Are you curious about hormone replacement therapy, but nervous about the hype surrounding it?
A report some 20 years ago caused usage of HRT to plummet from 40% to around 4% of women. But this study was found to be flawed. Now bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is offering a safe treatment for women.
What is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy exactly? And what are the benefits? Read on to find out.
What Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been used for decades to treat women who are going through menopause. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy builds on this approach. However, there are some key differences.
First, the hormones used in regular HRT are called synthetic hormones. This is often made by synthesizing hormones extracted from the urine of pregnant mares. Learn more about how synthetic hormones are made and the potential side effects.
Bioidentical hormones are made from plant sources. No animals are involved in the process. They also have the same structure as those produced naturally by women’s bodies.
This means that they are usually much better tolerated than synthetic hormones and most people report fewer side effects.
What Can BHRT Treat?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is used for the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. Perimenopause is when your body is preparing to enter menopause. Menopause begins when you stop menstruating.
Bioidentical hormone replacement can treat many of the symptoms associated with this time of life. This includes:
- Hot flashes
- Low energy
- Sleep problems
- Brain fog
- Weight and muscle tone changes
Men also have diminishing levels of hormones such as testosterone, DHEA, and pregnenolone as they age. Bioidentical hormone therapy can help to address this hormone imbalance and restore them to optimal levels as they get older.
Who’s a Good Candidate for BHRT?
Anyone who is suffering from hormone problems! For women entering perimenopause, it’s good to be alert to the symptoms. Try to start treatment as soon as the menopausal transition begins.
Symptoms you are entering menopause include:
- Irregular periods
- Changes in sexual function
- Mood changes
- Sleep problems
Talk to a bioidentical hormone specialist about your symptoms and how this treatment could help.
It’s not just women going through menopause who can benefit from BHRT. Younger women with a hormone imbalance can also benefit.
Always talk to a doctor before starting any form of hormone replacement therapy. Some people are not suitable for this treatment as the risks outweigh the benefits. Side effects of BHRT could include a higher risk of blood clots, stroke, and gallbladder disease.
Are Bioidentical Hormones FDA-Approved?
Some drug companies produce FDA-approved bioidentical hormones. However, custom-compounded therapies do not currently have FDA approval. The hormones used may not be controlled.
Therefore it’s important to make sure you’re getting something that is safe and will not pose a risk to your health. Check each product before you begin your treatment so that you are fully aware of any potential risks and side effects.
The Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Many people are more comfortable with hormones derived from plants rather than animal sources. They come in many forms, such as pills, gels, injections, creams, and hormone patches.
- Improved Bone Density
As women age and their bodies produce less estrogen, their risk of developing osteoporosis increases. Our bones are like muscles. They need to be constantly exercised, repaired, and replaced.
All people as they age start to lose bone density at a faster rate than their bodies can restore it. BHRT can strengthen bones by boosting estrogen to optimal levels, slowing down the rate of density loss.
- Mental Clarity
Hormone problems cause many women to complain of brain fog during menopause. Addressing these issues can mean you can think more clearly again.
- More Energy and Better Sleep
When your hormones are out of whack, it’s normal to find tired and sluggish. Poor sleep doesn’t help this either.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can help restore your hormonal balance. It can give both your daytime energy and sleep a boost.
- Fewer Hot Flashes
Hot flashes and night sweats add to the challenge of getting a good night’s sleep during menopause!
They may be caused by estrogen withdrawal, as the body gets used to lower levels of estrogen. Lower levels make your body more sensitive to changes in temperature. Having the right levels of estrogen stops your body from responding to temperature changes with a hot flash.
- Improved Libido
Hormone problems during menopause cause many women to experience reduced libido. Balancing your hormones can help to improve your libido.
- Better Skin
Many women find that they get dry, itchy skin as they go through menopause. This is because of a reduction in the levels of estrogen the body produces.
Estrogen supports the production of collagen, which keeps our skin soft and supple. Lack of estrogen also causes our bodies to produce less natural oils that moisturize the skin. The result is skin that is thin and gets dry and itchy more easily.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can help by giving your estrogen levels a boost. This should help your skin to regain some of its plumpness and elasticity.
- Improved Body Composition
Weight gain and muscle loss are often a frustrating accompaniment to menopause. But this doesn’t have to be the case with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
The Takeaway: Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement
Are you looking for the benefits of traditional HRT but want to avoid some of the side effects? Bioidentical hormone replacement could be right for you.
The hormones are identical to those produced by the body. You get the benefits with fewer side effects. Put the spring back in your step and enjoy better sleep and clearer skin.
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