How To Find A Hormone Replacement Doctor
All licensed U.S. doctors can legally prescribe hormones, but not all doctors will prescribe them or will do so in the same ways. There is a huge schism in traditional medicine surrounding hormone replacement therapy. Pro-hormone replacement doctors view it as a means of enhancing quality of life. Many doctors, though, are against using hormones for this reason. The dispute comes down to a matter of philosophy and degree. For years, doctors have used hormones to treat menopause in women. Andropause in men is just now gaining traction as a similar condition that should also be treated. Likewise, growth hormone is the preferred treatment of hormone deficiencies in children, but it is controversial as a treatment for adults.
Choose a doctor who believes in using hormone replacement to improve quality of life.
There is a huge philosophical difference between treating disease and enhancing quality of life. In order to prescribe hormone replacement therapy in the most beneficial and meaningful way, a doctor must be convinced of the value of using medicine to enhance and even improve wellness. Strange as it may seem, many doctors do not have a “wellness perspective.” Their training and the healthcare compensation system discourage this approach to medicine. So, they are unlikely to prescribe a comprehensive hormone replacement program to an otherwise healthy adult.
Choose a doctor who specializes in hormone replacement therapy.
Endocrinology is the brand of medicine that deals with endocrine glands and hormones. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists supports hormone replacement therapy to treat the debilitating symptoms of menopause in women. Those symptoms include hot flashes and mood swings. However, mainstream endocrinologists will not treat “belly fat,” loss of energy, and aging skin as symptoms of menopause. Nor do mainstream endocrinologists endorse the use of bio-identical hormones, disputing the findings of the Women’s Health Initiative Study in 2002 which halted the study due to the adverse risks of synthetic hormones. Andropause in men is a “newer” disease but is gaining acceptance in the conservative medical community as a treatable condition. They stop short of recognizing conditions such as adrenal fatigue, which can compound low T in men and menopause in women.
In the 1990s, a more liberal segment of the medical community began thinking of medicine as a wellness tool. The results of clinical research spurred investigation into the off-label use of hormones to slow or even reverse aging. As a result, many of the best hormone replacement doctors come from the anti-aging field, not endocrinology.
Anti-aging is not even recognized by the AMA as a branch of medicine, but neither is alternative medicine as a whole. In fact, some of the “unrecognized” medical specialties include clinical psychology, environmental medicine, and neurology – so anti-aging is in good company. If you don’t know an endocrinologist who uses hormones proactively, you can begin your search for a low T doctor or HRT doctor by looking for physicians who have been involved in the anti-aging field.
Be willing to go outside the healthcare insurance compensation system.
Medical insurance will not cover tests or treatment related to “unrecognized” conditions. So if you have muscle wasting due to AIDS, you are covered. But if you have muscle wasting due to low growth hormone, you are not. This means your insurance will not compensate the doctor or the lab for diagnostic tests needed to legally prescribe testosterone, growth hormone, and other forms of hormone replacement therapy.
Even if these tests indicate deficiencies, you can expect an argument from your health insurance company when it comes to covering hormone replacement doctors visits and drug costs. Most doctors who are highly qualified in hormone replacement therapy choose not to deal with insurance – so you have to be self-pay. You can probably get testosterone prescribed by your urologist or proctologist, but you will not be able to get a full hormone replacement therapy regime.
Finding a hormone replacement doctor depends what you want and how far you are willing to go to get it. Today, many men and women are willing to forego the traditional healthcare system in order to achieve nontraditional health benefits. This means going outside mainstream medicine and paying out of pocket for the best hormone replacement therapy available.