Most of the human body’s basic functions are controlled by hormones. They are essentially an internal communication system between all of the cells of your body, controlling everything from mood to immune function and libido. So it’s understandable to see how much the body can be affected when hormones are out of whack.
Hormone replacement therapy is often a solution that people turn to to relieve symptoms. One such therapy is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. This therapy has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, and it promises a solution to the hormone issue that is “natural.” What is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy exactly, though?
What is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy used to treat?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be used to treat any hormonal imbalance, but it is most frequently used to treat menopausal symptoms. It can also be used to treat symptoms associated with:
- Cancer treatment
- Insulin resistance
- Adrenal and thyroid disorders
Bioidentical hormones are hormones that are man made, but they are identical to those produced in the body. They are derived from plant estrogens. Some of the most common hormones used for treatment are testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. These hormones come in different forms including:
How are bioidentical hormones made?
While some bioidentical hormones are actually created by drug companies, others are custom made by pharmacies in accordance with doctor’s orders. These are known as compounded bioidentical hormones. Typically when this happens, ingredients are combined or changed to meet the needs of the individual.
The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has approved some types of manufactured bioidentical hormones such as estriol–a weak form of estrogen, but they have not approved any custom-compounded bioidentical hormones.
What is the main difference between traditional hormone replacement therapy and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?
The hormones that are used in traditional hormone replacement therapy are made from the urine of horses that are pregnant in addition to other synthetic hormones. Bioidentical hormones, on the other hand, are identical to those produced in the body, and they are made from plant estrogen.
What are the benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is used mostly for women having perimenopause or menopause-related symptoms. Because it increases the level of hormones, it can help to alleviate:
- Night sweats
- Memory loss
- Sleep issues
- Pain during sex
- Loss of interest in sex
- Weight gain
- Mood changes
- Hot flashes
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can also decrease the risk for cataracts, tooth loss, and diabetes. There’s also evidence that it can improve skin elasticity, hydration, and thickness. Additionally, it can reduce wrinkles.
In conclusion, there are many benefits associated with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, and they can be an ideal solution, especially for menopausal women. There are also some risks and side effects to be aware of, and individuals considering bioidentical hormone replacement therapy should always be discussed with a physician before beginning.