Dr. Zengo is licensed in Georgia, Florida, California, and Arizona and takes new patients for bio-identical medicine testing and treatment on the HealthTap platform. Patients everywhere else are welcome to schedule an informational consult.
Over the past 15 years, the term “Bio-Identical” has become commonly used to discuss certain types of medical treatment options. Yet, the term seems to have different meanings, depending on the source. As the subject is slowly becoming ubiquitous, understanding the true meaning of bio-identical is essential.
Bio-identical medicine is the practice of replacing exactly what is missing in the body to treat a symptom or disease. To do this, the substance we replace must be chemically identical to what is missing. The catch is, how do we even identify what is missing?
Three types of bio-identical medical treatments are very common: Insulin, Potassium, and Levothyroxine. All are commercially available bio-identical treatments for insulin-dependent diabetes, hypokalemia, and low T4 hypothyroidism, respectively. If taken by a person who is not deficient, all three of these substances could be quite harmful, so we must be very careful when we prescribe bio-identical substances.
Further defined, bio-identical medicine would be to replace what is missing in the body with a substance that is identical in structure, dose, metabolism, and duration of effect in the body tissues while ensuring that the right amount of the substance is used to avoid overdoses. Here are the conditions that must be met:
- The patient has a symptom or disease directly caused by deficiency of a naturally occurring body substance.
- A test must reveal not only the deficiency, but the magnitude of the deficiency.
- A bio-identical replacement version of that substance exists.
- The bio-identical treatment can be given to the patient in a way that it will reach the cells unchanged.
- A mechanism exists to accurately monitor the treatment to prevent overdosage.
If you are interested in seeking bio-identical treatment of your menopause, andropause, fatigue, low sex drive, or sleep disturbances, keep these five criteria in mind when assessing your provider and the treatment that he or she offers. Most importantly, the practice of bio-identical medicine doesn’t just refer to the chemical structure of the compound being prescribed, the true field of bio-identical medicine is dedicated to helping patients feel better.