Our hormones maintain the chemical balance in the body. Although hormones are essential to the reproduction process, they are fundamental to all human body systems.
Hormones are molecules or particular chemical substances produced by endocrine glands that work as a messenger to send messages to various parts of the body.
They help regulate our bodily processes and coordinate everything from growth and development, digestion, growth of appetite, brain function, immune function, mood, sexual desire, reproduction, blood pressure, libido, and metabolism.
What are Bioidentical Hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are defined as the human-made hormones that are manufactured in the lab or manufacturing pharmacies.
They are biologically and chemically identical to the same molecular structure of the most common hormones, like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone which are produced in the human body
Bioidentical hormones are safe and more effective because they are natural and derived from plant estrogens.
They are made or synthesized by extracting chemicals from plants like yams and soy.
Bio-identical hormones are used in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy as a treatment for men and women to balance hormonal imbalance or hormone level deficiency.
Typical uses of Bioidentical Hormones
Bioidentical hormones can be used to improve symptoms of cancer treatment or to treat conditions such as:
- Hormone replacement
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Insulin resistance
- Adrenal disorders
- Thyroid disorders
- Hot flashes
What is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy – BHRT
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in short BHRT is also known as Bioidentical hormone therapy or natural hormone therapy.
BHRT is a form of treatment or therapy that can be used to treat hormonal imbalance in men and women when the hormone level drops or becomes unbalanced.
The main difference is that these hormones are much safer than synthetic hormones. It’s most frequently used to ease the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause.
Who needs bioidentical hormones?
As people age, a decline in hormone production is experienced. They experience certain life conditions like depression & anxiety that disrupt their hormone balance.
Women in their 30’s typically begin to produce fewer hormones. The menstrual cycle in women triggers the production of some essential hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
When the ovaries stop functioning due to menopause or surgical removal, there is a termination in the production of these essential hormones.
These decline in hormone production may accompany some physiological changes include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, insomnia, loss of libido, irregular periods, osteoporosis and possibly cancer.
The ageing process is not easy for men either. They start to lose energy, vigour, and stamina.
Men in their 40’s start to decline the testicular function and testosterone production begins to shrink.
When hormones are out of balance, several symptoms can occur, which can profoundly impact our physical, emotional, and psychological health and well-being.
Benefits of Bioidentical Hormones
Bio-identical hormones are most commonly prescribed and used to treat symptoms of hormonal imbalance in both women and men.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is beneficial for women going through perimenopause or menopause.
It can dramatically improve symptoms like hot flashes, anxiety, night sweats, difficulty sleeping, loss of libido, fatigue, weight gain, mood swings, irritability and cognitive changes, like brain fog.
Some of the benefits of using bioidentical hormones include:
- Improved cholesterol levels and reduced risk of heart disease
- Reduce the risk of osteoporosis and improve bone density
- Reduce the risk of endometrial cancer and breast cancer
- Lower incidence of hot flashes and night sweats
- Improve mental clarity and sense of well-being
- Improve ability to lose fat and build muscle
- Better mood, concentration, and memory
- Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- Improve sex drive and performance
- Decrease symptoms of depression
- Better muscle mass and strength
- Reduce the risk of anxiety
- Reduce Vaginal dryness
- Improve energy levels
- Improve quality sleep
- Thicker hair growth
- Reduce bloating
- Improve libido
- Healthier skin
Is BHRT safe?
Perhaps you’ve heard warnings against the long-term use of traditional hormone therapy. These can increase the risk of blood clots, stroke, breast cancer and heart disease.
BHRT is an alternative to synthetic hormones that were specifically developed in response to these safety warnings.
As the bioidentical hormones are made in the lab, they have similar chemical and molecular structure as the common hormones our body produces naturally.
The bioidentical hormones that have been approved by the FDA have been tested for safety.
They have passed the FDA’s quality standards and be safe for people to use.
However, particular kinds of pharmacies, known as compounding pharmacies, mix their formulas with bioidentical hormones.
The FDA does not regulate hormones made by these compounding pharmacies.
They have not been proven to be safe or unsafe. Many major medical groups do not support using them because not enough is known about their safety and long-term side effects.
Bioidentical hormones are safe and more effective because:
- they are natural and derived from plant estrogens
- they are made or synthesized by extracting chemicals from plants like yams and soy.
Risks of Bioidentical Hormones Therapy
Research and studies have shown that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, in general, may increase the risk for specific conditions and diseases, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Vision changes
- Breast cancer
- Mood swings
- Skin changes
- Blood Clots
Side Effects of Bioidentical Hormones Therapy
People can generally experience side effects with the first dose of bioidentical hormones because the body is not used to the new level of hormones.
Some common side effects of BHRT may include:
- Hair growth
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Vision problems
- Breast tenderness/pain
- Increased facial hair (women)
How to take BHRT?
If you are interested in taking BHRT before jumping in and get yourself treated, you first have to consult with your doctor. The doctor will determine if you are, indeed, going through hormone deficiency.
By conducting blood or saliva tests, the doctor will determine if your hormone level has declined. If it has, the doctor will then recommend treatments, such as BHRT.
The doctor will be able to recommend a treatment program designed for you. You must have the right dosage of bioidentical hormones to have a maximum effect while getting rid of the side effects.
There are different ways that BHRT is done.
Types of bioidentical hormones include:
Professionals in BHRT will let you choose which method is right for you and with which way you are most comfortable.
Always remember that BHT should only be done with the supervision of a qualified professional.
This is important to give you the best effect possible while minimizing or eliminating unwanted side effects.
Individuals are encouraged to talk to doctors or other medical specialists and are discouraged from buying synthetic hormones under the black markets or general pharmacies.
Treating hormonal imbalance or balancing hormone levels is possible, and we can help you get on a treatment program. Still, it should only be done with the advice of medical professionals.