Sidney Allen

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a powerful yet all natural alternative to synthetic hormone replacement, and Mr. Allen covers this new form of addressing hormone imbalances in his blog. Mr. Allen aims to provide independent and unbiased information and advice, and does not have a stake in what you choose to do re: BHRT.

Mar 182015
 

Bioidentical progesterone benefits depend a lot on the person taking them and their unique characteristics, such as other hormone levels, prior duration of symptoms, the actual symptoms themselves, and other aspects of the person’s unique chemistry.  That said, there has been research that has shown that for many people a wide variety of benefits of bioidentical progesterone are possible and perhaps even likely.  If you have undergone a thorough assessment and it is clear to your practitioner that you will experience benefits of bioidentical progesterone, then you can be relatively confident that you will get some symptom relief this way.

Bioidentical Progesterone Benefits: Research

There have been several studies comparing bioidentical progesterone to traditional synthetic progesterone (called ” progestin”) and the results have been quite positive for fans of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.  Among other positive findings regarding bioidentical progesterone benefits, it was reported that women experienced improved quality of life and fewer side effects as benefits of bioidentical progesterone, particularly when the BHRT was a switch from more traditional hormone replacement therapies.  These studies compared bioidentical hormones and traditional hormones head-to-head, allowing for comparisons between the two approaches.

Perhaps the largest of the studies to date was done at the Mayo Clinic.  176 women who had been having synthetic hormone replacement therapy with progestin, a non-bioidentical hormone, but switched to bioidentical progesterone were studied.  The findings suggested that the women experienced a higher degree of improvement in their symptoms when on the bioidentical hormones.  The findings as far as bioidentical progesterone benefits included:

- Almost two-thirds felt that the bioidentical hormones were better at symptom reduction overall, and 80% reported overall satisfaction with BHRT

- The bioidentical progesterone was seen as reducing sleep problems by almost a third, an important positive when it comes to hormone replacement since this is sometimes one of the major presenting issues.

- The bioidentical progesterone was seen as responsible for a 50% reduction in anxiety and a 60% reduction in depression, both of which are seen in those who look into hormone replacement

Other positive findings in this and other studies that directly compared BHRT and traditional synthetic approaches included less bleeding and breast tenderness, greater quality of sleep, and improved cognitive performance.  More studies are welcome and perhaps needed to truly sum up the differences between the benefits of bioidentical progesterone and traditional therapies, but it can at least be said that the initial results are quite promising and should give people who are considering bioidentical hormones a boost in confidence.  Your reaction will be unique of course, but these studies can provide at least an initial guide.

Benefits of Bioidentical Progesterone: Listing

Given the above and other information gathered here we wanted to provide a list of the potential benefits of Bioidentical progesterone.  Here are the many possibilities:

  • Progesterone in balance can help to regulate blood sugar and can ensure effective conversion of fat into energy.  The result can be weight loss and increased energy as benefits of bioidentical progesterone.
  • Increased libido can also come as a result of this bioidentical hormone
  • Some might feel a lessening of depression and improved sleep as bioidentical progesterone benefits
  • One of the benefits of bioidentical progesterone is that it reduces anxiety in some women
  • Improved cognitive performance has been noted, which could be due to the calming effect or an effect on its own
  • Bioidentical progesterone may improve the immune system.
  • Some have reported that one of the benefits of bioidentical progesterone is that it improves gum health and reduces the chances of gingivitis
  • Bioidentical Progesterone may help preserve skin elasticity as we age

Bioidentical progesterone can do many positive things if it is used correctly, so the above may only be a partial listing.  That said, there is no guarantee that you will experience all or even many of the above, and you should make sure that your BHRT is done in a comprehensive way and that you pursue other avenues to wellness as well.  Best of luck in your pursuit of symptom relief, and specifically if you find that you are a good candidate to experience some of these benefits of bioidentical progesterone.

