Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Safe

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Who Shouldn’t Take Bioidentical Hormones

Dr. Jackie Thielen – What is compounded bioidentical hormone therapy

Using any type of hormone therapy is a decision made between you and your healthcare provider after carefully weighing the risks and benefits. Bioidentical hormones have been controversial, and many are not FDA-approved, but that doesn’t mean your healthcare provider will rule them out as a treatment option.

If you’ve had or are at high risk for the following conditions, hormone therapy may not be safe:

  • Memory loss or confusion.

Replacing these lost or low hormones is the goal of bioidentical hormone therapy or conventional hormone therapy. Once hormone levels are increased, most people see their symptoms improve. However, there is not much evidence to support that bioidentical hormones are equal to conventional hormone therapy. Your healthcare provider can discuss your options for hormone replacement with you based on your symptoms and health history.

When Can You Stop The Treatment

The exact duration of your hormone therapy depends on your bodys ability to accept and respond positively to the therapy. As soon as you feel satisfied by the treatment and see the results you expect, you may gradually get off bioidentical hormones. Another option is to let us monitor your hormone levels and let you know once they have gone back to normal. In some cases, maintenance treatments are necessary to prolong or maintain the benefits of the therapy.

How Does Bhrt Work

The most common form of BHRT is hormone pellet insertion. This is the form of BHRT we complete here at Balance Hormone Center. By making a small incision in your buttocks, we can insert the pellet quickly. Then, hormones are released into your bloodstream over time.

For men, this often results in the decrease of symptoms such as muscle loss, memory loss and fatigue. For women, BHRT can help improve the symptoms of menopause such as depression, decreased energy and low libido.

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Is Hormone Therapy Necessary During Menopause

The midlife dip in hormones can be manageable for some but is a free fall for others.

Dr. Daniel Monti and Dr. Anthony Bazzan, Tapestry of Health

Many women are fortunate enough to get their hormones under control through wellness strategies and lifestyle changes. As Dr. Bazzan and Dr. Monti describe in their book, when a woman comes in seeking help for her symptoms, they offer a variety of evidence-based nutritional and wellness plans to help her balance her hormones. However, as the doctors point out, the midlife dip in hormones can be manageable for some but is a free fall for others.

This is when they turn to bioidentical hormone therapy to help women cope with their menopausal symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Everything You Need To Know About Bioidentical Hormone Therapy

Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Really Safe?

As we grow older, different hormones in our bodies ebb and flow. Because these hormones help regulate a range of body functions, even a slight imbalance in them can negatively impact your health and lifestyle. These fluctuations are seen during puberty, pregnancy, and childbirth, but we also experience them as a natural part of aging. This is referred to as menopause in women and andropause in men, but both can cause unpleasant side effects because of the changes in how the hormones are balanced.

The good news is, Dermatology Realm can help! Our Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, or BHRT, can relieve the physical and psychological symptoms in men and women caused by hormonal imbalance. If increased energy, reduced symptoms of depression, improved libido, and reduced hot flashes sounds good to you, this could be the treatment youve been looking for! Keep reading below to learn more about this exciting option.

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Monster Hormones Are Chemically Altered

Chemically altered hormones were used in the WHI study, and are routinely handed out by the medical system. These altered hormones are monsters that should never have been approved for marketing to the American people. They should be banned.

Image Left: Another Monster: Boris Karloff from Frankenstein 1931.Courtesy of Wikimedia.

A 50 Million Year Medical Experiment

Consider the following medical experiment, performed over the last 50 million years with the help of our friend, Charles Darwin and Darwinian evolution. Bio-Identical Hormones have been present in the human body for 50 million years, and we humans are still here on the planet. I would consider that a successful medical experiment, wouldnt you?

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Standard Hormone Replacement Therapy

As you age,your body produces fewer hormones, mostcommonly estrogen and progesterone. Standard hormone replacement therapy replacesthe lost estrogen and progesterone made by our ovaries. Estrogen replacement,in natural forms of estradiol, estriol and estrone, helps with hot flashes,night sweats and vaginal dryness, says Dr. Julie Hansen, anOB/GYN at INTEGRIS Womens Health Edmond.Estrogennaturally tends to act like fertilizer on the lining of the uterus andwill make it grow unless it is counterbalanced by progesterone, which is why a woman with a uterus needs to take bothhormones for HRT.

