Why Might You Need Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
The hormones within your body control most of your basic bodily functions, and work as an internal communication system between your bodys cells. Everything from your daily mood, energy, digestion, appetite, immune system and libido is controlled by hormones, which is why when these hormones are out-of-sync or unbalanced, it can have a huge impact on your physical and mental health and well-being.
The Issue With Bioidentical Hormones Free Health Article
In recent years, bioidentical hormones have gained popularity as a more ‘natural’ alternative to hormone replacement therapy for treatment of menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, vaginal dryness and difficulty concentrating.
Bioidentical hormones are based on extracts such as yam and soybean, hence their ‘natural’ appeal. However, claims that they are safer and more natural than HRT also known as menopausal hormone therapy are misleading and not based on scientific evidence.
Delivery Formats Of Bhrt: Why It Matters
We recently wrote about one small study which discussed the reasons why more women today are turning to compounded BHRT for menopause-related symptoms, and finding it effective.
The effectiveness of a given treatment may vary depending on factors such as:
- The patients age and risk profile
- The patients specific symptoms
- The patients preferences and wellness goals
- The combination of hormones offered
- The dosage amount
- The format of the treatment
Tailored prescriptions and individualized treatments are central to BHRT therapy, and this often requires a fine-tuned approach to see results.
Thus, its essential that health practitioners have a solid grasp on the different ways that these formats are used, and understand the benefits and drawbacks of each.
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Estriol Offers Estrogen Metabolism Benefits
An interesting feature of the estriol form of estrogen is that it actually increases estrogen metabolism when used in conjunction with a smaller amount of estradiol. According to a study, scientists investigated a mixture of both stimulating and non-stimulating effects posed by estriol upon estrogen receptors.
It was found that when estriol is given topically together with estradiol, the estradiol-specific stimulation to cells is decreased. This breakthrough discovery helped to explain how estriol actually reduces the cancerous effects of estradiol. It was also shown that estriol can have pro-estrogenic effects when given alone over a long period of time, which explains why menopausal women achieved symptom relief after taking bioidentical estriol by itself. The optimal ratio is 80% estriol to 20% estradiol.
Bioidentical Hormones And Hair Loss
Some researchers believe that bioidentical hormones do fight the symptoms of menopause, hair loss included. Bioidentical hormones have the exact molecular structure of the hormones that a woman’s body produces naturally. In other words, these hormones are no different from the hormones that women’s bodies produce from about age 12 through 51. Bioidentical hormones are just as effective in eliminating symptoms of menopause as synthetic hormones at balancing the fluctuating hormones that cause hair loss and other menopausal symptoms.
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Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy For The Menopause
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is used to treat both men and women when their hormone levels drop or become unbalanced. Its most frequently used to ease the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause in women, and this is what we specialise in here at The Menopause Clinic.
Recent research has shown that women are experiencing perimenopause and menopause at much earlier ages than is predicted, and sometimes by the age of 40, a woman can be totally depleted of normal levels of estrogen, have lost almost all their progesterone, and have lost more than half of their testosterone. These fluctuating levels and hormone imbalances can cause serious health issues in some cases, and its for this reason that we really encourage patients not to wait until symptoms are strong before getting their hormone levels assessed.
Whats The Difference Between Natural And Bioidentical Hormones
All hormones are natural. But what most women mean when they say they want natural hormones is that they are interested in using bioidentical hormones. The distinction is that bioidentical hormones are identical in their molecular shape, makeup, and structure to hormones made in the human body. This is what makes bioidentical hormones the perfect keys to unlock the bodys receptor sites. In other words, its the shape of the molecule not the source.
Today, most women know that, while natural, the hormone Premarin, which is marketed as Prempro when combined with the synthetic progestin Provera, is not bioidentical. My colleague, the late Dr. Joel Hargrove, used to say, Premarin is a natural hormone if your native food is hay! Thats because its made from conjugated mare urine. Provera does not occur naturally in nature. It is used as a substitute for bioidentical progesterone. Pharmaceutical companies do this because they cannot patent a naturally occurring hormone!
If you are in doubt as to whether a particular product offered to you by prescription is bioidentical, check the label. If it lists esterified estrogens, progestins, or progestogens, the product is not bioidentical. You can also research the products you may be considering, as many have their own websites.
