available at: all locations
Q. What does my first visit look like?
Booking your first visit with one of our True Balance BHRT specialists begins with a phone call or an email. After the first point of contact, our staff will email you a blood requisition form. The blood requisition form is to be taken to your local lab that will collect your complete blood panel. Once the bloodwork has been completed, you will then contact our office to book your appointment. A deposit of $100 is required at the time of booking, and then our office will (e)mail you a video to be reviewed before you come in for your consult appt. This DVD contains all of the teaching surrounding your first visit, and the questions which naturally follow afterward. When you arrive at our clinic, you will be asked to fill out an extensive questionnaire focusing on your main symptoms and concerns. You will then meet with a BHRT specialist who will consult with you on your background and health and based on your blood and lab values design a customized hormone replacement regime detailed to your body’s needs. We then fax your prescription off to the compounding pharmacy who will then contact you when your prescription is ready. Please note that our clinic requires 48 hours’ notice for any cancellation or a $75 fee is charged. Because of the demand on our clinic, cancellations also result in the forfeiture of your place in the queue.
Q. Will I be prescribed Vitamins and other Supplements?
That will be discussed with you during your appointment and based on your individual needs.
Q. When and in what ways should I apply my transdermal creams?
Most hormone creams should be applied first thing in the morning after your shower in order to avoid washing it off. Your BHRT coach will review at your appt where the creams should be applied as there are different areas for different creams. For women, the estrogen and testosterone cream is best applied to the vulvar region as it is best absorbed there and we find symptom relief more consistent. For men, the best places to apply the cream are on the inner part of your arms or back of the knees. All extra applicators should be kept in the refrigerator but keep the one you are using in your bathroom so that it is within easy reach so as to encourage consistent daily application.
Q. When do I take all of my different Medications?
- Oral Progesterone should be taken just before bed. Once metabolized through the liver a second compound called 5-allo-pregnenolone is produced which initiates natural, restful sleep.
- Thyroid medication should be taken first thing every morning on an empty stomach and again midafternoon or any time before supper. Taking it too late in the day can affect a person’s sleep. You should also delay taking the medication until after your blood is drawn on a lab day.
- DHEA is to be taken first thing every morning, and can be taken with your thyroid medication.
- Vitamin D3: take 2 capsules (2000 iu) anytime during the day.
- TrueMulti (MultiVitamin): take 2 to 3 tablets with breakfast and 2 to 3 tablets with dinner. This provides optimal levels of anti-oxidants to counter oxidative stress.
- Omega 3: take 1 capsule with breakfast and 1 capsule with supper is a good place to start. Sophisticated testing is available to determine optimal dosage in an individual.
- Pregnenolone: take 1 capsule in the morning and see how you feel increasing the dose by an additional capsule to a maximum of 3 capsules. This can also be taken with your DHEA and thyroid medications
- Magnesium: begin with 1 capsule at bedtime and adjust dosage to bowel function. The aim is to have 1-2 soft bowel motions every day. Increase gradually to 3 capsules per day if needed. However, if too much magnesium is taken, the diarrhea will ensue and the dose should be decreased.
Q. What if I still don’t feel better after my hormone levels are balances?
There are a number of patients who, even after having their hormone imbalances corrected, will still feel like they lack energy and general health and well-being. They could potentially be experiencing adrenal fatigue. A body’s adrenal glands are the frontline defenses against all exteriors threats to our system. Chief among the most common of these threats is stress, but also things like sleep deprivation, acute and chronic infection, poor diet and the list goes on. When we experience stress our adrenal glands, each perched atop our two kidneys, secrete a precise and strategic amount of cortisol which allows one to cope with the effects of stress on the body. Adrenal fatigue occurs when our levels of stress are pronounced and prolonged necessitating the continual production of cortisol by our adrenal glands to the point of burnout. This is when the glands fatigue and can no longer produce sufficient amounts of cortisol, or the many other steroid compounds they are responsible for producing. This results in low energy and sometimes a flu-like sensation.
Unlike most clinics which only treat hormone imbalances, at True Balance we understand that even though hormone levels need to be supplemented and harmonized, a patient still may suffer from adrenal fatigue. The treatment is a combination of nutraceutical all-natural agents and bio-identical prescriptions, which help rebuild and repair the adrenal glandular function. Don’t list them, as the list continually changes
Q. What are some things I need to know about follow-up blood work?
Our BHRT specialists like to recheck thyroid after 4 weeks. At 8 weeks all thyroid and hormone levels are checked once again requiring another blood panel, which will be reviewed with you by your BHRT specialist during your 12 week recheck. A 4-week delay is required for the appointment after blood work to allow for all hormone levels to be available by the recheck date.
Before you go for your repeat blood work: Please remember:
- to apply any hormone creams in the evening for 3 days prior to your scheduled follow up blood test.
- For hormone creams that are applied in the morning only, apply these creams in the evening for 3 days prior (For example: If you have bloodwork booked for Monday morning – apply your cream on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night) – your cream can be applied again post bloodwork
- For hormone creams that are applied morning AND night, these creams can continue to be applied twice per day, just not applied the morning of blood collection, your cream can be applied again post bloodwork.
- Make sure to apply your cream on the last night as late as possible (around 10:30-11:00pm) and go to the lab by 8:00 am. We are looking for blood to be collected 9 to 12 hours after the cream has been applied. This gives the most accurate measurement of your hormone levels and takes into account individual differences in hormone absorption.
- For men using Testosterone injections, bloodwork should be done midway between injections.
- For Men using Weight Loss injections, bloodwork can be done any day.
- Take any thyroid, Pregnenolone, or DHEA medications AFTER your blood is drawn. If you take these medications before the blood test, a false level will be measured and a less accurate treatment plan for these medications will occur.
- Recheck blood work is not a fasting test unless specified by your hormone specialist. Such as, testing for cholesterol, blood sugars, insulin, homocysteine, etc
Q. Can True Balance make use of other tests or lab work that I have already had done?
Of course any lab work, bone density, mammograms, PAP smears, or other diagnostic examinations undergone in the last year will be helpful in filling out your total health picture, and may be of some value in diagnosing symptoms. We do not need the actual x-rays or ultrasounds, only the report. True Balance still requires that you complete either a female or male Blood Panel which is more extensive than conventional blood tests. This exhaustive panel allows us to pinpoint your hormone levels and accurately prescribe your own personalized hormone replacement therapy. As well, we do many specialized tests that are not normally requested by other clinics.
Q. What are the costs involved with BHRT?
There are three parts to the cost. First, there is an initial consultation fee of $350. Then there is a recheck fee of $350. The cost of monthly prescriptions and supplements will vary with each individual but generally one can expect $30 per month, per prescription, if not covered by your benefit plan.
Q. Where do I get my prescriptions and how will I know when they are ready?
There are four compounding pharmacies which will prepare your prescriptions and from which you can pick them up:
216, 52 Sioux Road
Sherwood Park, AB
Cedars Professional Park
Village Park Mall
937 Fir Street
Sherwood Park, AB
Medical Center Building
There are an additional four pharmacies from which you can pick up only:
First Edmonton Place
10665 Jasper Avenue
Standard Life Centre
10405 Jasper Avenue