Are Creams Your Best Shot

Bioidentical Hormones Explained & Why They Are SAFE and EFFECTIVE

When it comes to methods of delivery for bioidentical hormones, there actually is a difference. So are creams better, or should you be receiving injections? Ultimately, that will be determined by the type of hormones you are being given. Some hormones need to be metabolized more quickly than others, while others need to be received in exact dosages. Testosterone, for example, requires more precise levels than estrogen, which can be absorbed into the body at a more varying rate without causing damage.

Much like creams, injections are not directly introduced into the bloodstream. However, Transdermal creams are absorbed into the skin, while injections are intra-muscular and will be absorbed by the muscles before they are delivered into the bloodstream. Both are equally effective, but injections can be painful and are generally considered to be impractical outside of a hospital setting. While injections allow a more precise dosage, many people who are uncomfortable with receiving injections can greatly benefit from the use of hormone creams.

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Traditional Hormone Replacement Therapy Vs Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy: Whats The Difference

Although they do still need to be processed in some ways to make them effective for human use, natural hormones used in BHRT are derived from products like plants and animal sources, rather than being created synthetically in a lab like some products.

Some health care providers who prescribe BHRT products perform saliva or blood tests in their patients first in order to assess their unique hormonal needs and then prescribe customized treatment solutions. This is called custom-compounded hormone therapy. Not all BHRT is customized, however. There are also FDA-approved hormone therapy products that are commercially available which are not specialized for each patient, and those that are not naturally produced.

The FDA has reported that, according to clinical studies, hormones that are marketed as bioidentical or natural dont appear to be any more effective or safe compared to hormones used in traditional hormone therapy products. Some research also shows that hormones that are marked as bioidentical might not be much different at all from those in traditional hormone replacement therapy and might even be riskier in some cases.

FDA-approved hormone therapy drugs undergo a lengthy process to meet federal standards for approval, but custom-compounded BHRT drugs usually dont meet these standards. Its possible for some BHRT mixes to contain other inactive ingredients that help bind pills, creams or lotions, which can cause side effects or allergies in some patients.

What Are Bioidentical Hormones Used For

As you get older, your hormone levels decline. These changes are usually most significant during menopause, especially with estrogen and progesterone. Lower levels of these hormones can result in symptoms like hot flashes, sleeping problems, and vaginal dryness.

Hormones including bioidentical hormones are used to replace these hormones in your body to help provide relief. This is referred to as hormone replacement therapy . Sometimes the term BHRT is used when specifically talking about bioidentical hormones.

Bioidentical hormones are used to treat a number of menopause symptoms, including:

  • Pain during sex

  • Bladder problems

Some hormone products are also used to help prevent certain medical conditions that are influenced by hormone levels, like osteoporosis.

Depending on your specific symptoms, your healthcare provider will recommend the best option for you. For example, vaginal estradiol may work best if youre experiencing vaginal symptoms. And some healthcare providers may treat other symptoms, like low libido, with testosterone. But this is considered an off-label use for FDA-approved testosterone products.

Bioidentical hormones arent just for women. Theyre used in men, too. Thats because age and other factors can cause testosterone levels in men to decline. Low testosterone can cause symptoms like hair loss, erectile dysfunction, and mood changes. Read more about testosterone replacement options here.

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Speak To A Hormone Replacement Therapy Doctor

Many of the risks associated with hormone replacement therapy are actually the side effects of standard hormone replacement therapy. Bioidentical hormone therapy can minimize these risks. A doctor creates a specific treatment plan that best suits the patients needs and carefully monitors their progress.

To learn more about the risks and benefits associated with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and find out whether it is the right option for you, contact Dr. Jacobson. As an experienced hormone replacement therapy doctor, he can answer your questions and discuss the best treatment plan for you.

What To Expect From The Biote Hormone Therapy

Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Really Safe?

