Frequently Asked Questions
What is Anti-Aging Medicine?
Anti-Aging medicine is a clinical specialty aimed at the early detection, prevention, treatment and reversal of age-related decline. The goal of anti-aging medicine is to promote “Healthy Aging” and to prolong the “healthspan” of an individual so that more of their years are spent in good health and few, if any spent with disease. The use of bioidentical hormones is an important part of this specialty. Hormonal decline is believed to be one of the main signals of the body to begin the aging process. Most chronic diseases begin at menopause and andropause.
What Are Bioidentical Hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are derived from natural sources such as yams and soy beans. They are identical to the hormones made in the human body. They are generally well tolerated and many physicians, patients and researchers feel that they do not have the same risks and side effects as synthetic hormones. Pursuant to a comprehensive history and review of symptoms, your physician will design a customized treatment plan compounded by a compounding pharmacy. This allows the attainment of symptom relief at a much lower dose. A physician’s prescription is required for all bioidentical hormones.
Bioidentical hormones are effective for treating women with menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, depression, anxiety, irritability, weight gain, vaginal dryness, decreased sex drive, cognitive dysfunction and memory loss. Bioidentical hormones are effective for treating men with andropause symptoms including fatigue, insomnia, decreased muscle mass, increase fat mass, decreased concentration, decreased sex drive and decreased libido.
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine is an integrative, science-based healthcare approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by focusing on the biochemical processes in the body, and the way that natural substances such as vitamins, minerals, herbs and glandulars can impact those processes.
It is a systems approach to medicine that analyzes the patient’s functioning in eight major areas:
- Detoxification & Biotransformation. Due to our increasingly polluted environment (chemical herbicides, pesticides, food additives, preservatives, mercury, lead, arsenic), our body’s toxic load may exceed our elimination capacity.
- Hormone & Neurotransmitter Balance.
- Gastrointestinal Function. Normal abundant bacterial flora, proper digestion and absorption of nutrients, and normal gut immunological function are all necessary for optimal health.
- Energy Production & Oxidative Stress. Free radicals are the result of our bodies using oxygen for the process of metabolism. Excessive free radicals lead to many chronic diseases and accelerate aging.
- Immune & Inflammatory Balance. Inflammation is necessary for healing. However, if it is out of control, inflammation can cause disease. 6. Mind & Spirit. Mild stress motivates, but excessive stress kills. In order to effectively deal with stress, the root cause (bitterness, guilt, pride, greed, rebellion, lust, self-rejection) must be understood.
- Structural Imbalance. With aging, our bodies change. We lose muscle mass, gain fat and our individual cells lose their cell wall fluidity and receptor identity.
- Environmental Factors. It focuses on finding and treating the cause of the problem, not just masking the symptoms. In many cases, natural substances can replace the use of drugs in the treatment of problems such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, arthritis, irritable bowel, GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflex Disorder), and metabolic Syndrome. Functional Medicine focuses on early detection. Through the use of specialized diagnostic tests we can discover sub-optimal functioning of the body’s systems years before any disease has a chance to develop. At this early stage, treatment with nutritional supplements and natural medicine can often reverse imbalances and avoid the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and autoimmune disorders.
Do I need a prescription to obtain bioidentical hormones?< Yes, bioidentical hormones are compounded by experienced compounding pharmacists requiring a prescription by a physician. What is the best age to consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?
Starting at age 35, men and women should begin to consider hormone replacement therapy.
How long will I wait before I see results of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?
You can expect to see results within three days to three months of beginning bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
Does Dr. Gagnon accept health insurance?
Dr. Gagnon is an “out of network physician.” She will provide you an itemized receipt with appropriate diagnostic and billing codes. It is your responsibiltiy to submit the receipt to your insurance company for reimbursement.