GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - There's no way to escape getting older; but more men and women are turning to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to help them feel and look better as they age.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy or BHRT replaces hormones that you lose as you age. And while it's still considered controversial by some more people say they are discovering the benefits; and feeling happier and more energized.
Robyn Turner, 49, of Biloxi says when she entered her 40s her life changed; and not in a good way. But she says BHRT has given her back her life.
"Within two months I felt like a completely different person. It changed my life," Turner said.
She started on BHRT about a year ago after enduring several years of not feeling right; she was lacking energy, motivation, and worst of all she was feeling depressed.
"I think for women, who feel like something isn't right, it's really important to be proactive," she said.
Even though Robyn is a pharmacist with healthcare connections, she says she had trouble finding help, because doctors kept telling her she was normal.
"The sad part is how many years I spent suffering when I didn't need to," she added.
She went to several doctors before finally ending up at anti-aging specialist, Dr. Victor Bazzone's office, in Gulfport.
"If you can get quality of life plus longevity, you have the best of both worlds and actually BHRT offers you some of both," said Dr. Bazzone.
His patients go through extensive lab work; checking blood for things like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone; in order to develop a tailor made bioidentical formula depending on the patients' individual needs.
"BHRT is a shot in the arm, for lack of another term. It's analogous to getting a shot at being a bit younger than you really are because hormones restore good body function," Dr. Bazzone said.
Robyn says she tried synthetic hormones with no success. But the difference in her life after BHRT is like the difference between day and night.
"My energy level, mood, self esteem, confidence, motivation; all improved. And I could think more clearly. I have this feeling of "wow" I really feel good; and that hasn't happened in a long, long time," Turner explained.
While most of Dr. Bazzone's patients start BHRT in their 40s and 50s, he says it's never too late for women and men to see benefits. As with many other natural therapies that don't come under government control, the FDA has not given BHRT a stamp of approval; saying there is insufficient evidence that bioidentical hormones are any safer or more effective than the synthetic versions.