Before receiving BioTE, a discussion of the patients overall health and medical history has to be done by the doctor. The doctor will conduct lab tests to determine the hormonal needs to create a fully customized treatment pellet. This is followed by scheduling an appointment date and time.

On insertion day, the provider will clean a small area on the buttocks to use as the insertion site. The pellets will then be placed through a small incision in a short, in-office procedure, which typically only takes a few minutes. This is followed by putting a small bandage over the treatment area.

In fact, patients can leave the office almost immediately following the treatment. There is no downtime required after this quick and convenient procedure.

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Do Bioidentical Hormones Really Work

Yes, they work for some people. You will have different results depending on your symptoms and health history. Talk with your healthcare provider about bioidentical hormones and what form may work best for you. In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend against using bioidentical hormones in favor of a more traditional hormone replacement therapy option.

A Listing Of A Few Monster Hormones:

Chemically Altered forms of progesterone:Dienogest, Desogestrel, Drospirenone, Dydrogesterone, Ethisterone, Etonogestrel, Ethynodiol diacetate, Gestodene, Gestonorone, Levonorgestrel, Lynestrenol, Medroxyprogesterone, Megestrol, Norelgestromin, Norethisterone, Norethynodrel, Norgestimate, Norgestrel, Norgestrienone, Tibolone

Chemically altered forms of estrogen:Dienestrol, Diethylstilbestrol, Ethinylestradiol, Fosfestrol, Mestranol

Chemically alered hormones in BCPs Birth Control Pills:levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol norgestrel and ethinyl estradiol , desogestrel and ethinyl estradiol , drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol

Chemically altered forms of testosterone:Androstanolone, Fluoxymesterone, Mesterolone, Methyltestosterone

How to make a Monster Hormone, Add a Side-Chain

Below Images: Courtesy of wikimedia commons.

Human Progesterone Provera the Monster Hormone

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Compounded Bioidentical Hormones Have Been Associated With Endometrial Cancer

If you still have your uterus, your doctor can prescribe conventional MHT containing progestogens to protect your uterus and reduce the risk of endometrial cancer.

Of concern, compounded BHTs have been associated with cases of endometrial cancer, after the compounded progestogen component did not protect women from endometrial cancer.

Impact Of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy On Your Health

Apollo Hospitals | Is hormonal therapy safe for women? | Dr Rooma Sinha

People need to take replacement hormones for different reasons. Sometimes, itâs due to old age or life changes, like menopause. Taking certain hormones your body no longer makes can help improve your health and overall well-being.

Without a proper balance of hormones, your body can go through unpleasant symptoms. Replacing the hormones you no longer produce with doctor-prescribed bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can reduce symptoms and help you achieve a better quality of life.

BHRT can help with the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty sleeping

While hormone therapy can offer its share of benefits, there are also some risks involved. People who undergo not just BHRT â but any hormone therapy â can be at risk to develop blood clots and gallbladder disease. It can also increase your risk of stroke and breast cancer.

As with most hormone therapies, there is an adjustment period when you first start taking a course. Side effects can appear within the first few weeks and subside as your body adjusts to the new hormone level.

Some of these side effects can appear when you begin BHRT:

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Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy


Your bodys hormones control most of your basic bodily functions. They serve as an internal communication system between cells throughout the body. They coordinate everything from digestion and growth to your appetite, immune function, mood, and libido. So, when your hormones are out of balance, even slightly, it can have a big impact on your health and well-being.

Often, when peoples hormones drop or become unbalanced, they turn to hormone replacement therapies to ease symptoms. One such therapy, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy , has gotten a lot of attention in recent years. It promises a natural solution to hormone issues. But what exactly is BHRT, and hows it different from other hormone replacement therapies?

Read on to learn all you need to know about BHRT, its benefits and risks, and whether it may be right for you.

Lack Of Us Food And Drug Administration Regulation For Compounded Preparations

Compounded preparations are not regulated by the FDA. Although technically all compounded prescription drug preparations could be considered unapproved new drugs, the FDA has adopted a policy of enforcement discretion, allowing legitimate preparation of compounded formulations to be regulated by state boards of pharmacy, with a provision of stepping in when dangerous practices must be addressed and when drug manufacturing occurs under the guise of compounding. There are currently no specific regulations by the FDA on what constitutes a legitimate claim for compounded drug preparations. In general, states regard compounding to be part of the practice of pharmacy. In addition, individual states pharmacy acts usually permit other licensed practitioners to engage in the practice of pharmacy compounding for their own patients.

