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.

Jul 042015
 

The best bioidentical hormones for you may or may not be the best bioidentical hormones for someone else, even someone with similar symptoms as you.  If you choose your bioidentical hormone replacement therapy doctor carefully you can have the best chance of getting the best bioidentical hormones for you, given that this person will have the knowledge and experience to make the best possible match.  With synthetic hormones there are many fewer choices, but with bioidenticals there are many, and when you consider custom compounding the choices get even greater.  In this post we will go over the ways to pursue the best bioidentical hormones for you.

Best Bioidentical Hormones and Your Assessment

The first step to ensuring that you get the best bioidentical hormones is to have a thorough hormone assessment, ideally involving samples taken from your blood and at a time when there is no artificial and temporary elevation or deflation of your hormones.  An accurate assessment is the first step to deciding what ingredients would help.  While ideally your practitioner will have some baseline hormone levels (i.e. your “before” samples), this is often not possible and instead she or he has to compare your results with a general baseline.  Even then it should be obvious what you might benefit from.

Your practitioner should walk you through the connections between your hormone assessment and the ingredients and formulas that might help.  She or he might even be able to tell you what would be expected and after how long as far as your next assessments.  If there are aspects of your hormone assessment that are unclear or do not seem to fit nicely, you may either need the assessment repeated.  Only with an accurate assessment can you be ensured that you will get the best bioidentical hormones for your current symptoms and for prevention of new ones.

Jun 102015
 

What is the best bioidentical progesterone cream?  That may depend on why you ask.  The best bioidentical progesterone cream for you may depend on several factors depending on what you are looking for as far as feel, results, and prevention of side effects.  We go over all three here.

Best Bioidentical Progesterone Cream: Feel

All other things being equal, such as dose and major ingredients, you might look for a bioidentical progesterone cream formula that feels right.  Some creams may feel oily and leave a residue, while others may more quickly be absorbed into the skin.  Of course to some degree you might tolerate these discomforts if a product brings you closer to the overall symptom reduction you were looking for when you turned to natural hormone replacement, but at least at first you may want to see whether you can also get a product that feels okay as well.  One way to find all of this out beforehand is to ask your BHRT practitioner what the feel is of the formula they are using, or go to message boards and even unbiased customer review sites to see what others say.

While the feel of a formula may not be the most important issue when you are choosing the best bioidentical progesterone cream for you, we list it first because many people do not ask about this factor and end up with a hormone formula that they could have found in a more comfortable application.  All of this is even more pertinent when you are having your natural hormones custom compounded, given that they may be able to add ingredients that make the cream more comfortable during your application.

Best Bioidentical Progesterone Cream: Ingredients

Of course the most important factor when looking for the best bioidentical progesterone cream for you is the ingredients that will be used.  You may respond better to certain formulas that contain specific ingredients than you do to others, and therefore you may want to go to a BHRT practitioner that chooses from a many different formulas.  In fact, you should ask questions about the underlying ingredients that are being chosen, how they work, and why they might work for you.  As we’ve mentioned elsewhere, it can be good to choose a formula with few or maybe even just one active ingredient at first so that you know exactly what is working or not, and whether a specific ingredient will cause side effects.  This is particularly true in this case when progesterone is the only hormone you need.

We cannot go over the specific ingredients that would potentially be in the best bioidentical hormones cream for you given that many of them are proprietary and endorsing them would be akin to endorsing a specific product or company.  We want to maintain our independence here, so instead what we suggest is that you ask questions of your doctor and look for forum sites and sites where people can give independent reviews as sources of information once you have found out what your BHRT doctor will be using or once you have chosen an over the counter product.

Best Bioidentical Progesterone Cream: Results

Of course the bottom line when it comes to the best bioidentical progesterone cream is that you want results.  You might compromise feel for the best results, and the ingredients may not matter as much if the cream is working.  Getting the best results means both being patient and being willing to do a little trial and error.  Your doctor will try to use the best bioidentical progesterone cream for you, based on her or his experience and scientific knowledge.  At the same time your unique makeup might lead to these formulas working or not, and you may need to try different formulas, doses, or even places where the cream will be administered before you get it right.  At the same time, do not rush the trial and error process since hormone re balancing takes time.

As you can see, you need to choose your BHRT doctor carefully, do your own homework, and be patient and you should be able to find the best bioidentical progesterone cream for you.

Jun 052015
 

What is the best bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?  That is not an easy question to answer.  People who ask that question may be referring to several different questions, such as:

  • What is the best method of taking bioidentical hormones?
  • What is the best formula of a specific natural hormone?
  • Who is the best bioidentical hormones doctor?
  • What is the best bioidentical hormone replacement approach?

