my clients at Refresh Wellness, who also saw success. So is bio-identical hormone replacement therapy right for you? Here’s what I tell new patients in my office when we discuss bioTE:

What is bio-identical hormone replacement? 

Bio-identical means that the product being used is identical to the compound produced by the body in its organic chemistry. No end groups or structural changes are made to satify FDA guidelines. Hormone pellets (BioTE) release bio-identical hormones into the bloodstream continuously. The treatments and dosages given are based on age, activity level, lab levels, symptoms, and family history or risk factors. Bioidentical hormone replacement is for men and women of all ages.

What are the pellets made of and why a pellet?

Bio-identical pellets are made from powdered yam. They’re implanted under the soft tissue of the skin, usually in the buttocks. BioTE pellets are machine-pressed and give a slow, steady, consistent level of hormone over 4-6 months. They have a much safer profile and very few side effects as compared to synthetic injectables, bioidentical creams, or oral preparations. Thus, you avoid a hormone roller coaster.

What “hormone” do the pellets release, exactly?
Hormone pellets can release estradiol (estrogen) or testosterone.
What other symptoms can be related to hormonal imbalances?
Everything from sleep disorders and depression to menopause and andropause…not to mention poor libido. Optimized hormones can actually help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, inflammation, diabetes, and heart disease.

How do you know if my symptoms are related to a hormonal imbalance?
You don’t. That is where I come into play. We draw labs and check hormone levels, inflammation levels, genetic markers, celiac panel, thyroid levels, and other pertinent markers. And, as an anti-aging physician specialist, I listen to you and ask questions. It’s important to understand what is going on so that I can best help you.

Can BioTE negatively affect my health?
The side effects of pellets and other bioidentical hormones are not common and are self limiting, which means that when the hormones level out, the symptoms go away. Side effects are mild, and if any, include water retention, mild breakouts, or some hair growth.

How do you implant the pellets and how long do they last?
The pellets are implanted into the soft tissue (usually the buttocks) after numbing with lidocaine. A small hollow needle is placed into the numb area with the pellet inside and popped in. The small incision is sealed with small paper stitches that come off in a few days.

How long will it take until I notice a difference?
The effect is pretty quick. They kick in about 3 days or up to two weeks.

Do I need hormone replacement therapy for life?
The answer to this question is usually yes. Hormones do not generally come back on their own. Therefore, in order to feel your best and to maintain the health benefits that these hormones have to offer, then you should continue these hormones and adjust them with age, activity level, weight, etc. There is very little argument from patients however, when they feel incredible and get their lives back, there is no wavering on whether to continue therapy. Don’t settle for other doctors telling you that nothing is wrong with you and that you have to just deal with the aging process. Let me help you!