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The Good Of Bioidentical Hormones

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is a medical treatment in which natural hormones are administered in custom-tailored dosage. It is a natural and safe way to help women deal with age-related hormone decline and their accompanying signs and symptoms.

Bioidentical hormones are herbal in origin. There are a wide array of FDA-approved bioidentical hormone products available. It is an effective treatment option especially in menopausal women, as it also helps in overcoming health issues related to age-related hormone imbalances.

  • Reduced Menopausal SymptomsWould you like to be your old self again? BHRT helps in reducing the number and intensity of hot flashes. It also helps improve sleep quality, which helps you stress less.
  • Improved Energy LevelsBioidentical hormone therapy can have a positive impact on muscle mass and the ability to exercise, as well as attitude and mood.
  • Restored Libido and Improved Intimacy Bioidentical hormone therapy has been shown to increase the libido by rectifying hormonal imbalances. Moreover, it helps decrease vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse, providing you increased intimacy in your relationship.
  • Increased Cognitive Function Hormonal balance also leads to better memory and cognitive function. It also helps prevent the risk of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as depression and Alzheimers disease.
  • BHRT helps improve bone density, thereby reducing the risk of having brittle bones.

Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Approved By The Fda

Are Bioidentical Hormone Pellets Safe?

This therapy is a not a new approach to hormone replacement it has been used since the 1930s. Bioidentical hormones are legal to prescribe and use in the US, although the FDA has not given its specific approval. The lack of FDA approval is because there are no official placebo-controlled studies to prove whether bioidentical hormones are safer than standard hormone replacement therapy.

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Bhrt Stabilizes Mood Swings When Consistent

Most women, and many men, know that taking BHRT stabilizes their mood swings. But, most dont realize that the dramatic rise and drop of various types of therapies can cause mood swings to become worse, with only brief interludes of peace and stability. Consistency is better for the patient.

Take a look at this chart:

As you can see, when a person takes a pill, uses a patch, or an injection, they will get a sudden spike in the hormones they need. And, for a little while, they feel good. But, to avoid an overdose, the levels of hormones have to fall below an optimal level as the dose wears off. Then, the therapy repeats.

Regular hormone therapies like pills and injections rely on providing almost too much of the hormone, so the levels of adequacy stick around for the most prolonged period and doses repeat often.

This is where bioidentical pellet therapy steps in. As you can see on the graph and from this study, BHRT using pellet therapy ramps up a little bit slower and then provides a consistent and measurable dose of hormones over an extended time. People can be at their optimal level for the most extended duration without feeling the spikes or drops. And, research shows that consistency is the key.

Safety And Efficacy Issues

Because of a lack of FDA oversight, most compounded preparations have not undergone any rigorous clinical testing for either safety or efficacy, the purity, potency, and quality of compounded preparations are a concern. Over a 6-month period, the FDA performed repeat analytic testing of 29 Internet-ordered samplesincluding estradiol and progesteronefrom 12 compounding pharmacies 8. Although none of the preparations failed identity testing, 10 of the 29 preparations failed one or more standard quality tests performed, including potency testing. In contrast, the analytical testing failure rate for drug therapies approved by the FDA is less than 2%.

Because of variable bioavailability and bioactivity, underdosage and overdosage are both possible. Certain progestin preparations, such as that found in the Mexican wild yam, are not bioavailable to humans and, therefore, patients can believe that they are receiving endometrial protection against hyperplasia when they are not 9. Similarly, underdosing of estrogen can lead a woman to believe that she is protected against osteoporosis when, in fact, bone resorption is progressing. Estriol is substantially less bioactive than estradiol, and large quantities must be used to achieve any biological effect. The potential for overdosage also exists, which can lead to increased risks of endometrial hyperplasia, endometrial cancer, and venous thromboembolism.

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