Mar 172015
 

Bioidentical progesterone and weight gain is a common concern among those who are deciding whether to use this method of therapy.  Now of course we should say up front that any side effect, including weight gain, must be considered as far as whether it would occur with a synthetic approach too – in other words, you need to know whether you are concerned about bioidentical progesterone and weight gain, or any type of progesterone therapy and weight gain.  If you would benefit from some sort pf progesterone therapy you want to know whether you can minimize side effects by choosing a different course, or whether you are likely to experience side effects no matter what.

Bioidentical Progesterone and Weight Gain: Reasons

Let’s start, then, by exploring bioidentical progesterone and weight gain in a vacuum – what are the effects on weight and appetite from this natural approach, without a comparison to synthetics.  As far as bioidentical progesterone and weight gain, there are three possibilities, which we list with comments informed by medical reports:

1. Bioidentical progesterone and weight gain is not a cause-effect problem, but rather you are gaining weight like many people do as they age and during menopause because your metabolism has slowed.  The BHRT is not causal and may even slow the process, but it happens even so, and the bioidentical hormone replacement therapy gets blamed.  This theory is commonly postulated by practitioners who say it is hard to see how scientifically balancing hormones would lead to this particular side effect.

2. Bioidentical progesterone and weight gain is an indirect relationship.  Some people feel like they have less energy or are fatigued, especially at the beginning of their BHRT, and this may cause them to be less active.  In addition, people prone to using food as a crutch when they don’t feel well may eat more to sooth other symptoms whether caused by menopause or the bioidentical hormones.

3. Bioidentical progesterone and weight gain is a direct effect – somehow this therapy directly slows metabolism or creates a situation where your body produces more fat, perhaps in certain areas.  While some users report this effect, it is not commonly reported by practitioners.

The above suggests that there is not likely a direct effect of bioidentical progesterone and weight gain.

Synthetic vs. Bioidentical Progesterone and Weight Gain

There are some anecdotal reports that synthetic progesterone may cause weight gain where bioidentical progesterone will not.  To be fair, however, we could not find any specific studies that suggested that this is the case.  It seems fair to assume that everything we wrote above may hold true for the synthetic version as well.  This suggests that unless your doctor says otherwise or there is a study we have yet to find, the reasons to choose bioidenticals may not include somehow avoiding weight gain.  There are of course many other reasons you may choose the bioidentical approach, but avoiding weight gain does not appear to be one of them.

It should be noted, however, that there could be indirect effects related to synthetic vs. bioidentical progesterone and weight gain.  For example, if the synthetic version has an effect on your mood or you have any mild side effects, you  may feel less motivated to exercise or you may eat more to sooth yourself.  Thus you may want to compare the two possibilities as far as how apt you are to eat right and exercise with each choice.

While your doctor can provide the most accurate advice and information about any effects you might feel on BHRT, including whether you might experience a relationship between bioidentical progesterone and weight gain, generally it does not appear that that relationship is somehow direct, and it also does not appear that that relationship is direct with synthetics.  That said, we hope you will feel free to use our comments section to describe your own experience related to bioidentical progesterone and weight gain.

Feb 242015
 

A bioidentical estrogen patch provides transdermal (through the skin) absorption of this natural hormone in a slow and steady dose.  A bioidentical estrogen patch can be a great solution for women who do not want to take pills and who want a more specific dose than they would get with a cream.  It is also helpful for those who might otherwise forget to take their hormones or use their cream.  If you are someone who has signs of a hormone imbalance related to a loss of estrogen, and this is most common in women who are aging, you may want to look into the possibility of a bioidentical estrogen patch.

Bioidentical Estrogen Patch Indications

If we back up for second, remember that among the signs of low estrogen are depression, fatigue, vaginal issues, and some degree of muscle and joint pain may be signs of hormonal imbalances.  You should get this thoroughly assessed including having hormone testing to determine whether you are in fact low in estrogen.  If you are experiencing these symptoms and an assessment reveals that they are due to low estrogen, you may benefit from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.  And the likely chemical that the doctor will want to prescribe is called estradiol.  You may have choices, including pills, creams, suppositories and patches, and we are focusing on the latter here.

