The Women's Journal

Optimizing Aging With Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

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By Brian J. Shiple, D.O. & Kelly P. Shiple, PA-C

Menopause is defined as the period in a woman’s life at which menstruation ends. This event occurs 12 months after a woman’s last menstrual cycle due to a loss of sex hormones. Symptoms include decreased energy, weight gain, low sex drive, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, poor sleep, and irritability.

Andropause is a gradual, variable decline in male testosterone levels. Similar to menopause, this event occurs in middle-aged men causing low energy levels, problems with erectile dysfunction, decreased muscle, increased fat, and decreased sense of well being.

Does either scenario sound familiar? Men often view women going through menopause as moody psychopaths, while women look at men as selfish lunatics going through a mid-life crisis. This can create a great divide and wreak havoc on lives, marriages, and families. Could the cause of the above situations be the same – a loss of hormones?

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is a form of hormone replacement that involves replenishing lost hormones with molecules that are biologically identical to those your body makes on its own. Hormone depletion is a normal part of the aging process. However, normalizing hormone levels is not the goal of BHRT. Getting you feeling your best and achieving optimal hormone levels as a guide is what sets BHRT apart from other HRT programs. Anyone experiencing the side effects of aging can benefit from hormone optimization.

Contrary to popular belief, aging men actually need some estrogen to help protect against heart disease, osteoporosis, and cancer. On the other hand, women do in fact need testosterone to help them function properly in regards to libido, energy, mood, healthy skin and mucous membranes. The hormones that are evaluated in men are testosterone, DHEA, thyroid, and estrogen while these plus progesterone, FSH, and LH are tested in women.

Another highly common, underdiagnosed, hormone condition in aging men and women is subclinical hypothyroidism. Most primary care doctors only test thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free T4, and only prescribe synthetic T4 (Synthroid or levothyroxine). It has been discovered through extensive medical research that low free T3 is actually what causes the symptoms of underactive thyroid including low energy levels, feeling cold all the time, hair thinning or hair loss, and dry skin and nails. Many people have difficulty converting T4 into T3 and will suffer from hypothyroid symptoms in the face of a normal TSH, free T4, and/or while being treated with synthetic T4. We prescribe a natural form of thyroid called desiccated thyroid, which comes from a pig’s thyroid and is made up of both bioidentical T3 and T4. Our focus is aimed not only at your thyroid levels, including free T3, free T4, and TSH, but also how you are feeling and what symptoms you are experiencing while undergoing treatment.

Autoimmune thyroid conditions have also become more common and most endocrinologists are undertreating men and women with this diagnosis. These patients continue to suffer despite “adequate” treatment and normal T4 levels. We utilize a natural, supplement-based protocol to get your thyroid functioning optimally and help you to feel like yourself, again.

If you or someone you love is suffering from any of the aforementioned symptoms, please call the office for a free copy of  “How to Achieve Healthy Aging” by our mentor Neal Rouzier, MD. He uses evidence-based medicine as a cornerstone to guide the thousands of practitioners he has trained over the last 20 plus years. For more information on the proven safety, efficacy, and many other benefits of our BHRT program please visit our website.


“I’m 59 years old, feel like I’m 29, and look like I’m 10 years younger. Four years ago I was overweight, suffered from chronic fatigue and pain, with no libido, and seemed to catch every bug that went around. At 54 years old I decided that I didn’t want to continue to live like this and needed help in improving my health.

I met Dr. Shiple, started BHRT, and my life started to change immediately. Due to my increased energy levels I started to work out and before long my muscle mass was growing and fat was melting away. My work performance improved and my immune system became stronger.

If you are approaching 40 or older, I strongly recommend that you look into BHRT at Chadds Ford Wellness to see if it is right for you. Of course, you may have to deal with people not believing your age and the endless compliments when you see old friends and meet new people. You don’t have to get old. Age is just number and BHRT is the secret to a better and longer life!” – Frank R.

“Dr. Shiple suggested a BHRT program before my 50th birthday. That was 5 years ago.  The bioidentical hormones have made menopause manageable. I’ve been able to maintain a healthy weight and sleep better with little or no hot flashes.  My libido is as good now as it was before menopause. Since I get biannual blood tests, I can be sure that the hormones prescribed are at a safe level.” – Erica J.

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