Have you heard that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is “dangerous” or “unsuitable for standard practice?” If so, you may have turned away, searching for answers and solutions elsewhere.
This anti-BHRT propaganda has driven countless people to develop a bias against this treatment option. However, the best way to overcome these misconceptions is by revealing them and spreading the truth.
Keep reading to learn more about bioidentical hormones and the truth about some of the most common myths you may have heard.
What Benefits are Offered by Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Before diving into some of the myths and misconceptions, it’s a good idea to learn more about the benefits offered by BHRT. These benefits differ from men to women, so they are divided into these categories here.
Benefits of BHRT for Women
Bioidentical hormone therapy can address an array of issues that women face. Some of the most common issues they can help with include:
- Hair loss
- Loss of interest in intimacy
- Weight gain
- Hot flashes/night sweats
- Anxiety attacks, palpitations, or panic attacks
- Mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
- Poor sense of well-being
- Loss of interest in career or family
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Loss of focus/mental fatigue
Many of the benefits of this treatment overlap for men and women.
Benefits of BHRT for Men
For men, some of the specific benefits of BHRT include:
- Infertility issues
- Loss of muscle mass
- Night sweats
- Loss of energy
- Anxiety attacks
- High cholesterol levels
- Increased body fat
- No physical stamina or agility
- Reduced libido
If men or women experience any of the above issues, it may be a good idea to ask your doctor about this treatment option.
Myths and Misconceptions About Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Now it is time to dig deep into some of the most common misconceptions about BHRT and learn the truth.
Myth: Natural and Synthetic Hormones are Equally Effective
Studies have proven bioidentical hormones and the synthetic options vary and may have opposite effects on your body. With synthetic hormones, there’s an increase risk of hormone-related issues, stroke, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. When bioidentical hormones are used, it reduces the risks of these diseases and conditions.
Also, users of bioidentical hormones have reported an improved level of satisfaction after eliminating treatments involving synthetics. Not only are natural hormones better, they also have fewer side effects than synthetic versions.
Myth: Blood and Saliva Tests Offer Reliable Results for Hormone Levels
This is another common myth. These tests can only reveal someone’s hormone level at a single moment in tie. This means they can’t be used as reliable tools for determining hormone dosage.
For perimenopausal and menstruating women, the hormone levels can change from one hour to the next. For postmenopausal women, there’s no “normal” level of these hormones or levels that will correlate with specific symptoms.
Myth: There is No Research Providing Support for BHRT
Some people discount BHRT because they have the incorrect belief that there’s no research supporting it. Though, there are several studies that have been done comparing natural and synthetic hormones and the impact they have on the human body.
Positive research about BHRT has been published in multiple medical journals, including The Journal of Clinical Therapeutics and Fertility and Sterility. This means there is scientific proof to support the use of this treatment method.
Myth: BHRT Should Only be Done at Small Dosages for Short Amounts of Time
The extended use of synthetic hormones is linked to issues such as missed periods, fatigue, sleepiness, bleeding, and other similar effects. Therefore doctors recommend that patients only use hormone therapy for a short amount of time.
However, when compared to synthetic hormone therapies, BHRT benefits improve as time passes. Several studies have proven that BHRT offers protective qualities. It can help to reduce the risk of you developing heart disease, certain cancers, and is more effective when taken in larger doses for a longer period of time.
Myth: Hormones Increase Your Risk of Developing Cancer
When you use BHRT properly, it can reduce your risk of cancer and protect you against carcinogens. Research has proven that some hormone treatments, such as the ones that contain synthetic hormones called progestins and estrogen increase the risk of cancer, this isn’t true when BHRT is used properly.
Also, the use of bioidentical hormones can help negate the increased risk of developing breast cancer that is associated with estrogen treatments.
Myth: Hormones Don’t Change Until You Reach Middle Age
Your hormones can shift and change at any age. Most times, lifestyle changes cause hormonal imbalances.
Simple, seemingly normal things, like not getting enough sleep or enough exercise, a poor diet, and increased stress levels can all result in fluctuating hormone levels.
Understanding the Truth Behind Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
There are many half-truths and misconceptions “out there” about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. If you have shied away from this treatment in the past because of concerns related to its effectiveness or safety, now may be the time to learn more about what it offers and the potential benefits.
BHRT is something that can benefit both men and women. However, if you have more questions about it, reviewing the information here may be beneficial.
If you are a health care provider thinking about offering this treatment option for your weight loss patients, or individuals with other concerns, let us help. We can ensure you have all the information needed to help your patients with their problems. Contact us today to learn more.