The bottom line is that you want to get a low and steady dose of estradiol through your BHRT.  All of the choices listed above are viable, but each has a drawback as well.  Pills, for example, must be metabolized by the liver and when that happens they can lose efficiency and potency.  Creams may be hard to dose correctly.  Suppositories may be uncomfortable.  And all of these methods require you to remember to administer your natural hormones and be in a place where you can do so.  For these reasons many women are looking into the bioidentical estrogen patch.

Bioidentical Estrogen Patch Use

Your bioidentical hormone replacement therapy doctor will give you detailed instructions if you will be using a bioidentical estrogen patch, so this information may be helpful to those considering this form of BHRT, but for those who are already on it please defer to your doctor’s recommendations.  Here are some tips:

– You may need a break between other forms of estrogen therapy and starting on a bioidentical estrogen patch.  Ask your doctor and she or he may have you wait a week before starting the new method of delivery.

– Carefully follow the instructions as far as how often to change your patch, as this is kep to getting and maintaining the correct dose of the hormone.  Make sure you do not open the container that the patches come in until you are ready to use the next patch

– If you rip the patch or it looks ripped when you get it do not use that one.  Dispose of that one and start with a new one.  If your patch falls off during the days you are wearing it, replace it with a new one.

– Make sure to get instructions about where to put the patch on your body and make sure that area is free of lotions, perfumes, and powders when you apply the bioidentical estrogen patch.  You will probably want to rotate the area where you place the patch.

– Ask your doctor about any changes or restrictions you should pursue in your diet before or during the use of a bioidentical estrogen patch

– When it is time to change you bioidentical estrogen patch, dispose of the old patch by folding it in half so that anyone who mistakenly touches it does not touch the side with the active ingredient.

 

Feb 192015
 

Writing about bioidentical estrogen side effects and solutions presents a challenge for several reasons:

  • First, the side effects a woman might experience from BHRT may be quite unique and varied, and we want to be careful not to try to write a one-size-fits-all listing that will mean that women who do not experience something more typical will hesitate to see their doctor.  As with any natural treatment that might involve ingredients you have never been exposed to so you may react in one way or another and if you do experience side effects you need to let your doctor know.
  • Second, the solutions may also be varied.  What works for one person may not work for another.  In fact, it is possible that some things that work for one person may actually make another person worse.  So the solutions are also something you should run by your doctor first.  We would not want to present a list of solutions here that may or may not help.
  • Finally, we want to be careful in general because the topic “bioidentical estrogen side effects and solutions” may be misleading.  There may not be solutions to some side effects at all.  With bioidentical hormone replacement therapy there are different formulas your doctor may be able to try, and different approaches.  So it may be a better idea to try something new than to try to find a solution with the same formula.

All fo that said, we can provide some information and advice about bioidentical estrogen side effects and solutions that might be helpful.

Bioidentical estrogen side effects and solutions: Ideas

There are a few things you can try if you do experience side effects from bioidentical hormones after you’ve let your doctor know about them and assuming she or he will continue to keep you on BHRT.  Each of these solutions is simple and easy, and you should closely monitor whether each one works.

  • Try altering your diet, adding exercise, and/or getting better sleep.  It is possible that if you eat healthier, get enough activity, or are rested you may feel better and the side effects may not be as worrisome.  For example, some of the side effects reported include anxiety, so all of these changes may help lower the amount of anxiety you have and thereby make this effect less pronounced.
  • Try changing the way your bioidentical hormone is delivered.  If you are getting injections and then having skin irritation at the injection site, look into pills or creams.  This entry in our bioidentical estrogen side effects and solutions ideas of course does depend on whether there is another viable method, and may need to be balanced against any loss in efficiency.
  • Wait it out.  With the permission of your doctor, who should be making sure that your reaction is not concerning, you may want to just wait things out because the idea of bioidentical estrogen side effects and solutions may not be as complicated as you think.
  • Add a supplement of some sort.  Your doctor, or a nutritionist she of he works with may be able to advise you about a natural supplement that may help reduce the reaction.

