Nearly half of the women surveyed (47%) said they have experienced hormonal imbalance symptoms.
From polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) to menopause, there are a number of hormone conditions that can cause these symptoms. Thankfully, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can help.
By replacing your hormones, you can ease your symptoms and take control of your life again. Discover if BHRT is the right treatment for you today!
Keep reading to learn more about BHRT, the benefits, and the possible side effects.
What is BHRT?
Your hormones control a lot of your body’s functions, including:
- Immune function
When your hormones go out of balance, it can impact your entire body.
Many people turn to hormone replacement therapies like BHRT to get their bodies back on track. BHRT works for both men and women whose hormone levels are unbalanced.
This treatment option is used for conditions such as:
- Insulin resistance
- Adrenal disorders
- Thyroid disorders
The most common hormones include estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Manmade hormones called bioidentical hormones are created from plant estrogens. These hormones are chemically altered so they’re identical to the hormones the human body naturally produces.
As a result, the human body won’t be able to determine the difference between the naturally produced hormones and the bioidentical ones.
A few bioidentical hormones include:
- Estradiol acetate
- Estradiol hemihydrate
- Micronized progesterone USP
- 17 beta-estradiols
You can order bioidentical hormones in the form of injections, gels, creams, patches, or pills. Speak to your doctor about your lifestyle to determine which form works best for you.
Traditional vs. Bioidentical Hormones
The hormones created for traditional hormone replacement therapy are created from a pregnant horse’s urine. They’re also produced from other synthetic hormones.
Bioidentical hormones, on the other hand, are created so they’re chemically identical to the hormones our bodies already produce. This allows the bioidentical hormones to replace the hormones our bodies are no longer making. These hormones are also derived from plant estrogens instead of horse urine.
Many people who support the use of bioidentical hormones claim their products are natural and therefore safer.
The Benefits of BHRT
According to this study, women who underwent BHRT experienced:
- a 25% decrease in emotional lability
- a 25% decrease in irritability
- a 22% reduction in anxiety
That’s only the start!
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is often prescribed for aging patients. As we grow older, our hormone levels drop. This is even more common for patients who are in perimenopause or menopause.
BHRT is used to increase hormone levels after these conditions cause them to fall.
This therapy option can also improve menopause symptoms, including:
- Weight gain
- Sleep issues
- Loss of interest in sex
- Pain during sex
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Mood changes
- Memory loss
Other health benefits include less hair thinning, less dry skin, reduced bloating, and reduced fatigue.
Hormone replacement therapy doesn’t just help patients who are in menopause. It can also reduce a person’s risk for tooth loss, cataracts, and diabetes.
There’s also evidence that BHRT can improve the skin’s condition, including:
- Hydration levels
Hormone replacement therapy can even reduce wrinkles in some patients.
Cancer patients can also experience the benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
Certain cancer treatments can affect a person’s estrogen levels. These treatments can cause many of the symptoms listed above.
BHRT can help improve the quality of life for these patients by reducing their symptoms.
Hormone replacement therapy can also relieve the symptoms they experience as a result of their cancer treatments. These symptoms can include incontinence, low libido, insomnia, and migraines. BHRT can even reduce the recurrence rate for breast cancer patients.
The Side Effects of BHRT
The FDA urges caution when using compounded bioidentical hormones. However, the FDA has approved some bioidentical estradiol and progesterone preparations.
Unfortunately, hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk for conditions and diseases such as:
- Heart disease
- Breast cancer
- Blood clots
- Gallbladder disease
- Skin changes
- Mood swings
- Vision changes
Your body will need time to adjust to the hormones. During this period, you could experience side effects such as:
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Increased facial hair
The symptoms you experience could depend on your health history.
Before using bioidentical hormones, ask your doctor about the product’s FDA review. Products that are reviewed by the FDA have undergone extensive testing. If the product wasn’t approved, it likely failed testing or hasn’t been evaluated yet.
BHRT can also make it difficult for your doctor to diagnose another serious illness. This can include an autoimmune disease.
The FDA suggests you start your treatment at the lowest possible dose.
They also suggest you use BHRT for the shortest length of time possible.
Make sure to review the list of potential dangers of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy before starting your treatment.
Once you start hormone replacement therapy, your doctor will keep a close eye on how your body reactions.
Your doctor will adjust the dose based on your body’s needs and symptoms. To start, your doctor will likely keep your dose to a minimum. With time, the doctor might increase your dose to make sure you’re experiencing the desired results.
You might also need to undergo regular saliva, urine, or blood tests during this time.
These tests will help your doctor evaluate your hormone levels throughout your treatment.
However, your hormone levels are bound to fluctuate throughout the day. That means saliva and blood tests will only show your hormone levels at that moment in time. This can make it difficult for a doctor to properly monitor your hormone levels.
Make sure to check back in with your doctor regularly to determine how your body is responding to the treatment.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy: BHRT Explained
Now that you know all about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, you can determine if BHRT is right for you. Take control of your hormone imbalance today!
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