Over the past several decades, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has become commonplace. The growing popularity of this innovative treatment is driven by a host of factors—the increase in mass media advertising, the discussion of HRT on social media platforms, growing accessibility—but the end result is that ever-increasing numbers of individuals are relying on HRT to mitigate the effects of hormonal change. Among men alone, testosterone replacement therapy prescriptions quadrupled between 2003 and 2013.
But despite the prevalence of HRT, you may not know where to look for the best quality treatment. How do you pick a practitioner who will help you get optimal results? How do you know who to trust?
Hormone medications may be easy to prescribe and simple to administer, but they’re also incredibly complex to get right. Finding the perfect hormone balance for each individual can be difficult—and failing to find it can leave you with untreated symptoms or disruptive side effects that compromise your quality of life. That’s why it’s essential to seek out the best hormone replacement therapy doctors near you before starting treatment. By connecting with the right practitioner, you can ensure the greatest chance of success and experience the full benefits of HRT.
How to Identify the Best Hormone Replacement Therapy Doctors
Today, more doctors than ever before are offering HRT. However, the fact they offer HRT doesn’t mean that they have the training or experience to provide the highest quality care. The following criteria can help you identify the best doctor to entrust with your hormonal health:
1. They specialize in hormone health
Plenty of doctors administer hormone medications, but not all actually specialize in hormones. That’s why your primary care physician or your gynecologist may not be the ideal person to go to if you are interested in HRT; while these doctors are technically qualified to prescribe such medications, they may not have the specialized knowledge of a practitioner who focuses primarily on hormonal health.
Before choosing a doctor, ask which health concerns they deal with on a daily basis. A hormonal health expert primarily treats:
- Menopause and andropause
- Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
- Hypogonadism (known as low testosterone in males)
- Other disorders of the endocrine system
You want to partner with a doctor who spends the bulk of their time treating patients with similar concerns to yours. That way, they’re more likely to be familiar with your symptoms, understand your treatment options, anticipate your body’s reaction to various medications, and be familiar with the most up-to-date research in the field. We consider this the starting point for a good hormone replacement therapy experience.
2. They’ve completed extensive specialized training
While experience in treating hormonal health concerns is essential, so too is in-depth formal training. Many patients are surprised to learn that there is no specialized training required to administer HRT, and the training that is available can vary widely in kind and quality. For example, some doctors take only a single short course in hormone replacement, whereas others participate in fellowships, multiple years of ongoing education, and board certification. For example, BodyLogicMD-affiliated practitioners are required to meet six rigorous requirements, including completing the Fellowship for Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, being an active member in the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, and taking part in at least 150 credit hours of continuing medical education.
Always ask any doctor you are considering about their training before making an appointment. At the very least, any doctor you consider should be able to present proof of medical licensing and board certification in a clinical field. The best practitioners go above and beyond with advanced qualifications that ensure their patients achieve the best results.
3. They have a wide range of resources at their disposal
One way to differentiate between middle-of-the-road hormone doctors and higher-quality practitioners is which specialized resources they have at their disposal. Do they offer full-scale lab testing for urine, serum, and saliva samples? Do they offer a comprehensive spectrum of treatment options? Do they maintain partnerships with high-end compounding pharmacies and pharmacists? Can they provide you with pharmaceutical grade supplements as needed? A practice that has a wide range of resources available in-house will be better equipped to meet all of your needs.
One of the treatment options to look for is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). With BHRT, your treatment can be fully tailored to your needs, which means that even patients who have not had success with conventional hormone therapies may be able to find meaningful symptom relief. Excellent BHRT providers partner with the finest compounding pharmacies in the United States to provide customized hormone medications and are able to continuously adjust doses or hormones accordingly to ensure efficacy and tolerability. Having this option available to you can be invaluable as you begin your journey toward optimal health.
4. They take an integrative approach to health
In modern medical practice, many doctors prescribe medication and send patients on their way. But we all know that health involves many complex, interacting variables—especially when it comes to hormonal health. Nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle in particular can all heavily influence your body’s hormone levels and your overall sense of well-being. The best hormone replacement therapy doctors take these factors into account and offer professional support in all three areas.
For example, BodyLogicMD practitioners provide each individual with a personalized integrative treatment plan that includes dietary and lifestyle counseling from the start. Of course, the level of support will vary for each individual. Some athletes, for example, request extensive dietary support to boost performance and maintain peak physical condition. Others may require basic nutritional and fitness assistance to shed a few unwanted pounds. Whether you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight, clean up your diet, or create a lifestyle plan to improve your emotional well-being, you should be able to trust your hormone health practitioner to assist you on the way to achieving those goals.
The multidimensional nature of health also means that your hormonal health practitioner should be willing to work with any other practitioner you are seeing to ensure you are receiving the best care.
5. They provide plenty of individualized attention
One of the greatest benefits of seeking top-of-the-line medical care is individual attention. Ask your potential hormone doctor how much time they typically spend with a patient during consultation and follow-up appointments. Then, consider if that’s enough time to truly understand your medical background, symptoms, concerns, and questions.
You’re an individual with unique needs that deserves personalized solutions. Understanding those needs, evaluating your treatment options, and monitoring your progress are all essential components of caring for your health—and they take time. By prioritizing doctors who offer plenty of time and individualized attention, you’re making sure that your concerns will be heard.
Finding an Expert Hormone Practitioner Near You
Hormonal health is a complicated science, and the best hormone replacement therapy doctors know that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for hormone-related symptoms. After all, no two people are the same. Each of us has unique symptoms, preferences, medical histories, and treatment results—which is why it’s imperative that you choose a doctor who is qualified to deliver excellent care. Using the guidelines above as a starting point, you can connect with a hormonal health practitioner who can help you achieve your goals and live the life you want.
If you’re searching for an outstanding hormone practitioner, BodyLogicMD can help. BodyLogicMD-affiliated practitioners are uniquely qualified and dedicated to offering the best hormone replacement therapy experience in the industry. Using an integrative approach, the practitioners in the BodyLogicMD network provide the personalized care you need for optimal symptom relief and greater overall well-being. Contact a local practitioner or take the BodyLogicMD Hormone Balance Quiz to start your journey toward a healthier future.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All content on this website is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases.
Charlotte is a patient care coordinator specializing in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. She is committed to helping patients who struggle with the symptoms of hormonal change and imbalance explore their treatment options and develop effective strategies to optimize wellness.