Bioidentical estrogen side effects and solutions: Conclusions

BHRT and particular BHRT approaches using estrogen have come a long way and many people have few problems with them and if they do have a reaction it is mild and unconcerning.  That said, some people do experience side effects that are a nuisance, and hopefully this bioidentical estrogen side effects and solutions post might be helpful.  Of course the bottom line is that you need to work closely with your bioidentical hormones doctor to decide whether you should change or at least alter your formula, change the method of administration, change the dose or frequency, or make other alterations.  We welcome your own comments, particularly if you and your doctor worked together on any bioidentical estrogen side effects and solutions.

Feb 162015
 

The choice between bioidentical progesterone pills vs. cream is sometimes easy.  For some issues cream is going to be the top choice, while for others the pills will be the answer.  However, there are some times when the difference between bioidentical progesterone pills vs. cream is not as clear.  We should mention that while this can be an important decision in some cases, in others it may not matter too much because both options will either work or not work, and the important thing is to assess whether BHRT is the best method for symptom reduction in the first place.  This post goes over the advantages of each type of administration.

Bioidentical Progesterone Pills vs. Cream: The Case for Pills

Some doctors believe that pills allow for a better control of the specific dose of the hormone, and these doctors are more likely to use that form.  That said, others would argue that because ingested progesterone has to be broken down by the liver that that method can actually be less accurate.  Different people may metabolize the chemical differently, and these differences may actually change day-to-day.  So the answer when it comes to when to use pills may actually not be related to metabolism at all, and instead may have to do with which symptoms respond well to chemicals that are processed in the liver.  For example, those who are suffering from insomnia may do better with pills the chemical allopregnanolone is created by the liver during progesterone metabolism, and this chemical promotes relaxation and sleep.

While many people do not experience any side effects from either method of administration of bioidentical progesterone, you should ask your doctor whether pills may lead to more of the internal issues that are caused by the metabolism of the pills.  (Other side effects such as bloating, cramping, headaches, etc. that occur during BHRT will likely not be dependent on method of administration, but this is still worth a conversation.)

Bioidentical Progesterone Cream vs. Pills: The Case for Creams

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is often done through transdermal delivery, and progesterone is one of the bioidentical hormones that is often delivered this way. This type of delivery system is more direct that pills and therefore many doctors feel that this helps control the dose and the speed at which it works.  Of course this method of administration is also the most comfortable for many people, especially those who do not like to take pills.

As far as side effects, again the method of administration may not matter too much, but if you are prone to any, have had them in the past, or are concerned about some, it is worth a conversation.  Cream administration may lead to some skin-related side effects, but this is not common.

Conclusions

The debate between bioidentical progesterone cream vs. pills in some cases may not matter as much as you might think.  The fact is that both methods may work equally well in some cases, and in others the difference is not enough to get concerned about.  It may be that your doctor has had success or otherwise has a preference for one method or the other, and it makes sense for you to respect that preference.  All of that said, if you’ve read this post and it makes you lean in one direction of the other for your own treatment you should mention it to your bioidentical doctor.

Bioidentical progesterone can be very effective in treating certain symptoms that come on as we age and we have less of this hormone naturally, and it can also be helpful in conjunction with other hormone treatments in order to keep everything in balance.  Given how versatile this BHRT approach can be you may find yourself with choices as far as administration, and if your doctor gives you the choice or you have a choice of doctors who have different preferences you may want to discuss the differences between bioidentical progesterone creams vs. pills.

