Frequently Asked Questions
It takes a village… or at least a team! (FAQ)
Can I bring a family member or loved one with me to my visit?
The DaSilva Institute encourages you to bring a family member or loved one with you to your appointment. Many people are a little nervous when it comes time to meet with the doctor. Having a friend or family member along can help ease anxiety. After all, you’ll be receiving quite a bit of information and having that supportive person around when it’s time to remember and process what transpired during your visit can be extremely helpful.
Can hormone imbalance cause you not to be able to lose weight even if you are working out 3-5 times a week and watching what you eat?
Yes , absolutely! Weight gain is a very common and an unfortunate side-effect symptom that comes along with pathologic (premature) aging. As we age, our hormones decline. There are receptors for these hormones all over the body. When our hormones decline i t affects our metabolism , ability to build muscle and maintain bone strength. As a resul t , we gain weight, and no matter how diligent we are with exercise and diet without balanci n g and correcti ng the hormone deficiencies we cannot lose weight. The good news is w hen you balance you hormones with the use of bioidenticals and under the proper care of a physician who understands the body ‘s complete biochemistry , you can lose weight, build muscle , and bone and get back the younger you!
What are the tests to ask for to accurately measure hormones to check for all levels?
In order to get proper measurements of your hormones, I advise my patients to have specific blood work done. Also, it is important to check the levels of your hormones aside of the basic three; estrogen , progesterone, and testosterone . The BioAge™ Evaluation that I start my patients with assesses over 100 different markers of aging, which includes over 20 hormones that help me to assess the body’s functionality .
Unfortunately most physicians are not trained to assess these markers and then formulate the proper bioidentical compounds needed to meet an individual’s challenges.
How long does it take to figure out what your bioidentical hormones are specifically?
After a patient has gone in for the proper testing, on average it takes two weeks for our office to receive the laboratory results. Because many of the predictive markers included i n my evaluation are outside of standard testing , these samples are sent out to multiple specialty laboratories.
Once the results are received it can take from 1–3 hours of review to accurately formulate the hormones specific to your body‘s needs. One size does not fit all.
What studies have been conducted regarding the safety of bioidentical hormone use?
One of the common myths or misunderstandings about bioidentical hormones is that there is a lack of proper studies that have been performed . This statement couldn‘t be farther from the truth. Growth hormone, one of the most controversial hormones, has had over 89,749 studies done, which are available to the public on Pubmed.com. Over the counter aspirin has had 43,000 studies performed, and it is a fact that 16,500 people die from the appropriate dose of NSAIDs every year. There have been extensive studies performed on the efficacy and safety of bioidentical hormones.
We hope to have many of these studies posted on our website in the near future. Please return to our site for this new posting.
How does the liver handle bioidentical hormones?
When bioidentical hormones are delivered through topical creams they easily get delivered into the bloodstream and by pass the first pass effect through the liver. Estrogen, that is often prescribed in an oral form by most physicians, should not be taken orally because of the harmful by-products obtained from Phase I & II detoxification in the liver. Some hormones like growth hormone and insulin are made inactive if taken orally, but most others have no negative effects on the liver.
Are there products we can purchase online?
Bioidentical hormones are prescribed by a physician and are ordered through pharmacies. Getting hormones online puts a patient at great risk of not only quality but improper balance.
Some of the nutraceuticals that I recommend to my patients can be purchased through our website. This is offered to patients as an added convenience. Again balance is the key word. Don’t take what you don’t need. For example, one can overdose on zinc and cause havoc to their body.
Can bioidentical hormones help with brown aging spots?
Brown spots on the skin can be a sign of Adrenal Fatigue. Balancing the adrenal gland may stop you from getting more of these spots. The second cause of brown spots is free radical damage from sun exposure. Lasers are an effective way to remove these.
Bioidentical hormones can do wonders for your skin. Fine lines and wrinkles, sagging, drooping, and even dry skin can all be dramatically improved when your hormones are balanced back to proper physiologic levels. This is because as we age we lose the majority of our estrogen . One of the many roles estrogen plays in our bodies is for skin elasticity, firmness, and collagen retention.
Bioidentical hormones work from improving your skin from the inside out, but will not affect existing external damage.
How does age affect our hormones?
It is a scientific fact that as we age our hormones decline. That decline however has rapidly progressed and is now considered pathologic, premature aging. At the age of 30 our hormones begin to decline, and this is why we encounter so many hormone-related challenges as we age. Unfortunately due to the environment, the foods we eat which are void of most nutrients, the stress we live in , and many other factors, we are aging faster than ever.
For women specifically, the endocrine gland know n as the ovary begins to decline at age 35 and by age 55 is no longer able to produce 3 wonderful hormones; estradiol , progesterone, and testosterone. This then causes the other hormones of the body to become imbalanced, setting up an event we see in all aging called human frailty. Symptoms may include; bones weakening, muscle loss, the brain can no longer remember, the immune system fails to defend itself and so on .
Immunosenescence refers to the gradual deterioration of the immune system brought on by natural age advancement. As age advances, our bodies decline leading to increasing frequency and severity of diseases such as cancer, chronic inflammatory disorders and autoimmunity and hormonal imbalances. A great way to remember this concept is to understand that “we age because the other way around.”
Are Bioidentical hormones covered by insurance?
Empathetic physicians interested in improving healthcare are frustrated because they are increasingly forced to spend less and less time with patients due to insurance company dictates. On an average, physicians can only spend 5.2 minutes with each patient. A typical consult with a well-trained Antiaging physician lasts a mini mum of 45 minutes. The physician will spend much time reviewing labs and asking specific questions that will unveil whether or not balanced is achieved .
Most preventative and exploratory procedures are not covered under the traditional healthcare paradigm. In the future, it is hoped that the value- and the ultimate reduced cost-of such procedures will be recognized and a change in the orientation of healthcare will take place that will benefit individuals and the society as a whole.
Remember this- life insurance reimburses you at death, car insurance when you get into an accident and health insurance when you get sick . My goal is to keep you healthy- something insurance companies would not comprehend .
Can your body utilize bioidentical hormones?
Yes. Unlike a synthetic form of hormone replacement, bioidentical hormones are designed to identically match the molecular structure of your hormones and are thus easily recognized and used by the body . Since there are no synthetics, fillers, or foreign elements, the body ‘s receptors are open to receive the bioidentical and act as if the body had made the hormones independently.
Identical means identical. Ask yourself this, is there a difference between H20 and H202? The first is water while the second , by adding only one oxygen molecule, becomes hydrogen peroxide. Water gives life, hydrogen peroxide kill life.
Is once a year blood testing adequate for hormone level testing? (How often should someone be tested for hormones?)
I believe that proper follow up and retesting is a crucial part to ensuring that the patient is properly balanced and monitored on an Anti-aging regime. Our hormones can fluctuate and change over ti me and knowing what those patterns typically model allows for me to stay on top of a patients hormonal needs. In most cases, I like to retest hormone levels every six months, but in some cases, there may be additional tests at more frequent intervals. It all depends on what my patients‘ challenges are.