Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy
Bio-identical Hormones are hormones that are identical to the hormones put out by our bodies. This is important in that our body recognizes the hormone structure, allowing it to attach to the hormone receptor site to be utilized effectively. The hormones are thought to be more easily processed in the body and therefore safer than synthetic hormones.
The functional hormone testing that we do, allow us to prescribe exactly what is needed in a ratio customized for your needs. Balance is the key. This allows a smaller total amount of hormones to be used and thus improving safety and decreasing risk.
BHRT restores the balance of hormones. We age because our hormones decline, not the other way around. By the age of 50, we are at approximately 50 percent of our hormone function for estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, DHEA, melatonin and growth hormone.
In Women, one of the first hormones to decline is progesterone, starting at around age 35. This decline leads to symptoms such a anxiety, lighter sleep, PMS, mood swings, irregular or heavier periods and weight gain.
Estrogen levels begin to decline at about age 45 in women and eventually wane at around age 51 at the official time of menopause. Changing estrogen levels produce hot flashes, skin and vaginal dryness, urinary tract symptoms, bone loss and cognitive decline.
Testosterone starts its decline in the late 30s and onward, producing a loss of desire for sex, joint and bone pain, muscle weakness, moodiness, anxiety, muscle loss and fat gain.
Symptoms in mid-life are the main reason that women request hormone balancing, but the more compelling reason is the potential to prevent degenerative disease. Every brain cell in the body has a receptor for thyroid, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, as does every bone cell, vascular cell, heart cell, nerve cell, and every skin cell.
With that, it is probable that as hormone levels decline, so will stimulation to those cells. As stimulation declines, the cells degenerate leading to degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cognitive decline and osteoporosis. Prevention, at least partially, depends on the restoration of physiologic hormone balance.
Is Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy Safe?
Menopausal women experiencing hot flashes and mood swings must often weigh the benefits and risks of hormone replacement therapy.
More and more patients are considering bio-identical hormone therapy as a safer alternative.
What Are Bio-Identical Hormones?
Bio-identical hormones are used to treat the symptoms of menopause. Unlike traditional hormone replacement therapy, these hormones do not contain any synthetic components.
They are bio-chemically the same as the estrogen and progesterone made by the ovaries.
Therefore, the body doesn’t distinguish between bio-identical hormones and those that are naturally produced.
Bio-Identical Hormones and the FDA
Bio-identical hormones that are pre-made and distributed by major pharmaceutical companies have been rigorously tested and are FDA-approved.
Compounding pharmacies can also make bio-identical hormones that may be customized to the patient. While these compounded hormones are not cleared by the FDA, they are often comprised of FDA-approved ingredients.
Patient Awareness About Compounded Bio-Identical Hormones
Before taking bio-identical hormones it is important to visit a medical professional like Dr. Melinda Hall at The Menopause Center to thoroughly discuss treatment.
As we previously mentioned, the functional hormone testing that we conduct at Tyson’s Gynecology allows us to prescribe exactly what is needed in a ratio customized for each patient.
Bio-Identical Hormones Compared to Traditional Hormone Replacement Therapy
When compared to traditional hormone replacement therapy, researchers identified several benefits of bio-identical hormones. One significant advantage of bio-identical hormones is that they use natural progesterone and not synthetic progestin.
Synthetic progestin has been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer, while data reveals that natural progesterone does not increase a patient’s risk for breast cancer.
Additionally, natural progesterone may limit the swelling and bleeding that some patients experience from synthetic progestin.
More Information on Bio-Identical Hormones
If you would like additional information about bio-identical hormones and hormone replacement therapy, please call our office today to schedule an appointment.