Feb 122015
 

Bioidentical estrogen and progesterone can be a great alternative to synthetic hormone replacement and can relieve symptoms related to hormone imbalances and low levels of natural progesterone and estrogen.  These hormonal issues may be the result of changes that occur when we age, or may be caused by other factors even earlier.  One way or another the symptoms can often be corrected with Bioidentical estrogen and progesterone that use natural ingredients that you actually may have even heard of.  But who needs Bioidentical estrogen and progesterone?  And how can you tell whether you will benefit from them?  This post goes over all of that information.

Who Needs Bioidentical Estrogen and Progesterone

If you are experiencing certain signs and symptoms that are characteristic of lessening hormone levels you may want to look into BHRT.  So, for example, if you are a woman who is feeling fatigue or anxiety, depression or mood swings, hair loss, unexplained weight gain, low energy levels, insomnia, mood swings, or night sweats you might want to see whether natural hormone replacement might help.  If you are a man and you are experiencing loss of muscle tone, low energy levels, decreased libido, mood swings or depression, or fatigue, the same may be true.  Either one or both of Bioidentical estrogen and progesterone might help, but symptoms alone cannot make that determination – the only real way to know if Bioidentical estrogen or progesterone is for you is to start with a comprehensive assessment of your hormone levels.

For most hormones the initial assessment is best centered around a blood test.  Saliva tests may fluctuate at different moments in time, and while they can be a quick and easy way to measure things as you progress in your treatment, they are not a great first method of testing.  You should have hormone testing where a laboratory tests different levels of certain chemicals in an attempt to see whether you might benefit from potential BHRT with one of or both Bioidentical estrogen and progesterone.  And of course you should then have the same testing done as your bioidentical hormones replacement therapy goes on.

Cautions about Bioidentical Estrogen and Progesterone

For some the above assessment reveals that both bioidentical estrogen and progesterone would be helpful, but we still caution you about trying both for the first time of you have previously had neither.  Whenever you take a combination of medicines, or more than one active ingredient at a time, you will potentially not know which one is working.  In other words, while of course it is possible that both Bioidentical estrogen and progesterone are doing something, it will also be possible that only one is providing symptom relief but you will not know each one.  Talk to your doctor and see whether she or he would recommend starting with one to get a clear idea of how well that one works before trying the second.

Trying only one of Bioidentical estrogen and progesterone can also be a way of limiting side effects.  Hopefully you will not experience any side effects of Bioidentical estrogen and progesterone anyway, but just liek wondering which ingredient is causing positive changes, you will also wonder which one is causing side effects if you begin with a combination approach.  This may be another reason why your doctor starts you on just one.  And should she or he decide this is the way to go, s/he’ll probably start with the one you need the most and/or the one you’re likely to get the biggest symptom relief from.

As you can see, a  thorough assessment followed by a two tiered start may be the best way to start a regimen of Bioidentical estrogen and progesterone.

Feb 052015
 

All natural hormone replacement has many benefits.  There may be many reasons why you would pursue all natural hormone replacement unique to you – based on specific signs and symptoms you have related to hormone imbalances and levels.  So your own list of the advantages of BHRT may differ from any we could publish.  That said, we did want to present a top 10 listing of how all natural hormone replacement can be beneficial to you and also give information about how your hormonal needs change as you age.

All Natural Hormone Replacement Top 10

10. Bioidentical hormones are made from natural ingredients that in many cases you have heard of and can easily pronounce.  While this does not in itself separate this approach from synthetics, many people do like the idea that they are trying to address a natural process with natural ingredients

9. Since the field of all natural hormone replacement has now been around awhile there are more and more practitioners that have significant experience.  In other words, you can choose among many experienced practitioners instead of having to go with the one or two that are around.

8. Bioidentical hormones themselves have also been perfected over the years so it’s not just that your all natural hormone replacement doctor will be experienced, but so will the company creating the formulas you will be using.  This can be as important as the doctor’s experience.

