Dr. Katherine Birchenough was one of the first physicians in South Carolina to be certified in functional medicine. She is also an expert in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, certified in peptide therapy, and is board-certified in emergency medicine. Dr. Shawn Birchenough is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast surgery and aesthetics. We are Greenville’s premier physician-run medical Wellness and Aesthetics center. At OptimalSelf MD, we offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for men and women in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Spartanburg, and the surrounding communities in South Carolina.
Our right to high-quality compounded hormone therapy is under attack! Banning compounded hormones to clear the market for FDA-approved hormone drugs is just one of the ways the FDA and the federal government bolster drug monopolies and undermine affordable treatment options. The FDA clearly prefers all medicines to go through its drug approval process requiring clinical trials, because drug user fees constitute 45 percent of the agency’s annual budget. The problem is that clinical trials for compounded bioidentical hormones are not feasible. The whole point of compounded medicine is that it is tailored to individual patient needs. There are countless preparations of bioidentical hormones that are used for the millions of women and men who rely on these medicines; does the FDA expect clinical trials for every single hormone preparation that is compounded? Speak you mind today and help us preserve our right to safe and effective hormone therapy HERE.
WHAT IS Natural HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is the most natural way to overcome hormone deficiencies and hormone imbalances at any age. Human-identical hormones have many benefits over the more common conjugated (synthetic) hormones. Hormone replacement therapy for women has evolved over recent decades to improve options for women, and the lessons learned have now been integrated into hormone replacement therapy for men.
HOW MUCH DOES HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY COST?
At OptimalSelf MD, we understand that you want to feel good about yourself, yet cost may be a primary consideration. We recommend that you schedule a consultation as a first step. We charge a fee for an in-office consultation. As part of the consultation, we explain the price of your hormone replacement therapy, and payment can be made by cash, check, and credit card. We also work with CareCredit® and Alphaeon® to offer our patients financing options.
WHAT IS HORMONE OPTIMIZATION?
When we lose our hormones, the aging process accelerates. The natural, physiologic decline in hormone levels is a significant contributor to the degenerative and age-related loss of physical and mental function in both women and men. The neuroendocrine theory of aging states: “Our hormone levels do not decline because we age; we age because our hormone levels decline.” There are many choices available for hormone replacement. At OptimalSelf MD, we believe in a comprehensive approach. Dr. Katherine optimizes hormone levels with natural, “bio-identical” or human-identical hormones. Hormone optimization (vs. simply “replacement”) is a process by which levels of hormones throughout the body are normalized with creams, implantable pellets, and in some cases, capsules or sublingual troches. In addition, thyroid and adrenal function is addressed and supported, and key nutraceuticals may be recommended, leading to peak levels of health and well-being. Safety is of primary concern, so testing for optimal hormone metabolism may also be recommended.
WHAT IS PELLET THERAPY?
Human-identical hormone replacement therapy is the most natural way to overcome hormone deficiencies and hormone imbalances at any age. Human-identical hormones have many benefits over the more common conjugated (synthetic) hormones. These hormones can be delivered to patients in the form of pellets. They are placed just under the skin with a minor outpatient procedure, and there is less than a week of recovery time before patients can return to their normal active lifestyles and exercise routines. The hormones in the pellets are bio-identical; meaning that they are structurally the same as naturally occurring human hormones. These hormones are found in nature and are plant-derived. The pellets remain within the body and consistently provide the dosing that the body requires. This contrasts with other hormone replacement therapy methods such as injections, pills and creams, resulting in a rollercoaster effect for many people.
HOW IS DR. KATHERINE’S APPROACH DIFFERENT?
As a physician who is certified and experienced in Functional Medicine, Dr. Katherine knows that the body is a complex network of systems that need to function in harmony to achieve true and lasting good health. In order for your hormones to work most effectively, the impact of stress, environment, nutrition, and sleep may need to be explored. In addition, thyroid and adrenal hormones and vitamin levels are checked with the initial blood work. Often, specific supplements are recommended to help you feel your best. As a patient of OptimalSelf MD, you are part of an “extended family” and treated as such. If other conditions are impacting your health, you can be sure she will discuss this with you and help you find solutions.
HOW DO I GET STARTED WITH HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY?
The process involves completing a few questionnaires, blood tests, and an office consultation with Dr. Katherine to confirm that your symptoms are caused by low hormone levels. During the consultation, she will make sure you are a good candidate based on your medical history and symptoms. At the lab follow-up, she will go over your test results and make recommendations. You may even be able to get started on treatment that same day. If she determines that you have another medical condition causing your symptoms that she does not treat, she will refer you to your primary physician or a specialist. Once the condition is managed, you can return for a consultation to determine if hormone optimization is right for you.
CAN I SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION FOR HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY?
Yes! You can schedule a 15-minute phone consultation with Dr. Katherine to answer any initial questions, then see her for a consultation at our aesthetics and wellness center. Request your phone consultation here.
HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY FAQs
WHAT ARE SOME SIGNS THAT I NEED HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY?
Women experience a rapid drop in hormone levels surrounding menopause, causing symptoms like hot flashes, sleep problems, changes in mood, loss of libido, fatigue, poor concentration and changes in sexual health. These are signs that women may need hormone replacement therapy. Men experience a decrease in hormone levels gradually over time, which can eventually cause symptoms that include fatigue, poor concentration, erectile dysfunction, low libido, changes in mood, weight gain, loss of muscle and thinning hair. These are signs that men may need hormone replacement therapy.
WHAT IS HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY USED FOR?
Hormone replacement therapy is used to restore hormone levels in the body to a healthy and appropriate range. For women, hormone replacement therapy can be used to manage and correct symptoms of menopause, during which women experience a rapid drop in hormone levels. For men, hormone replacement therapy can address symptoms of aging and declining hormone levels that happen gradually over time. When done correctly and customized for you individually, it is one of the safest and most effective therapies available.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HORMONE THERAPY?
For women struggling with symptoms of menopause, hormone therapy can alleviate symptoms to enhance overall quality of life. Specifically, hormone therapy can reduce hot flashes, address vaginal dryness and can improve the health of various tissues and bones. For men, hormone therapy can restore well-being, energy, sleep, and performance. In addition, bio-identical hormones have been shown to improve and maintain cognitive health and mood!
OptimalSelf MD is the premier center in South Carolina for plastic surgery, aesthetics, and wellness for men and women in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Spartanburg, and the nearby areas of South Carolina. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your hormone replacement therapy needs.