Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is a treatment that uses natural hormones that are equivalent chemically to certain hormones that have been naturally lost or diminished, usually with age. They can also be used to replace hormones that have been lost or reduced because of injury, a medical problem, or genetics. Right now the bioidentical hormones that are usually used include estrogen and progesterone, with the former being the most common. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can also be used in both men and women to replace testosterone, though this is both less common and more controversial right now.
Many people have found relief from their symptoms of hormone deficiencies and imbalances through traditional synthetic hormone replacement treatments, and bioidentical hormones are merely a natural outgrowth of this area. Many people are able to get the same benefits with this newer therapy, while also enjoying the fact that the ingredients are all natural and in many cases things they have actually heard of. One common misperception about bioidentical hormones, however, is that they are always custom compounded for each individual. The fact is that bioidenticals can be custom made, but are not always done this way – so the bad press that bioidentical hormones get at times because a custom compounder got a formula wrong should not affect the entire BHRT field.
What Bioidentical Hormones Can Do:
Bioidentical hormones replacement therapy rebalances your hormones or provides relief if you have a natural tendency for one hormone to be too low. Depending on your particular issue, the range of symptoms that BHRT can help with includes:
Bioidentical Hormones for Women:
- Easier time with weight loss and dieting, especially in older women because hormonal imbalances and the related symptoms such as low energy can be causal
- Healthier feeling and looking hair and nails, and often stronger nails and hair as well when these issues had hormone imbalances as their cause, which can happen
- Smoother and younger looking skin in some cases, and clearer skin for some young people who have a hormone deficiency or imbalance often at the time of menses
- Decreased risk of some diseases, such as osteoporosis if the underlying hormone imbalance was causing the issue. Obviously you’d need to check with your regular doctor first
- Decreased depression, anxiety and stress that is caused by hormonal issues – and this improvement can be compounded by the above improvements
- Improved intimate drive and interest for those who saw more of a decline in this area with age than is expected
- Decreased mood swings and general irritability for many who have aged into these issues due to hormonal changes
- Improved short and medium-term memory for a few whose difficulties were caused by hormones
Bioidentical Hormones for Men:
- Decreased depression and dysthymia in those who had low T that was causing these issues
- Decreased Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and stronger intimate drive in men who aged into hormone imbalances
- Lower fatigue and higher energy in all ages who had hormone deficiencies that caused these problems such as low T
- Decreased mood swings and irritability which can be caused by a variety of hormonal issues in men
- Better concentration and attention where there had been a decline
- Improved sleep – quality and in some cases quantity of sleep that was affected
- Decreased risk of some diseases, such as osteoporosis, but check with your doctor first
How Bioidentical Hormones are Made:
Bioidentical hormones are sometimes prepared in large quantities, though as opposed to synthetics they are always made from natural ingredients. There are also ”custom-compounded” bioidentical hormones that are created specifically for the person who is to be treated, with a specific mix designed to address their needs. Some people make the mistake of thinking that all bioidentical hormones must be uniquely custom-mixed and compounded. However, custom compounding is only necessary when there is a need for these natural hormones in combinations, doses, or means of entry (such as lozenges) that are not currently available in usual preparations. Much of the negative press about BHRT stems from problems related to custom compounding, since a less experienced compounder can get the formula wrong.
The Most Common Bioidentical hormones:
There are four basic bioidentical hormones used today, though new uses for these natural hormones are being found all the time. Right now the most common forms of therapy use:
Bioidentical Estrogen: As they age women produce less estrogen and this natural hormone can be replaced with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. The actual natural hormones that are used are called Estrodil. This is by far the most common hormone that women pursue through this and traditional therapy, and it is the most studied as far as the positive effects.
Bioidentical Progesterone: Also produced is lower quantities as women age is Progesterone. Administered in both the usual capsule form and also transdermal skin patches, these natural hormones may be a primary bioidentical hormone therapy or a secondary target. This is a fst growing segment of this natural therapy
Bioidentical Testosterone: These natural hormones can improve libido and energy in postmenopausal women and women, and is the most common form of natural hormone replacement in men. Men with low T have a wide range of symptoms that come on gradually and can be traced to this deficiency.
Bioidentical DHEA: An alternative to estradil for women, DHEA is emerging as an increasingly popular choice. It also may help some women well before menopause to improve reproductive health. By percent, this could be the fastest growing segment of all types of hormone replacement.
Safety and Effectiveness of Bioidentical Hormones:
There is a lot of debate over the safety and effectiveness of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy right now, though there is mounting evidence that these natural hormones often work very well if given by a qualified and experienced practitioner and when it has been determined that hormonal issues are truly the cause of symptoms. There is a lack of scientific study on custom compounding of bioidentical hormones because these formulas are not standardized and therefore hard to study over large groups of people. Of course it should be noted that even with more traditional hormone replacement there are risks. Our advice is simple: Choose a well established practitioner and have them work closely with the primary care physician who knows you best.
We will be presenting the world of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in an independent and unbiased way, so we will not hesitate to present safety and effectiveness concerns and issues. We have no stake in what you ultimately choose as far as the possibility of BHRT, so we can afford to show a well-rounded approach. We also welcome comments about safety and effectiveness from those who have had BHRT and want to share either their success of problems they ran into during treatment.
This website aims to be informative and independent, but before considering bioidentical hormone replacement therapy you should check with you doctor and consider all of the risks and benefits. We will cover the many uses of this type of therapy using natural; hormones, from the more well-known uses in the replacement of estrogen, to less well-known uses that might help fight sever acne in teens and low testosterone in men. We will provide updates on everything from how this natural alternative therapy can be administered, to the different preparations that are being used, to the symptoms it is being used to target.
Our Comprehensive Blog about Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is the best place to get the most up-to-date information and advice about BHRT, and please note our more comprehensive topics (use the navigation bar above or to the left):
- Listing of common bioidentical hormones: Covers the major hormones that BHRT seeks to naturally replace or augment in both men and women. There are others but we choose to focus on those used most commonly and for which there is some data and experience
- Safety and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy: Takes an even look at the risks and safety issues related to this type of natural hormone replacement therapy including typical side effects, drawbacks, and less common but possible safety concerns
- Bioidentical Hormone Benefits: A Top 10 listing of the potential benefits of BHRT in men and women, focusing on management of symptoms and reduction of future problems. Again, we are unbiased and willing to present a well-rounded view, but this does not mean we are not excited about BHRT.
- Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Assessment: Covers the assessment you will have prior to your bioidentical hormone therapy to ensure you are a good candidate for this treatment, a very important step in the process that a good practitioner will take very seriously
- Disease Prevention: Covers the research into how this natural form of natural hormone replacement may be able to cure or slow certain diseases such as osteoporosis. You would always make sure your regular doctor is aware of any nontraditional approach you are taking in these areas.
- OTC Approaches: Covers the natural nutrients and supplements you can buy over the counter that may help you produce natural hormones. While not technically bioidentical hormones, these foods may produce an effect in some people with milder symptoms
We also have an About Us page if you want to know more about why we are here.
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Here is the Wikipedia page about bioidentical hormones