7. Some bioidentical hormones have met the quality standards to be FDA approved, which can add to your confidence about how well they might work and the care that went into their formulation.  And more may be approved as time goes on.

6. Men have become more willing to look to all natural hormone replacement for their own issues such as low T.  While bioidenticals are still something that women are more likely to look in to, more and more men are turning to them as well for their own needs.

5. There may be several choices for your all natural hormone replacement formula.  Instead of having to go with one particular mixture, you may be able to choose among several that each have specific advantages.  This is different from custom compounding where the formula is completely unique.

4. Custom compounding of your bioidentical hormones can help you get the very specific formula that might work well for you.  Custom compounding is not for everyone, but if you are someone for whom this process will help it can be very helpful to get the perfect formula for your needs.

3. You can augment the effects of all natural hormone replacement through changes in your diet, supplementation with nutrient, exercise programs, and relaxation methods.  All of these pursuits are healthy in themselves and can also help you improve your hormone balances in many cases.

2. As with any relatively new medical approach the degree of research behind all natural hormone replacement is growing.  So you may now be able to count on more empirical evidence not only for the whole field of BHRT, but for your particular formula.

1. Bioidentical therapy does not require any down time so you can go about your normal routine while having all natural hormone replacement.  You may or mat not want to tell people who you are having hormone replacement therapy, but you will not have to in order to explain why you are missing things – because you won’t have to miss work for example.

All Natural Hormone Replacement and Age

The most common use for all natural hormone replacement therapy is to treat symptoms related to aging.  This is also true, of course, with traditional synthetic hormone replacement as well.  As we age some of our hormone levels drop, and the resulting deficits as well as the imbalances with hormones that do not drop, can cause a variety of symptoms.  While this is not the only way BHRT can be used, it is certainly a significant one.

Here is a decade by decade look at hormone issues, general of course as these issues can vary widely from person to person:

10-20 years old: This is where hormones kick in, building rather than shrinking.   Many problems related to hormones at these ages have to do with increases in certain hormones.  Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is not suggested for this group, though some of the milder approaches such as changes in diet might work well.

20-30 years old: In about the middle of this decade hormone levels begin to drop.  The drops are not usually significant or noticeable, and for some people they are actually positive if the hormones were causing problems such as acne breakouts.  BHRT is rare for people in this age group, at least when it comes to the treatment to hormone drops.

30-40 years old: The amount of change in hormones and resulting unwanted symptoms varies widely in this age group.  This is a time that some men and women do start to feel the effects of changes and all natural hormone replacement can be quite effective.  While not for everyone during this time, beginning here can lead to positive effects and even preventative effects as hormones continue to drop.

40-50 years old: Of course this is the most popular time for BHRT given that we see the most changes in hormone levels here and some of the most dramatic changes in symptoms.  This is true for women – as far as estrogen in particular – and men – as far as testosterone.

This information about the benefits of all natural hormone replacement may not even be complete – there may be more advantages of bioidentical hormones than we’ve listed in our top 10, and more age-related benefits as well.  You still need to check with a doctor and have your hormone levels carefully assessed to be sure that this approach will work for you.  Please feel free to let us know, from your experience, if there are other things we should include in our lust of the benefits of all natural hormone replacement.

Jan 252015
 

Many ask “How long does it take for bioidentical hormones to work?” and as good a question as this is, it is often not easily answered.  Part of the problem in providing an accurate answer is that people and their hormones are truly like snowflakes – no two situations are the same from the perspective of body chemistry, medical history, ingredients used in BHRT, and the way they react to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.  All of that said, we can give a few general and hopefully helpful responses that begin to answer the question “How long does it take for bioidentical hormones to work?”:

