Need to know: The great hormone balancing act by Beauty Editor Olivia Falcon

So summers finally shown up – I should have been feeling bright and breezy with my Bar-b-que fork in one hand and a garden hose in the other but despite knocking back Floradix, munching my way through high protein energy snacks, choosing box sets over boozy nights out and prancing round Holland Park at first light with the Bootcamp Brigade, the truth is these last few months, I’ve felt sluggish and slow.
So I hauled my weary bones off to see Dr Richard Sibthorpe at the Smart Clinic on Brompton Cross, (Visit or call 020 7052 0070).
‘Dr Sib’ as his patients call him, is incredibly charming and clever aesthetic doctor, who has spend a lot of time in California shadowing some of the worlds top hormone experts, bringing back the most advanced bio-identical therapies to his London clinic. Bio-identical hormones are derived from plants and refined to perfectly match the chemical structure of human hormones and unlike conventional HRT, that uses synthetic hormones that include foreign animal derivatives for example the common synthetic oestrogen in Premarin is derived from the urine of pregnant mares, Bio identical hormone therapies are much more attractive to people who want to try and keep things a bit more organic.
At the not so grand old age of 43, with a pretty normal menstrual cycle you may wonder what I’m doing proffering my arm up for a very thorough blood screening but both Sib and I suspect something might be up (or down in my case down with my hormone levels). “These Bio-identical Hormone Therapies are not just for women facing the menopause,” says Sibthorpe. “The work our hormones do is subtle but when they fall out of balance the effects on your health can be anything but.” Hormones control every cellular function in our bodies; they have major effects on circulation, metabolism, blood sugar levels, mood, and libido. They keep our minds sharp, our bodies strong, our skin young and our blood vessels supple.
After reviewing my tests, Dr Sib finds my thyroid function is the low side of normal and he prescribes low dose novothyriol to rebalance the deficit and DHEA a compound that some studies claim can help regulate general hormone production keeping a healthy cascade through the body, and even slowing the ageing process. I like the sound of this and I also like Dr Sib’s mantra with dosing. “to start low and go slow”.
Within two weeks, I’m feeling sharper, less tired and even dare I say it even a bit lighter. “The majority of my patients begin to feel better within a few months although for some it’s just a couple of weeks, especially when it comes to sleep and energy levels,” says Dr Sib, “Every patient has a different experience but the end result is the same – a healthier, balanced life.”
My verdict? I’m not saying this is a miracle cure for everything but if you for unexplained mood swings, energy level drops, insomnia, fluid retention and yup even forgetfulness, go get your hormone levels checked it just might be the key to a sunnier, brighter you.

Olivia Falcon