Is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy safe? That question is tricky. Bioidentical hormones often get a bad rap. This is actually quite predictable, given a natural cycle of how they are used and in many cases misused. Basically what happens is that bioidentical hormones develop a following because of how well they really do work for many people, and this, in turn, pushes practitioners to overuse them as more and more people want what they hope will be “anti-aging” effects or symptom relief beyond what is realistic. Basically bioidentical hormones are a victim of their own success in a way, becoming sought after for difficulties that stretch the limits of what they can actually do. So the short answer to the question “Is bioidentical hormone therapy safe?” is that when used right after a thorough assessment they are. But what is the longer answer?
Is Bioidentical Therapy Safe in All Cases?
Is bioidentical hormone therapy safe any time it is used? No, because it is too often overused. We can start with a prime example of how BHRT (and quite frankly many natural cures) can be overused. The term “anti-aging” has become so popular and generalized that many people seek treatments that they hope will reverse all signs of aging. Yet aging is a natural process we cannot avoid, and the only realistic use of natural hormone replacement is to target very specific signs and symptoms. When a claim is made that is too broad, such some general “anti-aging” properties, the door naturally opens to overuse and misuse, and then of course disappointment in the patient.
A question arises from all of this: Who is responsible to be sure that BHRT is not overused and over promised? The simple answer is that any bioidentical hormone replacement doctor should be able to tell you exactly what positive effects you can expect – and of course also what the limitations are of BHRT. But as a consumer and someone who may spend hard-earned money on natural hormone replacement you should also do your own homework on the effects of this treatment so you can avoid mistakes made by overzealous practitioners. They may not be doing it on purpose, but perhaps they’ve become so excited about the potential that they’ve overextended their own hopes.
Is Bioidentical Therapy as Safe as I’ve Read About?
Many people have had great success with natural hormones such as those used in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. If there was a giant Internet lie detector, there would still be a huge amount of customer happiness evident regarding the effects of bioidentical hormones. But unfortunately, just like any other treatment that is relatively new and still somewhat unknown, there are also false claims that can look very real and true, and can fool people into thinking that BHRT can do more than it really can. So we want to caution you that the answer to the question “Is bioidentical hormone therapy safe?” may be much more complicated than you read online.
Be careful about believing any anecdote on the web. Yes, forum postings from those who seem to post negative and positive reviews at the forum may be more trustworthy than anything at a website that profits from your choice of bioidentical hormones. And there are some independent and trustworthy sites that you may know well. We hope to also be in the category of trustworthy sources of information about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
The thing to be wary of, however, are one-time anecdotes posted by individuals who you don’t know and don’t seem to post much else on other topics. Not only could these anecdotes be fabrications altogether, but they also could be misguided exaggeration a from those who misunderstand bioidentical hormones and unwittingly thought they did more than they really did.
Our goal with this website is to provide an unbiased and independent view of BHRT, including in this post answering the question “Is bioidentical hormone therapy safe?”, but underneath it all we really do believe in the power and potential of this approach. We are concerned with the exaggeration and false claims out there that subtract from the reputation of this form of treatment. We don’t want people to be fooled, and we want consumers to be as educated as possible. In the long run this is really the only way this type of natural treatment can gain mainstream approval and use.
Is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Safe: Bottom Line
So what does this all mean for you? Is bioidentical therapy safe for you to try? Our conclusion is that any medical intervention will have risks and possible side effects. BHRT is no exception. Just like any other intervention you need to follow the following rules, and if you do then BHRT is unlikely to be any more risky than traditional hormone replacement therapy:
Choose a bioidentical doctor carefully. Make sure the person has experience with people presenting with the concerns you have. Know what their training is, try to find independent reviews, and ask questions about how many times she or he has done this and what their specific experience is related to your issue. Often getting an initial referral from a medical professional you trust is a good start.
Stay in close contact with your practitioner as your treatment progresses. Make sure you tell him or her when you are having even a mild side effect. Keep a journal of how you are feeling and share it with her or him. Do not worry about bugging the doctor too much – that communication early is important.
Be open to trying different approaches if you have concerns about the path you are on. The nice thing about bioidentical hormones is that you have a choice of ingredients in many cases. Take advantage of that and be open to changes that might eliminate problems.
If you opt for custom compounding, make sure you vet the company that is going to do it. Ask questions of your practitioner about why they chose that company and see if you can get safety and other information about them.
So, bottom line, if used after a careful assessment, prescribed by a qualified practitioner, carefully monitored, and we are comparing with other forms of hormone replacement therapy, the answer to the question here, “Is bioidentical hormone therapy safe” is yes.