  • The most general answer to the question is that many people begin to feel positive effects of bioidentical hormones within 2-3 months of starting a comprehensive program to address hormone imbalances.  Some people are lucky enough to feel these positive changes more quickly.  It can be helpful to keep a journal that not only covers those symptoms that you know are related to hormone levels such as sleeping, mood, and appetite, but also of some general information about your well-being and energy levels. Also, you should listen to the feedback of others in your life – sometimes we do not notice subtle improvements but other do.
  • Many people find that improvements may come in one or two areas before others.  So while you may not feel the complete positive effect of bioidenticals for 3-4 months, perhaps your sleep or your energy level improves more quickly.  This sort of answers a related question: How long does it take for bioidentical hormones to work, at least a little.
  • Sometimes there is a relationship between how long it takes bioidentical hormones to work and how long it took for you to have the imbalance happen in the first place.  If your hormonal changes have been happening for many years, it may take longer to fix them, as opposed to catching things early.

The related question here is which symptoms may tend to be alleviated more quickly than others by BHRT.  And again it is hard to answer that question broadly because there are so many unique features in hormone imbalances.  But it has been reported that some symptoms like sleep and energy levels may respond more quickly.  Perhaps this is because these are symptoms that can improve gradually – even if the total effect is not noted for a few months, things may get slightly better as time goes on, meaning that gradual relief is noticeable.  Again, it may be that the time until you get relief from certain symptoms with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is related to how mild they are to begin with, and how long you have had them.

The bottom line when it comes to the question “how long does it take for bioidentical hormones to work” is that you need to communicate openly with your doctor and get her or his feedback along the way.  She or he should be able to tell you if you are on track, or if things are going too slowly and changes should be made.  You should get a prediction from your doctor up front that is based not only on your symptoms and history, but also on his or her experience with people presenting similarly to you.  And you should get an idea of how your doctor wants you to track things so that you can report your progress in a scientific way.

While everyone is different and BHRT can take some time, you should be able to have a system so that you can get a personalized idea of your unique answer to the question “How long does it take bioidentical hormones to work?”

Jan 202015
 

Bioidentical hormones reviews are often sought out but not easy to find.  We cannot possibly provide all the information you would need about all of the potential types of formulas and all of the BHRT doctors who might be practicing in your area.  Many people look for bioidentical hormones reviews for these reasons, and like us, any website or other source trying to provide them faces certain challenges, most prominently the fact that there are so many possibilities and choices.  This does not mean that you cannot get at least some information and advice.  Here are some ways to get the information you need – the bioidentical hormones reviews you are looking for:

1. You may be able to find some unbiased forums where members are not affiliates and other wise have no stake in your choice.  You need to vet both the website and the members to be sure that the advice that is given is not biased.  First make sure the site is not an affiliate of any practice and does not seem to favor one formula or another.  Then make sure that the members you look to for bioidentical hormones reviews do not have paid affiliate links in their posts or their signature, and that they generally seem reputable and helpful.

2. Local publications may sometimes have “best of” issues where they list the best bioidentical hormones doctors and clinics.  Just make sure that the publication shares its formula for producing those results – was it a vote of other professionals in the field, a reader survey, or certain objective measures?  You may even want to see which providers not only were listed at the top this year but have been highly ranked year after year.  These kind of “best of” publications can be quite helpful if the methods by which they reached their results are solid.

3. The topic of natural hormone replacement may be hard to bring up and you may not want to bring it up too often in casual conversation.  However, the more you do talk about it the more likely you will be to get some work-of-mouth bioidentical hormones reviews.  These can be the best form of information because they are likely local and timely, and especially when they come from those you can trust have done their own homework and can be tough graders, this can be a helpful step.

4. Finally, while not technically “reviews”, you may be able to compare different objective statistics when deciding between different providers.  You can ask whether they do patient feedback questionnaires, and if they do you can compare the results between one practitioner and the other.  You can also ask whether they have to report data to anyone, for example an accrediting body or insurance companies.  You may be able to ask for that data.

