What Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy or BHRT
February 14, 2018
Written by: LeAnn Wood
As males and females age, hormone levels decline and this brings a plethora of unwanted symptoms that can range from fatigue to sleep disturbances and even depression. Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can help restore and balance hormone levels and help maintain good overall health. Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, also known as, BHRT, is sometimes referred to as “natural hormone therapy” because it involves the use of hormones that are identical in molecular structure to the hormones men and women make naturally in their bodies. The hormones used in BHRT are derived from naturally occurring sources, such as the wild yam plant. Some of the specific hormones used in BHRT include those tied to reproduction and youth, such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Who Benefits from Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Aging, as well as certain medical conditions, can interfere with normal functioning of glands responsible for producing and releasing hormones essential to maintaining good overall health. Your endocrine system is comprised of multiple glands producing hormones for regulating metabolism, tissue function, growth/maturation, sleep, appetite, mood, and reproduction. In fact, the endocrine system is far more important to your health and well-being than most people realize. For women who are experiencing perimenopause or menopause or have had hysterectomies, loss of estrogen can contribute to a variety of health problems like: •Cognitive decline (problems with memory, concentration or “fuzzy” thinking) •Irritability or mood swings
•Depression and generalized anxiety •Daytime fatigue •Sleep disturbances •Night sweats/hot flashes •Increased risk of cardiovascular disorders •Osteopenia or osteoporosis •Excessively dry, easily bruised skin •Hair thinning/loss
For men, reduced production of testosterone by the testes is also known to cause physical and psychological problems as well as an increased risk of chronic diseases. Symptoms associated with a lack of testosterone in men include: •Osteoporosis •Erectile dysfunction/low libido •Decreased growth of body hair/loss of hair •Decreased muscle mass/increased fat storage •Fatigue/sleep disturbances •Moodiness/irritability/depression •Cognitive issues (memory, focus) •Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy or BHRT
An anabolic hormone supporting transport of nutrients to cells for energy production, testosterone is also vital to healthy brain functioning in men and women. Testosterone further helps regulate the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter implicated heavily in mood, aggression, and depression. Maintaining healthy levels of testosterone may also help reduce cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, correct abnormal heart rhythms and raise metabolism to more efficiently burn excess stores of fat. Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy has shown to help restore the energy, vitality, and sense of well-being many people had before menopause, andropause or experiencing other conditions that interfered with their normal hormone levels.
Benefits of Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Since bio-identical hormones are derived from plant-based sources that replicate the same chemical structure as hormones produced naturally by our bodies, bio-identical hormones can be designed specifically to address your individualized hormone needs.
Following comprehensive testing to evaluate hormone levels in your body, a personalized BHRT program can then be developed to moderate and optimize your hormone levels, specifically your estrogen and testosterone levels. Recent research supports the safety and effectiveness of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy over synthetic hormone replacement therapy. Over 20 years ago, peer-reviewed studies began reporting that women using synthetic hormones suffered increased risks breast cancer, stroke, and heart disease. This prompted researchers to explore the possibility of utilizing phytochemicals for creating hormones that mimic the molecular structures of natural hormones. Today, we know that bio-identical hormones are “a safe and more conservative approach to traditional hormone replacement therapy that does not carry the risks associated with synthetic, animal-based hormones”. Your body “experiences” bio-identical hormones as chemically identical to all hormones released by glands comprising the endocrine system. This is why plant-based hormones used in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy do not cause health issues associated with synthetic hormone replacement therapy. Certain cells are structured specifically to recognize chemical and molecular compositions of hormones produced by the endocrine system. When cell receptors encounter foreign substances like animal-based or synthetic hormones, they react much like oil and water react when combined–they repel each other because they are biologically incompatible. Substances introduced into the bloodstream that are incompatible with your body’s chemical composition will generate physiological reactions ranging from cardiovascular and circulatory disorders to disruptive cellular processes indicative of cancer development. Additionally, bio-identical hormones do not promote plaque formation, a condition associated with synthetic hormone replacement. Composed of fat, calcium, and cholesterol, plaque clings to inner arterial walls, narrowing arteries and restricting blood flow. Consequences of plaque accumulation include high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and heart disease. An evidence-based review published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association further found that “bio-identical hormones approved by the FDA may be preferred over standard hormone replacement because of their safety profile and physiologic benefits”. To learn more about bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, and to help you find the right hormonal balance for you, contact us at www.hormonalsolutions.com. Read over the symptoms, if you answered yes, then BRHT is right for you.