The Pros And Cons Of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormones control many of the basic functions of our bodies. They are an internal communication network between the bodys cells. Some of the roles that hormones coordinate include digestion, mood, appetite, immune function, and libido.
Thus, when there is an imbalance in your hormones, it can affect health and entire well-being. When people experience a hormone drop or imbalance, they use hormone replacement therapies. Examples of the therapies are bioidentical hormone replacement therapy .
The popularity of BHRT has gone up in recent years, as it promises a natural remedy to hormonal issues. But what is BHRT, and what makes it different from other therapies for hormone replacement?
Pros And Cons Of Different Dosing Forms Of Bioidentical Hormones
by DonnaWhite | Oct 16, 2020
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is considered by many experts to be an effective treatment to help balance hormones and relieve symptoms of menopause and other hormone-based health issues.
Here we outline the pros and cons of dosing forms of bioidentical hormones to help you offer your patients thorough and accurate information on formats and dosing.
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What Does The Term Bioidentical Hormone Actually Mean
Let’s talk first about the definition of bioidentical hormones and synthetic or hormones produced by pharmaceutical companies.
Bioidentical hormones are hormones that look exactly like the same hormones that your own body produces naturally.
The term bioidentical hormone is often used interchangeably with the term body identical hormone, but both terms are used to describe the same thing.
Think about it this way:
Your body produces a number of important hormones such as testosterone, estradiol , progesterone, and thyroid hormone.
Unfortunately, there are medical conditions that cause your body to secrete less hormone than you would if you were otherwise healthy.
The treatment for these conditions is to simply take the same hormone that your body would produce naturally, and give it to you in a pill or capsule form.
Makes sense, right?
Well, that’s not what we do .
Instead, doctors typically prescribe medications that look SIMILAR to the same hormones your own body produces naturally in their place.
While these hormones may look similar and activate the same hormone receptors on your cells, they are NOT the same thing.
These hormones are what I refer to as Frankenstein hormones.
And the chances are high that you’ve probably taken them in the past.
How do I know? Because birth control pills fit into this category.
We will talk more about those later, for now, let’s stay on the topic of bioidentical hormones versus hormones created by pharmaceutical companies.
See the problem?
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.
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Claim : Custom Cbht Contains Safer Ingredients Than Fda
The production of US Pharmacopeia ingredients begins with the extraction of diosgenin from plants such as soy and yams. A chemical conversion is then required to produce progesterone, which is the precursor to the estrogens and the androgens that are used to formulate the final compounded product. This derivation and production process is similar to that of many commercially available, FDA-approved BHT products for which safety and efficacy data are available.
Bioidentical Hormones Versus Synthetic Hormones
Bioidentical hormones have the exact chemical and molecular structure as the human bodys hormones while other types of lab-made hormones do not. As these other synthetic hormones are made differently than the hormones in the body, the body reacts to them.
For example, Premarin is a replacement estrogen that is made with the help of urine from pregnant horses. It binds to human estrogen receptors very tightly and makes them more reactive.
As with all medications that act as estrogen replacement therapies, this reaction may increase a persons risk of cancer if the medication is taken for a long time.
- reduced bloating
- better thinking and memory
Although people often refer to the symptoms women experience as being those of menopause, they are, in fact, symptoms of perimenopause.
Menopause refers to the time when a woman stops having periods every month. Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause when the ovaries start to produce less estrogen.
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How Does My Doctor Select My Dose
People on hormone treatment are watched very closely by their doctors. Most often, doses are adjusted according to a patients symptoms and needs, with the goal of keeping the dose to the minimum required to achieve your goals. Depending on your doctor, you might have routine blood, urine or saliva tests to check your hormone levels. Your doctor may adjust your dose based on your changing hormone needs. It should be noted that the FDA recommends against using hormone levels to guide the dosing of hormone therapy in women, as normal levels fluctuate day to day, and vary between patients. In particular, salivary hormone levels are known to fluctuate widely, and have not been shown to be related to menopausal symptoms.
Youve Probably Heard Of Hormone Therapy But Do You Know What Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
First, it is important to understand what bioidentical hormones are. Hormones are chemical messages sent throughout the body. Hormones facilitate vital processes like metabolism and growth. They come from special glands and have a specific shape.
They fit into the receptor. There are synthetic chemicals, like birth control pills, which can bind to receptors. Once they fulfill their purpose, they are eliminated from the body.