In almost all cases, the answer to “what is the best bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?” really depends on the information you are looking for ans what you mean by the question.  In this post we will try to help answer the different questions that may be intended when people are inquiring about the best bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

Best bioidentical hormone replacement therapy formulas

Is one BHRT formula better than the other?  Is it better to pursue custom compounded bioidentical hormones?  These are the types of common questions people ask when looking into natural hormone replacement.  The answer is usually that there is a best formula for you, but not necessarily a best formula for everyone.  In other words, you cannot likely go into the doctor’s office and say “I want that bioidentical formula that my neighbor is on because I hear it is the best bioidentical hormone replacement therapy”.  Instead, your doctor will do tests and ask detailed questions about your history and maybe your family history before deciding which specific formula, or if you so choose which custom compounded mix, might work best for you.  So, to be fair, perhaps we can say that each doctor likely has a list of all of the mixes that she or he feel are the best bioidentical hormones, but he or she likely does not choose one or two exclusively because in the field of BHRT everyone is quite unique.

Bottom line: If you nare hoping for some general “best bioidentical hormones replacement therapy formula”, you will likely not get the answer you are hoping for.  But that does not mean there is not a best bioidentical hormones replacement therapy formula for you and your unique needs.  That in fact is what you should be looking for.

Best bioidentical hormone replacement therapy doctors

The likely purpose of asking for the “best bioidentical hormones replacement therapy” is to get the best treatment for your symptoms, and while the above suggests that you cannot necessarily find the best formula, you can in fact find the best BHRT doctor for you.  Now again, there may not be one specific practitioner who would be best for everyone, but that does not mean you cannot pick the best one for you.  More information about this topic can be found on our Bioidentical Hormones Doctors page, but for now here are the three ways to choose the best bioidentical hormones replacement therapy doctor for you:

  • Look for a practitioner who specializes in your specific problem or symptoms.  Make sure she or he has experience in that area, can point to successes that sound similar to what you are looking for, and has a good number of years of experience within that specialty.  Look for independent reviews if possible, and again look for those that seem to be writing about problems similar to yours.
  • Find a doctor who uses a wide variety of formula and has kept up to date on all the possibilities.  You are purposely choosing BHRT as opposed to the synthetic route, and one of the reasons why may be that there are more options.  Make sure your chosen doctor can take advantage of that.
  • Finally, look for a doctor who is willing to check-in with you as time goes on, and one you feel comfortable communicating with.  You want to be sure that you can update him or her as time goes on and feel responded to when you do, since this process may require continual tweaking.

The above may help you find what will be the best bioidentical hormones replacement therapy for you.

May 302015
 

Bioidentical Estriol is a natural hormone most commonly used for Menopausal Women with symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Estriol is made by the ovaries and is one of the primary hormones released during pregnancy. This hormone is more popular and has a longer history in Europe than the US. In the US pharmaceutical companies have a stronger grip on the hormone market, and there is no incentive to take to natural hormones that cannot, in most cases, receive a patent.

Whats is Estriol

There are actually three forms of estrogen that naturally occur in every woman’s body:

  • Estradiol is produced in the ovaries and then is converted to another form called estrone. These are two very strong and important hormones.
  • Estradiol also coverts to Estriol which is a weaker form of estrogen but still quite important, and it does strengthen during pregnancy.

Estriol is the hormone that perhaps the fewest people know about, likely for two reasons: First, outside of pregnancy this hormone is at low levels and does not often cause problems by itself; and second, it may be overlooked because it is a by product of something else, another form of estrogen that can itself be addressed.  That said, it is clear that imbalances in estriol can cause symptoms in menopause including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and weakened bones.  This is why a good BHRT doctor will consider bioidentical estriol for some of her or his patients.  A test for estriol levels is a good idea when you are assessing your hormonal needs.

Estriol may also have protective effects regarding the skin.  When menopause hits many women experience skin problems including a lack of elasticity and the appearance of fine lines.  Often there is little that can be done to reverse or even slow these effects.  However, fo some women the restoration of a proper balance of all of the estrogens can help measurably.  It has been theorized that a proper balance of all three estrogens helps preserve collagen and elastin which are key to skin health as we age.  They may also help us retain moisture and a healthy look to the skin.  It may be that bioidentical estriol, even when used as a facial cream directly on the skin, can address some of the skin problems associated with aging.

Taking Bioidentical Estriol

You should of course check with your BHRT practitioner but the usual dose of Bioidentical Estriol is between 2 to 5 mg daily. Cream may be the most effective way to get Bioidentical Estriol so that it stays in your system and is more steadily delivered. Interestingly, when used as a cream instead of a supplement you will likely only need 0.5 mg and perhaps only every other day. The reason for only using it every other day is that Bioidentical Estriol does not leave your system very fast so you do not want it to build up.

Bioidentical Estriol Benefits

Studies have shown many benefits of Bioidentical Estriol, including:

  • A reduction in hot flashes
  • Decreased symptoms of incontinence and the frequency of UTIs
  • Possible decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure
  • Increasing bone density, especially when used with other supplements designed to do the same
  • Reduction in symptoms ranging from vaginal dryness and burning, and painful intimacy.
  • A reduction is some of the symptoms of aging skin, including loss of elasticity

There may be other benefits of Bioidentical Estriol for you, depending on your unique biology and need for natural hormone replacement.  The bottom line is that BHRT is designed to provide a rebalance, and that rebalance can often correct symptoms related to the imbalance.  Bioidentical Estriol is no exception.

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.