Frequently Asked Questions
Does BioSymmetry take insurance?
Biosymmetry is an out of network provider and does not accept insurance payments. The lab work we require for both the weightloss and the bioidentical hormone programs can be filed through insurance as the labs are processed through an outside facility but are drawn in house. We will, however, provide you with a statement of services and fees paid which will be properly documented with appropriate diagnosis, laboratory, and procedure codes. This often will suffice for insurance reimbursement, and if not, should certainly apply toward a deductible or flexible spending account. Patients cannot file any claims with Medicare because we have “opted out” of Medicare.
What can I expect once I become a patient?
Every one of our patients needs lab work, and is scheduled before or after their initial consultation with our physician. During the initial consultation, one of our physicians will spend about 30 minutes going over your past medical history, discuss your hormone related symptoms, general health and wellness and treatment options. Treatment may begin the day you have your consultation with the physician.
How often do I have to be seen?
We require an annual visit for patients on our BHRT program. Anytime during treatment, an appointment can be made with one of our providers. We offer phone consultations if it is too inconvenient to come into the office. We require a monthly visit for our weight loss patients.
Why should I choose BioSymmetry over other weight loss programs?
Dr. Pate is a board certified obesity medicine doctor and one of only 16 in North Carolina; the only one in southeast North Carolina He is also board certified in family medicine. Seeing a medical doctor is important when dealing with obesity. Obesity is a disease; you don’t get over obesity. You can learn to control the disease with diet, exercise and when needed, medication. A medical doctor can evaluate lab work, medications you currently take and other medical conditions you may have to determine the safest long term plan for you. Some patients may be experiencing obesity through simple nutritional mistakes, but patients that have been fighting obesity for an extended period, may have other conditions preventing weight loss or maintaining weight loss.
How long until I feel the effects of Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement therapy (BHRT)?
This question greatly depends on the individual and method of treatment chosen. Some patients feel the effects in a matter of weeks, others in the first few months.
Are there side effects associated with BHRT?
There are very few side effects associated with BHRT and the potential ones are classically linked to dosage. If you are experiencing any negative side effects after starting medication, give us a call and ask for one of our nurses to discuss the issues you are having. After the conversation, we should be able to balance your hormones properly and all side effects will usually disappear.
Does BHRT increase my risk for cancer?
It has been shown that hormones may actually reduce the risk of some cancers and other chronic diseases. Research to make informed decisions about your health.
What are hormone pellets and how are they inserted?
Hormone pellets are about the size of a grain of rice and are made up of natural substances that mimic your body’s own testosterone and estrogen. Insertion is quick, easy and relatively painless. A small area on the hip is sterilized and local anesthetic is injected under the skin. A tiny nick is made in the skin and, using a trochar, the hormone pellets are inserted under the skin. The tiny incision is closed with ahesive strips and a water- proof bandage.
How often do I need to have the pellets inserted?
Most women need their pellets inserted every 3-4 months. Timing of pellets insertions is an individual matter.
What is wrong with just taking estrogen pills? It is so simple to take a pill once a day.
Many things. The issue of greatest concern is that oral hormones pass through the liver in the process of metabolism and as a result of this liver pass, the liver increases the production of clotting factors.
Will the hormones protect me from bone loss?
Yes. Estrogen therapy, especially when combined with testosterone, has been shown to maintain the mineral content and strength of bones after menopause.
Will estrogen make me gain weight?
Estrogen supplementarion does not usually cause weight gain. However, excess levels of estrogen can cause weight gain via increased appetite and fluid retention. Dosing is important. Oral estrogen preparations would be more likely to cause weight gain. Oral, but not topical, estrogen increases the production of thyroxine-binding globulin, the carrier for thyroid hormone. Higher thyroxine-binding globulins bind thyroid hormones and make them inactive, thus lowering your metabolic rate. Oral estrogen praparations can also increase insulin growth factor, which can promote insulin resistance and weight gain. At Biosymmetry, we recommend topical or subcutaneous estrogen to minimize side effects.