A bioidentical hormone is one which is the exact chemical structure that your body produces. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be used for managing a drop in hormone levels or for balancing hormones.
Hormone levels can shift above or below optimal levels due to aging and stress. When this happens, it can lead to fatigue and anxiety. It can also cause depression, decreased libido and frequent colds.
Among young women, low estrogen levels can be caused by eating disorders, genetic conditions or chronic kidney disease. Among women aged 40 and above, it can be a sign of perimenopause. This is the transition stage before menopause.
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What You Can Do To Protect Your Health Freedom
Frankly, I trust Mother Natures millions of years of wisdom much more than I trust 50 years of biochemical wizardry from Big Pharma. If you feel the same way and want to be able to preserve your freedom of choice when it comes to your body and your health and stop the FDA from banning bioidentical hormones and other safe, natural therapies , one of the best things you can do is write to your senator, representative, and the FDA. Here is a letter created by the Alliance for Natural Health USA that you can use. Another thing you can do is join Millions Against Medical Mandates, an organization fighting for your rights to medical freedom and bodily autonomy. The Childrens Health Defense is another wonderful organization founded and run by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Have you tried bioidentical hormones? What was your experience? Do you think the FDA is wrong in banning bioidentical hormones? Leave your comments below.
References Related To Testosterone Estrogen And Pellet Implant Therapy
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Why People Use Bioidentical Hormones
As people age, their bodies experience a decline in the levels of various hormones. These hormones are estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. The drop in the level of these hormones can cause certain symptoms.
Some are common among women who are in their post-menopause phase. Common effects of reduced hormones are:
- Night sweats
- Floggy thinking
- Loss of muscle mass
Hormone therapy is the treatment for these conditions as it replaces the hormones. After using hormone therapy, hormone levels rise, and symptoms improve as well.
Recommendations from national societies and medical experts state that people should consider the benefits and risks of both bioidentical and conventional hormones. Your physician can share with you the available options and guide you on what to use depending on what you prefer.
What Is The Impact Of Bioidentical Hormones On Hair Loss
Hair loss is a known side effect of menopause, and many women find it to be one of the most frustrating and annoying. Women grow used to having thick hair, and when it begins thinning or falling out altogether it can be tough to cope with. Many women search high and low for products and treatments that will keep their hair loss to a minimum. One treatment menopausal women turn to is bioidentical hormone therapy. But what is bioidentical hormone therapy, and how does it help fight hair loss? Continue reading to find out what bioidentical hormones could do for you, how they combat hair loss and most importantly, whether they are safe.
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The Difference Between Synthetic And Natural
While we are on the topic of bioidentical hormones, we should also spend some time talking about the difference between synthetic hormones and natural hormones.
Most people automatically make the assumption that any hormone which is “natural” is automatically better than one that is “synthetic”.
But what you may fail to realize is that you can have a bioidentical hormone that is synthetic and a non-bioidentical hormone that is natural.
In other words, the term natural or synthetic shouldn’t really play a role in which hormone you are using.
Instead, whether or not it is bioidentical should always take precedence over the source of that hormone and whether or not it is “natural” or “synthetic”.
The term natural and synthetic only refers to the SOURCE of that hormone.
“Synthetic” hormones, also referred to as artificial hormones, are created in a laboratory.
These are manufactured and designed using chemical processes that result in a target compound.
This target compound can either be bioidentical or not. The term synthetic doesn’t automatically mean that the hormone created is one way or the other.
Take Synthroid or Estrace , as an example. Both of these compounds are synthetic in that they were manufactured in a laboratory, but they are still bioidentical because they exact copies of the hormones that your body produces naturally.
Take, for instance, the prescription medication Premarin.
Fee For Hormone Pellet Therapy For Women
Generally, health insurance will cover the cost of office visits and laboratory tests for evaluation of hormone related symptoms. However, insurance will not cover compounded bioidentical hormone pellets or the pellet insertion procedure.
The fee for female hormone pellet therapy is $330.00. The cost works out to approximately $2.70 to $3.60 per day, depending on how often new pellets are needed . When one considers the amount that may be saved on medications for sleep, depression, anxiety, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, and osteoporosis, plus benefits to quality of life, relationships, and job performance, the cost of pellet therapy is well worth it.
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