The Value of Anti-Aging Hormone Monitoring
by Annette Chlumsky, RN
One of the most frequent questions asked of the nursing staff is, “Why do I have to get laboratory testing so often?” The nurses are directed by the doctors to authorize refills on medications, specifically, the various thyroid hormone prescriptions and gender hormone prescriptions. The refill policy of Riordan Clinic is to authorize refills for a six month supply IF the patient is compliant with laboratory testing and follow-up appointments every six months. It is most helpful to the doctors if the patient can complete the testing two to three weeks before the scheduled appointment, so the results are back to review with the patient at the appointment. Reviewing the results with the patient is helpful to correlate symptoms, test results, and then adjust the hormone dosage appropriately.
The laboratory testing helps your doctor achieve correct dosing, which is important for many reasons. If you are taking an inadequate dose, then you are probably not getting symptom relief. If the levels are too high, there is the possibility of adverse effects, even though these are “natural hormones.” For example, if the thyroid dosage is too high, you can experience symptoms of insomnia, headache, and anxiety, progressing to more serious conditions affecting the heart such as rapid or irregular heart rate, increased blood pressure, and cardiac arrest. If the gender hormone levels are too high, symptoms of emotional instability, headaches, sleep disorders, and menstrual cycle changes can occur. Riordan Clinic doctors have become known as “thyroid experts” because they have learned not only to read the lab results on paper, but also to “read” the patients and their symptoms. The thyroid gland may appear to be functioning normally on a TSH report, but further thyroid testing may reveal a dysregulation and imbalance of the overall thyroid-metabolic system. We are committed to helping you achieve an optimal dosage specifically for you so you can feel your best. Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, adrenal, and thyroid hormones are most involved in the aging process. Bio-identical and natural hormones help us age with a bit more grace and ease.
As you check in with the doctor regularly, you may discover that as your health improves, you may be able to lower your dosage. Often as you improve your diet, avoid and or detoxify from environmental pollutants and lower inflammatory processes, the damage to your thyroid and adrenals can be repaired. Therefore the glands may be restored to better function, so the supplementation dosage often can be adjusted to a lower dosage.
In addition, if you are taking medications other than hormones, blood testing may also be necessary. For example, Diflucan and ketoconazole are anti-fungal medications that require liver function monitoring, as long-term use can cause liver toxicity. Also, if there is an underlying dysfunction of the liver or kidneys, which are usual routes of excretion of medications, the metabolism of the medication would be impaired. If the medication cannot be eliminated efficiently, toxic levels can build up in the body. The liver and kidneys’ ability to metabolize certain drugs decreases with age.
We also require monitoring of our IV patients who receive frequent and/or high dose Vitamin C. To continue IV therapy, monitoring of the kidney function, liver function, and electrolyte levels is necessary to be sure the body is able to handle the fluid volume infused.
If laboratory testing results remain stable, symptoms are relieved, sense of well-being is restored, and dosage is not changed for two consecutive tests, then the patient may reduce the testing and appointments to yearly checks. Yearly testing and appointments are required for all medication refills.
Bio-identical and natural hormone replacement does indeed work and is safe if monitored. Improved health and sense of well-being, and reduced incidence of osteoporosis, aging skin and hair, loss of libido, loss of muscle-mass, brain fog, sleep disturbances, and reduced incidences of cardiac and circulatory problems have been demonstrated.
Anti-aging hormone replacement is part of an overall lifestyle care program which will allow you to make dramatic improvements in your health. As Dr. Ron says, “Lifestyle care is the medicine of the future.” This can help prevent and get to the root cause of illness. Lifestyle changes in relaxation, smoking cessation, weight loss, chronic pain management, increased MYBA (moving your body around, a favorite phrase of Dr. Riordan), and improved dietary choices are all necessary to optimize your health. The best way for us to live a long and healthy life is to treat our bodies the best we can. Laboratory testing for analysis of hormone levels, nutrient levels, toxic, infectious, and allergic processes are available at Riordan Clinic. We are here to help create an epidemic of health!