Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy



Overview

While hormones are essential to reproduction, they are fundamental to the development of all body systems.

They help regulate many bodily processes: growth and development, hunger and metabolism, body temperature and blood pressure, mood and stress, sleep quality, and sexual desire and fertility.

Many factors can influence hormonal imbalance, including perimenopause and postmenopausal syndrome, chronic disease, stress, poor diet, toxins, and lifestyle.

Hormonal imbalance can be treated by finding the underlying cause and customizing a hormonal treatment plan to restore your health and quality of life.



What is BHRT?

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) can be used to treat men and women when their hormone levels become unbalanced. They are plant-derived estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone that are chemically identical to those in our bodies.

Bioidentical hormones come in the form of pills, patches, creams, gels, injections, and pellets.



Traditional Hormone Replacement vs. BHRT

BHRT utilizes hormones derived from plant estrogens which are chemically identical to those in our bodies.

Traditional HRT utilizes the urine of pregnant horses and other synthetic hormones to treat patients.



Benefits of BHRT

BHRT is typically used to improve peri and post-menopausal symptoms which include:

  • hot flashes
  • night sweats
  • mood changes
  • memory loss
  • weight gain
  • sleep issues
  • low interest in sex or painful sex

In addition to treating perimenopause and menopause-related symptoms, BHRT is also used to improve symptoms of other conditions such as:

  • insulin resistance
  • tooth loss
  • cataracts
  • adrenal and thyroid disorders
  • osteoporosis
  • fibromyalgia
  • cancer-related symptoms

BHRT also has cosmetic benefits:

  • improves skin texture, hydration, elasticity, wrinkles, promotes healthy hair


Side effects and risks of BHRT

Side effects and risks of BHRT

While the FDA has approved some preparations of bioidentical estradiol and progesterone, it hasn’t approved all compounded bioidentical hormones

Research has shown that hormone replacement therapy, in general, may increase the risk for certain conditions including:

  • blood clots
  • stroke
  • gallbladder disease
  • heart disease
  • breast cancer

Side effects of BHRT:

  • acne
  • bloating
  • weight gain
  • fatigue
  • mood swings
  • increased facial hair in women

The FDA recommends that if you choose any form of hormone replacement therapy that you use the lowest dose possible and for the shortest amount of time.



How to take BHRT

BHRT comes in a variety of forms including:

  • creams
  • injections
  • implanted pellets
  • patches
  • gels

Talk to your doctor about which form may be best for you and your lifestyle. You’ll likely need to be monitored regularly once you begin BHRT to evaluate your body’s response. However, the FDA cautions against monitoring hormone levels via blood and saliva tests. These only tell you your hormone levels at a moment in time and can vary widely throughout the day.

The FDA recommends that if you do choose any form of hormone therapy that you use the lowest dose that produces results. The FDA also says you should use it for the shortest length of time possible.



How to take BHRT

BHRT may be an option to help people who have symptoms associated with hormone levels that are low or otherwise unbalanced. However, there are some side effects and risks associated with BHRT that are serious and you must discuss this with your doctor. Many women should avoid using any hormone replacement. If you do decide to undergo BHRT, you should use the lowest dose that proves effective for the shortest amount of time possible.






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