We would be remiss if we did not list a few methods of getting bioidentical hormones reviews that we would not recommend.  For example, watch for affiliate websites or other sites where people seem to be reviewing BHRT providers but there is a click through on the site to the provider.  This is especially true if only one provider is reviewed or all of the reviews are positive.  This may be a site that is getting paid for these clicks and therefore may have incentive to make them all positive.  Also, as we mentioned above be careful about online reviews, such as those at forums, where the person does not seem to be giving well-rounded advice and information and instead seems to focus on promoting one particular practice.  If there is a click-through that again may be the sign of a paid affiliate.

Since we are an independent website and also because there are just too many good BHRT practices for us to possible review them all, we hope that you find this information helpful in doing your own bioidentical hormones reviews.

Jan 022015
 

Natural estrogen replacement therapy is a powerful solution for women who have estrogen imbalances caused either by menopause or medical conditions.  Natural estrogen replacement therapy is not for every woman however, and therefore that are many questions about this form of treatment that are commonly asked.  While this post should not take the place of asking those questions of your provider so that you get unique answers based on your own condition, we do hope that these answers give you a start and make you a more informed consumer.  In other words, if you are considering natural estrogen replacement therapy there are a lot of questions you should ask your prospective BHRT doctor.  That said, here are some of the more common questions women often ask, with typical answers:

When exactly should I start natural estrogen replacement therapy?
Starting natural estrogen replacement therapy will depend on your symptoms.  Since some natural hormones begin to decline as soon as your mid-20s, you may experience some symptoms by the time you are in your mid-30s or so.  Then again, many people do not experience symptoms until their 50s.  Again, you should judge when to start by your symptoms, and then have blood tests to determine if your symptoms are in fact caused by an estrogen hormone imbalance.  (And ideally you might have gone in earlier, like in your early 30s, to get baseline reading of your levels.)
How long does it take natural estrogen replacement therapy to work?
You will need to ask this question in relation to the exact formula and ingredients you are going to take, but a general guide is that it should take around 3-6 months for you bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to produce noticeable changes.  Some people feel better sooner, and for some it takes longer.  Your practitioner may be able to predict how long it will take given your presenting issue and the formula she or he will be using to correct it.
How long will I need to take Bioidentical Hormones?
Some people are able to stop taking bioidentical hormones after they achieve some degree of balance, while others need to keep taking them on an ongoing basis.  Many people are able to make their use of natural estrogen replacement therapy at least intermittent.  Basically the answer to this question depends on the cause of your imbalance and whether this particular cause can be fully addressed and then stability is achieved without further intervention.

Are birth control pills considered natural estrogen replacement therapy?

While birth control pills are a type of hormone therapy they are different from natural estrogen replacement therapy in two ways.  First these types of medication are synthetic, and therefore different from natural bioidenticals.  Second, these pills are taken for a purpose other than correcting an imbalance.

Is there anything I should do in conjunction with natural estrogen replacement therapy?

We suggest pursuing a routine that includes nutritional changes, exercise, and stress reduction.  These adjunctive areas may also help reduce the same symptoms that your hormone treatment is addressing.  You may also be given supplements that will also augment your bioidentical hormones.

What is the best way to start?

You may want to start with a consultation with your primary care physician who has no stake in whether you decide to pursue bioidentical hormones.  While she or he may not specifically recommend this natural approach, you can at least get a firm diagnosis related to hormone issues.  After that you should see a qualified and experienced BHRT provider, ideally one who has a reputation of not pushing this therapy for everyone.

How do I choose a Bioidentical Hormones doctor?

The best way to choose is by a combination approach that may include looking at online reviews, asking your PCP, finding published reviews by local magazines and publications, asking a lot of questions of those providers you do call, and if possible finding others who have had this treatment and seeing what they thought of their provider.

These are some of the more common questions people ask.  We will add to this list of natural estrogen replacement therapy FAQ as needed.